The second option for the DIY boater is a unique product that has been used on racing sailboats and work boats in New Zealand and Australia for more than 15 years. It is a water-based acrylic polymer that comes ready to use in a one-gallon can and is 10 times thicker than paint — the consistency of pudding. A special open-cell roller body comes with the paint for adding the texture; no traction additive is necessary.
For most boats under 26 feet you can prep, tape and paint the entire deck in a day and it will be ready for use in 36 to 48 hours. KiwiGrip has excellent durability and can even fill minor imperfections in the deck surface. The product performs best when applied in a shady area or on a cloudy day because direct sunlight accelerates the drying process.
1. Surface Prep: Wash the deck with detergent and allow it to dry. Using an orbital sander and 60-grit paper, scuff the entire area to be painted to remove any gloss, vacuum up the residue, rinse and let dry.
2. Taping: Follow the same instructions noted in the main article.
3. Application: KiwiGrip can be applied with a trowel or a large, stiff nylon paintbrush. When you complete an area, go over it with the open-cell roller to apply the texture.
4. Finish: Allow the paint to set up for an hour or two, and remove the tape for a clean edge. If you wait until it dries completely the tape is more difficult to remove. Cleanup is with soap and water. Allow at least a day before using the deck.