What Is the Best Deck Paint for Old Decks

What Is the Best Deck Paint for Old Decks – The Best Choices

What is the best deck paint for old decks? After some time and use of the boat, the paint can begin to deteriorate. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out maintenance not only for an aesthetic factor, but also to avoid the risk of further damage to the hull by external agents. Remember, hull protection is in fact the primary function of boat enamel.

With this guide, we will illustrate the criteria for choosing the right products to use. Furthermore, we will tell you the steps to take to achieve a good result without having to take your boat to the shipyard.

What Is the Best Deck Paint for Old Decks?

The enamel, paint, varnish, and gelcoat are maintenance products. It is important to take your time and choose the right products. Before you buy, consider the level of protection you desire, and compatibility with the layer on which you are going to apply the product.

The Gelcoat

Gelcoat, also called topcoat, is a thermosetting resin-based material that provides you with a high finish. Moreover, it offers protection of the visible surface of a thick material composed of various fibers.

The Varnish

The varnishes are transparent, and you apply them on wooden surfaces to protect them from the environment and natural elements such as sea water, salt, rain, and UV rays. Remember you can apply a colorless varnish after using a colored enamel.

What Is the Best Deck Paint for Old Decks

  1. Firstly, there is the traditional mono-component varnish. It dries through the evaporation of the solvent. Furthermore, it is extremely flexible, and is suitable for simple constructions where the wood curls with humidity.
  2. Secondly, there is the two-component varnish, which dries by polymerization. It is more suitable for wood constructions that do not deform, for example, molded wood, and wood-epoxide composite. Less economical than mono-component, it gives better quality results.
  3. Thirdly, we have the the impregnating or staining agent, which is less aesthetic than a varnish. It has the advantage of not having any film coating, and therefore, of not flaking as can happen with varnish. It maintains the characteristics and aesthetic appearance of the wood unaltered, while performing a protective and water-repellent function.

The Enamel

  1. One-component enamels: easier to apply and retouch. They are perfectly suitable for finishing traditional wooden boats. In addition, they also exist in spray version for small retouches.
  2. Two-component enamels: more resistant to abrasion, you can apply them directly on the gelcoat after sanding and degreasing. Keep in mind you should avoid the application for finishing on traditional wooden boats.

The application of the mono-component enamel is easier, as there is no need to make any mixture and therefore to dose the products. On the other hand, the bi-component enamel allows you to carry out more professional and durable work over time. The two-component enamel, in fact, includes a hardener that you must correctly dose, which however guarantees better protection.

If you have chosen a two-component enamel, we recommend applying one or two coats of primer compatible with the enamel. This will allow you to isolate the new coat from the old one to ensure an unparalleled hold and appearance. Without the primer, there is the possibility that blisters may form on the surface within a week or two, with the risk of having to do the job all over again.

  1. There are also non-slip enamels that are ideal for use on deck.

The term “painting” generally refers to products designed for specific applications:

  1. Paints specifically designed to treat bilges are available. These paints have to deal with water and hydrocarbons.
  2. Spray paint cans allow you to work on small areas for touch-ups. Use them if you only have to repaint a limited area. Moreover, these products are easy to apply, and provide a good result in terms of color uniformity. They are also the most economical boat paints in small quantities. However, it is convenient to use them only for small retouches, because for large jobs the price/quantity ratio is less interesting.
  3. In particular, spray engine paint allows you to give your engine a new look with ease.

What Is the Best Deck Paint for Old Decks

Surface Preparation

The first step to lay a good foundation for all painting work is the preparation of the surfaces. However, it is the longest, but also extremely important for the success of the work.

Remove all the objects present on the boat, including awning, steering wheel, and more. Then, wash the boat using a high pressure pump in order to eliminate any type of material and dirt on the surfaces. If you have previously waxed the surfaces of the boat, you will need to use a special solvent.

After washing, fill any cracks that may be present on the surface by applying, using a scraper, a polyester filler. Then, you must leave it to dry completely before sanding the spot where you apply it.

The next step, during the surface preparation phase, is sanding. Carry out sanding using a sander and 80 grit sandpaper, essential to allow a good adhesion of the primer to apply.

How to Choose the Abrasive

The last step in preparing the boat for painting is the application of the primer, which will allow optimal adhesion to the layers you will apply. Apply two coats of primer, one every 24 hours.

As the last step in preparation for the paint application, wash the boat one last time to remove any remaining residue from the various sanding operations.


When it comes to the painting phase, if you cannot carry it out in a covered environment, there are things to take into account when choosing the time to carry out the project:

– The temperature: don’t paint with more than 30C°, because the paint would dry too quickly.

– The presence of wind: it would compromise the whole process, as it would raise dust that sticks to the fresh paint.

– The presence of humidity: choose a day with a low humidity level (<60%).

You can paint your boat using a roller, brush or spray paint. For optimal work, we recommend using the roller over the entire surface, and only use the brush to paint difficult areas.

Once you choose the product to apply, especially if you have chosen a two-component enamel, try to prepare only the amount you need.






















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