Deck Art Preservation: Caring for Graphics and Custom Designs

deck art preservation caring for graphic and custom designs

The graphics on skateboards are a key part of their design. The art on a deck helps skateboarders stand out, find their board in a crowd, or give the board a personal touch that the skater identifies with. Unfortunately, deck art can erode with time due to wear and tear. So, how can you care for and preserve the deck art or designs on your skateboard?

To preserve your deck art and help it last longer, you should:

  • Make sure the trucks on the skateboard are secure 
  • Inspect the grip tape and confirm it is intact 
  • Keep your skateboard clean
  • Store your board properly 
  • Replace parts that are getting old 

Understanding how to care for the art on your skateboard will help you get the most out of your favorite boards. 

How Can You Maintain The Deck Art On Your Skateboard?

There is a lot you can do to make sure the deck art on your skateboard looks as fresh as possible. Let’s look at each of them.

Check The Tightness of Your Skateboard Trucks 

Trucks are the pieces under the skateboard that hold the wheels and keep them in place. If they are too tight, they can pull on the grip tape that covers the deck art and cause air bubbles. When the air bubbles form, they lift the tape from the deck art, leaving it vulnerable to scratches and scuffs. On the other hand, if the tape is too loose, it can come off or lift from the graphic altogether. It will lose its ability to protect the art.

Make sure the trucks on your board are on securely enough that you feel some pushback when attempting to move them. Putting them on any tighter increases the risk they will pinch the grip tape. How to check the tightness of your skateboard trucks.

Give Your Board a Once-Over 

You need to regularly inspect the grip tape and other parts of your board to make sure they stay in working order. Run your hands over the grip tape after they are washed to see if any dirt or debris comes off. Use a screwdriver or sharp object of your choice to remove any stuck-on grime. When cleaning the tape, always use tools that are sharp but have a blunt edge so that you avoid scratching or tearing it.

Inspect the other parts of the board for damage or misalignment as well. Any loose parts can cause you to have accidental crashes while riding and cause scuffs to the deck art.

Clean Your Skateboard Regularly 

Cleaning your skateboard at least once a month will keep the deck art and other parts of the skateboard looking like new. This also helps the skateboard last longer in general. How often your board needs to be cleaned depends on how often you ride. Someone who uses their skateboard every day should consider washing it once a week to keep it in shape.

The best way to clean your skateboard deck is to scrub it down with soapy water after detaching it from the wheels. Then dry it thoroughly with a clean towel and leave it to finish drying for a few days before using it. To clean the skateboard wheels without scrubbing away the protective plastic, use a toothbrush to wash them with dish soap and warm water. Clean out the tread of the wheels well to remove any stuck dirt or grime.

Store Your Skateboard In The Right Place 

Skateboards need to be kept somewhere that is cool and dry. Exposing your board to a humid wet environment can make the deck art crack and ruin the integrity of the graphics. Skateboards should also be protected from direct sunlight and exposure to UV rays. UV light will cause deck art to fade and warp with time.

Heat will cause your deck art to crack, This damages its integrity and also makes the deck itself weaker as a result. Learn more about storing your skateboard.

Replace Skateboard Parts As Needed 

To help your deck and the art on it last as long as possible, it is important to replace the parts of your skateboard as needed. The grip tape and bushings of the board are especially important to preserving the deck art.

To take off the old grip tape, gently heat the edge of a skateboard to allow the adhesive holding the tape to come loose. Then, use the sharp edge of your choice to pull the edges of the tape up, and grip it, gently pulling the tape off of the board. Use sandpaper or a sanding tool to remove leftover residue from the old grip tape. When you are ready to apply new tape, lay it over the deck and make sure it is big enough to cover it.

Stick the tape to the board by removing the back and placing it with the sticky side down onto the board. Slowly press the tape down, working from one side of the board to the other to ensure it is secure. You can use a filing tool to remove any excess tape from the edges. As you press the edges of the tape down, a white line will start to appear from the pressure that will help you take off the tape. Poke holes in the tape where you add the trucks to your skateboard to give them space to securely attach to the deck.

Bushings are the rubber rings that surround the main pin on skateboard trucks. They need to be replaced on a regular schedule. Smooth turns on a skateboard are possible because of them. As you ride your skateboard, the bushings have residue buildup in them, just like the trucks. They also start to break down and become soft due to the pressure. The softer the bushings get, the more your skateboard will start to lean when you ride. To replace them, you have to take off the trucks and disassemble them. Clean each piece, replace the old bushings with new ones, then put the trucks back together and tighten them to the deck.


Preserving the deck art on your skateboard can seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of things you can do to make sure it lasts. From cleaning the board to storing it right to replacing worn parts, choose the method or methods that work best for you and how you skateboard.


Warehouse Skateboards.
Element Brand

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