Remember the days of the lowly classroom blackboard or office white board? Like everything that was replaced by things digital, technological and mechanical – CD versus vinyl, film versus digital – classics are coming back as utility décor that can be vintage but still practical.
That’s why many advertising and creative agencies are opting for applying creative paints to office walls and even furniture as an alternative to stand alone boards (that often get in the way) and interactive boards in boardrooms and offices. It’s also a trend that is filtering through into the wider office space – one that can give workers anything from the freedom to write down quirky comments or phone messages to recording innovative ideas during brainstorming sessions.
Even though monochromes are ultra-cool right now and brightly coloured contrasts add a fun note, even the new blackboard paints no longer have to live up to their names. Instead, this now comes in such a wide variety of colours that they can, quite literally, be mixed and matched to suit any office décor. In fact, you can even combine and contrast them for both effect and to suit different content.
If you’re not too keen on off-the-shelf hardware blackboard paint, you can go on line for something far more out of the ordinary. Blackboard paint in zany colours such as marshmallow, candyfloss, bubblegum, apple or amethyst can be purchased online from cotton candi. Oddments such as decals (also sold by cotton candi) can add another creative touch and transform black boards into bill boards, schedule boards and more.
Then, of course, there’s the classroom trick of introducing a variety of different coloured chalks.
Even basic white board paint can be high tec. Graffiti Retail Solutions recently clinched the license for Cr8ive Paint – a new, environmentally friendly white board paint that can quickly and easily transform virtually any surface into a high performance, dry erase canvas.
The company says this is set to replace easels, flip charts, and traditional white board screens, providing a cost effective alternative to the somewhat out dated boards conventionally seen in boardrooms. They’re also ideal for training rooms, studios, reception areas and strategy walls and meeting rooms. Restaurants can even use them to write up menus and specials of the day.
But it’s not a case of simply slapping some paint on the walls. According to Graffiti Retail Solutions, the paint comes standard in conveniently packaged units that cover 5m2. A water-based product, it is dry to the touch in 24 hours and will be fully cured and ready to use within five days. If correctly applied, just one coat is required. Foam paint rollers ensure the smoothest surface possible.
Like any painting job, preparation is key and surfaces should be clean and smooth before painting. It can be applied to any sealed surface, but a primer should be used before all applications. Lead free, it’s a non-toxic solution, making it even more appealing.
“Suitable for any setting – light or dark, hot or cold – this white board paint is not only available in white and there’s nothing to stop a creative agency from painting a yellow white board. The final finish is glossy and can create a reflection if a light is shone onto the surface,” says the company.
Once the product is fully cured, a dry cloth can be used to clean the wall. If ink has been on the wall for a long period of time, a wet cloth can be used. For cheap and often stubborn to remove markers, a whiteboard solution can be used.