Hello, i'll show you how i made my skateboard griptapes more 'neat-o' by painting on a image/picture and at the same time making the griptape less abrasive on my skateboarding shoe's ... the same tricks & moves i've found to produce good results when customizeing my boards could also be used when , painting/putting a picture on other areas/surfaces like walls or floors etc. (i'll add photo's later druing further coverage on this crafty topic)
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#1 you wanna have a clean,bright surface to show the colors as they should look . most times an unpainted grip will be black and unless you turn it white first , it'll cost more paint to have it show at the shade your expecting and during that/the process of pouring-on the tonnes of paint onto a unpreped/black grip the chance of all that runny paint running over to where it's not to be is much higher not to mention the (paper) stencils don't preform well when soaked . i'll explain more later on that hazard.
#2 now after i had my grip painted white i often attach the (pre-flattend & uncurled) strip of white grip to a flat surface like an ofcut of wood or cardboard . this makes it moveable for drying time elsewhere and general handiess while working with 'my canvas'. because of the final result being on the top of a skateboard and therefore cut to the shape of a skateboard , the areas of the grip by the corners of the strip i'm painting can even be nailed/screwed/thumb-tacked down and those resulting holes will later not be an issue.
#3 during the start of this grip-job i took masking-tape (different widths as you'll notice) and would put down strips of it up & down + left 2 right in an effort to reproduce a 'plaid'-type effect . so on the white grip after putting down masking tape it looks like i blasted it with a grey color first (then dry) then put down masking tape again but in different spots . you see after the grey dried & the (now grey) masking tape was removed , the grip had become a mix of white and grey areas . then repeated this process with other colors , each time covering some of the last colors yet also leaving some of the last colors exposed to be covered by a new shade/color .
#4 i prefer to remove the masking tape right after i've sprayed , with the pointy knife tip i can pull of the semi-wet tape carefully so as not to bump or drag it across sections where you don't want that color. another benifit i found in removeing the tape right-away was that it's less drying time then as well as no surprise's where you found it really dried-on and will now be tricky to remove. here comes some red paint next.
#5 here you can see it's right after hittin' the grip with red and the masking tape has been removed , as you can see the same amount of red everywhere ends up looking different shades because of the colors that pass underneth the newest layer 'red'. this was the idea given that i was shooting for a 'plaid'-type design.
#6 looks like after hittin' the works with that red there i was happy with the 'plaid' look it had. next i wanted to add to the 'plaid' , it now my new background/canvas was gonna have three pictures on it in addition to the custom background 'plaid'effect. i took sheets of paper and traced around small paint cans so that a nice-sized circle was on the center of the sheets of paper , then cut out the circle leaving me with my stencils i would use to blast white again onto the grip and when the (3) sheets of paper (right-away) where removed this was the result . this it where the contact-adhesive comes in ,i only spray some onto the underside of my sheet-stencils and pat them down onto the dry painted grip so that when i spray with the spray-paint it doesn't blow-away my sheet and only hits the (literal) spot that i want white , and also carefull to cover all other area's so as not to find some fine white misty-dusty-paint landed in wrong places. even with alot of care and attention you'll notice the middle white circle had a little paint overspray blew underneth the paper stencil , this gets fixed later but show's the kinds of problems that are encountered when paper stencils get wet and wavey or if it's not sticking to the grip and paint blows underneth .
#7 here you'll see where i started to expairment with a sharpy to see how i'd like it if i added a bit more custom to the end result , i tried it on the corner first cause when it goes on the skateboard deck , those corners are cut/filed off. the sharpy also fixes-up the three white circles and any of thier overspray issues .
#8 most of the steps up to this point took place during my lunch breaks and coffee breaks at my work place (an area i could paint in) ,then took home the 'grip-so-far' and finished of the sharpy work while watching T.V. , aswell i most-likly that evening cut-out my next three paper stencils to use the next day at work during coffee-break.
#9 after spraying on the underside's of my three stencils (the stencils are of images i found online of silolettes of skaters-skateing , i found them much smaller and enlarged them with photocopier till they seemed all a similar scale) with contact-adhesive ... patted them down onto the grip in the desired locations and hit the works with some black , removed the paper stencils and let dry .
#10 last i put on the grip to a board and touch up some spots on the shiloettes (however it's spelled) where not enough black paint hit and VOLA another right-on custom grip-job done. and all that spray paint makes the formerly sharp grippy griptape more slippery and less abrasive on the skateshoe's soon to be draging around on it like there's no tomorrow.