Posted by: Mark | October 29, 2009

Surfboard Shelf Project

Over the last few weeks I’ve been tweeting with pictures about a surfboard shelf project my wife and I have been working on. We have finally completed it, and I thought it was worthwhile to post all the pictures together with a bit of a description of the steps. I want to also point out: my wife and I never do stuff like this. I’m not a handyman nor a craftsy guy, I prefer film for my creative outlet, so we both feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment in completing this.


First off, surfboards break all the time, especially at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, where the waves can be very powerful. I took this picture a few weeks ago, thankfully it’s not my board.


This, however, is my board. I bought a longboard to try and hopefully score some more surf, as it would allow me to paddle out on small days, but it buckled one day in the water. I figured that a longboard is a huge canvas that could be somehow used for something cool, and after brainstorming a bit, we decided to go with making shelves for our guest room. As you can see, Augustus was an integral part of the observation of this project.


The first step was to cut the board down into usable parts. I took a saw and sawed along the wood stringer that runs through the middle of the board, and also made a clean line cut along the part where the board had broken. After sawing, we applied white primer to the board so that when we painted it, it would stick.


After priming, we explored designs a lot, and decided to do a Hawaiian flower, along with some traditional stripes. We found a great stencil online for a Hawaiian flower, and then cut it out with a razor.


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From there, it was time to paint. We ended up going with a creamy yellow base for the board, with a blue and green pinstripe leading to our Hawaiian flower. The painting was one of the more fun steps: we set up shop in the garage, played music, and in general really enjoyed ourselves. After the paint dried, with several coat applications, we got a sealant spray can to add a bit of a glossy finish to the shelf, and also to prevent it from chipping.

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Finally, it was time to install. I searched for the studs in the wall, and couldn’t find them. As such, we got dry wall anchors to put in the wall, and then screwed the brackets into the anchors. From there, it was easy: just rest the surfboard on the brackets, and we have a complete shelf! The pictures are only the first shelf, as the second shelf had a bit of paint that chipped out that we need to re-coat before installation.


Of course, we had to sign the fin, and the pictures we have up there are one of me surfing (makes sense, you can see the picture here) as well as a pretty awesome collage that a former student of mine made from pictures she took while at the Daraja Academy this summer.

Rad? I think so.



  1. this is the bomb!!!!! looks even better than i thought it would. (and i tend to have high expectations šŸ˜‰ )

  2. Complimenti, bellissimo lavoro!!!!I love you suoc/mom

  3. you guys are talented…seems like you two can do anything! šŸ™‚

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