Repainting the Nonskid
This page was last updated on 17 December 2003.

After undertaking several destructive projects on deck--repairing the mast step area and recoring a small portion of the foredeck--I was left with no choice but to repaint all the nonskid areas on the deck.  That was OK, since the paint was 3 seasons old and in need of some sprucing up anyway.  There were some minor dings and scratches, and the deck showed some wear and tear.

With all deck projects complete, I decided upon a good time in my shop schedule to take care of the nonskid painting, and move forward with the task.  In preparation for painting, I removed the stanchion bases, some cam cleats on the cabin trunk, and the chainplate covers.  I also removed the cockpit sole hatch.  During the earlier projects, I had already removed the bow platform and mooring bit on the foredeck, so those were out of the way.  I left the genoa tracks, handrails, and some other assorted hardware in place because they could be relatively easily painted around--and, frankly, their removal would have been a pain.  I figure that I'll remove all deck hardware the next time I repaint in a few years.

The next step was to mask off the nonskid areas.  I used my favorite tape, 3M #225 silver masking tape.  I followed the existing lines, and used a quarter on all the corners to create a pleasing radius--as I did during the original paint job in 2000.  This process used a couple rolls of tape and took a few hours to complete.

With that done, I briefly sanded the nonskid areas with 120 grit, just to give them some tooth and to slightly flatten the existing texture.  Next, I vacuumed up the dust, and cleaned the deck areas with Interlux 216 special thinner, and finally used a tack rag to remove the final bits of dust.

cockpittaped.jpg (43959 bytes)     deckfwdtaped.jpg (39545 bytes)

For the paint, I chose Interlux Brightside one-part polyurethane (color:  Bristol Beige).  This is the same paint I used originally for the nonskid (the smooth areas are Snow White Awl-Grip), and I had been pleased with its performance in this application.  I purchased two quarts of the paint, along with two small cans of flattening agent.  I had a can of  Interlux polymeric nonskid particles left over from before.  I poured the quart of paint into a bucket, then mixed in the full can of flattening agent (a half pint).  Then, I added 6 oz. of the nonskid particles and mixed thoroughly.  After waiting for 10 minutes or so, I tested the product to see what the grit was like; I decided to add more, and let the paint sit for several more minutes so as to properly incorporate the particles.

To apply the paint, I used a 2" foam brush, 1/2" chip brush (for really tight areas), and, for most of the job, a 3/16" nap roller on a 3" roller frame.  Beginning at the poop deck I painted my way around the boat, covering the cockpit, coachroof, port sidedeck, foredeck, and starboard sidedeck.  Application was easy, and the paint rolled out evenly and smoothly.  It felt great to cover the primed repairs on the mast step and foredeck, and the new nonskid paint made the boat look like new again.

cockpitcoat1.jpg (43234 bytes)     deckfwdcoat1.jpg (41675 bytes)

After allowing the first coat to dry overnight and well into the next day, I rolled on a second--and final--coat.  The second coat went on much the same as the first, though I made the unfortunate mistake of mixing up the new batch of paint in the same plastic bucket I had used the day before.  Unexpectedly, the dried paint on the sides of the bucket decided to slough off into the new paint, contaminating it with a variety of annoying paint bits that I was forever fishing out of my newly-rolled deck surface.    With great care, I learned how to fill my roller from the tray without picking up much of the garbage, but it was still annoying.  I didn't have enough paint left in the first quart from the day before to complete the deck job, so I pressed on with the contaminated paint.  Fortunately, it didn't end up causing much of a problem, as the paint bits were large enough to not only be completely obvious, but to easily pick out.

After allowing the final coat to dry for a day or so, I removed the masking tape from all the edges, a process that was hardly enlightening though it was nice to see the finished product.  During the tape removal, I discovered to my dismay that in a few isolated places, there were some visible roller marks where I must not have been careful enough.  After a long, disheartened pause, I decided that the marks were all but invisible under normal circumstances, and only showed up when viewing the deck from eye level and under harsh fluorescent lighting.  Though I would have preferred perfection, by now I was used to the results of my work being anything but, so I made the decision to continue removing the tape and to be done with it.  The flaws, as it were, are such that no one else would ever notice in the real world (other than the fact that I just told you all about them), and were not worth the time, frustration, and annoyance of attempting to redo.  

Being a perfectionist, I long ago realized that one musts learn to live with imperfection at all times, since true perfection is only a vague concept and a hopeful ideal, rather than an attainable concrete possibility.

The new nonskid looks great.  I think the texture turned out a little better than the first time--it was certainly better than the 3 season-old version--though it was hard to remember exactly what it was like back then.

Project complete. 

cockpitcoat2.jpg (40589 bytes)     deckfwdcoat2.jpg (33223 bytes)

deckaftcoat2.jpg (34769 bytes)


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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