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Best Techniques for painting your handboard

Epic Wave Riding


Please note this is an outdated article as we have changed the way we make our boards and we don't recommend painting them. We have left this article up as it has some great tips on posca pen use

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How To Paint Your Handplane With Posca Paint Pens

These handboards were designed and painted from far left by Reahanna Morgan, Sam Milner(5am), and Tommy Laverdi These are great examples of how you can turn your board into an epic masterpiece and make it your own. So put your artistic skills to good use, and personalize it with your own epic art to be the coolest kid at the beach. Here is a step by easy step guide to get you going with a Bit of guidance and the right tools you will be right on your way

painting Ingredients

Slyde handplane
  1. Posca paint pens
  2. Wax remover
  3. 300 grit sandpaper
  4. Acrylic clear gloss
  5. Imagination
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Remove Wax

Removing the wax applies to a board you already own and have been using a fair bit. Painting an old board will really spruce up the old girl. If the handplane has been used, remove all wax from the handplane deck to prepare it for painting. You can use a wax comb, or an old credit card works just as well. If your handplane is out the box new and the finish is gloss like most of the Slyde handplanes, you will have to bite the bullet and use a very fine grade of sandpaper to rough up the surface. We recommend 300 grit (ask your local hardware guy if you are uncertain). Don't worry about the gloss. You will be putting a coat over to re-gloss at the end. The reason we rough up the finish is that you want the surface to be matte so the paint will stick to the surface. Paint pens are a lot easier to use on a matt surface.

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Clean Surface

Use a wax remover to remove all of the residue surface wax left after removing the wax. Some people recommend acetone, but we don't! Acetone is very toxic and can destroy the board. Use a product like Pickle Wax Remover or an old sock or shirt. Sanding will remove the rest.

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Light Sanding

Using your 300 grit sanding paper, (either wet or dry paper will work, but we prefer to use wet), lightly stroke in a circle motion to rough up the area of the board you plan on doing your art work. Caution! LIGHTLY SAND! Over-sanding will destroy the board’s structural integrity. All you need is a slightly rougher area, not a hole in your board. Easy does it! They don't float well with holes. If you used wet sandpaper, dry off the board completely after you’re finished.

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Prepare Your Design

Lightly sketch out your design with either a pencil or if you are an accomplished artist a fine tipped posca paint pen. Placement is essential for a good design so choose wisely.

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Paint pen ready

Once you have a light sketch ready for color fill, make sure all of your water based paint pens are ready and full. Paint pens are designed specifically to blend with each other, so the quicker you work with the wet markers, the better they will blend, creating awesome gradients and 3d effects. Work from light to dark so for example: Place your light yellow down, followed by orange to purple etc. Use the top of your hand as a palate mixer by pressing the nibs of the posca paint pens in to get more paint. It takes a bit of getting used to. If it is your first attempt, I would consider practicing on paper or card stock to master the technique.

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Design and Paint: "Outline Time"

Once you have the basic colors and gradients set and dried (only takes a few minutes to dry), it’s time to really bring your design to life with the black and white pens. Use the black first and the white only after the black has dried. The black is used to make the design pop. Using paint pens is a skill and there are many techniques. This is a very simple overview. Research and try your own techniques! There are plenty of professional board painters out there to emulate . It’s great fun. Remember, if you mess up you can always just sand it out and start again.

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Gloss Your Design

Remember how I said you would be glossing over your board? Well, this is the time to do it. Make sure you have completely finished your design and you are happy with it. Next, find a wind free open area outside and lay your board on paper. Spray the acrylic clear coat (we use the Rustoleum Ultra Cover that’s available for a couple bucks from Home Depot). Spray the width of the board in straight, clean lines until the entire design is covered. Overspray will drip and ruin your design, so easy does it! Also, remember that if you have used anything other than water-based pens, the ink may react with the acrylic and run. It sure isn’t fun to watch hours of work run off of your board. The acrylic should take a few hours to dry to the touch, and full 24-48 hours to dry for use (check the label for best results).

Ryde It Like You Stole It

Time to show off your mad art skills and even better water skills!

For videos and extra tips on how to paint your handboard, check out these videos.