With these art-inspiring wall treatments, your kids don’t need to keep the creativity on paper.

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You’re likely familiar with it in the office or classroom, but the humble whiteboard is also the perfect addition to a family home. Record your grocery or to-do lists, or let your kiddos go wild and draw all over the walls. Here’s everything you need to know about whiteboard—AKA dry erase—paint.

It doesn’t have to be white.

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Mind. Blown. Despite the common term “whiteboard,” dry-erase paint can actually come in any color of the rainbow (or paint aisle). In the photo above, we used Benjamin Moore’s Notable Clear, a topcoat that can be applied over the color of your choice (we layered it atop Breath of Fresh Air, a breezy blue). Sherwin-Williams, Rust-Oleum, and IdeaPaint all have similar offerings.

Paint makeup varies.

Between the offerings mentioned above, some have two-part solutions (IdeaPaint and Benjamin Moore, whose two parts you’ll mix together before applying), while others are a single paint (Sherwin-Williams and Rust-Oleum). That said, there are some good rules for all kinds of paint.

Choose your finish wisely.

Most dry-erase topcoats will stick to most paints—with the right finish. You’ll want to use eggshell, matte, satin, or semi-gloss finish; no high-gloss or other specialty finish.

Prep your wall.

As with all paint jobs, you’ll want to prep well. With dry-erase finish, it’s especially important to ensure a smooth, sanded surface—so that you’ll have an ideal canvas when you begin to write or draw on the wall. You’ll also want to use tape to mark off the area you’re painting—while clear dry-erase paints don’t have a color, they may have a slight sheen, so you won’t want to let the drip onto trim or out of your designated frame.

Apply an even coat.

This is one of those paint jobs where you’ll definitely want a roller over a brush, to ensure a smooth, even finish—so that your writing goes on evenly.

Let it dry!

Different paint brands will have different “cure” times—ours was 7 days. MAKE SURE you read the instructions carefully and cure accordingly, otherwise all that hard work will go to waste. Once your wall is ready to go, get out your markers and go to town!

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