How to colour your Kite Alaia?

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The Kai-Ply DIY Kite specific Alaia coloured in orange
You can make your board whatever colour that makes you feel good

Our video series explains that most paints work with wood, obviously, you have to choose the appropriate paint if you are going to glass your board with composite resin. You can also use epoxy pigment colours to tint the resin and achieve sublime deep translucent effects by using tinted resins. I like using acrylic poster paints that can be easily applied directly to the wood and then sanded back to create a kind of shabby-chic look that gives our boards an identifiable unique appearance. 

The way I achieve this is via a kitchen sponge, I use both the sponge side and the rougher green abrasive part to ensure that the acrylic penetrates deep into the grain of the paulownia. Then I sand with 120 grit paper in the direction of the grain, obviously to create a natural-looking coloured grain effect. This serves two purposes, firstly it allows the epoxy to have contact with the wood directly, and secondly, it provides a key to which the epoxy can penetrate the acrylic being absorbed into the wood. 

Firefly colour application to enhance the grain of the Paulownia
Mixing colours to achieve grain enhancements

You can also use watercolours because the epoxy will migrate into the wood encapsulating the colour in the resin. The only downside is that watercolours have a tendency to fade and lose their brilliance relatively quickly.

If you want to tint your board with resin there are endless numbers of YouTube videos that explain how to mix and be creative with epoxy. You can take inspiration from the latest trend of Live-Edge Resin filled tables that have become popular in recent years.

If you want to make your board a uniform colour you can apply the glass-fiber, followed by a hot coat, then apply a solid resin colour or sprayed paint with two-part polyurethane colour followed by a clear varnish.

You can even use the Japanese method of ‘shou sugi ban 焼杉板’ to waterproof your board, this involves burning the wood directly to create a burnt finish however, I think it would be wise to skin your board in epoxy afterward, preserving the artistic finish & ensuring your Kilaia work of art will be safe in an aquatic environment.

There are endless numbers of ways of tinting, colouring and subtly colouring your Kite Alaia – it’s just a question of using your imagination and experimenting.  Please keep us informed of your spectacular results via the comments page.

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