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thanks bro for all of your help. out of all of the site i'v look at on the topic of " painting your surfboard" your artical by far THE BEST.

i'm new to it and my rather paint my board myslef. your step by step guide saved me time and money.

Orion the wave hunter (USA)

Uni-posca PC-3M Paint Marker Pen - Fine Point - Set of 15
Uni-posca PC-3M Paint Marker Pen - Fine Point - Set of 15

Acrylic Spray Paint
Montana Gold
Shock Red
Acrylic Spray Paint

Posca Paint Pens
Available in our Phuket surf Shop

Posca Paint Pens

Sharpie Water-Based Medium Point Paint Marker, 3 Fluorescent Colored Markers
Sharpie Water-Based Medium Point Paint Marker, 3 Fluorescent Colored Markers


How To Give Your Surfboard A Custom Paint Job

Here are five easy steps to turn your surfboard into a piece of art. Make a new cool looking stick from your old brown board. This is the same way the pros do their boards.

What you need to Spray Paint Surfboards

Make sure you get the right tools and materials for the job.

What Paint to Use on Your Surfboard

Some colorful quick dry spray paint, (the link is to some high quality fast drying acrylic spray paint with revolutionary nozzles to get different effects-see more info below)

The colors are light fast and guaranteed for 10 years. The colors are extremely opaque and the colors are brilliant and intense. In addition Montana acrylic paint is 100% lead and CFC free. It is the cream of the crop in artist quality spray paint. **This is the paint that we recomend and is the best seller from Saltwater Dreaming Website**

Why Acrylic Paint?
The reason we use acrylic paint is that acrylic has excellent adhesion, colour and gloss retention, long-term flexibility, and toughness. Where enamel-based products can yellow and become brittle, causing cracks and peeling of your beautiful spray job.

You could also use Paint Markers which can give a bit of a streaky effect, which is actually quite good, paint pens let you pull and blend the colours, giving depth and character to your surfboard masterpeice, but you have more control over your artwork.

A combination of spray paint and paint pens gives great results. The best paint markers for painting a surfboard are Posca or Sharpie paint pens.

It is always best to do your art on a new surfboard with a sanded matt finish that is clean from wax and grease. But if it's an old board just take your time cleaning it up. Once all the wax is removed use some wax remover or paint thinner (acetone) to get the board as clean as possible.

Other Equipment
You will also need some masking tape, Low Tack Masking Tape works the best, it may cost a little more, but when you are peeling it off your board it won't rip or tear.

A Stanley knife and a can of clear acrylic sealant coat, quick dry types are best. The brand we recommend is Krylon.

Painters Masking Tape
Painters Masking Tape

Planning your design

Because a small design won't show up, you need to make your spray job big. Try to be original and spend some time on your design. Remember this piece of art will be an extension of yourself on your surfboard.

Basically, if you can draw it and paint it, it can go on a surfboard. Look at boards that have been spray painted when being made for ideas and any piece of artwork that you like can be done with paint pens.

You could also get the kids to do a design for you. OK it has flowers, hearts, stars and sunburnt dolphins, but it was fun and she is proud her dad is now riding her very own peice of art! Surfboard painted with paint markers

Spray Paint or Paint Pens?

This needs to be decided during the design planning stage, unless you are a professional spray painter, spray designs are best for solid colours, straight lines and maybe overspray effects around the solid colours. This Surfboard is a good example of this.

Paint pens are probably the best way to get a real mural effect. Drew Brophy a famous surfboard artist uses these and the results are amazing.

As I said before, you can use a combination of the 2. Spray the big solid colours (especially if your surfboard is going brown) and use paint pens for the detail and to blend colours together.

Have a look at some of the surfboard paint pics below and decide for yourself.

We've also put together a resource page on books and DVDs about painting your surfboard that will help you to decide. Drew Brophy's DVD is a must have if you decide to go for paint pens.

Preparing Your Surfboard for Spray Painting

One thing we forgot to stress a lot is to clean your surfboard, I am not just talking about a quick wipe over with a cloth, I mean really clean your board well. It is vitally important that you clean every bit of surfboard wax, grease and anything else off the board, or that beautifdul spray job will start peeling after just a few surfs.

Once you have taken all wax off, give your board a wipe down with some acetone.

Once you are totally sure your surfboard is clean give the entire area you are going to paint a good sand with a 300 grit sandpaper. This gives the paint something to stick to.

Spray Painting-Cutting your design

Tape the surfboard from rail to rail all the way across the board. Make sure to overlap the tape on top of itself about ¼" inch with each piece of tape. This will keep other areas of your surfboard clean from paint.

Once you design is decided upon, draw it on top of the tape in the area of the surfboard that you think will look the best.

Then you will cut the design out with the Stanley knife. But make sure not to press to hard because you do not want to cut into the glass on your surfboard.

Once you cut out the design peel off the excess tape from where you want the paint to go. Leaving the protective tape on to keep paint off the rest of your surfboard.

If you are doing simple lines and shapes you can tape off these areas and then cover the parts of the surfboard that are not going to be sprayed with paper.

Preparing the surfboard for spray painting

Painting your surfboard

Cover up anything else with newspaper that you do not want over spray paint to get on, my mum keeps reminding me about this as now our kitchen cupboards have a really cool looking overspray effect.

Using a light coat of paint, you can spray over the tape. Try to let the colors or layers dry before you move onto the next color. Allow this area to dry before you add any more colors. Remember heavy coats of paints will only run and make a mess.

Try to spray your board with about a foot of distance between the spray paint and the surfboard. The design will look great once you the extra tape is peeled off.

spray painted surfboard

Spray Paint and Paint Markers

The Clear Coat

Once the extra tape is peeled off and the design is finished you will need to apply clear coat. The clear coat as with the colorful quick dry spray paint should be a quick dry brand It will protect your design from being peeled or scratched off.

Its probably best to wait a few hours or better overnight before you apply the clear coat, to let your masterpeice completly dry.

It should take about 3 or more layers of clear coat. Apply the clear coat very thinly. You could use a whole can on a shortboard by applying many thin coats if the design covers the entire board.

When the clear coat is dried it is time to go surfing.

So be creative and remember if you mess up, all you have to do is retape and spray a new design.

Got any questions?
Post them in the surfboard painting forum and get them answered.

Go here to see our reccommended range of
Spray paints, Clear Coats and Spray painting books

Go to Surfboard Repairs

Some excellent spray paint examples

Surfboard paint with paint pens
Done by us with Posca Paint Pens

The boards below were painted by Adrian Wiseman from Kirra Hill in Australia, using paint pens. If you would like Adrian to paint your board you can contact him here Adrian
custom surfboard paint pen jobs
These boards were sprayed by Ash Devine from Mooloolah. If you would like Ash to spray your board you can contact him here Ash

custom surfboard spray paint jobs
custom surfboard spray paint jobs
custom surfboard spray paint jobs
These pics were taken from global surf guides.com

A surfboard paint job done with paint pens, by the famous Drew Brophy

Painted surfboard by Drew Brophy
Painted Paddleboard by Drew Brophy
click the photo to see his book on painting surfboards

custom surfboard spray paint jobs

custom surfboard spray paint jobs

surfboard spray job
Not a clear pic, but this sparay paint job is very nice when you see it for real

surfboard spray jobsurfboard sparay job

surfboard artwork

If you have any feedback on this page please let us know



All About Surfing::Saltwater Dreaming::

mailing/postal address

Saltwater Dreaming
108/3 moo 3
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Phuket 83110
Tel: +66 76 271050
Fax: +66 76 325629
URL: www.saltwater-dreaming.com

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Surin Beach, Phuket, Thailand