Thursday, March 3, 2016

Transform Your Cabinets into Whiteboards


A few months ago, I decided to get the courage up to try out this spectacular whiteboard paint. I had began co-teaching with the resource room teacher and with all of the resource room students, I did not have near enough board space. 

I like to provide my students with daily practice on the whiteboards rather than worksheets, as it is more engaging for them. They can't wait to get to the whiteboard every day to do the activities/math problems written under their name. 

This is what my cabinet looked like before I transformed it into a whiteboard.


I used this dry erase whiteboard paint that I purchased from Home Depot. This box is $20 and will cover the doors of about 3 of these cabinets. (I only painted the two doors of the cabinet). 




Painted right on a laminate surface and a few months later, still holding strong! We use them daily. This paint is just amazing! Erases and wipes down clean and smooth just like a commercial whiteboard. No smearing or staining!! 
I'm planning to do my other cabinets very soon....but here are some things I learned along the way for next time and when you do yours! 

 1. These particular cabinets or other laminate cabinets require 3 coats. I used no primer!
2. Wait at least 24 hours between coats. The package directions state I believe 15-20 minutes, but this doesn't work for laminate and a straight up and down door that is not lying down flat. I followed the 15-20 minutes and my paint was not ready for a second coat. The first coat began to bunch up and peel in many spots.
3. Use a sponge roller to apply, not a brush.
4. Use really good painters tape to tape up any plastic handles on your cabinet. I taped my plastic door handles with regular masking tape and the paint seeped through getting all over the handles. I thought no biggie...nothing a little acetone can't fix!! Well the acetone began eating the plastic! So needless to say, I still have whiteboard paint on my handles if you look closely. My principal mentioned that if it really bothered me I could use black electrical tape to cover them! LOL! I'm surprised I haven't done this yet! If you only have metal on your cabinet, acetone will work like a charm! It did on my hinges and cabinet locks.
5. Last and MOST important!!! Don't make the same mistake I made and mix it all at once. There are two cans in the kit that you mix together to activate. It has to be used within 1 hour of mixing, so once you mix it you can't save it. Not only did I mix it all at once and had to do all three coats within an hour, I was forced to waste the remainder which could have done two more cabinets. Since I didn't know this, my other two cabinets weren't prepped and ready to paint.

I recommend to do three cabinets, which is what I have left to do....mix only a third of each can. Apply one coat on all 3 cabinets. Mix another third 24 hours later and apply a second coat to each cabinet, and 24 hours later mix the last third and apply the third and final coat!  

My students and I absolutely love our whiteboard cabinet! It's allowed me to utilize all of my space and given me the additional whiteboard space that I needed! And despite the mistakes I learned from, this cabinet is very functional for what my intentions were and I can't wait to see how much more awesome my other cabinets are going to look! 

Hopefully these tips will help you in transforming your cabinets into whiteboards!!


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