Resurfacing Your Sketch Board

This is my sketch board. It has seen better days. It is covered in ink and paint. There are also cut marks from where I have used an Exacto knife on it. So what to do?

Well I decided that I was going to paint over all of that stuff and then put a layer of laminating sheet down over it to protect the surface. The laminate sheet will also make it easy for me to wipe off any paint that happens to get on the surface of my sketch board. If you work with paper a lot you know that if the surface you are working on has stains on it, it can get on your nice clean white paper, even if those stains are long dried.

The first thing I did was put some white paint on my sketch board. I put a couple of layers on. Why did I do this? Ok technically I could have just painted whatever I wanted to paint on my sketch board. It might have turned out fine, but I probably would have used a lot more paint. I will tell you why that is. The sketch board was a darker brown color. Most colors of paint are quite wimpy when it comes to a surface being a dark color. The dark colors like green and blue are especially wimpy when it comes to painting on a darker surface. They just don’t have what it takes to beat out the color of the surface, thus you have to use more coats than you would have to keep the surface color from showing through. The white acts kind of like primer, if I would have actually had some primer I wouldn’t have had to use so much white, but the white paint worked just fine.While painting your board remember to lift up your clips every so often to keep them from being painted to the board.

I let the white paint dry a while and deliberated on what I wanted to paint on my sketch board. I could just paint it a solid color and that would work fine. I could do stripes or a checkerboard pattern. I could make an original piece of artwork on it. I could just paint a big flower in the middle of it. I eventually decided that I wanted to play on the sketch board not actually being made of real wood and paint a wood grain pattern on it. Yes, sadly sketch boards aren’t usually made of real wood, but made of a composite of various things.

Once my design was painted on the sketch board and it was dry I got my laminating film out to cover the board up. When I was measuring the laminating film I measured the film so I could have an extra inch around all the sides. The sketch board is so big that it needs more than one width of the laminating film. That is ok, a bit tricky, but it’s fine. The sketch board is taller than it is wide, so I measured the film lengthwise against the sketch board. That means my seam will be running vertically instead of horizontally on the board. I am also putting my seam on the side with the hand hold.

The clips are the hardest part about putting this laminating film on the board. You are going to need an Exacto knife for this. Start at the very top of the board with your laminating film. Press down behind the clips to get the film to stick above the clips. Use your exacto knife to cut around the clip. This will make a rectangular shaped hole for your clips to go through.

That is really going to be the hardest part about putting the laminating film on the board. Once you have the film smooth around the clips continue to place the film on the board. Make sure you don’t leave air bubbles in the film and smooth it as you go.

The next tricky part is getting the seam correct. Peel back the paper on your film all along one vertical side of it. Place it exactly beside the other piece of film. You should not be able to see the surface of the sketch board between the two pieces of film. They should be touching, but not overlapping. If you overlap them you will have a ridge on the surface of your sketch board ant that makes for mistakes in drawings. Likewise if you have a gap between the two sheets of laminating film you will also have problems with your drawings. So put them right up next to one another. It may take a few minutes to get it right, but you can do it.

Once the surface is covered, push all the air bubbles out, starting in the middle and going to the edges. The reason I left extra around the sides was to be able to fold it over onto the back. I wanted the edges to have the laminating film on them too. You don’t have to fold the laminating film over the sides you could just laminate it up to the edge and that would work just as well.

Ok,  I laminated over the handhold on my sketchboard. I’m going to get rid of the laminating film there. Take your exacto knife and cut into that area as shown to the left. This double “Y” shape is going to make it possible for you to fold the laminating film over the back here, but again you don’t have to fold it over you could just laminate to the edge.

Once all the laminating film is on your sketch board go to your kitchen and get a wooden spoon. Yes, a wooden spoon. You are going to use this to rub the surface of your laminating film. Essentially we are trying to make the film firmly adhere to the surface of the sketch board and we are trying to push it down into the paint. You may actually need to rub your board down with the spoon every so often to keep the laminating film in its place.

Here is my finished board. Those stray paint marks are gone, the ink is gone, and now the surface is smooth and protected. I can just wipe paint off of it now. The laminating sheet can be replaced if it needs to be replaced every so often. As long as you let your paint dry completely before applying the laminating film, the film shouldn’t pull your paint off with it. You can also clean up your clips if you want. I left the paint on mine, but I don’t really care if it’s on there or not.

So if you have a horribly stained up sketch board you can resurface it using this method.

 

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About Ashe

I always said my dream job would be to get paid for sitting in a corner and drawing all day long. Now, I have to ammend that idea of my dream job. I think I would like to sit in a corner and be able to get paid for drawing and writing.
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