Let’s talk about the trend of buying a skateboard just to paint on it, without ever riding it. Fash- ion and skateboarding culture still attracts many people. You can spend relentless hours dedicating your time to performing skateboard tricks, only to spot someone with a skateboard outside that’ll refrain from performing tricks. Every skateboarder should know how to do the ollie and kickflip, so if you say you’ve been skateboarding for years, you’re expected to know those tricks. Buying a skateboard just to paint on it does not make you despised by the skateboard community- ty, but if you’re posing as if you just performed a ho-ho or benihana.
Maybe you heard about (the Birdman) Tony Hawk and (the godfather of modern street skate-boarding) Rodney Mullen, stopped at Zumiez and became overwhelmed with the gear and clothes (like shirts, tank tops, hoodies, shorts, jeans, and chino pants), as well as skateboard shoes (like Etnies, Vans, Converse, Adidas, and Nike). What can go wrong from here? You’ve played the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. Whether you love the punk trend garments, the design of the actual skateboard, or the overall history of the subculture, you’re bound to get asked if you actually skateboard. It is possible to paint an electric skateboard, but today, we are going to cover how to paint wooden skateboards (like longboards, cruiser skateboards, mini cruiser skateboards, carve skateboards, and double kick skateboards).
There are two major options for you if you are committed to a painting project with a skateboard. Either you will paint on the surface of the skateboard or paint on the grip tape, as your own customized flare. Of course, you can use acrylics, oil paint, and even spray paint on a skateboard, but it is recommended to use paint markers. Paint markers are easier to use and have faster results, but if you are looking for the best quality, use acrylics. While it can be more difficult to use acrylic paint on a skateboard, it is permanent and of high quality which makes it very durable.
Whether you are building a skateboard from scratch, refurbishing an old skateboard, or redesigning the graphics, before getting started painting, it’s wise to use sandpaper for a smooth finish.
Sand the board with either your hand or use a palm or belt sander. Also, while palm sanders are useful, you may prefer using a sanding block, specifically for the fine detail of the skateboard’s edges. After smoothing out the surface of the skateboard, you can wipe off the sawdust, then apply your primer. Finally, when the primer dries, you’re ready to use paint markers.
Make sure that the area you are working in is well-ventilated so that any toxic fumes you may use from spray paint will leave the area. Wear clothes that you do not care about throwing away. It’s easier to paint on a blank deck without the truck and wheels and that’s something you’ll quickly learn if you’re just getting started painting skateboards. Do not worry if the deck you are using already has a graphic and/or paint on it, because you can paint over it. Whenever you feel like you are done painting, apply a clearcoat (like polyurethane, spar urethane, and polycrylic) to protect your skateboard.
Getting Your Skateboard Wet
You can certainly paint on the back of the skateboard, but on the front, the grip tape is crucial for learning the most basic tricks, ensuring your feet cling securely to your board. If you just want a skateboard around for decoration, having grip tape is not necessary. Besides, the longer you paint on grip tape, the more adhesion it removes. Most skateboards are made out of wood and when wood mixes with water, evidently, it gets damaged. This is why it’s a bad idea to leave a skateboard outside in the rain, causing the bearings to lose lubrication and the trucks and bolts to rust.
Getting your skateboard wet will eventually slow down the speed that you anticipate going. If your skateboard gets wet, allow the sun to naturally dry it. If the skateboard was left in a storm for several hours, you can ensure yourself that it’s waterlogged. You’re fine if the skateboard was wet for approximately 5-10 minutes. Just dry the skateboard.