I thought I'd give an update to a topic I started on the mailing list last month: Whiteboard paint possibilities/alternatives
I bought a roll of 2000✕450mm whiteboard vinyl from eBay for $7.82 delivered:
It works really well, but it's pretty tricky to install straight with just the one person doing it. I decided to chop it into two bits beacuse of the wall space I had available and this is how the shorter bit looked when I'd installed it myself:
It's a bit hard to see with the framing, but it rises slightly to the right (No biggie).
You pretty much have to peel-away the backing right-accross one edge, adhere it to the wall in "straight" alignment (Which takes 4 hands). Then use the cardbord tube core it ships with to squeegee-out air as you peel the rest of the backing off, sticking the vinyl to the wall as you go.
If you wanted a larger area, you could always butt-up multiple sheets together. If you want to make sure there's no errant pen-marks on the wall, a surrounding dark vinyl frame would probably suffice.
The adhesive feels like it should peel-off the wall without taking any paint with it (but time will tell).
The mailing list discussion
I should add, there were many good suggestions in the email thread: Bob Edwards suggested using clear contact film (Unfortunately my "regular" sign vinyl doesn't take whiteboard marker very well, but this dedicated purpose film works well). Steve Davies suggested melamine coated MDF (I think this is a bit of a crap-shoot for erasability, though - plus it's heavier and more bother than the vinyl). Steve Jenkin had several suggestions, including using office wall planners (Possibly cut-price out-of-date ones), this having the added benefit of optional portability. Andrew Loughhead pointed to Ausgiant, with a range of interesting dry-erase vinyls, but alas they don't retail through the website and I came down with a severe case of apathy before I could call them for a quote. Micheal Cotter linked to an Instructables article about fixing glass window panes to the walls (Not attractive to me in this situation for several reasons, but it's still a neat alternative - I doubt you can get windows as cheap in Aus though).