How To Get A Big Whiteboard On A Small Budget (Less Than $20)

So, I wanted a whiteboard. A big one to go into my new office. But, I didn’t want to get a second mortgage to afford it. I arrived at a solution. For less than 10% of the cost of a comparably sized whiteboard pre-built, I got the job done.

So, I wanted a cheap whiteboard. A big whiteboard to go into my new office. But, I didn’t want to get a second mortgage to afford it.

So, I did some research. I got some advice from some internet marketing friends. And I arrived at a solution. For less than 10% of the cost of a comparably sized whiteboard pre-built, I got the job done.

Why A Whiteboard?

Whiteboards are a favorite tool among many online entrepreneurs I know. Many others have hung them with the best intentions, only to rarely (if ever) actually use it. So, the question is… What use is a whiteboard? Why would I want one?

  • Diagramming A Sales Process. When you’re planning out a sales funnel, it is nice to diagram it out visually. This includes the landing pages, thank-you pages, upsells, downsells – you get the idea. And even though you can do this with flow chart software, hashing it out on a whiteboard often works better. Plus, you don’t get mired down with trying to figure out the software or some compulsion to make it look pretty.
  • Videos. Recording yourself on video talking about something, but in front of your whiteboard so you can draw out what you’re talking about, all professor-style.
  • Projects and Planning. Obvious.
  • Model a product launch. There can be a lot of moving pieces to a product launch. Map it out on the whiteboard.

You get the idea. 🙂

The Options For A Big Whiteboard On A Budget Are…

Small whiteboards are easy to come by, but their size is usually a limitation. Hell, my computer monitor is bigger than some of those things.

Once you move up to something of decent size, you have to pony up some serious scratch. The larger (usually commercial-grade) whiteboards can cost several hundred dollars.

Then, you have paint options. For example, companies like IdeaPaint or Whiteyboard have paint-on options. You literally just paint your wall with this material and it turns the entire wall into a dry-erase whiteboard. This is probably your best option if you truly want wall-to-wall whiteboards.

Whiteyboard also has adhesive options. You buy the whiteboard material in a roll and you, well, roll it on.

As convenient as these options are, the problem is that you need a very smooth service. A standard texture on drywall should work OK with paint because the paint will even out as it dries (in theory). Some walls, though, have a more pronounced texturing to them. That would make the whiteboard surface bumpy and that’s annoying. Same problem with the adhesive.

The other thing to consider is removability. Paint-on whiteboard is, I would imagine, pretty much a bitch to remove. So, if you’re in an apartment or in a rental house (as I am right now), it might not be a viable option. You want to be able to move out and leave the walls undamaged.

So, This Is What I Did…

I went to Lowes and picked up an 8’x4′ white panelboard. This is the kind of board which would be wall-mounted in a cheap bathroom or something. It happens to make a pretty decent dry-erase board, though.

The price of the board (at Lowes) was $11.87 per panel. If you wanted more than one, I bet you could afford it. 😉

The biggest problem is fitting in in your car. You pretty much want to have it inside the vehicle. A flat item like this would act as one HELL of a sail if the wind caught it, so roof-mounting it might prove problematic. I couldn’t even fit this thing in my wife’s SUV, so I actually had to have the folks at Lowes cut the board for me. I had them cut it right down the middle, so I had TWO 4’x4′ boards.

To mount it to the wall, you have a couple different options. One is, of course, adhesive. A simple tube of liquid nail would do it. Just keep in mind that this would screw up the wall if you try to remove it.

The way  I mounted it? Velcro. Industrial stength velcrow tape, as shown here:

Since I had two separate 4×4 panels, I cut up the velcrow tape evenly and stuck strips in each of the 4 corners of each board. I actually placed the strips a few inches inward on each corner, not right at the edge. This velcrow is more than adequate to hold up the weight of this panel.

Don’t worry about measuring it precisely and trying to match it up on the wall. I’d recommend pre-fastening the velcrow before wall-mounting it. Then, you simply position the wall panel and stick it onto the wall. Then, pushing inward to really stick those things to the wall. This saves a lot of hassle from trying to match up the locations of the two sides to the velcrow.

The End Result

Big whiteboard as pictured

There you have it.

The ONLY problem with this is the fact that I had to cut it in half to even get it home. I now have this seam (which is pretty visible) in the middle of it. In practice, I doubt it will be any problem. Worse case, I could probably reduce the seam with some chaulking or something.

All in all, though – pretty dang swanky. And, panel and velcro, my total cost was only about $20 or so. When you consider what a whiteboard this size would have cost pre-built, pretty sweet. 🙂

UPDATE: This post was written a little while ago. And this is still a solid potential whiteboard solution. Some have talked about using glass, which might be a better option with less ghosting.


  1. Seems panel board would have a porous surface, which eventually ends up with ink stains. For a bit more, $50 or so, you could go with a sheet (or sheets depending what size of large whiteboard you’re going for) of tempered glass hung with mirror mounts. Glass works well under heavy use and won’t stain or ghost.

  2. Came across this post today! You rock! Thanks. Been using this for a week now, and it works like a charm. As good as the whiteboard at work.
    -Thanks again,

  3. Brilliant!! Did this Today.
    Thanks for tip.
    I just was just checking around for a whiteboard which is on the top of my to do list for today and ran into this post, I took mom to get her hair done, made a stop at low’s. I did not find that exact size but I did find 1/8” 36” x 48” whiteboard sheets for markers. $10.00 ea and a box of Velcro so I jumped on two of them they are perfect, thanks for the tip. As for the cutting part I cut one of the boards in half by placing it face up and using a box knife to get a clean cut. I cut from the whiteboard side, it works and looks great.

  4. Thanks for this, I’m totally doing it now. Was a little worried about our security deposit using idea paint but this is a much better way to go about it. I might even smooth out the edges and leave them out for a little rustic look to them. Thanks for the post!

  5. Hi! Thank you so much for the tip!! I just did this [student at Tech and have always wanted a HUGE white board in my room to work problems on]… The only question I have, having just put one up is this: Have you noticed the expo markers leaving a stain on the board? I got mine at home depot, and I wonder if the quality is less… although it was the same “brand” it seems. I just don’t want it to get all smudgy. And I want to be able to write and leave things on it w/o worrying that they won’t erase well when I come back. Thoughts?

    1. I have used this idea in my mathematics classroom for years due to budget cuts. The work well with low to moderate use and work better with the expo brand markers. Some off brand markers are harder to erase. The longer the marker is left on the board the greater chance of staining. We use only water to clean the boards as we found cleaners sometimes leave a slight residue that makes the board harder to wipe off next time its used. With the heavy use (a mathematics classroom) we change the boards out about every 3 years.

    1. LOL! I thought the same thing.

      David – how is the board holding up? Have you used it a bit? Any issues with marks on it from continuous use?


      1. I’m actually not using it anymore since we moved out of the house that I originally mounted it. In practice, I found I wasn’t using it as much as I thought I would. Also, yes, I did find a little bit of shadowing when you erase things.

  6. The board looks nice, man. You’re right that it’s really helpful to have a place to plan out your strategy. It can really help to get your ideas in order.

  7. I told you this was one of the best ideas of the webinar!

    Supposedly my Honda Pilot is designed to hold a standard 8×4 panel.  I guess we’ll find out.

    Thanks for the picture and details.

    Going all professor-style in a video is a great idea. So you’ll have to promise to watch it when I put it up. (Of course I’ll mention where the cool white board idea came from.)

  8. I just jumped back in now after a long holiday break and a big ass whiteboard is at the top of my list.  You just saved me a boatload of dough!
    Thanks David

  9. I love using whiteboards. They are so incredibly condusive to creativity. Especially for someone like me who needs a visual to keep focus or ideas straight. Love the tip David!

  10. Dang man… Pretty cheap when you consider what some of the other modestly sized ones will cost you at the local store. I bought a small-ish one for about $30 a while back. I used it at home but honestly, completely ineffective. 

    At the office we do have a conference room that has whiteboard wall-to-wall so that’s pretty darn sweet!Still, could use a setup like this at home!

  11. I’m a HUGE fan of Whitey Board.  I bought 4 of the large sheets and put them on my wall in my office.

    Works awesome.

    I’ve also thought about adding them to my actual desk as well so that when inspiration hits, I’ve got a nice big writing service to quickly capture those ideas.

  12. Take them off the wall and run a strip of duct tape up the back.  This will hold the two boards tightly next to each other.  You might even run a piece of scotch tape down the front side as well.  It might not pick up the dry erase marker (I’m not sure) but it would prevent you from whacking the marker on the edge when you write over it. 

    1. The two boards are already very close together. So, what I think I’m going to do is either a white tape over the length of the crack… or potentially even chaulk. The gap is small enough that I think white chaulk do do the trick quite easily.

      If I wanted to go nuts, I could even chaulk it until it is smooth, then paint over the chaulk with a dry-erase paint in order to make it seemless.

    1. Good to know. 🙂

      Actually, my main writer (PCMech) has a pickup, too, and he was here the day I bought it. It’d have to be a big truck, though. Or a long-bed. A smaller pickup just won’t do it. And, you have to be careful about how you move it, because the wind will pick this thing up like a boat sail and it’ll fly out.

      1. David I tied the thing over my car and drove carefully. Avoided interstates and drove at 30. I was able to make it home. The key was to tie it front to back (using front and back bumpers) in addition to tieing side to side.

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