If you’ve got the space at home, then setting up your own axe throwing area is well worth it. You’ll be able to practice any time and it’ll save you a fortune.

If you’d like to learn how to paint an axe target then keep reading. We’ve created this guide which includes all the steps to get the job done.

Steps to paint an axe target

Follow these instructions to make your own axe target the easy way.

1. Gather supplies

  • A few basic supplies are all that’s needed to get started:
  • Tape measure
  • 15” or longer piece of string
  • Sharpies or 15mm tip paint markers
  • Drill and screws
  • Soda can

2. Select the right wood

Choosing the best wood for a target is an important step. Although most types of soft wood will work, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t have any knots, especially near the bullseye! They’ll cause axes to bounce off the target, even if it’s a good throw.

Look for soft wood like spruce or pine; any wood that isn’t knotty or dense and heavy. The boards should be 2×10” and cut to 4 feet in length. They’re often sold in 8’ lengths (or longer) at hardware stores.

3. Locate the bullseye

To the center lengthwise, measure two feet from the top end down, using a tape measure. Mark it with a pencil.

Measure the width of the board at the same spot you marked with a pencil. This midpoint of your measurement will mark the bullseye.

Screw a small screw into the center until it sticks out about one inch. It should be firmly in place, without any wiggle.

Tip: It’s okay if the bullseye isn’t perfectly in the center of the board. If there’s a knot right in the middle, then move it over a little.

4. Prep the string

Marking a piece of string is a simple way to mark the radius of the three rings on the target. To begin, tie a small loop at the end of one side of the string so that you can hook it onto the screw.

Hold the string next to a ruler so that it’s taut without any bends. Mark the string at 3.5”, 8.5”, and 13.5”.

  • The bullseye has a 3½” radius or 7” diameter.
  • The first ring has an 8½” radius or 17” diameter.
  • The outside ring has a 13½” radius or 27” diameter. 

5. Mark out the rings

Hook the string’s loop over the screw and hold a paint marker next to the first mark. Begin looping the marker around the center point, ensuring the string is straight as you circle around. Once the circle is complete, repeat this step, with the next to rings.

6. Draw the clutch

Position the base of a can exactly 15” above the bullseye’s center. Trace around the outside of the can using a pencil and then color it in using any shade of your choice. If you’re not sure how the point scoring works, discover how to score axe throwing here.

7. Place the target

The first consideration here is safety, so make sure you’re well away from other people and animals. A large tree trunk is great for attaching a target or make your own base if you’re feeling motivated. You can attach it using screws or nails.

When you attach the target, it needs to be 5’3” (63 inches) off the ground.   

Commonly asked questions

What is the best wood for a target?

Spruce and pine are both excellent types of wood for making an axe-throwing target. Look for wood that isn’t too hard as the axe blade won’t stick; however, very soft wood should be avoided as the target will quickly degrade.

What are the axe throwing target ring dimensions?

The official radius measurements for the bullseye and two outer rings are 3.5”, 8.5”, and 13.5”. Keep in mind these are official measurements and you’re free to adjust these however you like.

How far away from the target do I stand to throw?

You should stand roughly 12 feet from the target when throwing. The front foot is allowed to reach as far over the 12-foot mark as you like, while the back foot must remain planted behind the line.

What are the blue dots on the target in axe throwing?

The blue dots are known as the “kill shot” and offer 8 points if you land the axe in one. They can only be used twice per match and must be called before throwing.

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