Introduction: How to Paint a Skate Deck

After reading through a number of posts about painting a skateboard and ruining a friends deck at a party. I decided to give it a go. The only thing I wanted to do different was make more layers and have it hand drawn. I had a lot if fun doing it, I hope you do to. I would like to thank CraigSnedeker his post on the topic is what I based my project on.

Step 1: Acquire Equipment

What you'll need: Skateboard Spray paint (I chose midnight blue, reef blue, black, white, Tuesday afterburn orange and jasmine yellow) Pencil Paper (both drawing and grease proof, lots) Scalpel or Stanley knife (make sure it's sharp, helps) Tape Sandpaper Detergent and hot water

Step 2: Sketch

Sketch what you want to put on the board. This is an important step, it helps you plan your idea. I don't really spend much time doing this however, it is just a sketch it doesn't have to be perfect. Just to guide you later.

Step 3: Create a Template of the Board

Line up pieces of paper end to end, roughly a bit longer than the board, and tape them together (although I didn't in hindsight I would not over lap them it makes it easier to fold and store it flat). Now with this, place it over your board and fold it over the kickers at each end. Tape the paper around the board to the other side making a nice bend in the paper the exact length of your deck. Using a pencil just roughly shade around the side of the deck this will give you the exact shape of your board, feel for the truck screws and add them in. Remove template.

Step 4: Sketch Template Layer 2

Sketch the design onto the template. I put my whole design on there roughly just so I could work out proportions. Fiddle around with it as much as you want. Because of the peanut face I am doing I will be using to template later as the stencil for the hair things.

Step 5: Layer 3 Black

Again sticking two pieces of paper together. Mark out the dimensions of the distance between the trucks. Sketch the face onto the paper, this will be our black layer so draw only where you want black shown. Because this is going to be the final sketch spend a bit of time making sure it's how you want it to look. Also because my face consists of some thin lines I also took my time to make some lines thinker. This makes it look a bit more stylish and makes it easier to cut out later.

Step 6: Layer 4 White Face

Grab a sheet of your grease proof paper. Shiny side up. Place it over your black layer. Tape it into place, this prevents it moving around and stuffing everything up. Now what you want to do is using your head choose where you want the white parts to be. I choose teeth and eyes. Mark it on the grease proof paper. Here the reason for using the baking paper is not only to ensure white matches with black. But so you can plan where the black will make lines around the white. Remove the grease proof paper and turn it upside down on a fresh sheet of paper. Shade over lines. This will transpose a mirror image of what you traced onto the paper. Go over these lines they will rub of otherwise.

Step 7: Layer 4 White Light Source

To prevent the deck from being boring I decided to add an artificial light 'sauce'. This is easy to do just grab the grease proof paper and get two pieces. I choose it to come from the bottom left hand corner. Place the paper where you think the shine should be, shiny side up. Sketch shine onto paper. Remove, flip and transpose. I choose to put it on two separate pieces of paper, one for top and bottom.

Step 8: Cutting Stencils

Using the scalpel carefully and safely cut out all your stencils. Cut away from yourselves please. Take your time, no point starting a stencil again now.

Step 9: Preparing Deck

Remove trucks. Get some 400 sandpaper or coarse it doesn't really matter. In a circular motion sand the board. Then using some hot soapy water and a sponge wash the board. The sanding and washing helps the paint stick to the board. Allow to dry. Sorry I didn't take photos for this step I hope your imagination will suffice if not maybe wrong section.

Step 10: Base Coat Layer 1

Using your base colour paint 3-4 light coats of paint, with around 10 min drying time in between. Allow to dry for a couple of hours or overnight, until paint is dry to touch. Take your time painting I had no patience and rushed. It came back to bite me.

Step 11: Template Stencil Layer 2

Making sure the paint is dry place template onto board. Make it flush and tape it into place. Using the midnight blue, paint 3 light coats with 10 min in between coats. Here I made a mistake I am not sure if its because I didn't allow enough time for the base coat to dry or I put too heavy a coat of paint on. But either or this caused some of the paper to stick to the board. Which I spent ages having a tantrum, I mean cleaning it up and painting over ruined paint. Sorry again no pictures you'll see in the next step though.

Step 12: Layer 3 Black

After leaving the board to dry over night. I got the black stencil taped it into place in between where the trucks sit. With black paint I did 2 slightly heavy quick coats and carefully removed the stencil straight away. Trying to avoid previous mistakes, worked well plus less drying time will allow more work to be done.

Step 13: Eyes

While waiting for the black to dry. I realized that adding some eyes of a contrasting colours would make the board pop a little more. To draw the eyes I sketched them up I wanted nice circles i just used the bottom of a paint can for shape. They are going to be 3 layers; one layer is just 2 big circles these will be orange and yellow, one layer pupils and some lines to add texture this will be black, one layer for light shine white (makes sure you use the same source of light as before). Sketch these up and cut out. As a hint first do the big circles cut out over another sheet of paper. When you cut it will make a score on the paper underneath where your eyes will be. Then using that plan where the pupils and texture lines will be in relation to the circles. Then again cut with paper underneath this will provide a guide for your light source. Doing it this way will save a lot of time and effort when working out proportion.

Step 14: Painting Layer 4 White

Now your black layer is dry get your white layers. Do one sheet at a time. And only one solid coat. I don't see to much need in heaps of coats now. Just make sure you have good coverage. Be careful where your spraying I got careless and painted places that didn't need white. Allow to dry.

Step 15: Layer One of Eyes

Once the white paint has dried to touch. Get layer one of the eyes and tape it into position. Grab your orange and yellow paint. The cool thing about eyes is they are pretty random. I just slapped colour on here and there on a whim. The other layers will make the eyes so don't stress over it. Two colours are always good if you want one colour do two tones most eyes are marbled. The eyes by the way will be one solid coat for every layer.

Step 16: Layer 2 of Eyes

Once layer 1 is dry to touch. First roughly mark where you want the pupil to be with something, your going to paint over it. I used this to find a rough centre. Line layer 2 up and tape into position. Again one solid coat. My paint ran a little in the right eye. But I am not to fussed just adds some character. Remove and allow to dry.

Step 17: Layer 3 of Eyes

Once black is dry to touch. Line up where you want the shine to sit and tape stencil into position. Paint one coat. Carefully remove stencil. Allow to dry over night there are a few layers on the board today. They might take a while to dry so let them dry over night.

Step 18: Fixing Mistakes

Now the paint is dry. Grab another bit of grease proof paper. Place it over your mistake shiny side up. Mine are shown. Trace around the mistakes. Remove, flip and transpose. I am only going to fix the mistakes over reef blue and black. So make stencils for those colours. Cut stencils, fix in place and do a quick once over the mistakes. I am not doing any heavy coats just a light one. I don't want to wait another day to put it together and ride it. Allow to dry over night.

Step 19: Clear Coat

Allow paint to cure. What type of paint you used will depend how long you have to allow the paint to cure. It is important to let your paint cure before putting your clear coat on. To soon and its time to start again. Too long and nothing happens so take your time.

Step 20: Put Board Together

Once dry put the trucks back on and go rip it up showing your new deck off.