Can You Paint a Dartboard?

Can You Paint a Dartboard

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, you can paint a dartboard, and Acrylic Latex paint is the best option for most boards.
  • Cork and wooden dartboards require priming before painting.
  • Painting without priming can harden the surface of porous dartboards and cause bounce outs.
  • Priming doesn’t work on sisal or hemp fibers, so a food or fabric dye is needed instead of water based paint.
  • Plastic dartboards are the easiest to paint when sprayed. 

Choosing the Right Materials to Paint a Dartboard

Understanding the Different Dartboard Materials

Different types of materials are used to make different types of dartboards. This is important to understand because painting a dartboard, is not as easy as putting paint on walls or paper.

There are four different types of dartboards:

  • Cork
  • Bristle
  • Plastic
  • Wooden

Using the wrong paint, or applying it in the wrong way, can interfere with the quality of your old dartboard.

The wrong kid of paint can start to crack and chip off, fade away, harden the surface or fill up the holes on certain boards. So choosing the right paint products according to the specific dartboard material is vital.

Depending on the type of dartboard you are painting, you will need some of the following items:

  • Brushes
  • Masking tapes
  • Newspapers
  • Pencil
  • Primer
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic latex paint

Setting Up the Work Area to Avoid Making a Mess

Before you begin painting a dartboard, it’s a good idea to prep the area first.

Some things may seem obvious, but often the most simple things are the ones completely forgotten.

  • For instance, make sure the room is well ventilated, which will also help with drying time
  • Allow at least 24 hours to let the paint dry completely before playing on the dartboard 
  • Clean the surface of the board, to remove any dust or dirt particles before starting, to give the best chance of a great finish.

I would also highly suggest, laying newspapers, or some kind of old cloth, below the board, to protect surfaces from spills or stains. 

How to Paint a Dartboard?

Painting Cork Dartboards

The most popular type of paint used to paint cork dartboards is acrylic latex paint.

However, because cork boards are made from porous materials, you can’t paint the water based paint directly onto the board.

  1. It will suck up the paint and leave the playing surface hardened like a slab of concrete
  2. The tip of your darts will have a hard time sticking into the board 

Follow these steps if you want to know how to paint a cork dartboard?

  • Prime the board before painting.
  • Spray paint or using an airbrush as opposed to using a brush is faster with a cleaner finish and is easier to apply equal coverage.
  • Use masking tape to cover the segments you are not yet painting.
  • Lay the dartboard flat on the ground or any straight surface in a well ventilated area.
  • Use a newspaper below the board, to protect the surfaces and floors.

Alternatively, you can use food or clothing dyes, as opposed to acrylic paint. 

One of the main benefits to using these products: You won’t need to prime the board because they are designed to be used on porous items.

Painting Wooden Dartboards

Much like painting cork boards, acrylic paint works really well on wooden dartboards, so the process is very similar, prime the board beforehand. 

However, when priming wooden boards, it can require a little more work because it can leave a rough surface, that usually requires sanding.

Applying Primer for Wooden Dartboards

Primer helps in creating a smooth surface on the board, which allows for better adherence of the paint.

  1. Apply a thin layer of primer evenly over the entire board using a brush or roller and let it dry.
  2. Lightly sand the surface with sandpaper to remove any rough spots.
  3. Clean and dry the board thoroughly, ensuring that there is no dust or debris left.
  4. You may need to repeat steps 1 to 3 several times, depending on the type of texture you like.
  5. Once you’re happy, you can paint your wooden board.

It is important to note that some primers require specific numbers of coats or drying times between each coat – check the manufacturer’s instructions before using them.

Painting Bristle Dartboards

The major difference in painting a bristled dartboard, compared to wooden or cork ones, is that primer won’t work when applied to the sisal or hemp fibers.

And as you can’t paint directly onto the board, you need to go another route.

  • Food dyes and fabric dyes are an alternative option to use on cork boards
  • In truth, they are the only real choice you have if you want to paint a bristle dartboard

Painting Plastic Dartboards

Because the holes are already built in to plastic dartboards, it tends to be easier to paint plastic boards than other types.

However, you need to be careful not to fill the holes with paint, which is why using a brush is not the ideal approach. 

Using a spray can or an airbrush to apply the acrylic paint is by far the best option on plastic boards in my opinion. You can use a brush, but you will need lots of patience as it can be a time-consuming, arduous job

  • If you go the brush route, make sure it’s a small one, with a narrow tip
  • Again, make sure the room is well ventilated and any other surfaces or other objects are covered, especially spraying paint onto the board
  • You will need to hold the can about 6–9 inches away from the surface of your dartboard
  • Residue can disperse outward, hence the need to cover nearby furnishings.

Final Thoughts on Can You Paint a Dartboard?

  • Painting a dartboard requires consideration of the type of board material.
  • To properly paint a dartboard, the board should be primed and painted with a color that matches the material.
  • Plastic dartboards can be sprayed paint or painted using small brushes, but care must be taken to avoid clogging the holes.
  • Cork dartboards should be primed first and then painted using Acrylic Latex paint. They can also be painted with food colors or clothing dye, which requires no priming.

FAQs About Can You Paint a Dartboard?

Can You Paint a Bristle Dartboard?

Yes, you can paint a bristle dartboard, but you need to be careful about the type of paint you use. Acrylic latex paint is usually a good choice for painting on bristle dartboards.

How Do You Paint a Cork Dartboard?

To paint a cork dartboard, you need to prime the surface first with a quality primer. This will help prevent the board surface from getting hardened and avoid darts bouncing off too often. You can use Acrylic Latex paint or even spray colors on cork dartboards.

What Materials Do You Need for a DIY Paint Job on a Dartboard?

The materials you need for a DIY paint job on a dartboard include paint pens or brushes, paint primer, masking tape, newspapers, and, most importantly, the type of paint that is suitable for your board material.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on a Dartboard?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on a dartboard. Acrylic is a water-based formula that fits almost every dartboard, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a quick and easy fix.


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