Airbrush: Masking a Surfboard

How do you mask painted areas of a surfboard? Will standard airbrush frisket work or will it lift paint? I’ve done a successful airbrush job (see board # 587 on this site, “The Hemi”) and I’m interesting in more complex designs. Thanks for any help. By the way, I checked out Josh Dowling’s site ( and his work is MIND BLOWING! -Joshua

It’s best to use high quality 3m tape. This tape doesn’t leave sticky glue behind and will come up easy if you use a hair dryer to release the tape! Good luck!

Can this tape be used on areas where you’ve already painted on foam?

Yes, but you have to be carefull when removing the tape, that’s what the hair dryer is for.

There has been a lot of discussion on this website regarding the big question of tape lifting the paint. The best suggestion I’ve heard is to spray a light coat of clear acrylic paint on the painted area where you want to apply the tape. Let it dry, then lay the tape and spray your color. When you pull the tape you shouldn’t have any tear up. Using a blow dryer as you go will help speed up the drying process, and will keep wet paint from sneeking under the tape. I’ve tried this method and it works great. Thanks Kokua. Doug

Doug is correct. When spraying on foam, it is best to apply a layer of clear before masking off a colour and spraying the other side… This is not necessary on Filler coat sprays. (I think you seppos call it Hot coat…) I have actually not yet tried frisket on boards, though I have been aware of it for years. I have some my laminator gave me, but I wait for a suitable rad Idea to come to me ( Wont take long hopefully) I use overlapped two inch tape for detailed airbrushing, carefully keeping the pieces to stick back on over the details for the next colour. Most of my stock work is just old fasioned Pinline tapeups and paper masking. I have also used Large sheets of cartridge paper backed with aerosol adhesive for detailed airbrushing on Filler coat . Dont do this on foam as the glue can leave stick residue not suitable for laminating over the top of! To the first poster Ceroshaper;- thanks for the big compliment!