Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY Whiteboards

I'm still amazed at people who don't know about whiteboards-on-the-cheap! You can get a class set of whiteboards, giant whiteboards, or a full wall of whiteboard for $13! I went to home depot today and had my own class set cut up.

Go to Home Depot or Lowe's. Go to the trim section.  You're looking for something what goes by a couple of names: melamine, shower board, or white panel board--I asked an associate that I needed melamine, and he asked if I was making a shelf.  Let them know you want the thin kid, because you can buy it super thick.  Then, ask the employees to cut it into squares--one sheet made 32 12x12 squares for me. It costed $13! That's it!

Don't believe the myths!
I've heard (and read online)  that you can't necessarily use panel board as a normal dry erase board--wrong.  You can write on it and erase it just like dry erase board!

Since I use these constantly, I bought long, black socks at dollar general.  I put one dry erase marker in the sock and tie it to the desk. I leave an individual white board under each desk so students don't have to get it and spend 10 minutes getting boards, markers, socks, where are the markers?, I don't have a sock, I want that white board!, This marker doesn't work, Señor P why are you banging your head against the wall?

Best White board tip EVER
Ever use a white board that looks perpetually stained? Or that you have to clean daily? You erase the board, but can see everything you just erased?  I'm no dry erase engineer, but I do know one thing:  the board needs to be greased down.  Now, I don't mean like 40-year-old smokers on the beach kind of grease.  If you noticed, white boards have a slick, slightly oily top layer.  Once a white board becomes stain-proned, you may noticed that it doesn't feel slick anymore. How do you fix it?  Pour some baby oil into your board cleaner and shake.  Then, when you clean it, a little bit of the oil will be replenished and your board will be renewed.

¡OJO! Don't use hard cleaners on a white board, like clorox. Use expo cleaner.  Harsh cleaners strip that oily layer off the board and makes it hard to erase.

Happy Dry


  1. I'm looking through blogs as part of my summer reading, and I stumbled across yours! I know this is super old, but another trick I use is spraying WD 40 on the board. For me, it was easier to control than baby oil (and easier to explain to people who walked into the room -- ha!)

  2. Another surface "grease" is liquid car wax. I forget where I read this, but it works very well, too.