Chalkboards have been around since the 1840s. They were all black until the green porcelain enamel boards first appeared in the 1930s. Despite the dust, allergies, and dry skin induced by the use of chalkboards, they remained the mainstay of educational institutes for decades. Today, some institutes have almost completely replaced the chalkboard with whiteboards but not all of them.
Even though the advantages of whiteboards over chalkboards are overwhelming, replacing all chalkboards with whiteboards is an expensive decision; one that not all school districts can make that easily. Hence, a better and more cost-effective option is to convert chalkboards into whiteboards.
How to convert a chalkboard into a whiteboard?
You can use one of three methods to convert a chalkboard into a whiteboard. We’ll discuss all of them here starting with the application of whiteboard paint.
Turn a chalkboard into a whiteboard using whiteboard paint
By adding a layer of dry-erase paint to your chalkboard, you can turn it into a whiteboard. We’ll discuss the application process in detail here.
The first thing you have to ensure is that your chalkboard surface is smooth – it doesn’t have cracks, lumps, or any other inconsistency. You can fill the cracks and the holes with a decorator’s filler and use sandpaper to make it smooth.
Then, you need to prime the surface. Use a high-quality water-based white primer for this. Add one coat of primer, wait for it to dry up and then add another coat. Sand the primed surface in between coats to get rid of lumps or inconsistencies.
You can use 3 or 4 coats of primer if required. The goal is to have a smooth, white surface with no traces of the black or green board underneath. The primer needs to be absolutely dry before you move to the final step. It’s better to wait for at least 12 hours after you have applied the last coat of the primer.
The final step is to apply the whiteboard paint. The whiteboard paint comes in two parts. Part A is a transparent solution and Part B is the paint. You need to pour all of Part A into Part B and stir it for at least five minutes. Once the paint is ready, you need to use a fresh roller sleeve to apply the paint to the primed surface.
Divide your entire surface into 1 square meter blocks and paint one block at a time. Once a block is done, check for inconsistencies from various angles and move on to the next block.
The paint will be touch dry in about 4 hours and in 4 days it will be ready to use as a whiteboard. You can write on it with dry-erase markers and wipe it clean with microfibre cloths.
Turning a chalkboard into a whiteboard using a self-adhesive film
Applying the self-adhesive whiteboard film is the easiest and fastest way to turn any surface into a whiteboard. You can stick the self-adhesive film to any smooth and non absorbant surface. So, it should work perfectly on chalkboards.
It’s a good idea to clean the board and sand it thoroughly before applying the film. The new surface will be ready to use as a whiteboard once the adhesive dries out. If you apply the low-sheen whiteboard film, your whiteboard will double as a projection screen.
Using a whiteboard wallpaper to convert chalkboards into whiteboards
Unlike the case of the self-adhesive film, you will need vinyl-over-vinyl adhesive to apply the whiteboard wallpaper to the chalkboard. You can follow the guidelines to ensure a perfect installation.
Should you choose to upgrade a chalkboard with wallpaper, some new possibilities open up. You can use the magnetic projection screen whiteboard wallpaper to create a whiteboard that works as a projection screen as well as a magnetic surface. It creates new vistas of communication in the classroom and helps you engage the students better.
Key benefits of converting chalkboards into whiteboards
Say no to dust
Calcium carbonate and calcium sulphate contained in chalkdust can create eye irritation, skin irritation and typically dry skin, irritation in the respiratory tract, and mucous membranes. Chronic exposure to this environment can have lasting effects on your lungs.
Whiteboard paint on a chalkboard eliminates any chance of dust. You create a healthier learning environment.
Enhanced writing experience
No more broken chalk, cracked surfaces, or ghosting – write smoothly with a dry-erase marker, clean it up with microfibre cloths, and clean the board once every few sessions with a dry-erase cleaner. You will have a fantastic writing experience for decades to come.
Increased interactive potential
It’s easier for kids to write on a whiteboard with a marker than on a chalkboard with chalk. It encourages participation. Moreover, opting to apply whiteboard paint or wallpaper to the chalkboard creates the opportunity for building a more interactive classroom with projection screens and magnetic boards.
What to look for in whiteboard paint for classrooms
What do we mean when we say good-quality whiteboard paint?
- It should be environmentally friendly with all necessary certifications
- It should be Isocyanate-free – some low-grade products use this harmful compound
- It should have a low or negligible odour during application and no odour during use.
- The paint should prevent staining or ghosting.
- You should be able to apply it by yourself. Smarter Surfaces products come with application kits and guides that help you with the DIY.
- The paint should come with a performance guarantee.
Here is what the Smarter Surfaces whiteboard paint brings to the table
- A 10-year product guarantee
- Paints that have low VOC, and are free of PFOA, PFOS, and Isocyanates
- LEED, M1, VOC, and Fire-proof certificates
- An application kit that includes everything you need to turn any classroom wall into a sleek writable surface.
- Expert advice and guidance throughout the application process and excellent customer support afterwards.
Book a free video consultation today. Talk to us about your goal and our experts will help you find the best product to upgrade your chalkboards. Take advantage of our educators’ program and get personalised support, free shipping, and credit payment options.