Painting the Nonskid

Built in 1980, the scars and repairs from 38 years of use were scattered all over Trini’s deck.  Old hardware, like snap buttons and common-sense fasteners were broken and rusty.  When we washed the decks, a white milky water would float around the boat.

Trini needed new paint.

We asked a couple of freelance boat painters/maintenance professionals that could do the work on our dock, they quoted us around $5,000.  Cheap compared to local boat yards but still too much for our budget.

After months of putting off this project and debating which paint to use, we started to hear good things about Kiwi Grip.   Its a popular nonskid paint with cruisers and a few boat owners  on our dock had used it.   We heard it was easy to apply and they liked how their decks turned out.



Now that we decided on the paint, we had no more excuses.

The can of paint comes with a stippled roller that creates the texture on the non-skid.  When you open the can you will immediately notice the consistency is like pudding.

To paint we gathered the following items

  • 4″ roller
  • Not shown  but we used a 9″ roller and put two of the small rollers on it for large areas
  • tape – tape around non-skid
  • exacto knife – trim tape
  • wire brush – rough up surface
  • trowel –  spread paint
  • cardboard box –  for the pealed off tape

We used a 2.5 gallon bucket to mix the tint into the paint.  The white was too white, this is why we decided to have it tinted.

Here’s the gist of what we did.

  1. Wash surface area.
  2. Tape off area and hardware, hand rails, etc.
  3. Rough up surface with wire brush (avoid tape).
  4. Wipe area down with acetone.
  5. Scoop paint out with cup & trowel over surface.
  6. Follow up with roller to add texture.
  7. Take off tape within minutes after rolling the texture.

You can find a step-by-step video from PYI Inc and additional painting tips.


Applying the paint was easy but we had to work fast in the warm weather.  The captain would apply the paint and roll on the texture.  I would follow behind and pull the tape.

One tip, don’t leave the tape on too long.  The paint can quickly dry to the tape and you can end up tearing off the paint with the tape.  You end up leaving a jagged edge instead of a smooth line.

We worked on this project over many weekends, painting sections at a time starting at the stern and working our way forward.  The most time consuming task on the project was taping.


Now we have a skid free deck.


Happy Sailing!

From the painting Boat Wife.

Captain’s Trash to Treasure – Deck Chairs

The Captain found two chairs in the marina’s dumpster.  He showed me his find.  Torn and sun faded, they were in bad shape and something I wouldn’t sit on.


But the Captain saw the value in the chairs.  With closed cell foam cushions and aluminum frame, he claimed they were sturdy, comfortable and brand-new chairs would cost over $200 each.

His suggestion was to recover them.

Like many of his dumpster finds, they ended up in our storage unit for 6 months. Just enough time to get up the courage to tackle a new project, our first-time upholstering (anything).

After buying the marine grade vinyl from JoAnn’s Fabrics, the Hide-Em trim and thread from Sail-Rite, and running out to buy the air-pressured staple gun from Harbor Freight (once realizing the hand-stapler wasn’t as effective going through the hard plastic backing on the chairs), we were prepared to begin.

Below are the steps we took for this project.

Remove all the old vinyl and rusty staples.










The cover is off the cushion


Stich rip the seams of the old vinyl to use as patterns.


Pattern for the arm rest


Sew the cover.


Place the new cover on top of the cushion.


Pull cover tight over the cushion and staple.


The cushion is fully covered but still shows ugly staples.


Take the Hide-Em.


And staple it over the seams.


And Voila! One recovered arm-rest.


Now we just need to finish the other arm rest, the bottom and back cushion.  Then repeat all steps for the other chair.

In real-time it was two weekends with several coffee and wine (whine) breaks for the first mate.

As you can see a big improvement.  Now we just need to find the time to sit and relax.

Fair Winds from the First Mate!