Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Bright Idea from IdeaPaint

Chalkboard paint has become something of a phenomenon in the world of design blogs. In fact, it seems like the megablogs Apartment Therapy and Design*Sponge post just about weekly on yet another room featuring a chalkboard wall. And, while I love the idea of writable (and washable!) walls, there are some drawbacks to chalkboard paint (like chalk dust and dark green-black walls) that make it not always desirable or appropriate.

For those looking for a way to create a writable surface without the dark color or the mess, there's a great new alternative out on the market: IdeaPaint, a paint that quickly transforms any smooth surface into a dry-erase board. While IdeaPaint appears to be primarily marketed towards businesses and schools, there are a million applications for the paint in residential use as well. While I can't guarantee that IdeaPaint will be the next big thing in wall treatments, Metropolitan Home's inclusion of IdeaPaint
in its annual Design 100 issue makes it a good bet.

Since I'm allergic to chalk dust, I love this as an alternative to chalkboard paint, which is getting a bit overplayed at this point anyway. Although I'm not quite ready to commit an entire wall to my random scribbles, I love the idea of applying IdeaPaint to the surface of an old desk -- it'd be like working on one giant notepad. For a seamless look, I'd take a sample of IdeaPaint to the hardware store and get a customized white (in a semi-gloss to blend in!) to paint the rest of the desk. Very slick.

UPDATE: Beth from Style Redux and Chinoiserie Chic sent over a slew of pictures showing some creative uses of chalkboard paint that could easily be done with IdeaPaint. A few of my favorites include:

($299.99, but an easy DIY with some IdeaPaint and an old dresser)

Chalkboard Eggs via This is Glamorous

(The glossy white of the IdeaPaint would mimic a real egg and would let you draw with colorful markers.)

Chalkboard Fridge via The City Sage

So what do you think? Is IdeaPaint a good alternative to chalkboard? If so, how would you use it?


Liz said...

I have an old mirror just sitting around and waiting for a little inspiration. This may be just the thing!

Beth Connolly said...

A refrigerator could be fun-you write messages and your to-do list right on it!

Sanity Fair said...

This is a GREAT idea, particularly if you have allergies. I think it would be great on a table surface in a playroom. Or, on a small kitchen wall - great place to write down the family schedule.

Averill said...

Liz, I think this would be a great use of an old mirror, especially if it has an interesting frame!

Christy said...

Well, I don't read either of those design megablogs...but I'll take a look at them now. I don't think I'd want chalkboard paint in my house because it'd be too hard for our child to differentiate between where she can and can't paint. I do like your idea of painting the idea paint on the desk. Now that is something I could see myself doing! If it comes in different colors, all the better!

annechovie said...

If I had a kid, I'd definitely have a chalkboard painted wall...not sure if I'd use idea paint on an entire wall surface because I could see someone brushing up against it and getting marker all over themselves.
Have a great short week, Averill!

alison giese Interiors said...

I LOVE it AND your new blog design! :)

Kitty said...

I'd love to have a white board wall, and so would my son! We had a classroom-sized chalkboard on the wall in his room at our old house. He and Daddy used to draw for hours in the evening....it was fun, but a hot mess with the chalkdust!!!

Unknown said...

Do you think you can tint it?

MLG said...

I'm so glad you posted about Idea Paint! My friend Scott Belsky was the person who came up with the idea for it. It's great for brainstorming, to-do-lists, etc, and even on office walls. I just found your blog thanks to the recommendation in today's Washington Post. Congratulations!

IdeaPaint said...

Thanks for the props Averill!

IdeaPaint said...

Hi Megan, we just launched a new version of the paint with a ton of great colors; check it out --- http://tinyurl.com/l6ga39

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