Dry Erase Paint: Pros & Cons

Should you equip your conference rooms with dry erase paint?

Much like video conferencing, dry erase boards are staples of the collaborative process. In fact, research has shown that drawing and writing notes or ideas using color stimulates the creative side of the brain, increases memory recall, and enhances problem-solving skills. Dry erase boards are also great tools for keeping everyone in a meeting engaged. However, sometimes teams simply need more space, or a horizontal instead of a vertical surface to doodle on, and for those teams dry erase paint is a great solution. If you’ve been toying with the idea of going big with the dry erase space at your workplace, this blog is for you!

Pro: Enhanced Creativity

Unlike rolling in a whiteboard for everyone to collaborate on, you can paint virtually any smooth surface with dry erase paint, as long as you prep it (more on that later). The novelty of being able to write on the walls or other formerly forbidden surfaces at work can be very stimulating to people and encourage them to be more innovative in their thought processes. One reason is because it frees them to break out of the typical norms of behavior (no writing on walls) and puts them in a frame of mind that is open to considering new and different ideas. It also adds an element of fun and interactivity for employees, and several studies have shown that empowering people to have fun as they collaborate helps:

  • Increase productivity
  • Increase motivation and engagement
  • Increase confidence
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Enhance team-building

Con: Need Professional Help

If you aren’t a professional painter, you will likely want to hire one to transform the surface you are thinking of with dry erase paint. Dry erase paint requires a smooth and dust-free surface in order to adhere, so if you are painting a wall, table or some other surface that has texture, you will need to sand it and then be very careful to remove all dust from the sanding before attempting to paint it. Next, unlike regular paint, dry erase paints have consistencies that run from thin and milky to thick and sticky. Plus, despite their lengthy curing times, most become too thick to work with after approximately 40 minutes, so it’s not a job where you can take your time. When you’re painting with dry erase paint you need to know what you’re doing and be able to do it quickly and smoothly.

Con: Bursting Your Dry Erase Bubbles

While some dry erase paints come pre-mixed and ready to apply, most require you to mix two solutions, which isn’t a big deal, unless air bubbles get in the mix. You must remove ALL air bubbles by continuing to stir or mix dry erase paint before you apply it. If you do not remove the air bubbles, you run the risk of pitting or not getting good coverage, which means those surfaces that you write on will be difficult to clean or not wipe clean at all.

Pro: Not Harmful to the Environment

Thanks to advances in technology, most dry erase paints are crafted with the environment in mind and boast little to no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). VOCs are emitted from building materials and products, like paint, and can have a big impact on the indoor air quality at your workplace. In low doses, most are harmless, but in high doses VOCs can lead to people having headaches, allergic reactions, and other health issues. VOCs are monitored by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), so make sure the dry erase paint you purchase is low or no VOC.

Con: Beware of the Glare

A glossy smooth finish is great for writing, but if it’s too glossy, it can create glare, which makes it difficult for team members to see, especially those team members who are joining remotely via video conference. Before you choose a dry erase paint, request a sample kit from the maker and then test it out on the surface you intend to cover to ensure the level of glossiness and the lighting in the room where you are painting are not at odds. When you conduct your test, invite a couple of remote employees to join you via video conference and share their opinions on whether or not the surface is too glossy or just right.

Pros: You’ve Got Options

At the moment, there are three commercial grade dry erase paints on the market: Expressions, ReMARKable and IdeaPaint. To help you compare them, we’ve created a handy little table below:

Expressions ReMARKable IdeaPaint
Price for 50 Sq. Ft. $150 $225 $225
Days to Cure Before You Can Write On It 7 days 2½ days 4 days
VOC Count Zero VOC Low VOC Low VOC
Warranty Limited Lifetime 10 Year Limited 10 Year Limited

Pro: Dry Erase Painted Surfaces Are Easily Viewed With Highfive

At Highfive, we are masters at helping people collaborate anywhere anytime via HD video conferencing. Our high-quality, all-in-one, video conferencing devices feature wide-angle camera lenses that enable remote participants to see everyone and everything in the room with ease, including painted dry erase surfaces. Each unit comes with HD video and audio, ensuring your team has everything they need to collaborate well. Priced at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems, Highfive makes it easy to provide video conferencing capabilities in every room at your workplace. Go ahead, give yourself a Highfive.