How to custom paint your board for under $20

Custom Surfboard

Click to enlarge

Materials you’ll need:

  • Spray paint (two different colors at least)
  • Running water (hose works great)
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Clear acrylic sealant
  • Masking tape

1. Strip all wax off board and then use paint thinner or acetone to wipe it clean. If you want to be environmentally friendly, Pedro’s makes a bio citrus wax remover or my preference, a heat gun. This is the most important step because if the board is dirty or has wax on it the paint will not stick at all or it will just peel off shortly after.

2. Tape off anything you don’t want sprayed with paint with masking tape. (ie. tail pad, decals or logos.)

3. Sand the area to be painted with fine grit to rough it a bit.

4. Use a squirt bottle with liquid dish soap in it. Squirt the soap on your board in whatever designs you want. If you want crisp lines use masking tape and stencils to provide an outline for the paint.

5. Spray on your main color over the places where you squirted your soap. Practice on a piece of newspaper how close to hold the can when spraying. Too close it will be too thick and may run on you ( this could look cool as well!). Too far away and you’ll end up coloring up your whole board and possibly yourself.

4. Spray your second color over your first. Use less of this color as it is just used to accent what you already have. On this board yellow was my main color and black was used as the accent. To get the droplet effect just spray paint on you fingers and flick the paint wherever you want. You can use a straw to blow on the droplets to created different “bang” like effects. Use your imagination and you may be surprised.

5. Wait a minute or two – not very long – then hose off the board with water. This will wash all the soap off the board and leave behind the designs created where the soap was.

6. Let the board and paint dry for a while. When it is dry use clear acrylic sealant as a coating to protect the paint. You can buy this stuff at wal-mart ($5 bucks) and it comes in a spray can. Put three or four coats on. More light coats are better than heavy coats as it may run on you. Heavy coats take a while to dry, light coats take like 5 mins.

This whole board was painted for under $20 bucks. As you can see the only origional graphics were the logos and shapers name, also the tail pad was throw on there before painting. One lesson learned: Paint it before you put your new tailpad on, it’ll make it easier on yourself as you won’t have to bother taping it off.