Introduction: Dry Erase Spray

This is an Instructable for how to extract dry erase ink and how to assemble a portable air brush sprayer.

I became fascinated with stencils five years ago. I always liked the idea of displaying my art for all to see in public places but always felt bad that someone would have to clean up my graffiti. At school I started tracing through my stencils with dry erase markers on whiteboards, but the images were unclear because of the strokes of the nib. (insert epiphany)
This instructable will show you how to make dry erase paint and four methods of spray application. The last spray method allows for multilayered whiteboard stencils where layers vary by darkness or color.

Use Cases:
  • Advertise daily specials at a restaurant
  • Promote your stenciled face for class elections
  • Display your stencil or freehand art at school or work
  • Experiment on glass or mirrors
  • Create a whiteboard printer and extract the ink from red, blue, black, and yellow(?) markers (fantasy)


Step 1: Ingredients

  • 3-6 Dry Erase Markers per batch of solution*
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Needle Nose Pliers (for draining the markers)

Method 1a {super cheap}
  • Preval Spray Gun (Amazon) {super cheap}

Method 1b {pretty cheap}
  • Siphon Feed Airbrush & Propellant (Amazon)

Method 1c
{pretty cheap} ***NEW***
  • Dry Erase Paint (DEP)

Method 2 {Definitely not cheap}
  • Quality Airbrush (Blick) a bit overkill but I have the gravity feed HP-BH. [bottle feed would be nicer for this] suggestion (Amazon)
  • Hose that terminates in female 1/4" (Amazon)
  • Ball Valve (2 options)
    • 1/4" Air Ball Valve Male/Male (Amazon)
    • 1/4" Air Ball Balve Male/Female + Male/Male coupler (Amazon + Amazon)
  • CO2 Tank (Sport Challet) or (Amazon) I haven't actually used my setup much so I don't know how long it lasts.
  • CO2 Tank Regulator (Williams Brewing or Home Brewing) + (Adapter)
  • Teflon Thread Sealant Tape (Lowe's) (Amazon)

Step 2: Preparing the Soluiton

(Potentially messy step)
This step will involve
  • markers
  • needle nose pliers
  • bottle
  • (syringe)
  1. Remove the cap that seals the ink cartridge on the end of the marker
  2. Withdraw the cartridge from the plastic casing and place it into the bottle
  3. Grab the end of the cartridge at a right angle and, If the rim of your bottle is small enough, twist the cartridge until ink comes out. There is a great probability that you'll slip and ink will splatter all over. Prepare for this.
  4. In order to get the most out of the costly cartridge, place it in the syringe.
  • Make sure to temporarily plug the "hub" (cover the tip with your finger).
  • Now, fill the barrel with isopropyl rubbing alcohol about halfway,
  • insert the plunger (just to create a seal),
  • tip it back so no liquid remains near the hub,
  • push the plunger so it is secure, and finally...
  • shake it up. << >> << >> << >>
5. squeeze the contents of the barrel into the glass jar until you can squeeze nomoar

Step 3: Method 1a: Preval Sprayer

The solution can now be used with a cheap and portable Preval spray canister available at
This was the first method I tried out. It works, but the application is very splattered. There is no control over spray density.

Step 4: Method 1b: Badger Siphon Feed With Propellant

The next method I attempted cost a bit more. It involves a simple siphon feed airbrush and propellant I picked up at Michael's Art and Craft. The result of this method is a bit less splotchy, but definitely not top notch.

Step 5: Method 1c: Dry Erase Paint (DEP)

This is a new method I discovered after publishing this instructable. A new company has created a dry erase spray paint meant for whiteboards and windows. This is pretty much the product was trying to create myself. I have not tested DEP yet but based on the videos on the company's website, it seems like the spray density is difficult to control. This is not a problem for single layer stencils or freehand work, but it would not allow for multilayer stencils. For this reason I still prefer Method 2, which you will read about in the next step.

I would like to request that you check out this product, not because I have any affiliation, but simply because it is neat-o. Here is a demonstration video from the company's website:

Step 6: Method 2: Iwata Airbrush With Regulated C02

My favorite method. I beg you to choose this one. This requires:
  • a higher quality airbrush (Blick) a bit overkill but I have the gravity feed HP-BH. [bottle feed would be nicer for this] suggestion (Amazon)
  • compatible hose that terminates in female 1/4" (Amazon)
  • 1/4" air ball valve Male/Male (Amazon)
  • CO2 tank (Sport Challet) (Amazon) -I got a 20oz. I haven't actually used my setup much so I don't know how long it lasts.
  • CO2 tank regulator or (Home Brewing) or (Williams Brewing)+ (Adapter)
  • Thread sealant tape (Lowe's) (Amazon)
This method provides a very even application. Spray density can be finely controlled, allowing for varied shades.

To assemble the rig, first apply the sealant tape to all of the threads. Now, attach the CO2 regulator and adapter to the CO2 tank. Next, connect the ball valve, which may require a male/male coupler in order to connect the hose. Finally, attach the airbrush and hose. My suggestion is that you adjust the regulator to 20-30 PSI to begin, but play around with it.

Step 7: Find a Stencil

Stencils can be very time consuming to make, but their awesomeness outweighs the time spent.
{shameless plug}
Here are the stencils I have designed : D
I don't have all of the high quality images up on flickr but let me know if you're interested. I'll post them.
You'll have to cut them though : /

Step 8: Spray'n'joy

Use either magnets or mild spray adhesive to stick your stencil to the whiteboard.

I highly encourage you to try making a multilayered stencil. I created my layers by starting with the lightest and covering up the light parts for each additional layer. By the end, the revealed areas will be the darkest.