How to Build Your Own Graphics on a Skateboard Deck

Written by dan chruscinski
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How to Build Your Own Graphics on a Skateboard Deck
Add personality to your board with custom graphics (skateboard image by Steve Mann from

Your skateboard says a lot about you. You may be able to pull off amazing tricks or be completely new to the sport, but your skateboard should still demonstrate your individuality and love of skating. Skateboard decks, the wooden portion of the skateboard, can be customised with graphics that suit your personal taste. These graphics can be printed onto the board, painted on, added as stickers and decals, or a combination of all three. Your can create your own graphics to build the perfect deck.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Skateboard deck
  • Paper
  • Chalk
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic gesso
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sticker paper
  • Paint markers

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    Ordering a Custom Deck

  1. 1

    Visit a deck customisation website such as Zazzle, Sk8Factory, or BoardPusher.

  2. 2

    Select "Design" from the main page and choose the size and shape of the deck you wish to build graphics onto.

  3. 3

    Upload designs to the website from your computer. You can choose graphics you've created or build your custom deck with images you've found or other digital artwork.

  4. 4

    Position and resize your graphic on the deck. You can add additional graphics and cover both sides of the deck. Note that some of the graphic may be obscured by trucks and grip tape.

  5. 5

    Order your deck, which will then be shipped to your house. You can then add your own stickers or paint to finish off your design.

    Painting Graphics

  1. 1

    Design the graphic you want to paint onto your deck. Use paper and coloured pencils to map out your design. Take into account both sides of the deck as well as the shape and the placement of your trucks, grip tape, and wheels.

  2. 2

    Remove the trucks from your deck as well as any grip tape you plan to replace.

  3. 3

    Remove the existing paint from the deck using a hand sander. Apply a goat of acrylic gesso to the board to prep for your graphic.

  4. 4

    Outline your design onto the prepared board using a pencil or black paint marker. Make changes to the design to suit the board. You can also transfer your design directly by shading the back of the paper with coloured chalk and outlining it while it's taped to the board. The chalk design will appear on your deck.

  5. 5

    Apply colour to your graphic using acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry completely before reattaching your trucks.

    Stickers and Decals

  1. 1

    Purchase sticker paper from any computer or office-supply store.

  2. 2

    Design a graphic to place onto the paper. You can use digital art programs or create your graphic by hand on the paper using paint markers.

  3. 3

    Cut out the graphics from the paper and apply them directly to your deck.

  4. 4

    Add more decals and stickers to your deck to create a collage of graphics that reflects your personality as a skater. Use decals from particular brands or graphics based on games and movies.

  5. 5

    Cut designs into grip tape and apply it to the top of your board. This will provide the control of the tape while still adding to your customised deck.

Tips and warnings

  • Mix and match different mediums to create the perfect graphics for your deck. Add coloured wheels, trucks, and grip tape for the finishing touch.

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