Introduction: Painting Your Skateboard 101
This little guide will show you how to paint your skateboard with some pro results. I documented myself painting a skateboard 3-4 years ago (bad camera), but you can see what's happening to get an idea of what to do. I hope you learn from this, comment if you like it.
Step 1: Prep
Step one is basic prep. First, you wanna remove the trucks/wheels from the board. This is mandatory, because painting these on the board never works out the way you think it would. If you wanna paint your trucks, it's best to remove them from the board. But if you are just painting the board, remove them anyway.
Sand the board (when I took the photos, I did not sand it, so I do not have any photos for this). This will help the paint stick to the board, and if your board is chrome/shiny like mine was, it's a must. You normally use 400 grit sandpaper for this. Sand the paint/design/chrome off, and your good to go.
When your finished, wash the board with some soap/water, or even better, grease/wax remover. This will remove any grease or oil on the board. When the board is clean and dried, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Primer
Primer is the base coat, which is what goes under the normal paint of coat. This is pretty important, so don't forget it or mess up here =P
You basically wanna do 3-5 light coats. Let me say that again, 3-5 light coats. Doing heavy coats calls for failure. Take your time to get professional results. Depending on the weather, wait 10-20 minutes between coats of primer. It should be completely dry.
If you want, in-between coats you can sand it lightly with 800-1000 grit sandpaper to make it nice and smooth.
When your finished, let the board sit for a few hours (or overnight, depending on the time of the day) before painting your finish color.
Step 3: Paint
Ok, now shake up your paint can for 2 minutes. Then proceed to spray on 3-5 light coats (do I have to repeat myself?). Don't cover the board fully with a coat of paint each time, but give it enough paint that you won't need 10 coats. Basically, you don't want to see a super-glossy coat of paint (that means you sprayed it on to heavy) or so it drips. These are two signs your spraying it on to heavy.
If you want an even better result, between coats wet sand the board with 1000 grit wet-sanding sandpaper. This will smooth it out and have an even more glossy finish.
Step 4: Custom Design
This can be tricky, and can ruin your board if not done right. First off, I am not responsible for anything you do. Ok let's get started. First mask up your whole board (after you let the board sit for a few days to dry) with painters tape. Then either 1( draw your design on with a marker or 2( print off your design, cut it out, and then draw the outline on the board with a marker. Then use a X-acto blade to cut it out. Make sure the edges are pressed down tightly, and paint on another color.
Repeat step 3 for the cut out design.
When it's dried for a few hours, remove the masking tape by pulling it off over-top of itself, and do it slowly and carefully. Hopefully when your done it looks awesome!
Step 5: Finishing Up
Now you need some clear coats. Same steps as Step 2, except you need:
1 Light coat
1 Medium coat
1 Heavy coat
This will provide you with a nice, glossy, finish that protects your paint job. If you completed this, give yourself a pat on the back.