I love a project and I love a challenge, so with a house full of skaters it makes sense that once again this summer’s DIY project centers around skateboarding. Last year we made our own longboards, which were a huge success and have seen a ton of use, this year we decided to paint the decks!
The desire to recreate a skate shop display wall is what led to this summer’s project idea. We all admire the amazing artwork we see on the decks hanging on skate shop walls, however purchasing multiple brand name skateboard decks is cost prohibitive, so why not find a way to do it ourselves!
While we will be using these skateboard decks as objet d’art in the boy’s rooms, these boards would also be perfect for riding! Keep reading for a list of supplies, hints, techniques, and inspiration!
- Blank skateboard deck(s)
- Frisket for making your own stencils
- paints – Acrylic or Spray
- Paint brushes
- varnish to seal your design
- face mask to cover nose and mouth
- disposable gloves
- blue tape
- table/surface covers
- enclosed area for spray painting
- paper towels
- dedicated trash can
- apron or old clothes
- Board mounts
Blank Skateboard deck(s) –
First you’ll need to gather some decks! They can be used or new. We ordered our decks new from an online wholesale website, which meant a minimum order of 10 boards. Our cost per board was $15 including tax and shipping. We chose to sell some of the boards, at cost, to friends who were also interested in this fun project, however this could also make a great birthday party activitiy, or maybe you want to hang 10 boards!
This may seem obvious, but I feel I should mention: Prepare your work surfaces before you get started, especially if you’re using spray paint or varnish to decorate/finish your decks. You’ll want to create an enclosed area to prevent overspray, and its important to wear a mask, and gloves.
Chosing to decorate only the bottom of the decks, we used blue painter tape to cover the sides and top.
Each of us designed our own decks and interestingly each of us had a different technique in mind. That’s the great thing about art, anything goes!
This is a great project for all ages! My younger son was able to design and paint his board with minimal help from me.
He used acrylic paints for the background, which dry quite quickly, and a cardstock stencil to create the smiley face!
I helped him finish the board off with a UV protective varnish.
My older son has fully embraced the SoCal culture, and regularly enjoys both skateboarding and surfing, which is what inpsired my design. In order to get the clean crisp look I was after I would need to use stencils.
Using frisket, a low tack material often used by grafitti artists, I created my own stencils. The great thing about Frisket is that it creates a tight seal keeping paint out of unwanted places, but it can also be easily removed! It can be purchased online or at your local art supply store.
I used the Silhouette Cameo machine to cut my stencils, however one can easily cut these materials freehand with a razor blade or scissors.
After you apply the stencils, use paper and painter tape to protect any areas where you don’t want to apply color. You’re now ready to paint! I chose shades of blue to represent the water meeting the sky. To achieve this graduated look I used Montana Gold spray paint a quick drying paint with a low flow spray.
Give the paint ample time to dry, especially if you’ve applied a heavy coating. Once the paint has dried, carefully removes the stencils using an exacto knife. Don’t rush when you pull of the tape and stencils as you don’t want to pull off any of your design.
I finished the board off with a UV protectant varnish.
I enjoyed this process so much I made another deck, this one featuring one of our family’s favorite snacks, popcorn!
Simon got in on the stencil action with his Miami Sunset design!
Our final technique was image transfer. Simon wanted to transfer an image he created previously, but didn’t want to recreate it, so we used acrylic gel medium to transfer the image to the deck.
You do this by printing your image out using a laser printer. Paint your image with a generous amount of gel medium. Saturate everything, but don’t make it so wet you tear the paper.
Lay the image down and smooth it out. Let it dry overnight before you complete the process.
When you’re ready to remove the image use a damp sponge or smooth cloth to help you remove the paper. Don’t rub too hard! Give it a minimum of 8 hours but overnight is best!
I also wanted to try this technique, so I created a deck using an image I took at the tamago stand in Tsukiji fish market during our Tokyo trip. To create this distressed look I rubbed the image with a rough cloth and then sanded off excess bits of paper.
We still need to practice this technique but came out with two Decks we were really happy with! We all really enjoyed this project and let coming up with more and more ideas! My son’s birthday is coming up… I feel a party theme coming on!
Tips & Advice:
- We purchased the a spray painting tent, disposable gloves, and masks at our local art store!
- The blue tape and plastic can all be purcahsed at your local hardware store, however we found that we had many of these items around the house left over from previous projects.
- Don’t rush! Allow time in between steps, especially when applying and painting stencils, or you’ll end up repainting. Trust me, I know.
- Don’t worry if you make mistakes! It’s just paint, paper, etc. you can always sand off your design or paint over it until you achieve the look you want!
- We plan to mount our boards with these Sk8ology hooks to give them the appearance of floating on the wall… Once I get them up I’ll update with a photo!
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