How to make a giant whiteboard for $14 (plus nails)

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All my friends love white­boards, be­cause they’re gi­ant nerds. It’s only a good party when some­body starts try­ing to illus­trat­ing a point on the white­board. Also, to-do lists you can’t miss.

This isn’t my idea, but it’s good and I thought I’d share it. Home De­pot and Lowes sell a ma­te­rial called “thrify white pan­el­ling” or “smooth white hard­board”. It’s cheap – mine was about $14 for a 4-foot-by-8-foot sheet. I asked the store staff to cut the panel in half so it would fit in my car, which they did for free.

It’s eas­ily chipped, so watch out if you want it to look flawless.

Then I stuck it to the wall of my stu­dio apart­ment. I used some kind of dry­wall an­chor to screw it on, with wash­ers, to get a good grip on the ma­te­rial. (I think us­ing a dry­wall an­chor was overkill, and can’t recom­mend them for renters un­til I see how cleanly they come out of the wall – so if you have a bet­ter low-dam­age at­tach­ment sys­tem, maybe try that first. I wasn’t able to get them to stick with Com­mand velcro strips – the strips kept de­tach­ing from the panel ma­te­rial – but other peo­ple on the in­ter­net seem to have found suc­cess in this.)

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It acts as a white­board as-is. Writ­ing gets hard to erase if you leave it up there for a long time, but you can clean it with white­board-clean­ing-solu­tion, al­co­hol, or by col­or­ing over the marks with an­other white­board marker and then eras­ing that. In­ter­net peo­ple also re­port that you can buff the en­tire sur­face with tur­tle wax be­fore hang­ing it, and this makes it more stain-re­sis­tant.

I didn’t do that, and it’s still pretty good, es­pe­cially for $14.

Let me know if you try this!

(Pos­si­bly rele­vant: An­drew Critch’s gi­ant notepad for bet­ter think­ing)