DIY Non Skid Paint

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2015 • all rights reserved

DIY Non-Skid Boat Deck Paint: Thinking about painting your decks with non-skid paint? Got questions? Readers share their expertise!

Have you put non-skid paint on your deck? How’d it turn out? Were you happy with it and has it lasted? How difficult a process was it? And maybe most importantly, if you were doing it again, would you use the same product?

Reader Keri Hendricks sent me this note just the other day:

Our deck is molded non-skid and we repainted it a couple of years ago with Interlux non-skid.  It was put on very carefully, but now needs more paint.
Are you aware of anyone who has redone their non-skid with success?
That’s not a project that Dave and I have done, but I told Keri that I’d ask for advice from other TBG readers. If you’ve done a similar project and have any words of wisdom, please leave a note in the comments below. Comments left on Facebook will also be imported!

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Comments

  1. Larry Handley says:

    I looked at all the options I could for doing the deck…it had been painted several times and needed to be sanded and then redone with non skid. Thru all my research I came up with Grizzly Grip, not affiliated, which is a truck bed liner that was being used successfully on boats. I bought 5 gallons, I put on two coats, at a price that of about 1-2 gallons of the more commonly used deck paint and non-skid. I went with a baby blue color probably the only blue deck on the seas, lol. The side benefit that I was worried about was heat retention well we have had a few high 80’s and low 90’s and the deck is very nice on my bare feet. Good luck in your search.

  2. I like this stuff and it doesn’t feel like sand paper. http://duckworksbbs.com/supplies/additives/non-skid/index.htm

  3. Ground walnut shells

  4. We used Kiwi Grip. Terrific product, long lasting and very easy to use.

    • Ritchard Findlay says:

      I’m with Liz. I did our decks with Kiwi Grip and had fantastic results. Note: like any painting project, success is all in the prep.

      • christian Alexandre says:

        Can you give me a detailed description of “The Prep” of the fiberglass deck before applying the Kiwi Grip? I intend to redo my deck later this year.

        Thank you
        Christian

      • We love the kiwi grip. Easy on the feet and knees. As full time live a boards we are tuff on the decks and I needed to touch up a few spots and it was easy and looks greats.
        Prep work was key. Lightly sand and clean. Try to do it when there is NO dew on the decks in the AM. Low humidity will help it cure better.

    • We did the deck of our previous boat with Kiwi Grip and loved it! Our current boat doesn’t really ‘need’ the nonskid redone but the Kiwi Grip really spoiled me so I will probably do it anyway as soon as I get the chance!

  5. We have a video on non skid paint…step by step. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxUmJolmaLQ

  6. We’ve used non skid paving paint on top of 2 pack epoxy. Lasted quite well, 4 years.

  7. Used cabellas rubber flake non-skid,..rolls on easy,…cools the deck enough to go barefoot in summer, and cools interior a few degrees,…$30+ a gallon and lasts five yrs n counting here in FL.

  8. I’ve done awl-grip lasted about 10 years. Now doing Kiwi grip. Much easier product to use and comfy on the feet. It’s also water base, so cleanup is easier too. I agree with Richard Findlay, good results are all in the prep work. Painting is easy, prepping sucks! 🙂
    Good Luck!

  9. I plan on painting my non skid with Kiwi Grip this year. I have a hard sailing dingy that I’m going to experiment on first.

  10. I also used Grizzly Grip. Love, love it. I am a single hander and felt very secure going up front in any conditions. I never slipped. It is easy to apply, and you can change the color if you want, by just cleaning, and rolling on another coat. I put on a beautiful aqua, but it was too hot for Florida. So I changed to a dove gray. It also is soft. So you don’t feel like you are on sandpaper. I had it on it for 5 years before I sold the boat and it was still in fantastic shape. They have a UV additive that I used, plus they mix it for you just before you buy it so it is fresh. After being on other people’s boats and slipping, I realized how great it was. My dog also loved his secure footing. He felt safe running up front alone to use his mat.

  11. This guy is great!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWqwi2q94pU

    [TBG Note: the video is from Boatworks and shows how to make Awlgrip non-skid]

  12. we used kiwi grip too. it’s great if you can make sure it doesn’t get dew the first night so it can cure well. also keep sun off it as it dries. so in Florida, we had to put it on in the morning so it could dry some before the dew formed, so put a shade tarp over it to keep the sun off for the afternoon. it’s only been two years but its great so far and easy to do yourself

  13. A good pair of non skid deck shoes is cheaper and looks better too. Never go barefoot on a sailboat deck. Bloody toes is the result.

  14. Heidi Kotas says:

    we removed our teak deck last summer and we replaced it with Kiwi Grip and are thrilled with the results. Plus it was one of the easiest materials we’ve ever worked with (especially since it’s water based) and I highly recommend it. Like others have said — it’s all about the taping. That’s the time consuming part.

  15. Our trimaran has 67 sq meters (721 sq ft) of non-skid so painting the deck is a lot of work. We painted in Mexico in 2006 with Imron. We sprinkled Sterling Coarse Non-Skid additive over the wet primer and then rolled the Imron topcoat. It came out great and we loved it. Unfortunately there were some spots with bad prep and it failed in a few very small places. The areas with good prep were in great shape when we arrived in Thailand 8 years and 30,000 miles later. We decided to repaint and used Alexseal with the same Sterling additive. This time we sprayed. It looks and feels awesome. Very, very safe under the foot and not too hard on the knees. We’ll let you know in 15 years how well it works as the determining factor of a good paint job is longevity.

    I’ve previously used sand which was not as good as the Sterling. I’ve heard walnut shells are not the best choice as they can retain moisture.

    P.S. Do NOT even consider doing a refit in Thailand.

    • Mark Sierakowski says:

      I’d be very interested in hearing about a refit in Thailand. Is it the waiting for every part you need, tyranny of distance, or the people, skills, attitudes? I am completing major work in Darwin, Australia and would suggest not doing such work here, if avoidable. The East coast has much better availability of parts and people. I am considering doing some of the interior fit in Asia, so your comments would be great.

  16. The accolades for Kiwi Grip made me want to read more. Sounds like an excellent product. If you are a full-time cruiser, be aware of this from the “How Long Will It Last” entry at the PYI FAQ on the product: “…you can expect about 1000 days using your boat.”

  17. I used kiwi grip on my 43 ft. Defever sundeck trawler. I covered the old diamond non-skid. You still have to ruff up or sand the deck and acetone ,then tape. I would not use another product!

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