Ah, imagine if the pirate ships a few centuries ago were able to paint their decks in various colors. Boating wouldn’t have been so gloomy, right? Luckily, today we can put whatever nuance we want on the floor of our boat, but to do so, we need to obtain the best boat deck paint available.
So here, we are giving you this extensive guide on how to purchase the right product but also how to carry out your deck painting project. Before you get to our tips, make sure you check out the reviews of boat deck paint that we have compiled because your project will be doomed without the most suitable paint for your needs.
Best Boat Deck Paint Comparison Chart
TotalBoat Non-Skid Deck Paint
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Rust-Oleum Anti-Slip Additive
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Liquid Rubber Deck Sealant
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Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System
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Rubberseal Liquid Rubber Coating
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Interlux Slip Resistant Deck Paint
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Best Boat Deck Paints (New List 2021)
So, check out the paints that we have selected, but don’t assume that No. 1 may automatically be the best one.
1. TotalBoat Non-Skid Deck Paint
Thanks to being one part polyurethane, this paint makes the surface it covers durable and non-slippery. This product features a UV formula that ensures that the paint won’t peel off or fade when exposed to the outdoor weather conditions. You will find the surface covered with it, easy to clean.
The finish won’t get scratched or wear away if you scrub it. Apart from applying this product on your boat deck, you can use it for stairs, docks, swim platforms, floors, and everywhere else you need secure foothold.
One galloon will be enough to cover 250 to 300 square feet. Keep in mind that it is advisable to apply two coatings to make the traction more efficient. You can use either a brush or a roller to put this paint on wood, fiberglass, or painted surfaces.
The product comes in four colors, which are suitable for boat decks.
- An advantage of this product is that it withstands not only the weather conditions but also scrubbing and cleaning.
- Since this paint is less abrasive than sand impregnated coatings, it is easier to sweep off.
- This deck paint is easy to apply and adheres well if the surface has been adequately prepared beforehand.
- You can cover around 300 square feet with one galloon, which is more than what similar products offer.
- The time needed for the paint to fully solidify is pretty long. It may take from 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the air humidity.
- As it has an oil base and it is pretty thick, the paint cannot be applied by spray gun unless you thin it.
2. Rust-Oleum Anti-Slip Additive
This Rust-Oleum additive is intended to be mixed with oil-based paints or with latex to provide a non-slippery coating for different types of surfaces such as wood, concrete, and fiberglass. You should be warned that you cannot use this substance by itself. Don’t be afraid to mix it with paint as it won’t change its color.
To understand the effect of this anti-slip better, you can imagine that you add fine white sand to the latex or paint. The texture of this product resembles pumice, which is the reason it makes the surfaces covered with it non-skid. You can be assured that the anti-slip features of this material will be active as long as the coating exists.
If you intend to apply the mixture of paint and this additive on waxed materials, you have to remove the wax first. Make sure that you have prepared the surface well, and it is clean and dry.
- Being mixed with paint or latex, this additive is easy to apply.
- This substance has proved to be durable – its anti-slip effect lasts as long as the coating does.
- The Rust-Oleum additive doesn’t change the color of the paint.
- You can put this product on floors to make sure that they are not slippery because it makes the surface it covers anti-skid
- If you add this additive to top coating, its grains may capture grime, which will make your deck look dirty.
- The surface covered with the mixture of paint and this anti-slip appears to be rough on bare feet.
3. Liquid Rubber Deck Sealant
This Liquid Rubber deck sealant can be used for a variety of surfaces such as floors, decks, fences, metal structures that don’t corrode, and walkways. What is more, this product is offered in 16 colors.
There is no need to mix the paint with any other substances, and you can apply it by roller, sprayer, or brush. Thanks to its liquid rubber polyurethane formula, this coating makes the surface it covers resistant to water and UV rays.
The area that one gallon can cover is approximately 100 square feet. The manufacturers recommend applying from 2 to 4 coats, especially if the surface is waterproof. Keep in mind that due to the time required for the paint to dry, you cannot apply more than two coats per day.
Depending on how the coating is treated and on the weather conditions, its life expectancy can be from 5 to 10 years. Before applying the sealant, make sure that the surface is clean and dry.
- This product comes in a variety of colors.
- You will be surprised how easy it is to apply this sealant.
- Thanks to the liquid rubber it is made of, this coating bonds very well to the surface.
- Unlike similar products, this one dries quickly.
- You are not advised to apply this paint if the weather is too hot.
4. Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System
This Kiwi deck system is one of the top products available at the market because of three main reasons. First of all, it is a budget-friendly option because using it you will need to make only one coat which saves a lot of money. Most of the other products require applying at least two coats to achieve the desired non-skid effects.
The second reason is that it is very convenient to apply this coating using the KiwiGrip roller. Not only will you cover the surface with this tool with only one coat, but there won’t be any need for additional fillers. What is more, there won’t be any traces of shells, rubber particles, or sand on the covered surface.
The third reason which makes this product worthy is the fact that it is eco-friendly because it is water-based. This coating comes in 5 colors you can choose from.
- The product comes with a KiwiGrip 4-inch roller.
- You can save money using this material, as you will need only one coat of it.
- Its water base makes the Kiwi Grip eco-friendly.
- This substance makes the surface it covers anti-skid.
- As the KiwiGrip is not a sealed paint, you will have to prime any aluminum surface before you put the coating.
- If you want to have the non-skid effect that this product offers, you have to apply it only using the KiwiGri roller, which is a limitation as some people may prefer brushes or sprayers.
5. Rubberseal Liquid Rubber Coating
This Rubberseal product is EPA certified as being resistant to UV and aging. Its insulating feature makes it suitable to be used for different kinds of roofs. Apart from insulation, this material is also waterproof and protects the surface it covers. T
here are four colors you can choose from. If you need another color which is not offered, you can use elastomeric paint. Keep in mind that it is advisable to apply two coats of the rubber seal. Make sure that the surface is clean of dirt or residue and dry before you put the coating.
An advantage of this product is that it features elongation, which means that it will expand and contract with the expansion and contraction of the material it covers. Even though this coating has a slight odor, it is not unbearable. Since this rubber seal is water-based, it won’t bond to wood or any oil-based surfaces.
- This product has an EPA star rate, and it is resistant to UV exposure.
- You can easily apply the coating by roller, brush, or sprayer.
- Being pretty thick, this material adheres well to the surface and protects it from water.
- The manufacturer offers four colors of this coating.
- It takes around five days for the coat to be ready, and you need to make sure the weather is hot during this period.
6. Interlux Slip Resistant Deck Paint
The Interlux paint has a fine mineral additive, which makes the surface it covers non-skid. You can choose from four colors – gray, white, cream, and sand beige. As this product features a low sheen finish, it doesn’t reflect the bright sunlight. Even though the additive in the paint has anti-slip features, it is not as gritty as to be rough on your bare feet. So you can enjoy walking on a floor covered with this paint without worrying that you may slip and fall.
Bear in mind that it is recommended to apply two coats of the paint for better results. Interlux is one of the manufacturers who offer very handy to use non-skid paints. The easiest way to do it is by roller. A disadvantage of this product is that the lighter colors get dirty quickly, and the dirt is hard to come out. This effect is caused by the small grains that the paint consists of, which gather grime.
- This Interlux paint is easy to apply and provides a good grip.
- You can walk safely on a floor covered with this material as it is non-slippery, but at the same time, it is not rough on your bare feet.
- Interlux offers four colors you can choose from.
- The paint doesn’t reflect the sunlight glare.
- The white paint gets dirty quickly because of the little grains that gather the dirt.
Importance of Having a Non-Skid Boat Deck
Without a doubt, you cannot allow yourself to have a completely smooth surface on the deck of your boat. Such a layer is called non-skid, and the exterior will be painted in such a way that it prevents slipping. Evidently, this is quite essential for any boat.
So how do we achieve that effect, and can it be a DIY project? It absolutely can be, and there are two main ways to have a non-skid deck.
- Use a can of designated non-skid paint
- Mix a non-skid additive with your color.
The latter will require you to purchase two materials while the former will allow you to deal with the whole project just by using a can of paint. Both options are worth exploring because we simply have to be aware of all the benefits of non-skid deck applications.
When we talk about the boat deck, the surface you are painting will likely be wood or fiberglass. Some people also go for rubber boat flooring.
The hull of the boat may be made of aluminum but definitely not the deck. Still, the body will also require painting, so you might as well jump to our reviews of the top paints for aluminum boats and see if you like our picks.
How to Paint my Fiberglass Boat Deck?
Now that we mentioned the two ways of achieving a non-skid surface on your deck, let’s see how you can do it. If you don’t feel confident in your skills, feel free to reach out to a professional. Still, we believe that this can be a DIY project as long as you are careful. So here are our tips for painting a fiberglass boat.
- Select the right paint
This is why we have compiled the reviews and the top list above. We suggest you pick one of the selections and go with it. If you go with a topcoat paint, you will also need to get an additive. The two-part polyurethane products eliminate the need to do so.
We will follow the steps of painting a deck using either of the options. Only towards the end, the stages differ from one another. There is also a third option which we will not outline – purchasing a paint which has been pre-mixed with some powders. We don’t have such a product on our list because we don’t think the quality is exceptional.
This is an essential part of your project. Ys, many people suggest that the actual application of the paint matters because inexperienced people can make it look ugly. While this is correct, experienced pros will also achieve poor results if they work on a poorly prepared surfaced.
Do you know what Marcus Aurelius said? The secret to all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. This is why we will devote a little bit more time to this stage of the project and will list some of the things you have to pay attention to.
- Start by deciding where you will conduct the whole paint job. We don’t suggest you do it outside. It is best if the boat can be indoors and even out of the water. Some vessels can have the panels of the deck removed. This will allow you to paint piece by piece and then have them installed back. In any way, find a shelter that is large enough and has sufficient amounts of airflow.
- Don’t paint early in the morning or late in the evening. We recommend you do that before noon because this is the optimal time for any paint to cure. During the evening, the moisture levels will rise and will slow down the process of drying.
- We at The Marine Mag know how to take care of a boat. Check out our boat detailing page for more info. Until then, remember that if you prepare things correctly, you will have less work after you finish painting. Masking is an integral part of the procedure, and you must be very careful with it. Make sure you do not leave any air under the tape and also be careful to create straight lines. We suggest not to don’t rush it.
- Become familiar with the instructions. Diluting your paint or not using the correct amount can result in disastrous outcomes. Don’t underestimate the information on the can. After all, the manufacturer will know best exactly how to mix the paint. They’ve conducted the tests for you.
We got a couple of tips related to sanding as well. This is also a crucial stage because if not done correctly, you will notice that the paint may look different in some areas. The good thing is that once you paint using a non-skid paint, you won’t need to sand for any subsequent paint project on that surface.
But if that’s the first time you are painting the deck, then roll back your sleeves and get to work. We recommend using an automatic sander. The ones that rotate in random directions are the best. No need to push hard – let the machine do the work. You can also use a palm sander, but such an item will be good for the edges or some hard-to-reach spots.
This is another tool on which you don’t want to go cheap. Use it generously because once the sander wears off, it’s really no good. Applying a new brand-new sander is always very useful, so once you feel like the paper is thinning, change it.
- Clean before you paint
After all the sanding and masking, you will surely see plenty of dust on the deck. Never neglect cleaning the area before you whip out the can of paint. Make sure you sweep or vacuum every little piece of dust because the filthy surface is impossible to paint, and your project will be a grandiose failure.
This is where we suggest you check out our pro reviews of the top boat cleaning brushes. You cannot own a boat without having a brush around. See the most popular products and pick one.
Applying the Paint on the Deck
And now we get to the meat of things. This is where the situation changes a little bit because you may have opted for a paint that has its own non-skid properties. Your other options are the classic one, where you will have to mix the paint with an additive. So let’s begin with that choice and outline the process of using a powder.
Using a non-skid additive with your boat deck paint
The exciting thing here is that this subsection is divided into even more possible choices and steps. They are all related to how you want to have the paint, and the additive mixed. You got three main choices.
- Paint the surface using your regular coat and then use a strainer to distribute the powder on the surface. You will have to wait for the paint to cure a little bit and then blow the powder that hasn’t stuck away. Then, apply the second coat and seal the powder between the two layers of paint.
- Your second option is to simply use your hand and spread the additive over the paint. This is similar to what you do when you season your food. You just have to be careful to distribute the material evenly.
- The trickiest option is to mix the additive and the paint before application. This will yield the best results, but it can also turn into a catastrophe. You must be sure you are aware of the proportions because otherwise you risk using too much or too little powder. In the first case, applying the mixture will be a nightmare as your roller or brush will likely get clogged with the additive. In the second case, you will barely achieve any non-skid effect.
Using a two-part paint where extra material is not required
Some paints (even on our list) do not require the use of powder to create non-skid substance. This is quite the advantage, and the whole project may turn out to be a simpler one.
- Use a brush and start applying the paint at a shallow angle. Put down as thick of a layer of paint as possible.
- This paint should come with a unique roller with an advanced grip. This is not your typical foam roller but a curly one, which is used only to create the texture. It is essential to remember that part. You don’t use the roller to distribute pain but only to texturize it. Go over the surface a few times and in different directions so that you can achieve a uniformed pattern.
- Wait for it to cure and remove the tape. You’re done!
This is where we will say “goodbye” only to hope to see you again in one of our other guides. The Marine Mag team is sure to have helped you in your search for the best boat deck paint. If you have any doubts regarding a specific product, by all means, read or reviews of boat deck paint once more.
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