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 BoardDIY Wipe BoardDIY 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 BoardDIY Wipe Board

Secure them back in place.

DIY Wipe BoardDIY 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.***

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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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