resin swirl on the foam itself...

Ive done all kinds of research into how to do the resin swirls and acid splashes on the lam layer, but now im trying to find info on doing the swirl/splash on the blank itself, prior to laminating.

i checked the archives and didnt find anything really on the subject…only that it can be done.

few questions:

is it first color on the foam wins (as it is if doing it on the lam layer)?

is it done with paint or with resin?

a simple rundown of the procedure would be helpful too…if its much different than doing it the normal way…thanks for anything you can tell me!



Hey Surferguy80,

foam stain swirls are straightforward. They will not be as vivid as the lamination. First color wins. Usually a good idea to mask the perimeter as the spillage is more than with glassing; however consumption is less.

Paint swirls will not “swirl” as much. Typical squeegee strokes are parallel with the stringer and doubling back is not good. A road-grader action works well with paint. Also, paint is very sensitive to viscosity, if it is applied thick then apply streaks, blobs, drops of paint separately (colorwise) and let the mixing occur only when squeegeeing. If the paint is thinned down, it is sometimes possible to pre-mix the paint very carefully into a single container. Sometimes a “background” color needs to be applied just after the “swirled paint” is applied but not yet spread…

Foam stains make for a great effect especially when used in conjunction with adjacent solid colors and pinlines.


wow…youre awesome! only one question left…what kind of paint does one use?

acrylic, i imagine…any specific brand or special type needed?

hi Surferguy80 !

…how about doing both , for a more “3D” effect ? (ie: after you’ve resin swirled the foam , then laminate and ‘resin swirl’ [different colour[s] the cloth ? )

…I’d like to see THAT !!

…Austin S …isn’t that what you have done on some of your boards ?

cheers ! 


Water-based acrylic, artist quality paints…

…we use Nova Color and Day-glo but that is in gallon qtys.

Liquitex is an international brand. Not sure what part of the world you are shopping from.

Always on top of it Chipfish61!

You know, that’s how complex microchips are made; etch a photo-reduced circuit onto some silicon, followed by an inert layer with pass-throughs, followed by another etched circuit and so on. A three-dimensional circuit. Refreshing to see a 3-D thinker in our mix! Not sure on the relavence though. (sorry to hijack this thread)

Use the same paint you would to airbrush the blank.


thanks again!

i WOULD go for something a bit different (the 3d), but im way too stoked on my new board to mess it up!

shaped it today, 6’7"x 21 x 2 3/4…winged singlefin, flat to double concave…i cant wait to glass it!


get us some pics (if all goes well;)…

but of course!

(doing it all today…should be pretty awesome)

Here’s technique I’ve seen used time and time again that works well.

Let’s say you just want to do the deck of the board or the bottom and rails of the board. Regardless of which you choose. Tape off the appropriate area of the board. Figure out how much material you’ll need to baste the either area with a generous coat of resin. Mix resin colors in several pots to equal the total volume you want to use. If it’s a three color swirl catalyze each batch individually and pour the two smaller volumes into the larger one and give a couple of quick stirs. However much you mix in the pot will be how much mix you get on the board.

Pour the mix on the board and squeegee it out. Once you pull the tape and the resin cures you’re ready to laminate.

No Worries, Rich

Can someone post a pic of what a resin swirl looks like on foam vs lam?

ive decided to use acrylic paint instead of the resin, how long do i need to let the paint sit on the foam before i brush it off…or what exactly is the process for taking all the extra paint off?

There’s no waiting period. With experience, the use of a spreader should result in a perfect amount of paint with no puddles or wet strips. I use a row-by-row approach, still, a little touch up here and there is usually needed to get rid of too much paint.

Also, be sure there is a taped-off area for the excess paint to be run off of…

photo of the result!

Cool, looks like wood-grain or something. What colors did you start with?

i used the orange thats on the other areas of the board, a black and a red…30% red 45% orange 25% black…roughly.


Tape off the appropriate area of the board. Figure out how much material you’ll need to baste the either area with a generous coat of resin.

What does baste mean??

Does it mean that before you apply your pigmented resin on the foam you go over the area with clear resin to ensure that if anything leaks through the tape (bc of pores) it will be clear not pigmented. Then after you apply the clear resin you let it gel and then go over it with pigmented resin.


Did you just apply the swirl straight on the foam or put a clear coat on first and then apply it? Could you please tell me what you did, not in depth or anything, but just the technique you used?

Also what kind of tape did you use?


the swirl is just acrylic paint directly on the foam, nothing between them…i think what he meant by baste was just figuring out the amount of paint needed to COVER the area.

the process was pretty easy…i mixed three different colors in individual cups, then put them together, stirred in a figure-8 shape, then i poured it on the foam…then used a stiff plastic squeegee to take the extra paint off…i didnt realize it at first, but its a complete scraping kind of motion, instead of spreading…just get all the extra paint off, as if you were trying to get back to the original foam. as a warning though…everyone says you need alot of paint…its TRUE, i had to run back to the store and buy more right in the middle of the painting…buy TONS.

Hey psychedelicsurrf,

Baste means cover with liquid before coooking; that is the partially mixed colors go directly on the board by pouring the bucket of resin on the board and squeegeeing it out.

I always use the green colored tape I get a Fiberglass Santa Cruz or Fiberglass Hawaii. If you press the tape down firmly with the round side of a single edged razor blade you won’t get any leaks past the tape line. If you afraid of migrating colored resin Just make you tape line nice and wide. Be sure to get all the drips off the underside of the rails so you’ll have a nice fair surface to laminate over.

No clear resin is used as a part of this swirl technique. Once this colored laminating resin cures it’s time to roll out the cloth and begin the lamination process.

Mahalo, Rich

It looks great!!! But I would like to see pics (or vid) of the whole process. Is it possible? Maybe next board?? I’m really interested in this technique. Congratulations again!

SG80, looks good.

I like the effect of paint squeegeed directly on the foam. I use thick paint right out of the tube and some thinned slightly. I use a 10" window squeegee.

Test first effects on scrap foam.