Sunday, July 31, 2016

DIY Large WhiteBoard On The Cheap ($13)

So, this is a DIY project I did about 2 years ago now and still is a high traffic whiteboard that continues to work great so I figured it was worth sharing.  Being in IT you will probably find yourself wanting a whiteboard on the job, and even more so you'll want one at home.

The whiteboard I made is 5 Feet by 3 Feet, large enough to take up a good chunk of my wall and plenty of space to write and diagram on.  Now you can spend $100+ dollars buying a whiteboard of this size on Amazon or anywhere else.  I spent exactly $32.06 on this, and I had left over pieces I made into tiny portable whiteboards and still had a larger panel left over for a future whiteboard project if I wanted.

Parts list plus cost:

1- White Panelboard 4'x8' = $13.47
3- 1'x3'x8' primed MDF boards = $16.11 (optional)
1- 6-count #8 x 2-in Flat Head wood screws = $1.24 (optional)
1- 12-count #8 Nickel finishing washers = $1.24 (optional)

All these materials I bought from Lowe's.  The White panelboard is the key here, everything else was just what I used to build a frame around the board, you can skip these extras or make your own frame up with whatever you like.

Now at 4' x 8' this would be a huge whiteboard so I had the Lowe's staff cut the white panelboard to 5' x 3' which left me with a 5' x 1' and 4' x 3'.  The 5' x 1' I cut into three boards, to be used as portable white boards at a 1' x 1' size (great for kids or making lists in other random rooms).  The MDF boards I used for the border of the larger 5' x 3' on my wall.

From there I cut the MDF with the miters I needed, used finishing nails and an air gun to attach them, placed the board on the wall where I wanted, predrilled the MDF (so it won't split) and drilled through the MDF, through the board, and into the wall.  Only took about 1 hour.  Nice part is if the board starts to ghost or not erase well after repeated use I can just unscrew the MDF from the wall, buy another panel board cut to size and hang up the new board for only another $13.  I've had this board for 2 years now and I still don't have any ghosting or erasing issues so its held up so far.

Now one piece of advice I will give is to grab some dry erase markers and test the board out first.  I ran into one board that after writing the ink would immediately disappear, like a self cleaning coating was on the board.  Also, there is a chance you will run into boards that won't erase.  Now I'm not saying go around the hardware store and tag the panelboards, just put a dot in the topmost corner and wait about 20-30 seconds to see if it magically disappears, if it stays then try to erase it to ensure it works as a white board should.   Then try other colors, as you'd hate to have a board that can only write in black but green or blue show up too light to read (or erase).

Hopefully you'll find yourself with a new weekend project and no excuses to not have a whiteboard in your home office.

1 comment:

  1. One customer I recently visited, bought this roll-on sticky whiteboard film and covered the whole wall with it. It's about 5 ft wide, and they rolled out about 20-25 feet. Not sure what it costs though. The downside is it's not portable and there's no built-in marker tray either. :)