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How To Paint A Skateboard Deck? – Decorate Your Skateboard!

Do you want to learn how to paint a skateboard deck to elevate the aesthetic of your board?

A graphic skateboard has always been considered one of the best statement pieces for any passionate rider.

how to paint a skateboard deck

Graphic Skateboards Are Good Statement Pieces

However, the chances of your board being unique are slim unless you pay a fortune for a customized-painted deck. 

For that reason, some people opt for the alternative, which is to create their own boards that represent their personalities better. To help you get a better idea, let’s get right into our guide on how to paint your own skateboard deck!

What You Need In Painting Your Deck 

Before getting further into the actual painting process, it is important to equip yourself with all the necessary materials. Lucky for you, customizing your board doesn’t require too many tools. 

In fact, if you have some prior experience in art or know how to paint and draw, you will likely find these things already available at your house. 

More specifically, these are some essential materials that you will need in the painting process:

  • 150-grit sandpaper 

how to paint a skate deck

150-grit sandpaper

  • A wrench
  • An aerosol primer
  • A set of stencils of choice
  • A roll of duct tape
  • A set of spray paints

how to paint your own skateboard deck

Spray paints

  • A clear coat

Painting A Skateboard Deck In Easy Steps 

Readying Your Skateboard For Painting

Step 1: Detach The Deck From The Truck Assembly

To get in direct contact with the board surface, removing the wheels and some associated pieces from the board is the first thing to do. 

how to paint your skateboard deck

Detaching The Deck From The Truck Assembly Before Painting It

Take a wrench you have prepared to loosen the nuts on the two trucks. When the nuts are unfastened, take out the bolts and wheels, then put them in a safe place for later use. 

Step 2: Scrub The Deck Surface

Now, it’s time to use 150-grit sandpaper to sand away all the uneven areas on the board. It might take up to five minutes of scrubbing until the board surfaces are ready to work with. 

how to paint on a skateboard deck

Scrub skateboard with sandpaper

Remember to wear protective gloves, hold the sandpaper firmly with your entire hand, and press regular force on the board for the best result. 

Step 3: Taping The Deck’s Sides

Once the board becomes smooth and even-looking, give it a quick clean-up to get rid of all the sawdust residue before taping the board’s side. Apart from covering the sides with tapes, it is important to tape the screw holes where the trucks used to be as well. 

how to hand paint a skateboard deck

Tape skateboard deck

This step will prevent unwanted streaks of paint from splashing aesthetically on the board’s perimeter.

Priming Your Board

Step 1: Spray The Primer On The Board

Before getting your hands on the primer, it is imperative to wear gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals. Then, shake the aerosol primer bottle for a recommended amount of time written in the product instructions. 

Now, it’s time you apply a thin coat of aerosol primer to the board. Remember to keep the spraying movement stable since you don’t want the primer coat to be uneven.

how to paint a skateboard deck

Remember To Keep The Spraying Movement Stable 

Wait for about 30 minutes until the first primer layer is completely dry, and spray on the second layer. This extra layer will keep the paint better, reduce defects, and make the colors more buoyant. 

Step 2: Sand The Deck Again 

After the primer layer on the board has completely dried out, re-sand the deck one more time to smoothen the primed surface. Instead of creating strong pressure on the board as before, it would be best to sand it gently this time. 

how to paint a skate deck

Sand skateboard deck

Stop sanding when you notice the surface is completely clear of clumps, bubbles, or irregularities. 

Step 3: Apply A Tack Coat To The Board

Finish this priming process by wiping a tack coat on your deck. For those who don’t know, a tack coat is an adhesive agent used as an additional foundation for the board, enhancing the colors of the spray paint. 

how to paint your own skateboard deck

Skateboard with a tack coat

Conceiving Your Design

Step 1: Get To Know The Process

Before you start designing your board, it is important to understand the process. Basically, you will need a set of stencils or a roll of tape to shape the desirable patterns, images, or letters you want to put on the board.

how to paint your skateboard deck


As a beginner, we highly recommend you stick to using tape since they are easier to use and are capable of forming various geometric designs. Besides that, using premade stencils instead of creating them yourself can also be a good place to start. 

Step 2: Sketch Out The Design 

Draw a blueprint or a quick draft of what you imagine your board will look like on a piece of paper. The more detailed the sketches are, the better the painting process is going to be. 

how to paint on a skateboard deck

It Is Important To Sketch Out The Design 

For that reason, focusing on drawing the layout and giving yourself time to contemplate and determine whether you are truly satisfied with the draft or not is crucial.

Step 3: Note The Specific Color For Each Part

Once you’ve decided on the basic layout of the deck’s painting, it’s time to consider the color schemes and the application of each color layer. 

how to hand paint a skateboard deck

Note the color

To have a board with three colors, it requires the application of three paint layers. The same thing goes with a four-color, five-color deck.

For instance, if you want your birds to be blue, and you are about to paint blue as the first layer, note a “1” inside each bird on the sketch to ensure you won’t miscolor any detail.

Step 4: Make Your Stencils

If you plan to sketch out only simple sketches on the board such as squares, lines, triangles, there is no need to make stencils. Tape works perfectly fine in this situation. 

On the other hand, if the designs become more tricky, such as the bird drawings, or handwritten letters, we highly suggest you make your own stencils. 

how to paint a skateboard deck

Make stencils

Painting Your Board

Step 1: Apply The Base Color To The Board

You should opt for a high-contrast tone to use as a base color since it mainly acts as a background for your next layers. Black and white are the most common options since they make your design stand out more, but you are free to go wild with your imagination. 

how to paint a skate deck 

Apply the base color

Since the spray paint is essentially aerosol spray, remember to give the bottle a few shakes before using them. Also, it will take at least 30 minutes for one layer to dry, so don’t rush into applying the next layer since they can blend with one another and ruin the whole look.

Step 2: Put The Stencils Or Tape And Apply The Second Color Layer

Once your base color is nice and dry, place the stencils/tape on the board surface at the areas you have planned out before on the paper. 

The cutout parts of your stencils will be where you spray the next layer. In contrast, the rest of the stencils will remain the color of the foundation layer.

how to paint your own skateboard deck

The Cut-Out Part Of A Stencil Is Where You Paint

Step 3: Remove The Stencils Or Tapes

Wait for a certain amount of time to make sure the paint has already dried out, then gently remove the stencils/tapes from the board surface.

how to paint on a skateboard deck

Remove tapes

Step 4: Finish Up The Final Product

Before doing some last touch-ups on your beloved deck, it would be best to leave the board untouched for at least 24 hours. The paint will solidify and become more durable during the wait time.

After a day, use 220-grit sandpaper and gently scrub it back and forth on the painted board. It will help make the paint blend in together better and help to get rid of any irregularities left on the surface. 


There you have it, a guide on how to paint a skateboard deck. We hope this article has shed some light on this topic and given you some inspiration to customize your own skateboard deck

Get your hands on some easy-to-find essential tools, such as a blank board, a set of spray paints, a painting brush, and you are ready to start off an exciting adventure in your imagination.

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