The Best Boat Deck Paints for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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Meguiar's Ultimate will provide the best protection in an even, strong layer. This is among the best marine deck paint for you if you live in a warm climate. Made to last with the perfect consistency for ease of application which means it won’t run or drip, it’s super smooth.

Coverage is more than adequate for even a large boat. The level of finish is indistinguishable from what you get from a professional. This is a top of the line marine deck paint.

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck PaintBudget PickTotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint
Durabak 18Upgrade PickDurabak 18

1. Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

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Pros:

  • Available at a great price
  • Excellent for storing in your garage or locker
  • Has good coverage
  • Tinted the white will warranty against UV rays

Rust-Oleum is a great brand to use if you want to paint your boat with high-quality marine-grade paint, without having to spend a fortune. In this list, we’ve chosen the Gloss White, which is one of the most popular colors.

As with most Rust-Oleum paints, you just need to apply two coats, and you’ll be done. These paints are also perfect for marine environments, as they’re resistant to rust and other similar environmental problems.

2. Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System

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Pros:

  • Available in gray, gold, red, and white
  • Doesn’t require caulking
  • Won’t get waterlogged
  • Non-toxic

Cons:

  • Water can’t just run off the product
  • Will have to be replaced after a couple of years

The Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System is a paintable polyurethane non-skid finish for your boat deck. This premium finish will give your deck a strong, durable, and heat resistant surface.

It can be spread and bonded using a roller or airless sprayer, and can either be painted over or touch-up by hand.

The paint is fully flexible up to 185°F. It’s chemical and saltwater resistant, won’t crack or craze, and has excellent resistance to ultraviolet sunlight.

3. TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint

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Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Has great non-slip qualities
  • Excellent coverage
  • Lasts for a long time
  • Resistant to weather, gasoline, and salt water
  • Can be recycled when you’re done with it

You can easily see why this paint is considered the best boat deck paint for 2020. It’s not too bad to clean up, doesn’t need to be applied to a perfectly clean surface, and it’s very easy to apply.

There is no priming, so you can apply this paint in a matter of minutes. This paint comes in a quart of ready-to-use formula. The beige color is suited for many wooden surfaces: hulls, decks, spars, davits, boats’ interiors and more.

You don’t want to leave masking tape for too long over this paint, because it could pull off some paint. You might have some difficulty in removing it when you need to. You can use 3M Adhesion Promoter system primer before applying this paint to ensure a great result.

4. TUFF Coat UT-100 1 Gallon Non-Skid Coating

Our rating: 8 / 10

TUFF Coat UT-100 1 Gallon Non-Skid Coating

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Pros:

  • Good for those who hate to sand
  • Doesn’t require primer
  • Last for years
  • Easy to apply
  • Non-skid formula works well

This item actually has two components: a base coat and a sealer. They’re mixed in a conventional bucket and then applied with the included roller.

The main ingredient of this coating is acrylic. It contains plasticizers and UV inhibitors. So, it’s a pretty tough guy!

This lets you make use of it even on bare wood. It will stick to metal bunks in a snap. Since it’s easy to apply, you won’t have to strip any paint and sand.

5. Interlux YJF684/QT Interdeck Slip-Resistant Deck Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux YJF684/QT Interdeck Slip-Resistant Deck Paint

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Pros:

  • Non-skid deck paint
  • Intermittent fast dry between 10-15 minutes
  • Excessive slip resistance rating
  • Interlux’s top-of-the-line Interdeck
  • Moderate surface temperature rise

Works great and you get a nice even finish with no roller marks, easy to clean, easy to apply, clean up was a breeze.

I used this on my wood sunfish sailboat. The brightwork had been on for over 30 years and was very dull so I figured it was time to freshen up. I used Interlux Brightside. You have about a half hour of working time so if you aren’t very good at brushing on paint you should get a buddy to help you. I was by myself and this product was very forgiving. It’s easiest to work in a slightly longer stretch, like a bench seat that you can push out 40 feet.

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6. Durabak 18

Our rating: 8 / 10

Durabak 18

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Pros:

  • Contains Fiberglass Fabric for extra durability. Durable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Painted surface is UV resistant. Perfect for car, truck and marine vehicles.
  • Suitable for wooden or fiberglass boat and/or trailer
  • Fast-drying
  • Water-based and environmentally friendly
  • No volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Available in many colors
  • Paint can be applied by brush, roller or sprayer
  • Easy to apply on rough concrete, wood, or even fiberglass

Cons:

  • Requires decent weather level at below freezing point
  • Dries a bit patchy after first coat
  • A bit expensive

One of the most versatile paints in this category. Durabak 18 is a fantastic choice for any outdoor durable coating. Durabak 18 is a textured paint that covers over and protects any surfaces that would be exposed to the elements.

It will create a non-slip surface, so it provides a safe environment for waste disposal and management. This product is meant to go on smooth fiberglass and sheet metal. It should not be used on other surfaces such as wood fiber or plaster. It dries within a few hours and is fully dry within 48-72 hours.

7. Liquid Rubber Smooth Polyurethane Deck and Dock Coating

Our rating: 7 / 10

Liquid Rubber Smooth Polyurethane Deck and Dock Coating

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Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Highly durable
  • Doesn’t peel
  • Resistant to the sun

Color matching is easy since the color of this sealant is a neutral misty gray. You can use it on a wide range of surfaces including wood, concrete, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, steel, masonry, and more.

You won’t have to worry about the deck paint peeling off because it’ll stick there for several years. The product is also waterproof and will protect the surface underneath it from water, oil, gasoline, fuel, and more.

You also won’t have to worry about it fading because it’s UV resistant. It’s completely safe for your family so you can also use it on a deck that you use frequently for deck parties and other activities.

8. Evercoat 853 Skid-No-More Rubberized Non-Skid Coating

Our rating: 7 / 10

Evercoat 853 Skid-No-More Rubberized Non-Skid Coating

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Pros:

  • Super strong nor slippery under any conditions
  • Can be applied to all surfaces, including wood, metal, and Fiberglass
  • The traditional decking paint is made with silane, which helps prevent chipping and peeling.
  • Comes in a versatile 1-gallon non-toxic formula
  • Lasts up to three times longer than other non-skid decking paints
  • Provides a durable anti-skid surface
  • The high-solids epoxy is great at resisting moisture and abrasion
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Requires polyurathane finish sealer for added water-resistance
  • Does have a fairly strong smell that lasts a few hours after application

Evercoat 853 Skid-No-More is a skid-resistant coating that can be used on all surfaces, especially fiberglass, wood, and metal. It is a high-solids formula that is non-toxic and VOC compliant.

The non-skid coating uses a unique patented silicone technology. The finish will last up to three times longer than other non-skid coating paints, which makes it a great choice for extended use.

9. KILZ Over Armor Smooth Wood/Concrete Coating

Our rating: 6 / 10

KILZ Over Armor Smooth Wood/Concrete Coating

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Pros:

  • Dazzling new finish that protects against severe weather conditions
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Protects wood or concrete from extreme weather
  • Provides a protective and durable finish

Cons:

  • Application takes 1-2 days.
  • KILZ Over Armor is a premier protecting coating that is effective in both marine and interior environments.
  • KILZ coating improves the durability of a wooden boat deck and prevents cracking from weather damage.
  • It is ideal for brand-new wood, giving you a fast and easy finishing process.

10. Pettit Paint EZ-Decks

Our rating: 4 / 10

Pettit Paint EZ-Decks

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Pettit Paint EZ-Deck Gray is a cement coating, which is ideal for a boat. A cement coating is not just a paint, but it’s also a sealant that preserves the surface from any abuse it may take from water or chemicals.

Pettit Paint EZ-Deck Gray is a gray cement coating of high build quality, which is drip-free. This cement coating offers a smooth and durable surface, which provides safety and peace of mind for those who stand on it.

When you use Pettit Paint EZ-Deck Gray as a boat decoating, you can be sure that you will be able to get the same quality for years to come. This product is so strong and durable and should last you a long time. It’s available in both quarts and gallons. The gallon will give you enough paint to cover 48 square feet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best boat deck paint?

In the late 1980s, you would have been hard pressed to find a single boat on the water that wasn't using Awlgrip as a boat deck coating. A few decades on, you can still find many boats with Awlgrip-painted decks, but nowadays it shares the airwaves with virtually the entire rest of the boat deck paint industry.

Other modern coatings offer a wider range of colors, protection, and durability, and they can be applied by professionals at a much cheaper cost.

While it used to be that the brightest colors were only available through traditional paints, that is no longer the case. Boat manufacturers and discerning boaters alike are looking for paints that can replicate traditional paint colors as well as other colors, and they are doing so by turning to the oh-so-modern techniques of mixing in dyes rather than traditional pigments.

What paint is best for a boat?

Finding the right paint for your boat is an art, not a science. There are a lot of factors to consider and different paints are better technically for different needs.

In all, there are three factors you should consider when choosing a boat paint:

  • The color of the boat. Some paints look fantastic but only come in dark colors whereas others are flexible but only come in light shades.
  • The boat material. Different paints work differently on different surfaces.
  • The climate. Boats stay out in the elements far longer than cars.

Ultimately, your choice will be based off a combination of these three factors. You can find many combinations in a variety of colors that will serve you well based on your needs.

The Boat Paint Expert recommends considering which of the following factors will apply to you:

What is the best paint for fiberglass boats?

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best paint for your fiberglass boat, and these things will help you ensure that your boat maintains its functionality and longevity.

Fiberglass is an incredibly strong material. Even so, it doesn’t need to be treated quite as carelessly as other materials will. The following are some things to keep in mind when searching for the best paint for fiberglass boats.

Choose the right type of paint.

When choosing what kind of paint you may want to choose for your fiberglass boat, there are a few different things to consider first.

Do you even want to paint your boat? If so, that’s an easy choice, but if you like your boat as is, you should use a type of varnish that is solid and tough on the fiberglass.

How do you paint a fiberglass boat deck?

Be sure to remove all dirt, wax, and varnish from the deck before applying the new paint. If the surface is not smooth, it could cause problems for the paint.

Use a putty knife, scraper, or sandpaper to remove oxidized paint. Make sure to sand the surface appropriately.

Use a wire brush to clean the deck, ensuring that all the rough surfaced parts of the boat are well scrubbed down.

Scrape off and clean all old, oxidized paint, dirt, and wax, as well as any glue or sealant that may be left on the surface.

Be sure that your deck is structurally sound. The last thing you want to do is to continue to re-paint after every major accident.

Conclusion

So which deck paint should you use for your boat? Well… the choice really comes down to personal preference. You might want to factor cost into your choice, as you may want to replace your paint regularly.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck PaintBudget PickTotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint
Durabak 18Upgrade PickDurabak 18