Introduction: Painting Your Skateboard 101

Picture of 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

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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

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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

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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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.


RileyM6 (author)2016-04-12

That's pretty dope imma try that

OliviaW6 (author)2015-10-27

What brand and type of spray did you use??

river_boat (author)OliviaW62016-03-20

Spray paint is all kinda the same, if you want to be shore, than use wood specialized spray paint. This stuff is expencive, so i would recomend standerd spray paint.

CoolRextreme (author)2015-08-26

Hi!! Awsome job, and you inspired me to paint my own :D

Ended up pretty nice actually. Check it out here

Jana_mansour18 (author)2015-07-08

Is it okay to paint the skateboard and then ride it or is it just for display?

Jana_mansour18 (author)2015-07-08

Is it okay to paint the skateboard and then ride it or is it just for display?

Jana_mansour18 (author)2015-07-08

Is it okay to paint the skateboard and then ride it or is it just for display?

Dribble319 (author)2015-06-30

What color paints did you use and how can I get the dragon template?

stuart.kim1 (author)2014-12-19

Where did you get the dragon outlining? Could you please send me a link of it?

kid007la (author)2010-11-24

DO NOT...i repeat DO NOT paint your skateboard. I know you might get sick of the design or might want something new but don't paint it. The skateboard manufacturers put a special clear coat on top of the paint which gives the board slide. This is necessary for any board, tail, or nose slides. Sanding and painting this will ruin it and give you too much grip.

CraigSnedeker (author)kid007la2010-11-25

I could never grind, even if my life depended on if. Haha

kid007la (author)CraigSnedeker2010-11-25

maybe, but you never know. if you keep practicing there's not telling what you can accomplish

CraigSnedeker (author)kid007la2010-11-25

lol I stopped skateboarding years ago.. kept breaking my board

ilpug (author)CraigSnedeker2011-05-16

kid007la, Ive painted several boards and come across this problem. the solution is simple. make a coating on the board with surfboard wax. i used SexWax but it would probably work with any kind. just rub the bar on the board, and smothe the coating out with a heat gun. do this several times. just don't let the heat gun damage the paint.

randomray (author)ilpug2014-04-13

Thank you for posting that It really helped me out.

ilpug (author)randomray2014-04-18

no problem man. Got any cool painted boards to share?

randomray (author)ilpug2014-04-18 and Very similar boards but the calligraffitti on on is more complex.

danishprod (author)2014-01-25

do i need to use primer if my deck is natural colour?

my deck is like this :

CraigSnedeker (author)danishprod2014-01-25

Nope, but primer will help it last longer in the long run.

BeccaRight (author)2013-03-20

does it matter if i use spray paint or paint you use in youer house

CraigSnedeker (author)BeccaRight2013-03-20


ebonyfalt19 (author)2012-06-15

This is a great tutorial; I wanted to start skateboarding and just got a board at a garage sale. Unfortunately, it's teenage mutant ninja turtles, and since I'm a teenage girl I don't think that's gonna fly. Gonna repaint it something more my speed, and redo the grip tape. Thanks man!

Thanks :) Glad to help!

rbennett6 (author)2012-03-08

Am i able to paint it with art paint, after say i spray it white
or can i use art paint straight onto a blank deck?

CraigSnedeker (author)rbennett62012-03-08

You should be able to, yeah. Give it a clear coat afterwards to protect it ;)

rbennett6 (author)CraigSnedeker2012-03-09

cheers man

mberg (author)2011-06-08

Can I use 100 grit because that's all I got

CraigSnedeker (author)mberg2011-06-08

That will work to get the factory paint off, yes. You basically want to get the "shininess" off, because paint doesn't stick to shinny surfaces.

CraigSnedeker (author)2011-06-08

Hey, thanks for commenting.

1 Walmart, Kmart, local hardware store, pretty much anywhere.

2 Yes, this is 100% ok! :) Just make sure you press down on the edges really good so paint doesn't leak under them. Though, if you use nice, *light* coats of paint, this should be no problem.

3 Yes, it might.

mberg (author)CraigSnedeker2011-06-08


mberg (author)2011-06-07

And a another thing. Would my primer color be gray if I want to paint it blue?

CraigSnedeker (author)mberg2011-06-08

Yep! They actually make three colored primers (maybe more), gray, dark gray, and brown. The can will say "PRIMER" though.

caco caco (author)2010-03-10


CraigSnedeker (author)caco caco2010-03-11

Lol :)

bigredlevy (author)2010-02-09

you should try wet sanding the clear coats.

get 380 grit wet and dry paper, dip in water, then sand the board lightly, LIGHTLY!!! it gets rid of the 'orange peel' surface finish. the surface will go dull, but don't worry. whatever you do, DON'T go through the clear to the paint underneath, you will have to re-coat it.

go up a few more grit #'s with the wet and dry, then do the same with a piece of fine steel wool.
then use car polish to buff it back to a shine. it will come up awesome.

CraigSnedeker (author)bigredlevy2010-02-10

Sounds cool :D 

berky93 (author)2010-02-06

Step 6:

Wait a week or so until the paint wears off, and put another cool design on it!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

About This Instructable




Bio: Check my blog for my full bio, I'm to lazy to re-type it :)
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