Is acryllic the best option?


I’m completely new to board making, in the middle of my first board, just done the first layer of hot coat & am so far very chuffed with my first home made board.

I have been advised by my friends that my artwork will be best to be painted onto my board once my hot coat is done, but before the glossing is done & that I should use acryllic paint diluted with some accrylic based floor varnish.

Have tried to upload a pic, but can’t resize to make small enough right now, but essentially we have some rainbow wavey lines going across the length of the board (underside this is) with these coloured waves being turned into waves (for the blue lines) with people surfing them. hills are made from the the green lines with some flowers & animals. then the last part of the board is the sky with clouds & birds. This probably doesn’t make any sense at all!?!??! Sorry!!

So I guess because my artwork is more of a picture that’s why I was recommended to do this way

But what I would really like is to hear from somebody who has also done this to find out what I need to be aware of & not do!!

Presumably the artwork needs to be quite thinly painted & as flat to the board as possible.

Should I sand afterwards?

Any help and advice would be extremely appreciated as none of my mates have tried this technique themselves before.

Many thanks


Glad your having fun,

Glassing at 95 degrees was kinka scarry huh. you guys did great.

Looking forward to seeing your board finished, hopefuly get them finished at the weekend.

You can borrow my paint pens for the smaller stuff and some lines between the colours, I’d mask off and do one large block of colour at a time, and wait for it to fully dry before doing the next, then do the small stuff on top with the pens, then do some out lines to make thinks pop. Clive might let you use his air brush if you ask nicely.

Just take your time and enjoy it. I’m sure it will look great.

See you at the weekend.

cheers woody. if you’re at the pub tonight i’ll have a proper chat with you about this as i’ll be bringing the board home to do the artwork, that way i can take my time, avoid the flies & correct my c*** ups in privacy :-))

yeah, the weekend was fun & going back this week to hot coat was exciting as all of a sudden the board looked even more like a board!!

Really now just gotta get the leash plug & fin box in & then do more hot coating, then taylor (i think that’s what i’ll call it!!) can come home with me to be finished :-))

thanks for your help

Hey Patsy. First off I would say instead of thinning your paint with floor varnish simply thin it with a bit of water. As for sanding after you paint, I would recommend you do all you sanding before. If you sand the paint you will end up sanding through it and chipping it, which looks quite ugly. Just rough it up very lightly after painting, but don’t do any real sanding. Hope that helps.

cool, thanks. so thinning with water won’t make it less durable (although i guess the gloss coat goes over the top). presumably just a light going over with 240 sandpaper then? thanks again


Don’t thin it w/ water.

Thin it with Future floor acrylic.Herb

Hey Herb. Help me out here. Why not with water? That’s what I do and it works great, plus saves money!

Patsy: Ya just a soft going over too rough it up.


cool, thanks. so thinning with water won’t make it less durable (although i guess the gloss coat goes over the top). presumably just a light going over with 240 sandpaper then? thanks again

I would use #400 grit max, you dont want to sand away a good paint job , remember its only microns thick.

I dont even sand a paint job under a gloss coat unless its pretty bloody shiny. never had a problem. I have even glossed over Posca pen and had no problems.

Good luck


Because… it’s vastly inferior to mix water into a acrylic based paint.

Water breaks down the property of acrylic ,leaving it non-waterproof,slow to dry, runny,faded, messy ,etc…

Water mixing causes fracturing of the paint as well as premature fading,and uneven drying times.

Future dries faster,strengthens paint and ads a UV protection.

You use less paint because Future is a copolymer,and links the paint rather than destroys it.

It also distrubutes the paint evenly, so you get less uneven shades of color.

Plus, it’s smells great ! Nothing like rotten smelling paint to clog your brain, while you’re concentating on a paint project.

It seals the paint allowing you to tape over it, eliminating paint pulloff.

Cost…about 6 bucks a 27oz. bottle…easy to obtain at your local supermarket,and even easier to use.

I also use it to seal the blank, pre-and post paint(it’s stops the paint from bleeding under the stringer tape).

There’s more benefits to using it.

Water mixing w/ Acrylics is right out of the dark ages and should be buried there.Herb

I must say I got a good chuckle out of your last line! I’m a caveman in disguise.Thanks for the info. No more water for me.

Herb, do use a water/Future mix, or straight Future? The reason I’m asking is my spray rig likes to spray stuff that is a little thinner than Future, so I have to add water to the Future in order to spray well, without spatters.

Sometime next month, I am planning to do an experiment designed by my wife (she’s a process engineer) to see how different thinners work for acrylic. Finally, math at work! I was thinking of testing different thinners (water, alcohol, future) for the crispness of lines, drying time, and pull-up/tearing after subsequent masking.

I’ll take pics and definitely post results, as I have had a terrible time with the Future thinning (could be just a learning curve), and I have gone back to using just water (distilled). I do most of my artwork on the hotcoat, though, I don’t know if that changes anything…


Cool, I’ve got some fast drying acryllic based floor varnish (which I guess is like Future), so I’ll have a crack with mixing some of that, like my friend Woody suggested. & I’ll make sure I paint as thinly as possibly.

Getting excited about it all now, off to put in the fin box, leash plug & the hot coat on the deck tonight - then Taylor will almost be ready to get in the sea :-))

Thanks so much for your help, it’s really useful to get other peoples opinions, plus you did make me giggigle Herb, can’t wait to get high on the fumes!!

Hey FWS,

I meant no ill to you personally.

I’m kind of a caveman too !

If you can’t get Future where you are ,Fiberglass Hawaii offers a simular product by the gallon,and you probably could mail order that.Herb


With spraying on hotcoats,Future makes it easier ! Max ,I don’t know what the heck it is you’re doing wrong,but you’re doing it wrong.

Alcohol is worse that water in all respects ,w/ the exception of drying times.

Max ,

Use pure white/clear ammonia.It will thin like water,but better.It dries quicker and it actually thinner in nature than water.

Also Ammonia will not effect the paint or resin. It disapates clean !

Believe it or not ,I learned about this from meth/coke cooks(the reason for the goofy face on my avatar ?).

ps. oh ya,just a little…don’t flood it down like a …you know(the goofy face on my avatar).



Thanks for the tip on ammonia, and yes, now that I think about it, thinning with any type of simple alcohol would not be good, but not necessarily performance wise, but because my garage is not flash-proof, and spraying a fine, flammable alcohol mist really sounds like it would be trouble.

Now, where would I get white/clear ammonia? Is it the same as a clear, automotive glass cleaner, or is it something I need to find at a cleaning supply store?

As far as what I am doing wrong with Future, well, I could be doing a million things wrong, as I am self-taught, with a little help from folks here. My main problem was tearing of the paint when pulling tape, the future made the paint want to stick to itself at all times, and I didn’t get as crisp a line as with water (I have never had that problem with water thinning, I guess because the paint is less strong, so the pulling of tape cuts it cleaner). The other problem was when I would mask on top of a previous color, some of the previous color would come off on the subsequent tape pull, and it was aggravating. This all could have been due to over-anxiousness, though, and me not allowing the paint to dry long enough before pulling tape or masking off another color…

That’s why I want to run the experiment, and let others know what I find, so they don’t have to sand off/modify their paint schemes so many times like I did…

Now that I’ve eliminated alcohol, it looks like I’ll spray 4 thinner mixes: water, future+water, ammonia, future+ammonia, all thinned to the same consistency.

I’ll post my findings in the resources…



Sounds like you’re not letting it dry enough…it the case you’re talking about,a little water mixed in the future/paint mix is okay.Ammonia is better though.“99centsonly” stores has 1/2 gals of white ammonia for …well, you guessed it …99cents !

Thanks Herb. You are probably right. I get anxious to pull tape after spray, sometimes with disastrous results.


Howzit Herb, Couldn’t have said it any better myself.Aloha,Kokua

Hey Herb,

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I got myself a quart of white ammonia, and that stuff is POWERFUL. Lust about knocked me off my feet when I opened the bottle. How much of this stuff do you use? Do you cut it w/ some water to kill some of the smell? I can’t imagine going 1:1 future:ammonia, unless I had a particulate and charcoal canister respirator on, and something to keep my eyes from tearing up…


so thats why future smells llike cat piss… ive heard thats what makes the crazy cat ladies crazy…

the smell of amonia will make you insane after a while is a fact…

hence the crazy cat ladies

i normally thin with water and some future…

herb if i read you right, then amonia could repace the future floor deal…?

space to this place…its cheaper for sure, ill test it though…

you can really thin with water without much problem but i spray on the foam, but i still do about 50/50 water/future at this point…but thats just me…

painted about 100 or so just using water to thin, rotten egg well water… worked fine, seen em years later… no fade or anything… i personally like to add a little future but its proabally not really necessary, if you use good paint to start with.