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Ideas for a whiteboard-like finish on plywood

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Forum topic by poihths posted 02-01-2017 01:47 PM 1470 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poihths

5 posts in 560 days


02-01-2017 01:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: paint plywood

I’m looking for a way to put a really super-smooth white finish, like what you find on a whiteboard, on high-grade plywood. The result should have no grain showing.

I’m figuring some sort of paint will be the ticket, but I’m open to all concepts.

All tips much appreciated!


16 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4887 posts in 2430 days


#1 posted 02-01-2017 01:54 PM

White plastic laminate.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2987 posts in 2252 days


#2 posted 02-01-2017 01:57 PM

skim coat of Bondo then paint

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1085 posts in 2032 days


#3 posted 02-01-2017 02:03 PM

White board paint should work. Available at the big box store.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2799 posts in 3517 days


#4 posted 02-01-2017 02:08 PM

They sell 1/8” 4’x8’ whiteboard at Home depot. It looks like a white enameled sheet of paneling but it’s perfect whiteboard and indistinguishable from it. It’s also not that expensive. Custodians at many schools make whiteboards for teachers or replace old ones with it.

Whiteboard

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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poihths

5 posts in 560 days


#5 posted 02-03-2017 03:56 PM

Thanks for the replies! I know I could just buy whiteboard or laminate, but part of the idea here is for me to learn something about painting/finishing.

So the two ideas of interest are whiteboard paint, which I’ve now learned is AKA dry-erase paint and Bondo.

Wow. Dry-erase paint. Imagine prepping the walls and doing an entire room with it and then hanging a bunch of dry-erase markers on long coiled cords all around the walls. What an idea room! I could see a bunch of people who need to come up with ideas just going crazy in a room like that.

Anyway, I think I understand how I would use dry-erase paint, since it seems to go on pretty much like any other paint.

Which brings me to Bondo. Which I’ve never used at all. Would we be talking about Bondo Wood Filler, as seen at http://bondo.com/products/bondo-wood-filler-30081.html on their website? It looks a bit challenging; pretty short working time. I’ll be covering a 34×34 inch piece of plywood, one side only.

Has anybody used it?

View IowaBeauty's profile

IowaBeauty

11 posts in 624 days


#6 posted 02-03-2017 04:27 PM



Wow. Dry-erase paint. Imagine prepping the walls and doing an entire room with it and then hanging a bunch of dry-erase markers on long coiled cords all around the walls. What an idea room! I could see a bunch of people who need to come up with ideas just going crazy in a room like that.

Lots of rooms like that in the tech industry, although they never tether the markers. As a result, the first law of design meetings is that there won’t be markers in the white board conference room, so bring your own. The second law, is that even if there are some, they will be totally clapped, out, so bring your own.

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jimintx

806 posts in 1664 days


#7 posted 02-03-2017 04:39 PM



Lots of rooms like that in the tech industry …

Those types rooms are all over a lot of offices, even the big-bad-energy industry were I work.

Just this guy’s opinion, I have to say that spreading bond over a sheet of plywood to get a super smooth finish is a huge consumer of time-money-effort, except for those rare few that are genuinely in to pain and strain, or maybe the even more rare, bondo aficionados. I suppose those groups would consider it worthwhile entertainment.

.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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Craftsman on the lake

2799 posts in 3517 days


#8 posted 02-03-2017 05:53 PM

Hmm… gluing a sheet of the material at about $12 for a 1/8” 4’x8’ would be the easiest. I wonder why that’s not a consideration for you. I was a teacher for 30 yrs. I put a million words on some. They came from home depot.The education catalogs wanted $400 for one. Custodians made them for about $40 total. The stuff almost looks like a thick enamel on hardboard.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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poihths

5 posts in 560 days


#9 posted 02-07-2017 07:35 PM

As I mentioned before, I know I could just buy whiteboard or laminate, but part of the idea here is for me to learn something about painting/finishing.

View EngineerChic's profile

EngineerChic

34 posts in 583 days


#10 posted 02-07-2017 09:54 PM

The painted on whiteboards I’ve seen are never as good as the premade panels of the stuff at the big box stores. They don’t seem to clean/erase as well. I think it’s because the rolled on paint has a faintly pebbled finish and dust nibs dry on the surface. So, if you really want to do it this way, I think the Bondo step will be critical to getting a very smooth and flat surface.

Alternatively, if you wanted a good exercise in finishing wood to be very smooth and very glossy, you could look into how they finish guitars and other similar items with high gloss (mirror like) smoothness. Make something smallish (a box) and get the lid as shiny as shiny can be.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

576 posts in 1549 days


#11 posted 02-07-2017 09:57 PM



As I mentioned before, I know I could just buy whiteboard or laminate, but part of the idea here is for me to learn something about painting/finishing.

- poihths

A noble endeavor, however this activity isn’t going to teach you about painting and finishing, it’s going to teach you “how to spend a lot of time and money to manufacture a commodity item”. Spend your time on more worthwhile projects!

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 648 days


#12 posted 02-07-2017 10:12 PM

Instead of Bond a pore filler.

View Markespen's profile

Markespen

7 posts in 552 days


#13 posted 02-07-2017 10:17 PM

Instead of bondo, you could do a skim coat of MH Ready Patch (available at big-box stores) or use “filler primer” in a can. The MH is like spackle but goes on much harder and sands much smoother. Filler primer is made by Rustoleum (and others) and is easily found. Whiteboard paint sounds like a good idea. You could also paint with any flat white paint with Flotrol added in and then use water-based poly (oil-based will yelllow) to finish and protect.

-- Mark - Owasso, OK

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

214 posts in 1553 days


#14 posted 02-07-2017 10:18 PM

You don’t say that you actually want to use it as a white board, so I’m going to assume that you do not. I would use a white primer like Zinser or Bullseye to seal the plywood and give you a smooth surface. Then you can paint with whatever white paint you want. After 2 coats of white, you can scuff sand with 320 to get that smooth, then apply wipe on poly.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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poihths

5 posts in 560 days


#15 posted 02-09-2017 02:37 PM

“A noble endeavor, however this activity isn t going to teach you about painting and finishing, it s going to teach you “how to spend a lot of time and money to manufacture a commodity item”. Spend your time on more worthwhile projects!”

It’s obvious that I’m already learning quite a bit just from this discussion. I will learn considerably more as I continue with the project, using materials & techniques I haven’t used before. That, to me, is eminently “worthwhile.” In fact, that, to me, is the entire point of doing woodworking at all.

As for making “a commodity item,” many things woodworkers make are basically the same as things that can be bought off-the-shelf. Of course, woodworkers make them in unique ways and to personally defined designs and specifications, but at the fundamental level, a desk is a desk; a chair is a chair; a table is a table; a bowl is a bowl; a pen is a pen; a frame is a frame, etc. In my case, a whiteboard is a whiteboard, but this one will be made exactly as my wife wants it for her office, and will be much nicer than what she would otherwise buy off-the-shelf. That’s why I plan to spend much more time and effort, though actually not much money, to make it for her.

As for cost, I already have the wood for the frame, the ply for the backer, and the glass for the dry-erase surface. In particular, the wood and the ply I got for free, and the glass is from a table that we don’t use anymore. Following the tips given here, it’s not going to cost much to coat the plywood. And besides, it’ll be fun.

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