Court Painting

DIY Center Court Logo

The following is a center court logo for a basketball court in New Jersey.  The finish is with tennis court paint so this logo would be the same for a basketball, tennis or pickleball court.  I will be adding the products and a materials list shortly.

This is the desired end-state.

Now on to the creation of the logo.

Step # 1- Create the vinyl.  I don’t have pictures of this portion as it was outsourced.  If you have anyone with a vinyl plotter or if you reach out to a sign company, they should be able to provide you with the vinyl to create a center court logo.  One item of note is the method or technique on how you use the vinyl for a project like this.  In many cases, vinyl is made and then placed directly on the surface you’re going to paint or sticker using transfer paper and other techniques.  Because this surface is tennis court paint, there’s a great deal of sand in it so the vinyl and transfer paper won’t stick to the surface so you end up with a great deal of peeling and wind blowing your vinyl all over the place.

Blank gray basement floor

Step # 2- Find a clean and open working space. For me, it’s my basement.

First sheet of cardboard

Step # 3- Start laying out your canvas. In this case, I use cardboard sheets. I chose cardboard sheets for two reasons.  The first is so they can be reusable in the event you need to do another of the same logo or to use the logo to spray other courts and lawn logos.  The second is they’re easier to work with when you’re outside in the windy elements.

Taping the top row of cardboard sheets

Step # 4- Start putting your cardboard sheets together. Be deliberate on this phase so your cardboard sheets stay square the rest of the way.  Tape them even slightly crooked and you’ll be wrestling with them that way for the rest of the project.

Completed cardboard canvas

Step # 5- Complete your cardboard canvas.  (Notice my use of the wrestling mat for padding and to walk around the project.  I can’t help myself.  A wrestling mat is my preferred method of knee padding.)

Step # 6- Put your vinyl on the cardboard.  This is your chance to make sure everything is centered and lined up.  Due to its size, this vinyl came in two pieces.  If you look closely, you may be able to see where and how I lined up the different parts of the logo.

Create logo bridges

Step # 7- Create logo bridges.  Because you’re going to be cutting parts of the logo out, you don’t want parts to become separate.  You want to keep the logo complete and building bridges does that.

Clean look of logo after cutting

Step # 8- Cut the logo.  I used a basic box cutter.  It’s very tedious, yes, but I wanted to show this operation with the least cost possible.  I have done this with some handheld cardboard cutters that are much faster.  You can also use CNC routers and such.

Peel the vinyl

Step # 9- Peel the vinyl. (Now you see why the bridges are important)

All ready to go

Step # 10- Fold it up and you’re ready to go.

Blank canvas

Step # 11- Clean off your blank canvas.

Step # 12- Square your cardboard

Tape off your court logo

Step # 13- Tape off your court.  This might seem like overkill but it’s the only way on this surface to get tape to stick and to get clean lines.  In this scenario, we used 6″ tape in order to minimize the number of passes we would have to make with 2″ tape.  You can buy it easily online.  Let me know and I can get you some as well.

Trace the outline

Step # 14- Trace the stencil.  I used a standard Sharpie.

Cut the logo

Step # 15- Cut the logo.  Keep in mind for this logo.  I added an extra border that is not in the cardboard cut out.  I used a handheld sports taping machine to do a 2″ border.

2nd coat of paint

Step # 16- Paint the logos.  I used a couple different paint rollers.  It’s not that important what you use.  You can use a brush too.

Peel the tape.  (Trust me.  It’s all centered.)

Step # 17- Peel the tape.

Completed center court logos

Step # 18- Clean up any loose ends and admire the completed project.

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