Whiteboard Paint Review – Best of 2021

Best Whiteboard Paints Reviewed-Smarter Surfaces Ideapaint Escreo-WriteyPaint Remarkable SketchPaint

Since 2020, I’ve been writing reviews on the best whiteboard paints and the worst products this market has to offer. Here I’ve rounded up my whiteboard paint reviews with the best and worst whiteboard paints and the ones that are just not safe. There are a lot of options on the market, so it’s important to choose a whiteboard paint that’s safe for you or your installer to apply.


Rating

Price

Application Ease 

Low Odour

Advertised Time to Wait After Application

Write and Erase Performance

Health and Safety

Environmental

Certification

Overall Rating

My Insights

Link to Product

IdeaPaint

★★★★☆

3/5 (£125)

5/5

5/5

7 days

5/5

4/5

4/5

5/5

4.25/5

Good solid product. Not cheap, but good value. Has certification.

Smarter Surfaces

★★★★☆

3/5 (£111, including primer)

5/5

5/5

4 days

5/5

4/5

4/5

5/5

4.25/5

Good product, and worth the money. Has certification.

There are many products at different price points giving the consumer a good choice for whatever level they are at.

Many of these whiteboard paints contain substances that are controlled and they should not be sold to the public. Some (if not most) of the reputable brands use chemicals that are not safe. If inhaled they can cause serious health issues. I did not purchase products that contained these harmful chemicals called isocyanates. Elements in the table below were not tested for this reason. You should not handle these products unless you are a professional.


Rating

Price

Application Ease

Odour

Advertised Time to Wait After Application

Write and Erase Performance

Health and Safety

Environmental

Certification

Overall Rating 

Insights

Link to Product

Escreo

★☆☆☆☆

4/5

Not tested

Not tested

3 days

Not tested

1/5

1/5

1/5

1/5

Startup from Bulgaria. Product contains isocyanate so not suitable for DIY install.

Not safe for purchase by the general public. Professionals can buy here.

Remarkable

★☆☆☆☆

4/5

Not tested

Not tested

2 days

Not tested

1/5

1/5

1/5

1/5

From USA paint company. Contains isocyanate so not suitable for DIY install.

Not safe for purchase by the general public. Professionals can buy here.

SketchPaint by Magpaint

★☆☆☆☆

4/5

Not tested

Not tested

7 days

Not tested

1/5

1/5

1/5

1/5

Contains isocyanate so not suitable for DIY install. Information on site at time of review incorrect such as zero VOC

Not safe for purchase by the general public. Professionals can buy here.

WriteyPaint

★☆☆☆☆

4/5

Not tested

Not tested

3 days

Not tested

1/5

1/5

1/5

1/5

Contains isocyanate so not suitable for DIY install.

Not safe for purchase by the general public. Professionals can buy here.

The only paint company to correctly label their product was Dulux Australia. However, it still contains these harmful chemicals so I couldn’t give it a top rating.


Rating

Price

Application Ease 

Low Odour

Advertised Time to Wait After Application

Write and Erase Performance

Health and Safety

Environmental

Certification

Overall Rating

My Insights

Link to Product

Dulux Australia 


n/a

Not tested

Not tested

7 days

2/5

1/5

1/5

1/5

1/5

Contains isocyanate so not suitable for DIY install. Only product to be labelled correctly for professional use only. 

Not safe for purchase by the general public.

It’s important that the product is high-quality, environmentally-friendly, and is not a risk to you when applying. The first thing you want to do is aim for is a whiteboard paint that does not contain these dangerous chemicals called isocyanates! You should also look for a product with low VOCs (this will mean a lower odour when you are applying the product.) I shockingly found companies quoting zero VOCs when they did in fact contain VOCs.

Whiteboard Paint Reviews

From all my whiteboard paint reviews, the top two picks were IdeaPaint and Smarter Surfaces. These paints were equal in performance and it’s difficult to choose a clear winner.

IdeaPaint

IdeaPaint Whiteboard Paint Overview

Pros

Quick and easy to apply

Excellent dry erase  results

Low odour and VOC

No isocyanates, therefore safe for anyone to apply

Clear and easy to follow instructions

Independent quality certifications 

Cons

Must wait 7 days before using

Some toxic compounds in hardener

Price is highest so far 

smart-whiteboard-paint-on-wall-in-office-being-used-in-meeting

Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint Overview

Pros

Quick and easy to apply

Good dry erase performance

No isocyanates, therefore safe for anyone to apply

Responsive and friendly customer service 

Clear and easy to follow instructions

Independent quality certifications 

Cons

Must wait 4 days before using

Could be more eco friendly

Expensive

The Problematic Paints & Worst Whiteboard Paint Reviews

When I carried out these whiteboard paint reviews all of the paints below were marketed towards the DIY user, however they should only be sold to professionals. This is because they are made with isocyanates.

The Issues

Some of these products just didn’t work as a dry erase paint, others significantly misrepresented the environmental and safety of the products. For example declaring zero VOCs when on examination VOCs were present. For some of these whiteboard paint reviews, there was no information on the product that it was only suitable for professional use. They actively market their products for DIY install which is a very serious issue in my view. All of these products contains Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (isocyanates). Isocyanates harden the whiteboard paint and leave you with that enamel finish you can write on and wipe off.

Paints used for spraying cars and car body parts often contain this chemical. There are strict controls for managing these environments as these isocyanates are present. Workers are only allowed to be exposed to the paint for limited periods of time and respiratory protection must be worn.

If an employer breaks these employee protections the penalties can be severe. 

Recently a car retailer operating across the South East of England was fined after a car bodywork sprayer developed occupational asthma.

“West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard that, between October 2011 and March 2018, an employee of Harwoods Limited at Audi Southampton had been spraying using paints that contained isocyanates without adequate controls measures in place. Isocyanates are classed as substances hazardous to health, exposure to which can lead to the development of asthma which can have serious life-changing effects.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure adequate control measures were in place to minimise exposure to paints containing isocyanates, therefore exposing the employee to the risk of asthma.

Harwoods Limited of Liverpool Gardens, Worthing pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and have been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,657.55.”

Background on Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (Isocyanates) in DIY Paints

When an MSDS is composed under CLP Regulations, products containing Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (HDI) are automatically flagged up as for “professional use only”. 

These regulations came into force throughout the EU in January 2009. There are strict limits for exposure to HDI (see Use in Coatings on Page 16.) It seems these regulations came into place and the companies that sell these products updated their spec sheets, but neglected to tell their customers. Hopefully with Brexit the control of these harmful chemicals will continue to be regulated, but that’s a different topic!

Before such products can be used, a risk assessment should be undertaken according to local Health & Safety legislation. In the UK, the risk assessment should be carried out in accordance with The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. In a workplace setting this is the responsibility of the employer. However, when HDI containing products are sold into a DIY setting (i.e. non-professional use), no risk assessment will be undertaken. It is for this reason that these products should be only sold for “professional use only”.

Only after a risk assessment is undertaken can the correct PPE and handling of the product be identified for the environment and circumstances of its use.

Isocyanates are one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in the UK. General information on isocyanates in the workplace can be found here.

This is why the reply from any company that sells these products in the UK and EU should be: “our products contain isocyanates, so, yes, we should only sell to professionals.” There is no middle ground here. These are harmful chemicals and it’s outrageous that companies are selling them to the public.

28 thoughts on “Whiteboard Paint Review – Best of 2021”

  1. Rays Contracting Birmingham

    Great to see all the differences clearly I think would have been good to see the different whiteboard paint prices of ones in Uk

    Big difference in some id bet, I’ve used a couple of these no problems with them

    Defo some of these not in UK I imagine some won’t get in post brexit

  2. Great reviews we have this whiteboard paint in our office it’s great concept …looking forward to getting back into the office to use it again 😉

    Would have been good to see what the customer service was like in each company !

  3. Whiteboard paint is a great solution I would caution when using with any magnetic paint to ensure the magnetic paint has enough coats applied as if the magnetic paint is not strong enough before the primer ( usually 2 -3 coats required) then the whiteboard paint (1 or 2 coats depending on the brand ) the magnetic pull effect will not be great

    When we are installing a magnetic whiteboard paint wall we test the magnetic with a magnet to make sure there is enough on and if not add another coat or two of mag paint

    Happy painting all !!!

    If you need a pro, call us….

  4. Power Safety Solutions

    I posted on a particular product before I realised this Isocyanate issue with whiteboard paints seems almost industry wide so here is my post updated

    It’s real simple, 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

    No paint containing isocyanates should be sold to the public as a DIY product, highly irresponsible.

  5. i love whiteboard paint as a concept, i first saw it in facebooks first UK office in London back in 2009. I think it was ideapaint and they had a huge writing wall where people wrote their names etc, very cool

    In our office now we use it all the time, i would really recommend it any business, whatever it is people love to write on walls.

  6. Peter here im a time served painter over 10 years, i have a job for mdf panels to get whiteboard paint, which is the best product for spray application ? ( only interested in the Isocyanate free ones)

    would be great if any other painters have sprayed any of them before and had tips?

    thanks

    1. Definitely want to stay away from the isocyanates! Spray them is the most dangerous thing you can do, and can lead to severe health problems.

      Smarter Surfaces say their paint is perfect for spraying. Might be an idea to try one tin as a sample? I’ve no experience with this though, so you’ll have to try it for yourself.

  7. Dear Mr Ivan,

    I in turkey some the products are lot expensive, the isocyenates peint are all low cost,

    Turkey the price is no 1 but i want have good product to them.

    What you recommend for Turkey?

    1. Hey Asmir
      I have noticed this also, the cheaper products all seem to contain isocyanates. Even though Turkey is price sensitive from what you say i think products containing isocyanates should not be sold without clear warnings about the risk. If this was done correctly i don’t think too many people would buy the product which is why most of the companies selling these products don’t do this.. I would suggest reaching out to any of the better products like Muraspec, Ideapaint or Smarter Surfaces and seeing what they can offer you.

  8. my advice is find one that has a good open time so after you mix the whiteboard paint you have plenty of time to paint before the tin goes hard

  9. Cheeky question

    i designing an office refit any advice would be great

    i would like to apply a good whiteboard paint to a glass wall, will it look good ? from the other side? any advice would be great.

  10. I wish i saw this website before buying the stick on whiteboard sheets for my kids, they do not work at all well, i wish i heard of whiteboard paint, does seem quite expensive to me though.

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