How to Design Custom Running Boards

by Contributor

Running boards add a lot to the look of any vehicle but they can cost quite a bit from the dealer. Plus the ones from the dealer are ordinary. Do something different with your vehicle. Design your own running boards and make your vehicle distinct. Read on to learn more.

Know the year, make and model of your vehicle and all the measurements that go along with it. Know how long the running boards should be, where the brackets will fit and how this will affect your vehicle's wiring.

Buy brackets and accessories. Get brackets to hold the running boards to your vehicle and any wire harnesses, light kits and seals you need. What you choose to use will vary depending on your vehicle.

Place the brackets in the correct locations, and then cut a flat piece of metal to make the support plate. See that it fits properly before you move on to the next steps.

Start the painting job. Use professional auto-body paint so it won't crack or discolor. Ideally this should be done in a paint booth to keep dust particles from sticking to the wet paint.

Let the paint dry then add a non-slip surface to your running boards. This is essential to keep you safe during rain or snow.


  • check To save time consider buying plain running boards directly from the manufacturer. They come in neutral colors but are cut to the exact length you'll need. Design what you want on the running board without having to worry about cutting anything to the proper length.
  • check If you've never worked with metal consider buying custom running boards. There are numerous companies out there who will look at your vehicle and help you design something appealing.


  • close Don't worry about making the brackets on your own. This and any wire covers or seals you need are easily purchased and they won't be that noticeable. Save yourself some time and just buy these pieces from a dealer.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

More Articles