MDC’s IdeaPaint Breathes New Life into Classrooms at One of Chicago’s Oldest Schools; MDC is Exclusive Source of IdeaPaint for Commercial Use

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Versatile dry-erase paint repurposes outdated materials, saving them from the landfill

IdeaPaint turns even the most ancient of chalkboards into modern-day teaching tools that are a practical and cost-effective alternative to the smart board. Better still, a fresh application of IdeaPaint keeps outdated equipment out of the landfill, enabling schools, businesses and other organizations to repurpose materials while conserving limited budget dollars. IdeaPaint converts any smooth surface into a dry-eraseable one, whether it’s a chalkboard, a wall, a table top, a stairwell or elsewhere.

One of Chicago’s oldest public schools now looks newer inside
Nettelhorst is a neighborhood elementary school in Chicago. It’s one of the oldest public schools in the city, housed in a building that dates back more than 100 years. Constant refurbishment is a way of life for Nettelhorst.

“Getting white boards into our classrooms was one of our priorities for this year,” explained Nettelhorst Principal Cindy Wulbert. They hoped to replace their outdated chalkboards, some of which were in such bad shape that you couldn’t even write on them. But the school realized whiteboards weren’t feasible because they are costly, and because of the space they require. Then Nettelhorst teacher Jason Merel suggested they experiment with IdeaPaint, distributed by Chicago-based MDC.

It took about three days to revitalize all those old chalkboards. “We prepped them, we painted them and we were done,” said Melody Murphy, Assistant Principal at Nettelhorst. Now that their old chalkboards function as whiteboards, Nettelhorst children have a bright clean surface for drawing word maps, curriculum maps, anything that you can imagine.

While Nettelhorst is an example of how IdeaPaint can be used to update schools, the coating is also being used to transform surfaces in businesses and organizations of all kinds. It turns any smooth surface into a useful, interactive workspace – including chalkboards, desks, doors, walls, reception areas, conference tables, cafeterias, old whiteboards and more.

No waste and practically no effort to install

  •     Paint right over existing chalkboards and walls (or any smooth surface, for that matter)
  •     Repurpose existing materials versus sending them to the landfill
  •     Add value and function to a space without spending a lot of money
  •     Create a dust-free, allergen-free environment. No more chalk!

“MDC was amazing. From the initial consultation to the application of the product, to the final results, they were with us all the way,” Murphy said. Wulbert added that, “IdeaPaint has made our classrooms a place where students want to get up in front of the class, show their work, create their ideas, imagine the impossible. I’m already thinking of how we can use IdeaPaint in other areas of our school.”

About MDC Wallcoverings
MDC, located in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, is one of the world's largest sources of wallcoverings and coatings. MDC’s approximately 50-year history is a story of acquisitions combined with the ability to provide customers with exceptional value, product selection and service. Visit

About IdeaPaint
IdeaPaint is a single-coat paint that turns any smooth surface into a high-performance dry-erase writing surface. IdeaPaint creates dynamic environments within corporate, educational and home settings. IdeaPaint is GREENGUARD Children & Schools certified and Parent Tested Parent Approved. IdeaPaint is also a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Top Ten Small Business of 2011 and a Small Business Association of New England 2011 Innovation Award Winner. For more information, please visit For ongoing company and product updates, follow IdeaPaint on Twitter at or connect on Facebook at

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Dan Brandt

Elaina Boudreau
BELA Communications
(913) 660-0548
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