Escreo Whiteboard Paint Review

Escreo Whiteboard Paint Kit Review

RATING: ★☆☆☆☆

Rather than try a friend’s recommendation (or the cheapest option on the market!), this time I thought I would do the research myself. Enter Bulgarian startup Escreo UK with their Whiteboard Paint. They have a 4.6 rating on Trustpilot, the products are presented well on their website with impressive marketing flair and their whiteboard wall paints are used by some recognisable companies. 

In particular, I found their website really easy to use, but the fun ended there…

Escreo Review Summary 

Because this got so long and complicated I’m going to summarise the main points. You can read on for the full review.

  • Serious inaccuracies in the technical info and advice (see correspondence with Escreo below)
  • Misleading marketing (targeted to home and education when it contains specialist chemical not suitable for home or DIY use)
  • Requires professional installation due to specialist chemicals 
  •  UK / EU requires a Risk Assessment and Method Statement before use in a workplace
  • Potentially highly dangerous to the public who unwittingly install it without doing so safely
  • Sale of products containing these chemicals  is supposed to be to professionals only

Read my other reviews here:

Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint Review

IdeaPaint Whiteboard Paint Review

MagPaint SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review

Remarkable Whiteboard Paint Review

WriteyPaint Whiteboard Paint Review

Bauhaus Swingcolor Whiteboard Paint Review

Read the Full Review if You Have the Stomach for It…

The first red flag came up when it came time to do the installation. My painter friend John, who I quiz for advice on the technical aspects of my reviews, noticed the products contained isocyanates. He said these were a serious hazard and I should not install this as they can only be done by a certified professional. 

I reached out to Green monkey, their UK seller, and asked if this was correct. Unfortunately I didn’t get a reply so I reached out directly to Escreo. They replied quickly and assured me the isocyanates they use were not harmful and I did not need to be professional to install the product.

Now this was all new to me as, admittedly, I don’t know much about paint but as soon as I started to research isocyanates it was obvious this was serious stuff. It’s a highly regulated chemical. 

To my shock I discovered it was so serious that, here in the UK and most of the EU, it requires a risk assessment and method statement to be carried out before use in a workplace. Even with that it needed specialist safety gear for installation such as an air feed breathing unit if spraying! I kid you not… I was totally shocked. I thought seriously this has to be a mistake. 

This is where this review got all scary…. Who knew whiteboard paint could be white knuckle stuff!

Here are some of the things the UK Health and Safety Executive and the CDC USA say about paints containing isocyanates:

  • Sold to professionals only
  • Safety Assessments must be done prior to use
  • Breathing in isocyanates from paint can cause asthma, shortness of breath, and dizziness 
  • Using even for short term exposures can cause serious harm such as cancers 
  • Isocyanates can cause skin allergies and dermatitis by skin contact

At this point I decided not to continue with the review until I got further clarity from Escreo. I didn’t find their Twitter reply telling me the isocyanates they used were harmless to be credible, given what I had researched at this point. But maybe they were using some new magic isocyanates… 

So I decided to reach out directly to them to find out what was really going on. 

This is where the review took a darker turn, after I highlighted my concerns directly to the  Escreo boss, he told there was nothing harmful in the paint and to just get another installer… seriously I couldn’t believe this!

Here’s our conversation…

There is no clear mention on their site of how hazardous and potentially dangerous the paint is if not handled properly.

Escreo Whiteboard Paint Hardener
Escreo Whiteboard Paint Hardener

Low and behold their MSDS sheet specifically says “FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY”  and highlights some of the safety clothing needed. Cynically this was nowhere on their website and it was only that John was able to get a copy that I was able to view it. I want to be fair but I feel this is not right. I thought I should outline this to them and ask about what is on their own spec sheet, but not clearly stated anywhere else. 

This wasn’t a satisfactory answer. You have to put these precautions on the spec sheet if the ingredients require it. There are products out there that don’t have any of these precautions because their ingredients are safe. I think it might have dawned on Iskren that he’s been caught in a lie. 

I keep coming back to the fact that the spec sheet for the hardener is not on the website. Why? To me they are clearly trying to hide the fact that it’s unsafe for the general user.

I wanted to follow up with them to give them a chance to set the record straight. I’m all up for startups and people giving it a go so I reach out again to give them that opportunity.

What the Spec Sheets Say

They state this product is eco friendly but there was nothing to back this up on the page. I couldn’t find any eco credentials but the safety sheet is readily available. The first thing that jumped out at me was For professional use only. However this is only the safety sheet for the paint.

I’m fairly shocked that they are allowed to market this the way they do. For example “do it yourself”, “eco friendly”, and “home use” are misleading. The installation guide contains nothing about the real precautions necessary for this product.

What’s even more suspect is the fact that the spec sheet for the hardener is not available on their site! This is the one that contains the toxic ingredients, yet it’s nowhere to be found online. What does that tell you? 

As I said, John flagged that this product is restricted for sale to professionals because one of the ingredients is an isocyanate. In the UK, professionals are required to do a written risk assessment before install of these harmful ingredients. All this is available on the spec sheet for the hardener, which itself is unavailable on Escreo’s website.

I have uploaded the spec sheet for Escreo’s hardener here.

Anyone using this product must:

  1. Be a professional
  2. Identify the project specific risks to human health the use of the isocyanate poses and complete a written risk assessment
  3. Wear PPE covering all skin such as gloves, eye protection, and overalls
  4. If spraying wear oxygen fed suit – Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) 
  5. Proper ventilation of the workspace for roller or brush application

Performance

Based on the health and safety concern, my painter and I decided we couldn’t use the product so I couldn’t review the dry erase performance.

Final piece of advice for those willing to push ahead with installing this product. Get a professional to install and to be fair to them make them aware of the Isocyanates as its not immediately obvious. If they are installing in your home they can use this product to detect the level of isocyanates in the air to make installation safer. Maybe Escreo would consider adding one to the kit to make it safer to use…

At the time of publishing Escreo had still not replied. I’m happy to publish a response if I do hear and I’ll let you all know.

39 thoughts on “Escreo Whiteboard Paint Review”

  1. What 🤬This is outrageous, the guy says just get another painter and put his health in danger, absolutely shocking I’ts companies like this putting ordinary working men like me at risk with this carry on, isocyanates are lethal I cannot believe someone uses them in a dry erase paint

    Shame on you

    Please report these gangsters to trading standards

  2. That’s a great review Ivan, but whatever about the escreo product the suggestion for you to just get another painter and to pretend the product is not a risk to the guy on the brush is just not cricket, shame on that man

    As experienced decorators I can tell a product like this is absolutely not suitable for home use

    Stick to the British brands the standards in countries like Bulgaria and just not up to par

    Best Dave..

  3. Bethany Pearson Edu

    thank you great to find this, we have using the smarter surfaces whiteboard paint for a few years now, its very good although you do need to care for it as we use it all day in the classrooms it needs be cleaned at least once a month.

    Ivan I would like to know have you or anyone tried any magnetic paints, we have a new set of rooms opening because of Covid 19 and we are thinking of magnetic paint underneath and one teacher has tried one at home and didnt work, any ideas ?

    1. Hi Bethany,

      I haven’t had the chance to use magnetic paint yet. I was actually watching Interior Design Masters last night where they used it for one of the student rooms! Looks like a great option, so I’ll let you know if I try it out.

  4. Dear Ivan, I have sent an email and I copy it here for all interested parties to see:

    Dear Ivan,

    Thank you for your interest in our products. We take each and every customers’ feedback at heart and always try to improve our products and services.

    I noticed you have published your article and I am impressed by your dedication to provide the best relevant and user-friendly content to people interested in “the alternative workspace”.

    So let’s dive in some of the issues you mentioned:

    1. We do not have the hardener MSDS on our website – this is our mistake and I have uploaded it next to the other MSDS sheets on our website – you can see it here; I agree completely with you that transparency is the best policy;
    2. Professional use only – I understand this troubles you; However, as you have seen in the file it’s next to the relevant section “Industrial / Professional use spec” – I assume your home or office is not an industrial space; This signage is particularly under the general criteria “Main use category” which does not exclude other use case scenarios and need of professionals to apply our paint;
    3. Precautions – It’s a standard precautions text and it’s obligatory to all kind of different paints; as you can read in our application instructions we advise on using eye protection, if possible;
    4. Miscommunication – Although, generally we sustain a fast response rate, we did not provide you with the necessary information you requested on due time, so I can only presume your irritation; I apologize for that, we will do our best to improve these stats, especially when it comes to such important and delicate topics;
    5. I have read the other reviews on your website, I would like to share my opinion:
    – I looked into our competitor Idea paint hardener spec as you have reviewed their product as well and I herein see the same precaution warning as in our Hardener – see picture below; I do not see you mentioning this in their review as a NB!; and this is not the only discrepancy in comparison I see;

    Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 15.49.14.png
    – your opinion on the definition of eco-friendliness – so you write on Idea paint: “The hardener also contains dibutyltin dilaurate. This may cause damage to fertility. It may be mutagenic, meaning it could cause changes to your DNA. And it may be teratogenic, meaning it has the potential to cause an abnormality following fetal exposure during pregnancy / maternity. Not that good, but not the worst offender I’ve come across in this category!” I believe this statement is quite subjective, undermining the importance of motherhood, and your reviews overall quite one-sided. I do not state our paint is good to drink or eat, but I can assure you our paint chemical formula is, if not better, at least as good as our competitors’ ones.

    Our belief in eco-friendliness states from the fact that the paint has low VOC content and is water-based compared to silicone/solvent based competitor paints. I admit we need to work more on ignoring the “marketing slogans” and be brutally honest when it comes to health and wellbeing. I will continue working on making the information easy to access, easy to read and easy to understand on what exactly eco-friendliness means for us and support it with objective evidence/certificates.

    Last but not least, I hope our relations will continue in good faith.

    Best,
    Elena

    1. Hi Elena

      Thank you for your response however I don’t believe your adequately addressing the the four central points raised in my review properly:

      1: That these chemicals are considered so dangerous a risk assessment is a requirement – you should be telling your customers this
      2: These are restricted for sale to professionals yet you are marketing to home user and diy users
      3: There are significant health risks if precautions are not taken during installation. You don’t tell potential customers of the risks, and your application guide does not come close to meeting your moral obligations to installers
      4: Your product is clearly not eco friendly or human friendly – your point about voc and water based are not valid it’s just cherry picking a couple of buzzwords

      I’m sorry but your brushing off serious issues and I believe your putting your customers and installers at serious risk with your disregard for seriousness and dangers of isocyanates.

      Whilst I understand I’m not a paint expert it seems your selling a very dangerous product that is regulated here in UK and your not meeting your obligations as a reputable retailer, god forbid it turns out you’ve caused serious harm to any unsuspecting users.

  5. Thank you soo much we were going to buy this product for our junior school and I showed this to our facilities manager who said under no circumstances could we use it

    What I really don’t like is saying this is eco friendly for home use that’s just a horrible way to try sell products

    Would love to to see a review of digital whiteboards Ivan !

  6. Hey Ivan

    Unbelievable I went onto their site and it’s all home use , eco friendly, do it yourself …..

    How is this allowed ???? Hopefully after Brexit we won’t have to put up with crap like this coming in

    Escreo Whiteboard paint more like escreo danger paint

  7. isocyanares are very dangerous to work with unless your trained in handling them safely

    I work in chemical safety in our plant we will not use any paints with isocyanates based crosslinkers it’s old and dangerous paint technology and absolutely should not be sold for public use

    Just this year Harwoods of southampton just down the road from us were taken to court by HSE for exposing employee to asthma because of exposure to paint with isocyanates …. serious stuff

    https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/02/12/car-retailer-fined-for-exposing-worker-to-the-risk-of-developing-occupational-asthma/

  8. Disgraceful.

    The lack of respect / care for the health of painter / ordinary man / woman installer is shocking in the email from Escreo

    This company / product should be reported

    We only use products we know and trust like
    https://smartersurfaces.co.uk/white-whiteboard-paint.html
    https://ideapaintglobal.com/

    For whiteboard paint quotes ( we don’t use Escreo or anything with isocyanates on our jobs) please contact us here https://tessrigbydecoratingcouk.wordpress.com/about/

  9. This is so dangerous how can this product be sold as a whiteboard paint ……

    Seriously how is responsible for holding companies like this to account

    1. I know! It really is terribly irresponsible. I’m actually not fully certain who is responsible for holding companies like this to account, but I have contacted both the British Coatings Federation and British Occupational Hygiene Society here in the UK to look into the matter.

  10. Thank you for all this information we actually bought this product on amazon. We have a class project and we were going to do the desks in one classroom and get the older year to apply it as a practical project. The Escreo product arrived and our science teacher looked at the tin and said no way could the kids use it. He then went online and found your blog thankfully before we let the kids at it.

    Unbelievably after i read all this i posted a review on Trustpilot and someone from escreo completely attacked me on Trustpilot for leaving the review, the attitude to customers is crazy, nothing about the safety issues you highlighted was mentioned anywhere on amazon, disgraceful.

    It would be great if you could recommend a product we could use that is not dangerous for the kids to paint themselves (supervised obviously) ?

    Regards
    Mary

    P.S i left them a piece of my mind on amazon after their horrible reply on Trustpilot so thanks for the info and pictures.

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback i appreciate that.

      Im sorry to hear that but It doesn’t surprise me unfortunately Escreo have a unique approach to customer feedback.

      Your project sounds very Interesting, what I’ve learned is no matter what the product read the instructions and safety information but it sounds like your science teacher is well used to that.

      If the kids are painting I don’t see a problem provided the paint is suitable and doesn’t contain the isocyanates like we have come across here as these require professional installation and a risk assessment before use

      I’m working on three more paint reviews at the moment which I hope to publish soon but so far I would have to say Ideapaint is well out in front and is overall an excellent product

      Make sure the kids are supervised at all times and have gloves and eye protection and most of all they enjoy being creative !

      You can order here or contact them
      https://ideapaintglobal.com

  11. i cannot believe paints like this dont come with a warning, their website and its very misleading, its all eco this and mom and pop, diy shouldnt be allowed

  12. I can’t believe this firms attitude to the poor painter if it is dangerous product

    Ive never bought whiteboard paint before but I fail to understand product like this be sold here surely British standards don’t allow it

    I’ll give it a miss …..

  13. Finefinishes Birmingham

    Painting for 39 years, no way isocyanates should be used for domestic use even for painters it’s a no no. I can’t understand why a whiteboard paint is using ISO’s

  14. We were about to do two walls with whiteboard paint in our office so we ready to reopen after the Boris lock down our painter was supplying it we didn’t know what brand he tried to order today and luckily Escreo were out of stock and he couldn’t get it

    I showed him this website he nearly choked on his Pie and chips ( it’s was lunch time )

    Lucky break !

    Thanks Mr alternative workspace !

  15. Power Safety Solutions

    Look it’s real simple these paints containing Isocyanates should not be used by anyone except a professional who has had training. I’m an industrial safety consultant of 15 years. so here are the facts.

    1: where isocyanates are in products to be used, an alternative should be found, if a suitable alternative is not available then proceed to a risk assessment.

    2: if to be used in a workplace a RISK ASSESSMENT is REQUIRED this is a written document completed by a COMPETENT person ( ie professional with training )

    Here is a link on the consequences of unqualified people dealing with paints and isocyanates and also a link to certified UK consultants who can advise if you wish to use a product like this

    https://app.croneri.co.uk/whats-new/health-and-safety-consultant-fails-recognise-risk-isocyanates?topic=3374

    I cannot understand why a paint containing isocyanates is being sold to the public on a website, this is highly irresponsible.

  16. As a painter this makes me sick, so thoughtless about health of men on the tools, I could very easily picked up their product, looked at application guide and as no mention of dangers put in HVLP ( my paint sprayer ) and away with dust mask

    With those Isocyanates I’d be in a bad way

    Unbelievable

    1. “Water-based paints, which are also called latex paints, consist of a pigment and binder with water used as a carrier…” but they can still contain other chemicals which are highly toxic so they are not necessarily automatically eco friendly. In this case it is Escreo’s enamel hardener that is dangerous to the person applying the product.

  17. I was wondering can anyhow tell me about magnetic Whiteboard paint

    Does the magnetic stop working after a while ?

    How in the future can it be removed ?

    Thanks

  18. POWER SAFETY SOLUTIONS

    This interesting topic continues to evolve, we have just recently had an issue with a new client regarding Isocyanates

    From 1 January 2021. according Annex VIII to the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation, certain hazardous products containing isocyanates for consumer or professional use must be registered with the EU poison centre.

    https://poisoncentres.echa.europa.eu/documents/1789887/1803644/information_requirements_in_brief_en.pdf/11835219-00f0-967a-1013-8179b1bffaa3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.