A great way to cover up an ugly wall -- that doesn't require a master carpenter!

Cork Board Cover Up

Here’s a great idea from Janet Lee Knizner-Enders if you’ve replaced some gear at the nav station (or anywhere else) and now have some holes that need to be covered, or just have some wall space that looks tired.

In Janet Lee’s words:

When we purchased our 44 foot Morgan, she obviously needed some face-lifting.   When we removed the items from the side walls at the navigation station, we were left with numerous holes.  I had a great idea of purchasing some cork… thick enough that we could use it as a bulletin board if needed. 

We found some rolled cork (not squares) online and bought a 4 foot x 6 foot piece for about $30. We got it from Manton Cork.

We made a template and cut the cork, then Michael sanded the edges to give it a nicely finished, rounded look.  

Not only does it look very nice, it is functional for pinning notes or lists.

Cork that’s at least 3/8″ thick works best if you want to be able to use push pins on it. That’s the thickest that Manton offers. If your space is such that 24″ by 36″ sheets will work, Amazon offers thicknesses up to 1″ at very good prices. See them here.

You can glue the cork into place for a permanent installation or use wood trim pieces around the edges to hold it in place if you think you may need to remove it in the future. The cork cuts with a utility knife; use fine sandpaper on the edges.

We might just copy this idea on Barefoot Gal after we complete some work. I see several advantages to the cork over other solutions such as wood or laminate (Formica):

  • It looks great (well, the other options would also look good).
  • It doesn’t require a master carpenter to get good results (a BIG plus for us!).
  • Light weight.

Here’s a picture of the other area around the nav station that they covered – this one better shows how they were able to get a nice finished edge with a little sanding.

A great way to cover up an ugly wall -- that doesn't require a master carpenter!

Janet Lee and her husband Michael just recently moved aboard their boat, AdventureUS2.


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  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 13 September 2014 Reply

    Hate cork floor. After having verycold, tired cork floor thst I couldn’t keep clean, i decided that I would never have cork flooring. The wall idea is a great idea though

  • Candy Ann Williams
    Posted at 13 September 2014 Reply

    Man, I love this idea! I already know where I am going to put some! Thanks a million for sharing this great idea !!!! Don’t know here I would be w/o ‘The Boat Galley’. ❤

  • Sherri Brenner
    Posted at 13 September 2014 Reply

    Great idea! I have some ugly spots around the Nav table that could use some cover up. As we are still adding and replacing equipment, this might be a nice way to spruce it up. It has always bothered me that the most unattractive area of our boat is the first thing you see when you come down the companion way ladder. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chuck Burns
    Posted at 13 September 2014 Reply

    The downside is that it mildews easily and is hard to clean…

  • ChrisW
    Posted at 14 September 2014 Reply

    Recommend spraying cork with a clear satin finish like Rustoleum for outdoor furniture. Three coats should do. Reduces mold and mildew problems to near zero.

    • Janet Lee Knizner-Enders
      Posted at 16 September 2014 Reply

      hmmmmmm. Hadn’t thought of mildew… but it is logical. We will definitely spay with a satin finish. Michael did a great job cutting this and finishing it off. Since then, I have lined a few shelves with the cork. The laminate was marked up so i figured I’d just ‘cork’ it! Thanks!
      Janet Lee

  • Zara
    Posted at 16 September 2014 Reply

    What an ingenious and imaginative way to use cork.
    Despite having updated most of our Dutch Steel Cruiser,
    there are still little shabby areas that could benefit from
    this simple cost-effect idea. The Boat Galley is a super
    site and Carolyn is marvellous for continually coming up
    with original ideas. I have used many. Thank you!

  • Kelley - Sailing Chance
    Posted at 16 April 2015 Reply

    Cork also works great as a countertop! We sanded it smooth and then put a light epoxy coating on it (so it wipes down and prevents molding, but still maintains its non skid qualities). If you buy cork underlayment for wood floors you can get a great deal in bulk!

    You can see some of the pics here: http://www.sailingchance.com/blog/sailboat-galley-design

  • JP Pedro
    Posted at 17 April 2016 Reply

    Best material for insulation, temperature and moist. I use it in my boat.

  • Terri Zorn
    Posted at 17 April 2016 Reply

    Really good idea ! Will have to remember that. 🙂

  • Joysealife.com
    Posted at 17 April 2016 Reply

    That’s a great idea!!! We just changed the stereo system and my husband was going to buy a new piece of teak. He was quoted $600 for the wood alone, and then he would have to cut and fit it. He ended up going to a craft store and buying some cute boating/fishing signs to cover the holes.

  • Dawn Lotti
    Posted at 18 April 2016 Reply

    I just measured a spot for this exact purpose. Couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you!

  • Cheryl N Ken Geeting
    Posted at 18 April 2016 Reply

    Great idea!

  • Outland Hatch Covers, LLC
    Posted at 19 April 2016 Reply

    Awesome idea!!! I like alot

  • Denise
    Posted at 09 June 2016 Reply

    We are new liveaboards and our new boat is a bit tired in some areas. This idea is brilliant, thanks so much. When hubby gets home from work we will look around and locate the areas where we can use this idea.

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