Most asked questions for deck and topside paint.

Most asked questions for deck and topside paint.

When it comes to painting the deck or above the waterline there are many questions that need answering. We’re going to answer some of the most common questions we came across in the shop. Yacht paint works quite differently to regular house paint that you've used in the past so if you have a question isn’t below please feel free to give us a shout. Chances are we’ve dealt with it in the past.

How much paint do I need?

By far the most common question we get asked is “how much paint do I need to paint my boat”.  Different paints will have different theoretical coverage. This will give you a good idea of how far a tin of paint will go. Below are some examples when applied by a brush or roller

International Toplac - 12m²/L (Recommended 2-3 coats)

International Interdeck - 10m²/L (Recommended 1-2 coats)

International Perfection - 11.9m²/L (Recommended 2-3 coats)

Seajet Brilliance - 11m²/L (Recommended 2-3 coats)

The chart below will give you an idea how much you'll need based on the shape and size of you 


 What primer should I use?

It's always recommended that you use a primer/undercoat from the same manufacturer as your topside paint. This will help prevent substandard end results.

For Seajet Brilliance Topside you should use Seajet 012 Universal Primer. Seajet 012 Universal Primer is a primer and undercoat for one component topcoats. Suitable for above the waterline only. Seajet 012 is quick drying and has an excellent adhesion to all surfaces and subsequent coats. theoretical coverage is 10m²/L 

International Yacht Paints have brought out a new product this season called One-Up. It's a a single pack primer and undercoat for use above the waterline with International one-pack finishes and deck paints. It is recommended to use 3 coats before applying the end paint. Theoretical coverage is 9m²/L.

One-Up replaces the older system of Yacht Primer and Pre-Kote. However, if you still have/prefer yacht primer and pre-kote, follow the instructions below on how best to apply these products. 

Fiberglass (GRP) - Apply 1-2 coats of Pre-Kote and 2-3 coats of your topside paint (This is assuming your gelcoat is in good condition here is how you should go about priming. If the gelcoat is old or has become porous, it is essential to seal it first. Use a good two part product such as Interprotect.)

Aluminium and Steel - Start with 4 Coats of Yacht Primer, 1-2 Coats of Pre-Kote and finish with 2-3 of topside

Wood - Apply 1 coat of thinned yacht primer & 4 full coats. Next, 1-2 coats of Pre-Kote and end with 2-3 coats of preferred topside

2-Pack paint, such as Perfection, needs a special undercoat called Perfection Undercoat. This can be specially ordered so please let us know if you would like more information. 

Is a two pack paint better than a single?

Deciding the paint system you are going to use on your boat, really comes down to considering these factors: time, effort, and budget.

One-part paints

Upsides - Low effort, good against weathering, large range of colours

Traditional one-part paint, such as Brilliance or Toplac ,can be applied ‘straight from the can’. This product will dry reasonably fast by solvent evaporation and/or by reacting with oxygen or moisture in the air. It’s easy to apply and has very good weathering characteristics. The alkyd (oil resin base) can be modified for gloss, hardness or longevity by using additives.
More alkyd enamels are still used than any other type as excellent finishes can be obtained from them with a minimum amount of effort.

Two-part paints

Upsides - Excellent resistance to weathering, quick drying, more premium finish

Two-part aliphatic polyurethanes, such as Perfection are obtained by mixing two components according to a given ratio. Those parts start a chemical reaction that forms a chemically cured surface. Once the two parts are mixed, you can only use it for a set amount of time.
In comparison, two-part products dry quicker and have better properties: gloss, colour retention, hardness, longevity, chemical and abrasion resistance, and overall film integrity as you vary the chemistry.


In there a non-slip paint for decks?

Although there is no single, universally proven deck surface that will prevent people from slipping on a boat deck, slip resistant finish gives added protection and can be easily applied.

The most straight forward way of achieving a slip resistant deck is to use Interdeck. Interdeck is a tough, slip resistant deck paint that protects the surface from every day wear and tear. It’s easy to apply, comes in a range of colours and its low sheen finish helps prevent sunlight from reflecting off decks.

Looking for a harder wearing finish or would like a larger range of colours? No problem. Non-Slip Additive is a powder that can be added to a single or 2-pack paint to give a non-skid finish. A few ways of achieving this are

  • The easiest way is to shake the powder onto a layer of wet paint. One way to do this is to take a plastic container and drill many 3 mm holes in the lid and use the container like a large pepper shaker. Shake the powder on until the whole surface is covered by a layer of powder. Allow the paint to semi-cure and then blow the excess powder off the surface and apply a further coat of paint to seal it all down.
  • Another way is to stir the powder into the paint and then apply. This method can be a little tricky, as you have to ensure the powder doesn’t bunch up under the roller or brush giving a patchy effect.
  • The other method is to hand broadcast the powder on to the surface as if you are sowing grass.

​Can I make smaller area non-skid?

  • Firstly, make sure the second coat of the topcoat you applied is well cured and that you follow the drying and overcoating times on the topcoat label.
  • Mask off the area in the pattern intended for non-skid.
  • Paper mask off the area you want to protect.
  • Lightly roughen the exposed areas with 280 grade paper.
  • Apply one coat of topcoat as per label instructions.
  • Using one of the methods described above, apply the powder material while the topcoat is still very wet.
  • Allow the coat of paint to dry for the appropriate period. Do not exceed the overcoating time.
  • Very carefully vacuum or blow away any excess powder.
  • Carefully apply a second coat of topcoat taking care to do it without over brushing.
  • Allow to dry for a few days before allowing heavy use.


Can I put a 2-pack paint over an existing single pack paint?

Unfortunately not. As a general rule two-pack products cannot be applied over single-pack paints. The solvents in the two-pack are too strong and will soften the underlying coating.

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