Specialty Paint to Create Special Surfaces


If you want a chalkboard, dry-erase or magnetic surface in your home, you can create those properties with paint.

By Diane Franklin

There’s a lot more to paint than meets the eye. The broad range of the paint industry includes specialty products that can actually alter the properties of your surface. When perusing the possibilities with specialty paints, you can find everything from chalkboard paints to dry-erase paints to magnetic paints. Consider the following ideas when using these specialty paints in your home.

Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint providesa much better alternative for your home than having your toddler take a crayon to draw upon your living room wall! This is the type of paint surface that you’ll encourage children to write on, making it perfect for their bedrooms and playrooms. Chalkboard paint is also great for kitchens, laundry rooms, home offices and game rooms, and you can also use the product on dresser drawers, storage bins, shelving units—wherever you’d like to make notes or lists.

When using chalkboard paint on a wall, you can go big or go small. Paint a small section of wall, framing it with trim or molding, or paint an entire wall for a giant chalkboard that will keep your children occupied for hours.

Chalkboard paint doesn’t only come in black. Rust-Oleum, a leader in the category, has chalkboard paints not only in black but also in green, dark gray, navy—even a clear so that the paint color of the wall shows through. The products work on drywall, wood, metal, concrete, masonry and other surfaces. Major brands such as Benjamin Moore, Krylon and Valspar also offer chalkboard paints.

Dry-Erase Paint

For those who want to try a different kind of writing surface for their walls or other home surfaces, dry-erase paint is a great choice. Once again, Rust-Oleum is a leader in this field, with products including a glossy white dry-erase kit that allows homeowners to create a fun and functional dry-erase surface. Benjamin Moore also has a product, called Notable®, available in a white or clear, to transform nearly any surface into a dry-erase board.

Dry-erase paint is great for creating easily updateable wall calendars or memo boards. It can be framed with trim to give the illusion that you’ve hung a whiteboard on your wall—but you don’t have to worry about the weight of a huge whiteboard damaging your wall. It’s also more economical than an actual whiteboard. Idea Paint offers a paint called CREATE White, which allows homeowners to achieve a dry-erase surface with a 50-square-foot-kit at a cost of $225—less than a third of the cost that it would take to install a comparably sized whiteboard. The company also offers CREATE in other colors, meaning you can keep your wall color and transform it into a dry-erase surface.

Magnetic Paint

Magnetic paint and primer is a way to provide magnetic properties to an otherwise normal wall or other interior surface. With a magnetic surface, you can hang notes, kids’ drawings or photos.

Rust-Oleum has a magnetic primer that can be top-coated with a latex paint in the color of your choice. You can even top-coat it with a dry-erase or chalkboard paint so that you can write, draw and use magnets on the same surface.

Idea Paint also has a magnetic primer, which can easily be paired up with its dry-erase paint as well, and the primer even comes with six neodymium magnets to use on the surface.

In the event that you have a worn or tired-looking refrigerator, you may want to consider Liquid StainlessSteel Paint from Giani as a magnetic surface. In addition to the product for fridges, there is also a Liquid Stainless Steel product for ranges and dishwashers. Easy to apply via brush-on or roll-on application, the product will not show fingerprints like stainless steel but will hold magnets.

All of the products mentioned above are a great way to upgrade your walls, making them both functional and fun. Shop your local paint and decorating retailer for these and other specialty paint products for use in your home.

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