Surfboard Art: How to Give Your Surfboard a Cool Custom Spray

Surfing is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle that celebrates freedom, creativity, and a deep connection with the ocean. For many surfers, their surfboard is a canvas that reflects their personality, style, and artistry—tired of the monotonous look of whiteboards?

Are you looking for a way to infuse your surfboard with a dose of personal flair? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of giving your surfboard a cool custom spray, transforming it into a masterpiece that stands out in the sea of sameness.

Whether you’re an experienced artist or a DIY enthusiast, this tutorial will empower you to create a unique surfboard art piece from the comfort of your home.

Why Customize Your Surfboard?

Before diving into the how-to, let’s explore why custom surfboard art is worth your time and effort:

  • Personal Expression: Custom surfboard art allows you to express your individuality and creativity, making your board a reflection of who you are.
  • Visual Appeal: A visually appealing board can enhance your surfing experience, making every ride feel special.
  • Stand Out: Yours will stand out in a lineup of similar-looking boards, making it easier to spot and adding an extra layer of personal pride.
How to Give Your Surfboard a Cool Custom Spray

Getting Started: The Essentials

What You’ll Need

  1. Spray Paint: Choose colors that reflect your desired look. Fluoro green and black are great for a vibrant contrast, but the palette is yours to decide.
  2. Sponge: A car wash sponge or similar will be your tool for applying the paint.
  3. Plastic Bag: To protect your hand while painting.
  4. Wet/Dry Sandpaper: This is used to smooth the finish.
  5. Tailpad (Optional): To add functionality and style.

The Process

Step 1 – Pick Your Colors and Pattern

Decide on the colors and patterns for your spray. This could be anything from abstract designs to geometric shapes. The only limit is your imagination.

Step 2 – Prep the Board

If you’re working with a new board, a simple wipe-down to remove any dust will suffice. For used boards, remove the wax and clean thoroughly to ensure the paint adheres well.

How to Give Your Surfboard a Cool Custom Spray

Step 3 – Apply the Spray Paint

Apply the paint to the sponge and then to the board, creating your desired pattern. This step requires patience and a bit of practice to get the even coverage and look you’re aiming for.

Step 4 – Let the Paint Set

Allow 24 hours for the paint to fully dry. This ensures that the paint adheres well to the board and reduces the risk of smudging.

Step 5 – Smooth the Finish

Use a light-grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth out the finish. This step is crucial for achieving a professional look.

Tips from the Pros

  • Clear Coat: For added durability, apply a clear acrylic spray paint over the colored coat. This will protect the paint from scratching and fading over time.
  • Sandpaper Grade: Lightly sand with 1200-grade sandpaper to perfect the finish without damaging the artwork.

The Art of Surfboard Customization

Inspiration and Design

Drawing inspiration from your surroundings, interests, or favorite art styles can help you create a design that’s truly yours. For more complex patterns, consider using stencils or masking tape.

Application Techniques

Experiment with different application techniques. In addition to sponging, you might try spraying directly for different textures or using templates for precise shapes.

Finishing Touches

Adding a tailpad not only enhances the look but also improves grip. Consider this functional accessory as part of your design plan.


Customizing your surfboard with a fantastic spray is an exciting way to express your personality and stand out in the surf. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating a surfboard that not only looks incredible but also tells a story—your story.

Remember, the key to a great custom surfboard is creativity, patience, and a bit of practice. So grab your materials, unleash your inner artist, and give your surfboard a makeover that reflects your unique style and passion for surfing. Happy spraying, and see you in the waves!

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer looking to personalize your ride or a newcomer eager to make your mark, custom surfboard art is a rewarding project that connects you even more deeply with the surfing culture.

So, why wait? Start planning your surfboard art project today, and transform your board into a piece of art that turns heads and sparks conversations wherever you go.


1. Do I need any particular type of spray paint for my surfboard?

Yes, it’s essential to use spray paint that adheres well to the surfboard’s surface. Look for paints specifically designed for use on plastics or similar materials from which surfboards are made. Water-based acrylic spray paints are a good option as they are less harmful to the environment and are easier to work with.

2. Can I customize a used surfboard, or does it have to be new?

You can definitely customize a used surfboard! In fact, giving a new life to an old board through art can be particularly rewarding. Just ensure you thoroughly clean the board and remove all wax, grease, or dirt before starting. You might also need to do a light sanding to ensure the paint adheres properly.

3. How long does it take for the paint to dry?

It’s recommended that the paint dry for at least 24 hours to ensure it fully sets and adheres to the board’s surface. This time can vary depending on the type of paint used and the environmental conditions (humidity, temperature, etc.). Patience is key to a successful finish!

4. Is there a risk of the paint affecting the surfboard’s performance?

The amount of paint applied is usually so minimal that it has negligible impact on the board’s weight or performance. However, ensuring an even application and avoiding excessively thick layers of paint can help maintain your board’s original performance characteristics.

5. Can I still wax my board after painting it?

Absolutely! Once the paint is fully dry and you’ve completed any finishing touches like sanding, you can wax your board as you normally would. The wax layer can actually help protect the paint from minor scratches and UV damage.

6. What’s the best way to protect the paint job from wear and tear?

Applying a clear coat sealer over the paint can significantly increase its durability, protecting it from scratching, fading, and water damage. Use a clear acrylic spray paint and apply a few light coats, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

David is the visionary founder of, a dedicated surfer with over a decade of experience riding waves across the globe. With an unwavering passion for the sport and a deep understanding of what makes a great surfboard, David created to guide fellow surfers through the complex world of surfboards.

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