I am sure most of you know how to do this but for those who do not I will be taking you through the steps I use for putting a layer of glass frit on the board as griptape.
First there are a few different ways that people on here have done this. For instance @Sender use epoxy which works very nicely but depending on where you are it may not be readily available or the price tag may be too high. You can also use lucid grip which uses glass frit but is a spray on adhesive and it doesn’t last which when people say glass frit doesn’t last like real grip tape that is what they thinking of because honestly the adhesive is shit. What I use is waterbase spar urethane. I learned this about 5 or 6 years ago now on silverfish longboard forum. I’m sure most of you guys remember the fish it was a great knowledge base and just wish I had saved some of the articles and write ups as it was very informative.
What you will need
Depending on the method you will be using will determine the materials you will need for this write up I will be using the spar urethane method.
- Decent quality brush: I use these Brush 1 Brush 2 Brush 3
- Chip Brush
- Spar urethane: I personally use waterbased minwax spar I would also recommend general finish high performance poly
- Sand paper the directions say 220 I have used 400-800.
- Tack cloth
- Glass Frit:
First you are going to get the wood or painted surface smooth by lightly sanding the deck If you are going over a painted be careful not to go over the same spot to much as you will wear through the paint. Use a tack cloth to remove the dust so your coat has a clean surface.
Next grab your brush and spar urethane and and start coating the board with the spar. It is best to use nice even strokes and to not over brush the spar. I would recommend using waterbased as it is easier to clean up and dry in about 2 hours for a recoat. The main issue with waterbased is that since it dries quick you are going to want to do the first strokes quick so you don’t end up over brushing it. I like to get a healthy amount in the brush so it can do a 40 inch longboard in one stroke from nose to tail before redipping the brush back in the can. Make sure to pay attention to any drips of spar down the sides of the deck. Nothing worse then thinking your completely done with the deck and you walk away to let it dry only to find a spar urethane booger hanging from the bottom of the board.
After that coat dries you are going to lightly sand the spar urethane. You will probably notice small spot after you think you are done sanding that look like this.
Those are high spots in the clear coat. It is up to you if you want to get them out but it is ok not to as glass frit will be going over it. I would recommend getting the larger areas out. Once you are done with sanding tack cloth the deck again to remove the dust.
Repeat the previous 2 steps until you get a total of 4 coats on the deck.
Once you have 4 coats on the deck, you are ready for the glass frit layer. Before putting a layer of spar urethane down get your glass frit ready. I like to use a salt shaker so I can easily and quickly control where the glass is going. Once you have your glass frit ready, coat the deck top of the deck with a nice thick layer of spar. Keep in mind to look for any drip over going down the side of the deck.
Next quickly lay out the glass frit and sprinkle it around your deck making sure that all the spots are covers. It helps if there is some sort of light directly over the board so you can look at the deck from different angles making sure every part you want gripped is gripped.
After letting that dry check to see if there is any loose glass and you can either brush it off with your hand lightly or use a shop vac and suck it up. Once of the excess frit is gone use your chip brush and put a coat or 2 depending on how thick of a coat of spar over frit layer. This will seal in the glass frit. Once you are done let it sit and dry.
Spar urethane has a cure time where it reaches its maximum hardness. Usually it is 20-30 days. I would let the deck sit for atleast a week before riding it.
Using the glass frit let your boards graphic or paint on top show through. Plus it shows off the grain of the wood and we all know that the grain is what drives the girls wild.