How to Make an Old Skateboard Into a Mini Cruiser (spray Paint Style)




I started with my brothers old skateboard i found in the back of my garage. It hadn't been used for years and was in pretty bad shape. Unfortunately i haven't got any pictures of the board it it's completely original state so this instructable is from the point onwards after I:

  1. Took the rusted trucks, wheels and hardware off
  2. Used an electric planer and A LOT of sandpaper to get all the varnish, paint and ancient grip-tape off. (This can just be done with just sandpaper but it will take a little longer)

I did this board for around £70 ($120), but depending on your choice of materials and techniques you could cut this in half. It's just how i wanted to do my board.

The next steps will explain how to transform old board into a neat little cruiser


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Step 1: Tools

If you don't have some of these tools then DON'T WORRY, either go out and buy them (it will be a worthwhile investment for future projects), borrow from a friend, or go to your nearest woodworking and/or hardware store and pay for certain steps to be done for you. The hardware store near where i live does small jobs very cheap.

For reshaping the board:

  • Band or Jig Saw- A band saw will be quicker and easier if you have access to one (woodworking store for example). A Jigsaw or even a manual saw would work too (if you have the patience and a certain amount of skill)
  • Planer (Manual or electric)
  • Sandpaper- Also possibly a wood file (not essential if you cut the wood well)

For redesigning the board:

  • Wood primerSpray (White)
  • Paint - I used spray paint for my particular design but acrylic is a good choice for painting
  • Clear Spray Paint- Only needed if you're using the same spray painting technique for your board. It helps to keep the paint wet
  • Polyurethane varnish spray- This is to protect the paint and the board from weathering and rain
  • New Grip Tape

New Parts (If you need them):

  • Trucks- I used Penny Nickel 4 inch trucks
  • Wheels- Again i went with penny nickel wheels (came with spacers and bearings)
  • Bearings- Personal choice but abec 5 came with the wheels
  • Hardware- such as bolts and nuts

Step 2: Decide on a Shape:

I decided to go with the board shape of a Penny Nickel because the wheelbase of aprox 16 inches was similar to my deck. Any template however can be used and resized to fit a board.

Print off your template full size.

If you can only print off on A4 like me, then follow these steps:

  1. get your template and put it into a word doc and format the text wrap to "tight" so its maneuverable
  2. Crop the template right to the edges of the board template
  3. Resize in the format tab in the "size" section to the height and width of the board you want
  4. Copy and paste the large image twice and basically crop the three template pictures into 3 sections so that you can spread them on 3 pages
  5. Cut out the template. When you put them together when you print them out and cut them out they should fit perfectly together

I made an extra template out of card too

A penny nickels height and width is 27 x 7.5 inches

Step 3: Preperation and Cutting

I don't have a photo of the old board before it was prepared for cutting but the steps are fairly simple to explain.

Preparing The Board:

Get the hardware off and strip the board of its paint and grip-tape. Make sure you sand it down well using a few different grades of sandpaper (if possible)

TIP: When sanding away bumps or blemishes wrap the sandpaper around a small block of some sort with a flat surface. If you sand only with the paper, the bump will not be smoothed out because you will just be sanding the entire surface around the bump too

Draw around your template onto the board making sure the trucks and mounting holes line up. Then go ahead and cut it out! :)

Step 4: Priming

Primer isn't absolutely essential but it helps the paint stick to the wood better and having a white surface makes the colours pop more

Unfortunately I don't have photos of this next step

Wipe your board clean and spray thin even coats of primer on aprox 4 hours apart. I did 3 coats this way and then left it over-night. Several thin coats is always better than one thick one.

Step 5: Painting the Board- Underside

You can do any design in whichever way suites you but this step will be how i did mine.

Deciding On Your Design:

Keep your colour pallet small. I used light blue, dark blue and pink (for highlights) and of course black and white. Come up with a composition that works with the shape, I used a tree to help bring the design together and the owl on the tree to provide a focal point.

It is important to keep in mind that the trucks will cover part of the painting! Base the design around this


Do lots of practices until you get the techniques right. I have used this technique before so i did one (on gloss paper) to see if the composition was good and then went ahead and did it. If you mess up you will have to either paint over or sand it down and re-prime it.

TIP: My only tip that took me a long time to learn was that the paint dries very quickly. Use clear paint to keep it wet so that you can scrape bits away for rock highlights when you notice it gets sticky. Also, work in thin layers, keeping the can always moving.

These videos explain specifics much better than i could: Find more on youtube, they are super helpful

Step 6: Painting the Board- Top and Sides

I decided to cut a stencil into the grip tape so i needed some background colour.

I used the same colours as the bottom of the board and painted them in stripes to create some sort of spacy background. I added two shooting stars also.

Finally, don't forget to spray the sides of the board. Try and make it blend with the design

Step 7: Details and Varnish

For smaller details such as the owl on the tree and my name on the tail, i used acrylic paint and did them by hand.

I also scratched the year on the tail into the paint while it was wet


Sand your design lightly so that the polyurethane varnish has a key to stick to. Do this between layers too.

Like with the primer i did 3 coats. I waited around 8 hours in between coats (you may want to wait longer, the weather was warm so it dried fairly quickly). I then waited 24 hours until touching it anymore just to make sure the varnish had completely dried

Step 8: Grip-Tape

I wanted to cut a silhouette into the grip-tape of an owl to fit with the moon-lit theme and used a picture from the internet as the inspiration for my stencil. I simplified it for the board and cut it out carefully with a craft knife. Then i applied it to the board.

Applying Grip tape:

Fairly straight forward but if you have any problems, this video is how i learned how to do it:

Remember to rough up the edges of your cut out design too, even details. It stops the tape peeling off easily

Step 9: Add Trucks and Wheels

Slap on a pair of trucks and wheels and you're good to go :)

I used Penny Nickel 4 inch trucks and Penny Nickel Wheels as well as some lock in nuts and bolts from my hardware store (saves money rather than going to a skate- shop. Bolts are bolts)


The end result is a board which went from a old, unused skateboard to an awesome personalized and completely unique cruiser


This was my first instructable so please post feedback and questions if you have any :)

SIDE NOTE: If any one (preferably from the UK, like me), would like to buy a
"made-over" cruiser like this, i can custom make one for you. Any shape, color, design etc. I would sell them for £100 per board (without trucks and wheels, Penny Nickel trucks and Wheels add around £40). It costs me almost that much to make them but I enjoy it :) Message me if you're interested

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35 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

Hi! Just wanted to let you know you really inspired me to paint my own skateboard!

Though, wow, I couldn't paint like you for the life of me. XD

Check out my Longboard renovation here!


4 years ago on Introduction

What is a penny bard? I mean what is the difference between a penny board, long board or skateboard? I have a longboard and a skateboard but all my frineds keep telling me to get a penny board

4 replies
Builders Shedelizila

Reply 4 years ago

Penny Board was made by a Strong plastic but the normal sk8board was made by a wood and wood can break easily otherwise plastic was unbreakable..


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Penny board is a small cruiser skateboard. It has a shorter wheelbase (distance between the pairs of wheels) than a skateboard and is a different shape (not made for tricks, rather just cruising). Also the "penny board" is a brand, they make little plastic boards. you can get a bunch of cool other brands though that do them cheaper or brands that make wooden versions like the arbor woody. A longboard is basically really long skateboard, the idea is that it's made for a much more comfortable ride and can go downhill at high speeds. You can get loads of different shapes and variations depending on what style of longboarding you like (downhill, freeride, cruising, carving). Google the shapes if you're interested :) longboard is a good investment. Also they're a lot more stable and easier to ride than skateboards, let alone penny boards.

I made it myself. I literally found a good quality image of the penny nickel, scaled it up to life size and printed it off in sections. You can find measurements online


4 years ago

Awesome that is the coolest penny board I've ever seen, I've got an old board and I was thinking about making it into a penny board thanks so much for the instructions.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago

Thanks man! No problem. Go for it if you have an old board, it was a really rewarding project for me :)


4 years ago on Step 10

I'm a spray-painter and skater from the UK (but currently in belgium) myself, and would like to congratulate you on your build, I suggest entering this into the first time author contest, I think you have a good chance of winning something nice. I will post some pics when I have finished mine. I like the owl on the front (stencil right?), was wondering how the paint stays on the grip tape. Whole thing is awesome, and as I said, I will post mine when I'm done.

4 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Glad you liked the instructable :) The owl on the top of the board was actually done by cutting the design out of the grip tape itself. Before I put the grip tape on the board I used wood primer (white) and then blue spray paint for a background. Also, I would love to enter this into more contests but you can't enter projects that were published prior to the starting date of the competition, which is a shame. Can't wait to see your board photos though!


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Oh, I see, never thought of that! I've almost finished ;) the board itself, but as you well know, it's too cold to paint ATM so I will post the pics late februaryish XD


Reply 4 years ago

For the colours I used some spray paints I bought online. I think the brand was monster but most will do the trick. I used rustoleum semi gloss spray paint for black and white because I could buy them at local places like b&q etc. Also remember to get clear gloss spray paint too, I used rustoleum. That was one thing that took me the longest to get right, keeping the paint wet and easy to work with :) good luck!

that "old" skateboard deck looks like a Christian Hosoi original. If so your brother might be mighty angry when he finds you used $500+ collectible deck to make a $80 penny board...

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Have no fear, it was not a brand skateboard by any means. I don't have photos from before i took the paint off but it was a pretty sorry sight. It had rubbish plastic trucks and there were woodworms in the nose of the board so it would have been useless without cutting it down


4 years ago on Introduction

good Ibble. A great reuse of an old skate board; and your art is great also.