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Chalkboard walls are all the rage, but I knew I wanted something different in our kitchen. And yet, I can’t fight the notion that a message wall is just so darn convenient when tracking schedules, making grocery lists, leaving welcome messages (or, as you’ll see in a few images, professing your never-ending love to your favorite TV network).

Dry Erase Paint - Erin Loechner

The giant before.

So when Ken and I finally decided to turn our big blank wall into a message center, we wavered between two options: (1) Go with the expected chalkboard wall, or (2) Try our hand at dry erase paint. Of course, the “expected” route has never appealed to us, and although we love chalkboard walls in other spaces, we didn’t want a super dark gray accent wall in our light and bright kitchen. Sure, it could have worked swimmingly, but I also love how airy our kitchen is and want nothing more than to bask in its white glow all day long.

Dry Erase Paint - Erin Loechner

Prep work before a race against the clock!

So, option (2) was settled upon and we got to work. We chose IdeaPaint, mainly because their website and branding is just so fantastic. (Kidding. But man, it’s cute over there.) And gosh, was it a harrowing task to apply this stuff. Because the concoction thickens fairly quickly, you have less than an hour to paint the entire space, which can be tricky when cutting in from ceilings and trim. I will also add that it’s particularly harrowing when the person applying said paint (whose name rhymes with “Ben”) is a perfectionist.

Dry Erase Paint - Erin Loechner

Here comes the big reveal...

Yet luckily, Ken pulled it off with seconds to spare and the dry erase paint exceeded our expectations. The hardest part? Waiting an entire seven days for the paint to set before we could try our hand at writing messages, notes and to-do lists. (Note: If you do this project at home, you won’t need to actually barricade the wall for seven days, because the paint is dry to the touch after roughly 3 hours. The seven day waiting period is strictly to allow the paint to set before actually writing on the surface.)

Dry Erase Paint - Erin Loechner

It works! It works!

We’re thrilled with the look and are so happy to no longer be staring at a large blank wall that served little purpose. Even better? We won’t be vacuuming chalk dust daily, which is a huge bonus for the gal that hates to clean (whose name rhymes with “Karen”).

Dry Erase Paint - Erin Loechner

The perfect wall for love notes - big and small!

What about you, friends? Have you ever worked with dry erase paint, chalkboard paint, or anything else crazy innovative? I’d love to hear your experiences!


Design Inspiration

63 Responses

  1. Molly Gold says:

    Hi Erin! How fun is this?!! I love the possibilities ~ just one question. What's the recommended cleaning process to make sure when you clean the wall, its truly clear of the ink that was left before? That's one challenge I find with dry erase surfaces over time, they just don't clean clear. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. @Rufflewood says:

    What a fun idea! And it looks great too!

  3. Karen says:

    This would be great on the closet doors in my home office. I was thinking the chalkboard route, but I like this so much better!

  4. erin loechner says:

    @Molly – GREAT question! The company recommends avoiding low odor markers, as they don't come clean quite as well as the old-school stuff. They ALSO recommend that you don't leave messages on for multiple days (just in case!), but we tested a swatch for 8 days and it wiped clean with little effort.

    We plan to clean ours with just a dry paper towel and it seems to be working well so far. I'll definitely update you if that changes! :)

  5. erin loechner says:

    @Karen GREAT idea!

  6. @ch says:

    Love it! Now, the trick will be training the little one that THIS is the wall to write on… not all of the other walls! Hehe.

  7. Briana@HGTV says:

    Oh man. My boyfriend will hear about this when I get home, and then will not stop hearing about it until we do it somewhere in our apartment. Way, way cool.

  8. Christina says:

    This is waay cool. Kids would have soo much fun with this. No more getting in trouble with writing on the walls!

    Just made some shortbread cookies for V-Day. Check them out. http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/2012/02/sho


  9. Sandra says:

    Regarding the cleaning issue: We used the IdeaPaint at work. At first it cleaned fairly easily, but the more it was used, the more difficult it became to get it really clean. Definitely recommend against leaving messages up for more than a day or two. There is a cleaning solvent you can purchase — just make sure you clean that off (damp towel) as soon as you clean off the marker.

  10. Eeek, this sounds incredibly toxic to me. No thank you. I'd rather use safe paint that I can actually EAT, it's that safe……ecospaints.com Never use another paint again. I can see where the idea for the dry erase thing comes in handy and all, but I'd rather be safe and use a note and paper or large dry erase calendar. Oh and btw, I don't actually eat the paint, it's just that it's that safe that one COULD eat it. I have MCS so, it's very important that any paint we use, has ZERO voc's, not just low voc's.

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