DIY Dry Erase Board (aka Wipe Board)

Want to learn how to easily up-cycle an old frame and make your own DIY Dry Erase Board (aka a wipe board)? Check out the super easy details below.
DIY Dry Erase Board or Wipe Board

DIY projects are not only a necessity at times, but something fun and enjoyable. Saving money is certainly a perk of most DIY projects, but I find it rewarding too. Especially when I can take something and recycle, or as some call it, “up-cycle” it for another use. Although carving out the time for all the projects I’d like to tackle is another thing.

As we’ve been trying to clean out closets and our attic space, I’ve added a few new projects to my list. One being a bunch of old frames that I’ve kept in hopes of being able to use them for a masterpiece some day. With our daughter heading to college in a few months we’ve been collecting ideas for her dorm room, mostly on Pinterest. From organizational tips and tricks for small spaces, to fun and hip decorating ideas. Pinterest has a plethora of ideas to keep your head spinning. I decided to combine both organizational and hip into one and make a handy dry erase/wipe board using one of the many frames collecting dust in our attic.

Of course I had to organize my thoughts and inspiration ideas with a Pinterest board. As you can see, I found a ton of great ideas, and colors. Since she’s heading to The University of South Carolina, I decided to go with basic red and white, with deep red for the main frame color. Plus, I think a pop of red is good to add a bright spot of vibrancy for any space.

Next, I headed to Home Depot and straight to the Glidden paint color section. I knew I wanted a primer and paint in one to simplify the process by not having to prime separately, so the Glidden Duo® Paint + Primer was perfect. I zoned in on the reds and quickly narrowed it down to either Red Delicious or Deep Garnet.

DIY Wipe Board

Glidden’s simplified palette certainly helped in making the color selection process much easier. Sometimes too many choices can be quite overwhelming.

I originally planned on purchasing a quart of one color, but was happy to find that they sell smaller sample color amounts of Glidden Duo® Paint + Primer in the Eggshell finish.

DIY Wipe Board

These smaller sample sizes were great for my small sized project, so I decided to get both.

DIY Dry Erase Board or Wipe Board

At $2.94 each I would save money in gas alone going ahead and purchasing sample sizes in both colors. Plus, with four more years of garnet to go, I knew I’d need more later for something USC related. I grabbed some other supplies and headed home to get started on this fun little project.

Would you like to see how to make a DIY Dry Erase Board/Wipe Board? Let me show you.

Supplies needed:

  • old frame, including the glass and backing
  • color(s) Glidden Duo® Paint + Primer (I used red for this project.)
  • white Glidden Duo® Paint + Primer (leftover from a previous remodeling project)
  • paint brush(es)
  • dry-erase/wipe board pens

optional supplies that may be needed:

  • sandpaper
  • small foam paint roller and paint tray
  • glazing staple thingies, staples or small nails
  • picture hangers to hang once finished

The basic process:

First I began by taking the frame apart, by removing the glass and backing.

DIY Dry Erase Board or Wipe Board

The glass was cleaned and the frame was wiped down. The frame I used didn’t need any sanding, but if you’re using a frame with chipping finish or very glossy finish a light sanding will help the paint adhere better and result in smoother finish.

Once the frame was prepped for painting I applied a little of each of the two reds to see which I liked the best. (You’ll notice I used inexpensive chip brushes to test colors. Chip brushes are great for small jobs like quickly testing colors and can be quickly rinsed and reused. Chip brushes are a good thing.)

DIY Dry Erase Board or Wipe Board

Red Delicious was the winner! The Deep Garnet was a bit too raspberry-ish for what I was going for. A full coat was applied (with a nicer brush). After the first coat dried, 2 more light touch up coats were applied.

Next, using the leftover white paint from another project, I painted the “backing” that came with the frame. I’m not sure the proper term for what I’m referring to as the backing, but it is the stiff board that is placed behind the artwork to hold it in place. Sometimes it’s a simple piece of cardboard, or foam core. The backing in the frame I used is a bit thinner than cardboard, and the artwork was actually adhered directly to it, so I flipped it over and painted the backside using a small foam roller.

DIY Dry Erase Board or Wipe Board DIY Wipe Board DIY Wipe Board

A few coats were needed for good solid white. This white backing will be the wipe board background. I used white, but any light color (yellow, pink, light green or blue) that writing will show up on will work.

(Note: If your frame doesn’t come with a sturdy, paintable backing, white foam core could also be cut to size and used. If white foam core is used, this step can be skipped!)

Once the frame and backing are totally dry. Place the glass (cleaned first) back in the frame, followed by the white painted backing (or foam core).

DIY Wipe Board DIY Wipe Board

Secure them back in place.

DIY Wipe Board DIY Wipe Board

The frame I used has framing staples that bend up and down to hold things in place.

If your frame doesn’t have staples or another way to hold the glass and backing securely in place, use glazing points/tacks, staples, or small finishing nails. Glazing points/tacks (aka glazier points) are easy to find in most home improvement stores or framing departments of major craft stores. Staples or small finishing nails could also be used, but I find them to be a bit more awkward to work with.

Once everything is secure, the back can be covered with kraft paper if desired (I skipped that), add a picture hanger if needed, and you’re done!

DIY Dry Erase Board or Wipe Board

The glass acts as the wipe board so you can write directly on the glass using dry erase markers and easily wipe off with a paper towel. Now it’s ready for writing and wiping all kinds of fun stuff.

How easy was that?

What a great addition this new dry erase/wipe board will make to a new dorm room, and what a fantastic idea for gifts. I can think of all kinds of people who could use one of these. That pile of empty frames may dwindle down to nothing before too long.

Do you have empty frames sitting around? Do you have other ideas on how to recycle old frames?

If you try this easy DIY project, please come back to share how it turned out and guess what? You can enter to win a sweepstakes for a $100 Visa Gift Card! 

***This sweepstakes has ended.***

Sweepstakes Rules:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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This sweepstakes runs from 7/7/14-8/18/14.

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  1. 2

    Kelly D says

    I do have old frames sitting around, they would also make a great chalk board for younger kids. This is a nice project.

  2. 4

    Missy says

    Amy this whiteboard looks awesome and will be great for Hopes room! Love the pop of color!

  3. 5

    heather says

    I do not have any old frames laying around at the moment. I would love to try this DIY chalkboard thank for the great information and have a nice day.

  4. 7

    mysweetiepiepie says

    I do have some old frames sitting around and I love this whiteboard idea and will probably try it.

  5. 8

    Natalie Yarbrough says

    My mom has a bunch of old wooden frames sitting in her basement. I will try to do this DIY project with them.

  6. 9

    Natalie Yarbrough says

    I tweeted publicly about this promotion and my twitter id is @yarbr012

  7. 15

    LinhC says

    I have lots of old frames lying around that I’d like to use with this project. The kids would love it!

  8. 16

    Nicole Dz says

    We have a few old frames in the garage that I would love to paint and use to put pictures of the family in around the house or in my office.

  9. 18

    Kristen says

    I do not have any empty frames, but I’ll keep an eye out for one at yard sales this summer.

    I have also seen empty frames refinished or painted and with a mirror added.

  10. 23

    One Frugal Girl says

    I used to do this all of the time and completely forgot about it until I saw your post. I made pin boards out of a couple old frames by replacing the photo portion with cork board.

  11. 24

    Lisa Brown says

    i have many frames to try this DIY out on, been collecting them for some time; i just need the motivation to start :)

  12. 26

    D Schmidt says

    We painted a dresser last weekend and it came out much better than expected! Our next plan is some bookcases.

  13. 28

    DinT says

    I have old frames sitting around an one is going to be painted and used to frame our thermostat.

  14. 29

    christine mayfield says

    I don’t have any, but my friend has lots! This would be great for homeschooling

  15. 33

    Ellie W says

    I don’t have any old frames, but my boys would love to help me make a DIY dry erase board. I’ll have to hit some thrift stores and look for some frames.

  16. 36


    I actually took pages from a dollar store book and decoupaged them onto a mirror frame. It was pretty cute!


  17. 39

    Barbara Montag says

    I have a couple of old frames around I was thinking of decoupaging them but don’t know how.
    Yours looks fantastic!
    thank you

  18. 41

    Jessie C. says

    What a great idea that you shared here. I’ve painted dresser and desk but never thought of painting frames, gotta try this one with kids.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  19. 43

    Amy S says

    This is such a great idea! I love how easily painting can totally change the decor in a room!

  20. 46

    Amy says

    oh my gosh i do have frames sitting around, and i love the white board idea! I use old frames to frame quirky objects to have a fun 3-d effect, we’ve also turned one into a jewelry holder =)

  21. 47

    shelly peterson says

    I do have a few old frames. This is really a good idea. love the pop of color it can give to a room.
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  22. 49

    Elle says

    This is a fun project but unfortunately I don’t have any old wooden frames lying around – in fact I don’t think I have any wooden frames at all.

  23. 51

    Margot C says

    Well, I didn’t do that one (which is cute, and I have it pinned!), but I did paint the vanity in the second bathroom (yellow). What a difference!

  24. 61

    Neiddy says

    I do not have any old frames at home right now but I bet my grandma does. I will be sharing this idea with her so we can do this project together.

  25. 66

    Megan's Cookin' says

    I dont have any old frames hanging around but I have been looking for one at garage sales to make an earring holder! But I want a certain style and size!

  26. 68

    Norma says

    What a great idea! I am not much of a painter but I think I could do this project.

  27. 70

    Courtney Borgers says

    I love the idea of using old frames for projects! I recently used a frame I found at a thrift shop to make a magnetic makeup board for my bathroom. I used paint I had leftover from the bathroom trim, and it looks just like it belongs there on the wall!

  28. 71

    WHITNEY says

    I will have to try this. My boyfriend and I went to a paint party a few months ago. I want to frame the paintings that we did!

  29. 73

    anna pry says

    my idea would be to use a cool frame to make a display for you kids’ art work

  30. 77

    Betty C says

    This would be a great idea for my office. (I don’t have children at home any more) I would be able to jot down reminders that could easily be wiped off when I no longer need them. Now I just have to find a frame since I don’t have any unused ones around.

  31. 79

    Amanda Sakovitz says

    i would spray paint them and put recycled material in them to make art

  32. 81

    Tamara says

    I do have lots of picture frames in storage… and I just love this idea you shared. Now I feel that we definitely need a DIY dry erase board. :)

  33. 83

    Thomas Murphy says

    I have some old frames that I would like to paint and put some cool artwork in.

  34. 86

    Tabathia B says

    I haven’t done any DIY projects yet, but I want to redo my girls bedroom

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  35. 88

    Amanda says

    The hard backing is called chipboard. It can be bought at most craft stores and is really cheap if someone wanted to replace cardboard or foam that came with the frame.

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