Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint Review

RATING: ★★★★☆

Pros

No isocyanates, therefore safe for anyone to apply

Quick and easy to apply

Good performance

Responsive and friendly customer service 

Low odour and VOC

Clear and easy to follow instructions

Cons

Must wait 4 days before using

Require primer application before applying whiteboard paint

Could be more eco friendly

Expensive

Smart Whiteboard Paint – White Review

Positively this product is Isocyanate free. I have reviewed a few of these products now and the majority of them contain isocyanates. If these chemicals are present, then the products shouldn’t be sold to the public.

So far I have come across multiple companies selling whiteboard paint under the guise of being safe for public use. In fact, under EU and UK legislation, all of these products should be sold to professionals only: 

Escreo Whiteboard Paint Review 

MagPaint SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review 

Remarkable Whiteboard Paint Review

Writey Whiteboard Paint Review

Smarter Surfaces Smart Whiteboard Paint – White is only the second product I’ve come across in this series not to contain isocyanates. I pressed them on the product contents because in this category it’s more likely that the paint would contain these chemicals. As this particular chemical is not legally allowed to be sold to the public in the UK/EU it’s an important point to clarify. As this product didn’t appear to contain isocyanates I bought it to apply myself.

Smart Whiteboard Paint – White Intro

Smart Whiteboard Paint – White is a two-component paint with a tin for the white paint and a separate one containing the hardener. 

This kit is well packaged and comes with a help guide, paint, hardener, microfibre cloth, roller, sanding block, stirring stick, gloves and application guide. There are also some helpful application videos

The 2m2 kit comes with all you need to apply the product so you can get painting straight away.

Simply add the Part A bottles with the hardener to the one with the paint and stir for 5 minutes (which I thought was a lot) until it’s well mixed. Like all the products in this category you need to ensure that your surface is well prepared and completely smooth. Not doing the prep can mean that the product underperforms, so this is vital. 

Whiteboard Paint Review of Performance

When I first bought and applied this product I made the mistake of not properly preparing my wall. The first time I applied this product I didn’t use the primer they advise using.

In my first attempt to apply this product without the primer the wall I used had been painted within the last year. I thought it would be fine to paint directly over it after a light sand. The results were substandard. It didn’t really erase properly and there were dots of ink all over it.  Lesson learned… 

I went back to Smarter Surfaces none to happy about the results. It transpired that I should have used their primer before applying the paint. To be fair to them it was clearly outlined on the application guide. I think I was in a whiteboard paint haze at the time from all my reviews, so made the mistake.

The lesson here is that a primer should always be used! Even with a recently or newly painted surface. The total cost of the product including primer was £111. This definitely makes it one of the more expensive whiteboard paints, but they were decent enough to send out a replacement whiteboard kit for free to reapply it with the primer.

I do think they should have an option on the product page to add the primer with the whiteboard paint as this would make things a lot clearer!

I have had this product up for over a few weeks now. The results are really good! On performance it’s definitely a 5/5.

This was an easy product to apply. You have to wait 4 days before using, which is a bit of a pain but not as long as the 7 days with IdeaPaint.

It produces a gloss finish. It wipes really well and cleans up nicely with the spray cleaner they also sent me. There is no ghosting on the board either.

This is a high-quality, environmentally-friendly, and low-odor water-based whiteboard wall paint. Importantly it also doesn’t contain hazardous chemicals! It’s safe to apply (more on the product safety below) and produces a fantastic finish.

Smarter Surfaces whiteboard paint was also one of the safer paints to use. Most of the whiteboard paints I’ve encountered aren’t suitable for you to apply as they contain isocyanates.  You can read more about Smarter Surfaces’ product safety below, as well as the precautions for dealing with paints that contain isocyanates. 

Smart Whiteboard Paint – White – Health & Safety

I’ve discovered that many of these products contain Hexamethylene Diisocyanate which is for professional use only. This means that they need to be applied with special precautions put in place. Professionals are required to do a written risk assessment before installing these products. They are also required to wear PPE. Some companies don’t advertise this clearly, but the information is usually available in the product Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).

Smarter Surfaces’ paint appears to use a different type of hardener instead of isocyanates to create the enamel surface these products produce to write on. This may cause allergic reactions but is not directly harmful to your health like isocyanates. Importantly there is no requirement for professionals to install, so it’s perfectly safe for anyone to apply.

It does appear to be a reasonably safe option to use in this category. This whiteboard paint has a low VOC of 12g/litre and their LEED certification seems to back this up. Recommended levels in the UK are 500g/litre. After opening and mixing the tins a slight odour was detectable, but not very bad. They recommend opening windows and ventilating. Once you do this the smell is barely noticeable when applying. 

The one concerning element I found in their hardener MSDS was the use of methanol. This is toxic to humans if inhaled, so I wanted to put this to them. Also at the end of their MSDS, Smarter Surfaces states the following. 

I wanted to ask them about both of these points as it looks pretty damning for the safety of their product. This is the response I received.

Following their response you still need to take precautions (gloves, eye protection and ventilation) but the product does seem to be safe to use. As outlined above, the methanol content in their paint seems to be negligible. Especially when compared to the amount you would find in a paint stipper. They pointed out it was equivalent to 96% less than a paint stripper for in most DIY stores.

It’s unfortunate that every single one of these products is harmful aquatic life, with long term effects. When you go to wash your roller that water has the potential to end up in freshwater or the sea. This is the same issue with all non bio washing detergents, which are terribly harmful to fish. Just look at the back of the washing detergent packet the next time you’re about to put on the washing!

On the eco-friendly front Smarter Surfaces might actually be one of the best performers I’ve encountered in this category with a reasonable basis to their environmental claims. They sent me their LEED and VOC certificate which you can view here.

23 thoughts on “Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint Review”

  1. Flanery Decorators Bristol

    ouch

    have used their magnetic whiteboard wallcovering, good product not cheap, actually we used in 4 classrooms for bristol college

  2. good to see a good overview of a number of these products

    Ive been on the tools for many many years for L Milne and used a lot of these products.

    For me Smarter Surfaces is the best performer. On at least 10 commercial jobs and some quite large projects, I’ve installed the whiteboard paint and magnetic paint ( this https://smartersurfaces.co.uk/super-magnetic-paint.html )

    I would say to anyone thinking of installing in the home office these steps are important
    1: Prepare
    2: Prime
    3: Use the right roller
    4: Make sure no missed spots when rolling

    For any projects around the Aberdeen region you can reach us here https://www.lawrence-milne.co.uk/

  3. I see you updated your review

    Primer primer primer my friend it’s very important with all whiteboard paints

    As I said in my previous comment we have used smarter surfaces whiteboard paint on many jobs and it’s excellent.

    I wouldn’t worry Ivan even the best of us make the odd mistake!

  4. Express Painting Georgia

    Have used this product on few jobs and as far as dry erase paint goes it’s a solid performer gotta use a primer first

    Last job was for Atlanta fire department and they finding it working well for them it’s second job using it for them

  5. we did 20m2 of their super magnetic paint with the smart whiteboard paint on a job it went well and client was very happy i would recommend it

  6. Dave Appleby Painting

    the smart paint is a very good product and its made here in UK, ive used it on several projects and Ive never had a problem, we tried a product from Netherlands before we found smart whiteboard paint and it wasnt up to scratch at all.

    always use a proper roller ( lint free) and always use a primer

  7. any advice from the painters commenting here please….

    Can this be painted over magnetic paint ? how hard is the process to make it a magnetic whiteboard wall?

  8. @anonymous

    yes you can apply the smarter whiteboard paint over magnetic paint we have done that before. I would recommend an extra coat of magnetic paint if you have it, make sure the mag is smooth before apply the white primer – use a smooth roller and sand the mag paint.

    Once mag paint is dry, make it white we do one coat white emulsion and one primer, does the trick sand again after emulsion

    once dry apply the whiteboard paint then your golden, the smarter surfaces super magnetic paint is good

  9. what is the best way to create a strong magnetic whiteboard finish over a large wall surface, it must be able to hold large printed drawings, any suggestions would be great.

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