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Old 10-03-2014, 09:24   #1
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CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

Usually, when someone makes this type of request, there always those who seem to think everyone has a lot of money & should just "do it right" the first time & get the expensive paint. My time is worth much less many than my money.

What are the best brands of cheap paint that can be used on the deck? Can these brands be painted on the boat while in the saltwater without flaking off due to the moisture present during painting? I don't want to haul out.

I have a 51 year old boat with a baby-blue gelcoat deck that has been sanded smooth and painted with a bleh eggshell, beige color. The paint is peeling all over the deck. Some of the blue areas are as big as 1' x 2', but there are lots of small patches of peeled paint everywhere. New peelings constantly shed off.

Furthermore, this is a sailboat with 2 anchors on the bow and an all-chain rode. Is there a paint that can withstand a single-hander quickly hauling up the chain and laying it on the deck without chipping?

I bought some West Marine Interlux Brightside paint, sanded alot, by hand, and painted the front of the bow's deck, to see how it would hold up. The boat was in the water. After being on the hook for a few months, it already has some big chips missing from the chain dragging over it. This stuff was expensive too! I didn't use TSP or alcohol, but I sanded for a long time, with the sandpaper that the instructions directed.

I just spent a few hours looking up alternatives to expensive marine-paint.

It's OK if the paint peels in 3 or 5 years. I'm not looking for a long-term paint-job, just something that will not look BAD for the next few years. Currently, it looks bad.

I'd also prefer low VOCs, and as nontoxic as can reasonably be acheived, and something from a local paint store, like K-mart, true-value, or Sherwin Williams.

I'm currently considering:
Glidden's oil based porch & floor (it says for boats in small print on the back), low VOCs!, made by akzo, the makers of awlgrip. Sold at Walmart & Home Depot.
I've read that polyeurethane is the way to go, but it is much more expensive.
I've read that some paints require an absolutely dry area to stick for long.
I've read that oil based paints designed for porches are the way to go for cheaper boat paint.
I've read that if I get a white paint, I'd have to swab the deck with fresh water once a week to avoid it turning brown, therefore, white is out.
I'd rather have a flat coat, to prevent glare.

Do I need to have TSP & alcohol and can this be done in the water?

Glidden's oil based porch & floor (for boats in small print), has low VOCs, and is made by Akzo, the makers of awlgrip. This is what I'm considering the most, right now.

Any further suggestions before I make the jump & buy another can of paint? I wish I could return this Interlux.

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Old 10-03-2014, 09:40   #2
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I think what you're looking for doesn't exist.

No chips when attacked by chain, yet flat and non staining.....all cheap.

If it was me I'd do a roll on gelcoat for durability.

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Old 10-03-2014, 10:09   #3
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

Painting is easy, repainting (removing/preparing the old paint) is misery. And yes, before and after sanding you should be wiping down with a good solvent. (If you sand without wiping down, you are effectively spreading grease, wax etc around)

Nothing will withstand chain/rope wear except metal, so you should have fairleads or something like angle stainless to protect edges and vulnerable spots from chains and line.

In this thread, the low-budget recommendation seems to be Rustoleum paint with sand in it. Also, oil porch point.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:28   #4
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

For the area around the anchor and/or chain, I would look for an inexpensive alternative to Treadmaster. Treadmaster is a hard rubber-like material that is glued onto the deck with an epoxy adhesive. It is non-skid and lasts near forever. Many commercial boats use this, as do some European pleasure boats.

The brand name stuff is expensive, but you shouldn't require much, and if you can find a generic version (I'm thinking McMaster Carr for example), this would be a great alternative to paint.

And it comes in multiple colors!
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:47   #5
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

I repainted my coachroof deck with Sandtex masonry paint. Water based, cheap as chips as it's not "marine" and a good range of colours too. The sand is pre-mixed and gives a not too aggressive non skid.

It's claimed to last for decades on a house, so it should do a few years at sea...
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:01   #6
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

RustOleum Marine Gloss. It is self priming, inexpensive and seems fairly durable. I applied mine a year ago and it still looks new. When properly thinned, it flows well. I put about four coats on the deck, and six on the hull. The last coat for the hull took me about an hour for a 34 foot boat using the roll and tip method, even though the degree of difficulty was a little increased by doing it while the boat was in the water from a kayak, so I am confident I can put a fresh coat on at anytime practically for free and I can fix any blemishes easily unlike Awlgrip. People think it is a new boat, even though it is a 68. There is a fellow with a Gemini near me that paid $10K for Awlgrip a couple of years ago and his paint doesn't look any better than mine. My biggest expense was sandpaper.

I've never done a complete boat job before, just messed around with cars and you will certainly hear from all the forum experts about how important it is to use expensive products or just hire a yard to do it. BS IMO, I think anyone can do this job if they have the time and inclination. Ask the experts if they will put a fresh top coat on in a couple of years for an hour of labor and $15 worth of paint, or how to fix the side of your hull when a bumper puts a little wear on the paint or dock rash occurs.

Proper preparation is important, it took me about sixty hours to prep the deck including removing the hardware and hand sanding, my gel coat was shot. Avoid disc sanders and work your way up from 80 grit to 400 with successive coats. I don't think RustOleum makes a flat paint, but on the deck you can use RustOleum's sand additive to make it nonskid and cut down the glare.

Gel coat is relatively expensive and more difficult to work with but more durable. I used it on the inside of a Boston Whaler 13 and it cost several hundred dollars.
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Old 14-07-2014, 18:20   #7
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

I have used cheap 1 pack deck paints they are not durable. 1 year on its needs replacing as all the grip has gone and it's very hard to clean. AWL grip or International for me this time!!

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Old 14-07-2014, 18:32   #8
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

It's all about the prep, which likely cant be done properly in the water. I saw a boat for sale a couple years ago that had been deck painted with some form of non marine paint, and with brush. It was terrible. it was sticking but any prospective owner probably wished it wasnt!
The boat had a LOT of new gear on it; engine, rigging, furler and sails to name a few. It couldnt be sold for $6000 and was given to one of those charities to sell.
Do it once, do it right. There's more work in the prep than the painting.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 14-07-2014, 18:34   #9
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

An old timer I know on a 1960's Pearson 44 paints his whole boat every so many years with true value porch and deck paint.

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Old 14-07-2014, 18:35   #10
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?

I painted the bottom of my boat with an acrylic paint used for wet pool areas and shower rooms. Got 4 litres of it from a salvage place for $15 [mistint] Sticks like glue.
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Old 14-07-2014, 19:43   #11
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Re: CHEAP, nontoxic, deck paint brand?


We've got it too, called acrylmeric sportcote. Super non-skid. I actually had to sand the area on the sugar scoop where I like to sit, it was too sharp when new.

Great stuff.

Don't know if they have it in the US, though.


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