Snowboard bindings are the joint between your legs and the snowboard. They are an integral piece of the riding experience. The bindings are a direct connection to the snowboard because they transfer muscle movements to the board.
Because of this, bindings get damaged the more time you spend on your snowboard. The more you use them, the more scratched and chipped paint they will have. This happens to all snowboard enthusiasts and many of them wonder if it is possible to get rid of these damages by spray painting their snowboard bindings.
It is possible to spray paint snowboard bindings, but with a bit of skill and caution. Before spraypainting the board, make sure to clean and degrease it thoroughly and your paint might stand a chance of surviving on the snowboard’s surface for some time. If possible, leave this task to professionals.
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Types of Snowboard Bindings
There are different types of bindings, each designed to accommodate the rider’s level of ability and terrain, as well as the flex from the boots. Based on the riding style, here are the following snowboard binding types:
- All-mountain bindings that are great for any type of terrain.
- Freestyle bindings are a great fit for jumps, spins, and other tricks. They usually offer soft flex for easier maneuvering.
- Freeride and Splitboard are the top recommendations for unmarked backcountry, where the binding flex is stiffer for greater control.
- Powder bindings are also usually stiffer for greater control on wider and longer boards that will float over deep powdered snow.
Bindings can be either strap or speed-entry and vary slightly in design.
- Strap bindings are the most common. They feature straps that ratchet down to secure the boots in place and prevent movement of the highbacks. Their multiple adjustment options provide excellent support and cushioning.
- Speed-entry bindings have reclining highbacks that allow quick and easy access. This time-consuming feature is preferred by casual riders. This type of binding provides foot stability with a yoke system that applies uniform pressure across the forefoot. On the downside, they are a bit heavier than strap bindings and are generally suitable for soft and firm-flexing boots.
Depending on your needs, do the most research you can on the specific model you need or have before trying to spray paint them. Customized equipment takes time, so invest yours into having a good and quality end result.
How to Prepare for Painting Snowboard Bindings?
There is very little information on forums and chats on what is the most appropriate way to paint snowboard bindings. Considering that they spend their working hours shoved in snow, it is no wonder they don’t have such an important role when combining your snowboarding outfits. Equipment should be comfortable, safe, and functional. Aesthetics come after that, as snowboarding is awesome all on its own.
People will usually attempt to paint top sheets rather than bindings. But any type of custom (and at home) paint job should require some research, and the preparedness to fail.
Start by defining each section and the material used to make it your bindings. Decide on the surfaces you want to paint, and then research what type of paint works for those specific surfaces.
Ensure that the parts you don’t want to be painted are covered, and cover the desired surfaces with a few coats of clear paint to protect your work.
People who snowboard and are acquainted with their equipment will know more about the materials it is made from, its characteristics, and its weaknesses. One of the first things to keep in mind is that, even if you are a snowboarder, you are an amateur when it comes to painting the pieces of equipment.
Modesty will increase your attention to detail and technique. Start by cleaning the binding thoroughly. After that, you can buff it with fine steel wool. Use the paint in two coats, and it can sometimes even last up to an entire season.
Practice Makes Perfect
You might be wondering how you can achieve this level of skill and make your snowboard bindings look awesome. Practice on other surfaces.
Determining the proper spraying distance will make a significant difference to the ‘look’ being amateur or closer to the ‘factory finish’.
People new to painting probably won’t have the necessary patience to do so. This can easily be prevented with some research and first-hand experiences on forums, and even DIY videos on youtube.
Spraying from a distance is a slower process, but if you are too close to the bindings the paint can get runny, and build up in unwanted areas. Also, keep in mind that the paint should dry, or rather cure for over a week in a room temperature and dry area. After everything has dried, consider doing a coat of clear paint (again, from a proper distance) for additional protection.
The Longevity of the Paint Depends on the Type
Some snowboarders love to maintain their equipment on their own. For example, spray painting old bindings, such as the forum republicks, can provide great results.
It requires preparation, so start considering sanding down the binding. This way the paint has a proper and clean surface to adhere to. After that, you can consider using a type of automotive truck liner pain, as it lasts long and is somewhat pliable.
Another option is to try using high-temperature rated paints. Specifically, the ones recommended being used on engine blocks, barbeque grills, or exhaust. knowing that the exhaust systems are always exposed to heat and other outdoor elements, it is a good conclusion to assume that this type of paint will last even on snowboard bindings. The downside to this type of paint (and probably every other) is that it requires re-application every few months.
Keep in mind to check with the salesperson, or the manufacturer directly, whether or not that type of paint be used on plastic or not!
Why Spray Painting Your Snowboard Bindings Might Be a Bad Idea
There are many reasons why you should not even consider doing this. The first that come to mind are that:
- You do not have enough experience in painting to do a proper job, and
- The paint might get into the mechanism and jam it.
Sometimes people who want to sell their old bindings might spray paint them to make them look prettier and less used in photographs. You will only be able to see what was done to them once your order arrives. Is it worth risking your health and safety by using them?
There are different types of paint, and people might think that it is the paint that can stir up trouble. The true culprit is the type of chemical that was used to prep the bindings for the paint job. Even worse, the bindings may be faulty and covered up with a few layers of coat.
How to Remove Paint From Spray-Painted Bindings?
It might seem like a great idea to simply use acetone to remove the paint from the plastic, but keep in mind that some chemical compounds may start to dissolve the plastic itself, weakening the overall structure.
Acetone is a strong solvent and it can remove the original finish from the bindings with the spray paint. It will also melt the surface layer of the plastic, leaving it with a glossy finish. You can see what happens if you simply drip some acetone over a small piece of styrofoam. It will eat straight through it.
A better option is to use simple denatured alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol). Try to find some with a higher alcohol percentage, around 70% should be sufficient. Use it combined with a fine-grit scotch brilla pad. Put some elbow in it, and try not to scuff up the original binding (if it was previously not scraped off).
Brake fluid is another alternative as it will dissolve any spray paint. It is safe for plastic, and there is a small chance that it could even harm the underlying finish because it was cured more appropriately than spray paint. Be sure to rinse off all the parts with water after you finish removing the paint, as water breaks down the brake fluid.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
People like to make the equipment worth their money, and would probably even go snowboarding with second-hand bindings that were painted before their knowledge. It might not be safe to consider removing the paint and replacing it. But on the other hand, they should be inspected before putting them to use.
The color of the bindings will not show so it is not as important. They are meant to be covered in snow and not cheap spray. But if you like your equipment a specific color, go to your ski shop and get new, safe ones and a good fit.
Should You Spray Paint Snowboard Bindings?
Any type of binding takes a lot of abuse while using them. The result is scratched and chipped paint that looks bad and deteriorates the quality of the snowboard bindings. Flexing is another thing that does not look pretty on custom paint layers, consider this before going through with it.
However, if you decide that you need to paint your bindings prepare beforehand. By detailed cleaning and degreasing, your paint might stand a chance of surviving on the surface for some time. Keep in mind that using a primer and several coats are the only options, as you are constantly in the wet and cold snow while using them.
Spray painting is not as effective as plasti-dipping. Both options can last maybe one season but will require an additional paint coat by the end of the season to prepare for the next one.