The only time when your boat’s deck is dry is when it is out of the water, but that defeats the point of the vessel. Simply standing on a swaying and swerving boat is hard enough as it is. However, it gets exponentially more difficult when the deck is wet. To make it easier for you to keep your footing, you need the best boat deck paint.
You can find different brands of deck paint on the market today, but not all are worth the time and money they cost. If you want to get the best boat dock paint, continue reading this article.
- Best Boat Deck Paint Reviews
- 1. TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint
- 2. TG Deck Porch & Patio Anti-Slip Paint
- 3. KiwiGrip Non-Skid Coating
- 4. SlipDoctors DuraGrip Non-Slip Paint
- 5. TUFF Coat UT-100 Non-Skid Coating
- 6. Evercoat 853 Skid-No-More Rubberized Coating
- 7. Interlux YJF684/QT Interdeck Deck Paint
- 8. Durabak 18 TEXTURED Non Slip Deck Paint
- 9. Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Dock Coating
- 10. INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Coating Paint
- Who is This for?
- Features to Consider When Buying a Boat Deck Paint
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Boat Deck Paint
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Boat Deck Paint Reviews
1. TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint
I expected to get a finish that has plenty of traction, and that is exactly what I got with the TotalTread. This paint contains hundreds of thousands of tiny silica beads mixed in polyurethane paint. When it dries and cures properly, you get a somewhat semi-glossy finish that provides plenty of grip.
Now, even though the surface has plenty of traction, it is not quite as abrasive as most of the other brands of deck paints. Other deck paints leave a finish that is almost as coarse as concrete pavement. You would not want to skid on your bare knees on those. On the other hand, the finish of this product is comfortable to walk on even on bare feet.
Another reason why I like this product is its excellent coverage. This paint rolls on thin and yet the microbeads still spread evenly across the surface. One gallon of this paint is enough to cover up to 300 square feet, making it more than enough for a medium-sized boat.
No matter what kind of boat you have, you can trust that this product will adhere to its surface without any problems at all. I have used it on an aluminum boat (with a self-etching primer undercoat) and fiberglass and both of them turned out great. I also used it on my wooden deck at home and it worked well there, too.
The issue I had with this paint, though, is its very long curing time. It probably took at least five days for this paint to dry and cure properly, which was a pain because I needed to cover the entire deck to prevent debris from sticking on the paint.
2. TG Deck Porch & Patio Anti-Slip Paint
One thing that pleases me about this paint is that it dries and cures fast. I needed to use my boat for the weekend, so I painted the deck around Thursday afternoon. By Saturday morning, the painted deck was already completely dry and attained its full durability. The finish was hard and completely waterproof. It is even ready for the water.
Speaking of the finish, although it was nicely textured and provided more than enough grip, it was not quite as abrasive as other deck paints I used in the past. In fact, I found it comfortable walking on the boat deck barefoot and it did not bother me at all.
This paint is originally for high foot traffic areas like porches and patios, so a boat deck, which has significantly fewer people walking on it is not a problem at all. I believe, based on the couple of months that passed since I painted my boat with this product, that it could potentially be a couple of years before I will need to repaint.
Another reason why I like working with this product is that it is easy to use. I used it on a previously painted surface and all I needed to do was scuff up the surface using large-grit sandpaper. There was no need for a primer undercoat. This paint rolled on smoothly and evenly.
However, I need to reiterate that it is mainly for residential purposes, so using it on a boat deck, especially one that goes out to sea, can potentially weaken it and cause serious damage.
3. KiwiGrip Non-Skid Coating
The feature that makes this deck paint different from the rest is that it does not contain any silica sand. The texture comes from the roller that comes with the kit. The finish provides plenty of grip, but it is not in the least abrasive. You can lie down on the finish and it will not hurt at all.
You might think that you will need to do some mixing, but that is not the case at all. This product is usable right out of the can. Obviously, you will need to do a bit of mixing to get a uniform consistency, but after that, you can just use a simple brush and the textured roller brush that came with the kit.
Speaking of the texture, the nice thing about this product is that you can adjust it to your liking. Just apply the deck coating on the surface then use the roller to spread out the product evenly. The more you use the roller, the less aggressive the texture becomes.
I dragged coolers full of beverages over the deck of my boat every time I go out on the water, and there are still no scratches on the surface. If a heavy plastic cooler with hard plastic feet were not able to leave a mark, foot traffic won’t either.
The problem that I had with this paint is that I needed to apply it in small areas because it tends to dry quickly. When it is already dry, you won’t be able to apply texture on it using the roller.
4. SlipDoctors DuraGrip Non-Slip Paint
This product is an epoxy boat floor paint, so you know that it will be durable once you let it dry and cure properly. I used it on a metal staircase at home, and it made a difference. Aside from providing excellent grip and safety, it also gave the surface a nice and somewhat organic feel. It is different from the feeling of bare metal.
Aside from metal surfaces, it is also ideal for wood, fiberglass, and others. However, you will need to lay down a coat of primer before applying this product. I used this same product on the wooden deck of my sailboat and the deck in my backyard. I noticed that those surfaces still look good until now.
Another reason why I like this paint so much is that it provides grip without turning the surface into basically sandpaper. I have tried other grip paints before and they were so rough that my dogs would not even walk on them.
It is also nice that this grip paint comes in 10 different colors unlike most that only come in either white or black. I also like that it has a clear option. However, it is not crystal clear. It is more like a very light amber, so you should reconsider using the clear if you will be painting over a white undercoat.
Speaking of the undercoat, although the manufacturer stated that you will not need a primer for most surfaces, it is best that you do especially on metal surfaces. The conditions need to be perfect if you want this product to adhere to a bare metal surface.
5. TUFF Coat UT-100 Non-Skid Coating
I have an aluminum and a fiberglass boat and I used the same gallon tin can of this product for both, and the finish turned out great. Although I needed to use a self-etching primer on the aluminum boat, the non-skid coating went on evenly and without any issues at all.
It is also very easy to use. This product is a single-ingredient formula, meaning there is no need to add any additional substances into the tin. Just mix the paint well upon opening because the silica beads have settled at the bottom due to being in storage. You even need to stir the paint a couple of times while you are using it.
I also like the non-hazardous formulation of this rubberized boat deck coating. It is water-based paint, so you just need a wet rag to clean it up. Moreover, there are no VOCs, so there are no fumes coming up from the paint. However, I still recommend wearing a mask while applying this paint, just to be on the safe side.
Once fully dried and cured, the finish this paint leaves behind is extremely durable. I first thought that it would peel easily because it has a rubberized texture, but I was wrong. I have dragged heavy tackle boxes and coolers full of beverages over the surface of this paint, and they barely made a mark.
Although I do like using this paint, it is a pain that you still must lay down a coat or two of primer to get this to stick. It is especially true when painting on bare metal. This product would have gotten higher marks if it can readily bond onto any surface.
6. Evercoat 853 Skid-No-More Rubberized Coating
Aside from the deck of my boat, I used this product on everything that I think needs a good non-slip surface. These include the front porch steps, the area around the pool, the entire surface of my backyard deck, and the entire floor of my garage. Although it needed a primer for bare metal, it needs minimal surface prep.
The finish left by this paint is both rubberized and textured, thus giving two layers of safety. I can attest that the finish remained non-slip even when it is wet yet it does not feel like you are walking on sandpaper when it dry. As mentioned earlier, I used it to paint the perimeter of my swimming pool and it’s comfortable to walk on.
Durability is not an issue, either. I used this paint for my aluminum boat a year or two back, and it still looks and works well. There is a bit of discoloration due to aging and I discovered some places that are a bit worn but nothing too bad. I use my boat every weekend, so it is surprising that the metal underneath isn’t showing yet.
The best thing about this paint, in my opinion, is its excellent paint coverage. I bought an entire gallon thinking that it would be enough for my 18-foot boat, and after two coats, there was still a lot of paint left in the can. The remaining one is more than enough for all the steps on my front porch.
However, because this paint is a bit on the thin side, it can be tricky to apply without pushing the silica beads from clumping up to one side.
7. Interlux YJF684/QT Interdeck Deck Paint
I wanted a paint that is convenient to use as I do not have the time nor the equipment to mix paints. I liked how the only thing I needed to do before using this paint is to mix the contents of the can to re-distribute the micro-beads. After a couple of minutes of mixing, it is ready for application.
It is the best non-slip deck coating that I have used so far for my seafaring vessel. Once properly cured, the finish is completely waterproof and resistant to the corrosive properties of saltwater. It is also incredibly resistant to the UV rays of the sun, which is a big plus because I usually stay the entire day out in the water.
As mentioned earlier, I like this paint because it was convenient to use. Even applying it on the surface is quite easy. I did not need any special painting tools whatsoever. I only need a small nap roller brush and a couple of foam brushes for the hard-to-reach areas.
It has been almost a year since I painted the deck of my boat with this product and it has yet to show any signs of wear. Although the high traffic areas did get a bit thinner, the metal underneath is yet to show through and the surface is still non-slip.
This product would have gotten higher scores if it did not need a primer for most of the non-porous surfaces. On the other hand, applying a primer is easier and faster than scuffing and completely cleaning the surface to paint on.
8. Durabak 18 TEXTURED Non Slip Deck Paint
The thing that I liked the most about this product is that once it cures properly, the surface turns rock solid. By my estimate, you need to try hard to even make a mark on the surface. It has been almost a year since I used it on my boat and after countless weekends of fishing trips, I have yet to see any noticeable damage on the surface.
Speaking of the finish, I was surprised at how many colors are available. I initially planned on getting the white color and have it tinted to the color I want, but then I saw that the color was already available.
Back to the finish provided by this product. Aside from being solid, it is also highly resistant to abrasion. I have dragged coolers full of fish and beverages over the deck, and they did not even leave a mark. This paint is also marine-grade so it is impervious to the corrosive qualities of saltwater. It can also withstand the UV rays from the sun.
The best thing about this paint is that it cures faster when exposed to moisture. Once the paint dries to the touch, the boat is ready to launch. It is formulated in such a way that it will continue to cure even when the surface gets wet. The curing process even accelerates a bit when the surface is wet.
If you have even just half a gallon of this paint leftover, you need to use it immediately because no matter how tight you replace the lid, the contents will turn solid after a week or so.
9. Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Dock Coating
Although the brand name is Liquid Rubber, the finish provided by this paint is more like a hard shell. The surface provides more than adequate grip, but it is not as soft as actual rubber. It is a good thing as it proves that the coating can withstand a lot of foot traffic.
It is an almost perfect coating for the deck of a boat as it is completely waterproof. I applied four coats of it on the deck of my fiberglass boat a couple of months ago, and it is still holding strong.
I had half a gallon of this paint left over from when I painted my boat, so I figured I will use it for my backyard deck. I just power washed the deck to get rid of any dirt and debris, and this paint went on smoothly. Aside from protecting the wooden deck from rot, it also gave a nice non-slip surface.
I also liked how easy it was to use. I just used a couple of wide regular paintbrushes and the product went on evenly on the surface. After brushing on the product, I then used a nap roller brush to get rid of the brush strokes and distribute the microbeads evenly.
However, be aware that this paint is quite thick, so you should not use a regular roller brush. If you do, you will only be pushing the microbeads to the sides. You have to be a bit more patient and just use a regular brush.
10. INSL-X SU031009A-01 Sure Step Coating Paint
I already expected this product to provide a great non-slip coating, but I was surprised at how durable the finish is. I used it on the front steps of my home, and even after close to a year, there isn’t even any sign of wear on the surface.
Speaking of wear, this product has a high resistance against abrasion. I have been dragging all sorts of heavy items all over the surface and it did not show even the slightest sign of wear. Aside from that, it provided a waterproof seal all over the surface of the steps that prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.
I was also impressed at how fast it dried and cured. I was prepared to have the family walk around the house and go through the back entrance the whole day to let the front steps dry. However, they were perfectly dry early in the afternoon. This paint saved me from a lot of grief.
Another nice thing about this paint is that it is so thick that it also acts as a sealer. This filled in a lot of the larger cracks and pitting on the steps. It made the steps look new. The surface of the steps looks flat and even again, but thanks to the coating, it is very grippy.
Speaking of an even coat, it was a bit difficult to get it to look that way. Because of the thick consistency of the paint, applying it evenly was quite difficult. It took me an hour or so to figure out the proper way to do it.
Who is This for?
This product is for boat owners who want to make their boat decks safer to walk on. Homeowners can also benefit from this kind of paint, especially if they want to make certain surfaces, like stairs, decks, and porches, among many others, skid-proof and safer.
Features to Consider When Buying a Boat Deck Paint
Do you want to start shopping for the perfect deck paint that you can use? Then make it a point to pick a choice based on these features and factors:
The real reason why you got boat deck paint is that you want to give your boat a safe non-slip surface. The paint that you get needs to provide enough texture for your feet to grip onto. However, it should still not be so abrasive that it can be excruciating when walking barefoot.
Drying and Curing Times
If you are an avid fisherman, or if you cannot get enough of being on the open water, then you want to use a paint that dries and cures quickly. Ideally, the paint should be dry enough for launch in half a day or so, and around a day or two to cure completely.
Ease of Application
You do not need to be a professional painter to use the product. The paint you buy should be easy to apply using a simple paintbrush or at the very least a nap roller. Also, invest in a paint that does not require a primer before application. It should be able to adhere to the surface without too much preparation.
Most boat deck paints come in either black or white. However, some are also available in vibrant colors. If you are not that concerned about how your boat deck looks, then the basic colors will be enough for your needs.
On the other hand, if you want your boat deck to match the other components, you can maybe find the exact match you need. You can also have your paint tinted the way you want.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Boat Deck Paint
- Makes surfaces easier to walk on, even when wet
- Protects the surface against abrasion
- Gives a matte and non-glare surface
- Somewhat hard to distribute the grit evenly
Care and Maintenance
The most important thing that you need to remember when you use a boat deck paint is that it is necessary to let it dry and cure completely before you walk on it. Moreover, you need to clean the non-slip surface regularly.
Not only does the surface provide grip for anyone walking on it, but the textured surface also retains dust and dirt. Use a mop to clean the surface properly, but don’t use any strong detergents as they can damage the finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Marine Paint on my Deck?
Yes, you can use marine paint on your boat deck. However, unless you add silica microbeads into the paint, the finish would not be that easy to walk on. It will also be most likely unsafe once you are on the water. On the other hand, there are marine-grade boat deck paints that are more convenient to use. They are also significantly safer.
How to Paint a Fiberglass Boat Deck?
Painting over fiberglass is not as difficult as most people think it is, but it can be quite tedious. First, you need to completely wash the surface that you will be painting. Check the surface if there are any cracks or pitting. Fill them in using epoxy filler.
After that, you have to use large-grit sandpaper. Use it lightly, making sure that you only remove the surface paint and get the surface nice and even.
Wipe the surface using a damp rag to get all the dust. After that, you can then proceed to paint the surface using fiberglass boat deck paint. Use multiple thin coats for an even and glossy finish.
Using the best boat deck paint will add an entirely new level of safety. With the help of this paint, you will no longer have to worry about precariously slipping and sliding whenever you take your boat out to the water, which is extremely dangerous.
Giving your boat a safe and slip-proof deck will make all of your boating trips all the more enjoyable. The reason is that you will no longer need to always watch where you step.