Previously, we spoke more about how to put pen to handboard. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of the different painting materials that are available to you. The most important thing to remember when painting your Slyde handboard is that, if you make a mistake with your art, it is easy to lightly sand it off and start over. So do not be afraid to let loose.
These paint pens are, in our opinion, the best to use on our boards and are used by prolific surfboard and handplane artists like Drew Brophyand our own Scott Metzner and Bob Langston. We like the Posca brand because of the vivid colors and range of colors these paint pens (when you know how to use them) can create. They produce amazing gradients and eye popping candy for art. We also like the variation in tip sizes and the smoothness in the tip (no flaring even after using for some time) that Posca pensoffer. In our mind, there really is not a better material to use on the boards.
The Sharpie Xylene markers are very easy to get a hold of, and come in many great colors. Sharpie makes a huge range of different styles of tips. They also have various materials, so be sure to do your research before just picking up a set at the local Staples. As we mentioned before, sharpies do make water-based paint markers, and these are a good choice if you cannot get a hold of Posca pens. The watercolor paint pens are harder to get, and may have to be special ordered. If you do use the regular sharpie, be careful of the lacquer you use to finish the board. Most will have a negative reaction to the xylene markers.
Pros: Decent selection of colors when you can find them
Cons: These versions of sharpie (the paint pens) are pretty hard to find and your best bet is online
Board stix Great for your boards! As far as we know, these are the new kids on the block. That is not to say their product isn't good. We have heard nothing but good things about these guys, and finally someone saw the market for art boards and are supplying a marker designed specifically for them.
Pros: great color and designed for surfboard and skateboard painting
Cons: the Nibs I found to be frayed and not as accurate as the Posca Pens
Montana, regarded as one of the best spray cans around for art, and used by Drew Brophy. comes in a huge range of colors and nozzle types to get just the spray you need. It is common to use spray paints on both the blank and on the glassed board. In fact, it is probably the most common form. This most likely has more to do with how easy it is to get a hold of spray cans. The common use is to use found objects like palm leaves, chains, etc., to make patterns. Beware, it is a little harder than it looks and can end up looking like a massive mess. Top Tip: Have a plan get all of your items together and then execute. Just going at it, unlike the paint pens, can turn out badly.
Pros: Easy to get a large range of colors
Cons:Spray paint or good stuff at least is expensive so you may only be able to buy 2 or 3 colors, and it will set you back $50
Not everyone likes to draw or use pens. This option is for you. Here are your options on paints that are made from acrylic that provide outstanding adhesion to the fiberglass surface area and also keep their color and quality for years. Water-based paints are much easier to work with and are a lot easier to clean up. The paint also offers a lot of flexibility as well as durability. That is crucial for handplanes, as you will be using it in the water and battering it about. You want a paint that can last with what you are about to throw at it.
Pros: Easy to get a hold of and relatively cheap to get a good array of colors.
Cons: Can be chunky and create a raised surface that can crack and will not wear as well as markers or spray.
Enamel-based paint and sprays can and will turn yellow and may become brittle on a handplane. The artwork will start to crack and erode and in some cases, can start to peel off.
Do not rummage around and find an old can of general purpose house paint. Those are meant for the walls in your house and have no place on a surfboard. You want your board to look good, not like a dog's breakfast, which is what will happen if you do not use the right materials.