Painting A Pair Of Skis: Sanding

Step 3: Prep

Alright.  With all the thinking done and behind me it is time to get to it.  So before you get started what you need here is a place to set up shop.  A friends garage will do just fine.  If you want to continue to be friends with these people after the project you might want to set up a little painting booth.  Stack up some giant storage containers, tape some drop cloths to the garage door, and you got yourself a little work corner.  For sanding just throw an old blanket over some chairs and you got yourself a little workbench.

Before you get started don’t forget (like I did) to mark where the midsole is.  Put some tape on the bottom and transfer the line to the bottom of the ski.

Next step is sanding.  This is the point of no return.  So close your eyes, hold your breath, and go to it.  I was told by the guys at the auto body shop that I would only need to sand it with some 600 grit paper.  Just enough to take the top sheet off.  After about 10 seconds of that I realized that was going no where fast.  I ended up going down to 120 grit paper.  After that I went and hit them again with 220 grit paper.  Piece of advice:  don’t worry about getting every nook and crevice, in my attempt to do this I ended up messing up the sanding job and got some scratches in the skis that I couldn’t get out.  Unfortunately I didn’t see these until I got a coat of paint on.  The key here: take your time, go really slow, don’t rush it.




What you are looking for here is enough sanding to take the shine off the top.  You are not going to sand the color off the skis, just enough to get as much of the top sheet that you can.  You can tell in the pic below that it is dull around the middle and shiny up ant the top of the ski.  This is what you are looking for.


After that orbital sander had sufficiently turned my hand into a block of jello, I was ready to move on to the fun part-painting..


About Scott Zarse

I am a Firefighter for the Dallas Fire Department, I have been married for three years, no kids yet. Loving life here in Dallas.
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