A friend of mine recently had the funny thought of putting together an Aquaman look for going to the beach. I decided I liked this idea, so I ran with it a bit. This is an old board that I bought used on the cheap. I've spent the last year learning on it, but a number of the old patches were poorly done and had started coming loose. There was also significant spider-webbing in the fiberglass. I spent the past 2.5 months refurbing the fiberglass and then giving it a new paint job, with the idea that the stringer would be Aquaman's trident. I just christened it this morning, and it rides like a dream. I got an orange rasher and green shorts to complete the Aquaman look.
Acetone and mineral oil to clean the board
Q-cel and fiberglass cloth and resin for patching
Heaps of sand paper
Montana black aerosols (ultramarine and hippie)
Posca pens for the detail work
Safety equipment (the aerosol cans and resin are pretty nasty on the lungs)
Also my wife's foamy, which I rode while my board was out of commision as motivation to get the project finished.
Additional supplies. Kicking yellow from Montana Black, and Spraymax 2k clear coat.
This crack on the base was the worst and went into the foam, so I had to dig it out a bit and fill with q-cel.
Another q-cel patch. This was an old poorly done patch that was coming out. It looked like solar cure with a bad prep job. When I pulled out the old patch, the foam didn't appear damaged under the crack. So this time I just sanded the surrounding fiberglass and did a double layer of glass over the whole area.
The old glass was bubbling up along a few spots on the rail from the water logging. This one was the worst. After sanding through the damaged fiberglass, I had to fill some volume back in with q-cel, then I used a double layer of glass for the patch.
More q-cel fill ins. Here again were poorly done old patches. One of the corners straight up fell off in the water. The other I pulled off while doing these repairs.
Opposite of the bad crack on the base, the deck had some bad spider-webbing. I sanded this area down and then just laid fresh glass over top.
I wanted to make damn sure these didn't come loose, so I built up several (I think 4) layers of glass before sanding it back into shape.
Repaired dings on the nose
Finalized reshaping the deck. I probably spent upwards of 15 hours sanding down the fiberglass patches to get the shape back. So happy I had a power sander.
Final sanding/reshaping finished. All of the final pre-paint sanding was with 80 grit. In hindsight, 240 grit would have been fine. There were a couple of spots where sanding scratches showed through the paint, though these were hardly noticeable after the clear coat.
I wanted to keep track of the stringer for the main feature, so I laid some painter's tape down before painting.
I filled in the fin boxes with tape as well to keep them clean.
I wanted to make a dark/light stripe design on the base because there is some good evidence that sharks avoid this type of thing. Apparently it looks to them like a poisonous animal. I didn't want to just do black/white blocky stripes though, so instead I used contrasting colors in a spiral design. To make the spiral, I hung a bottle of dish soap from the ceiling, punctured a hole in the bottom of the bottle, and set it swinging.
Before washing the soap off
It required a bit more scrubbing than I anticipated,
but the result was pretty sick. I don't know whether this will be at all effective if a shark wants to taste me, but I like the design just the same.
I laid tape around the rails to protect the base design, then I dripped the paint from a blue Posca pen by removing the felt tip and activating the valve with a chop stick. I used a rag to streak the paint. Finally, I sprayed around the rails with blue, with a bit of fading from the tail to the nose.
Black and gold Posca pens for the rail lines.
Planning out the deck design and shading technique.
Painter's tape across the deck to set the stencil. I sketched out the trident with pencil and lots of measuring, erasing, re-sketching, etc. Then cut out the stencil with a hobby knife.
I initially tried to use a Posca pen for the yellow base color, but found this to be streaky and ineffective.
I went back over the yellow with aerosol.
Orange, gold, silver, and black Posca pens for the shading and outline.
Final result. For the clear coat, I first did a light tack coat, followed by two layers of clear. Then I wet sanded that at 320 grit to smooth out the texture from the paint. After washing that off, I finished up with a final layer of clear. It has a bit of orange peal, which I may buff out in the future, but for now I'm thrilled with the result.
Big kudos to my boss for lending me his power sander for something like 6 weeks. Also to Fieldey for her great how-to page and painting advice over email. Check out her site, she has some awesome designs:
How to paint a surfboard ~ Fieldey style
Also thanks to the guys at Crush City in Brisbane for helping with paint selection!