4 Boat Paint Options – 2021 Marine Paint Recommendations

In order to enjoy smooth sailing, your boat needs to be kept in excellent condition. Flaking paint not only looks bad, but it can also have serious effects on the environment and the lifespan of your vessel. Choosing the best paint for your boat is one of the most important decisions you can make as a boat owner.

Boat paint must be durable enough to withstand the harsh conditions of the open water, while also deflecting the power of the sun’s rays. It is your boat’s first line of defense against the elements, making it crucial when avoiding things like fading colors and wear and tear. Paint can also provide a safe surface for walking while at sea. The deck of a boat can be slippery when wet, so it is a smart plan to invest in one of the best marine paint non-skid options to keep everyone safe on board.

We’ve taken a close look at some of the leading paints for boats for 2019 and compiled this handy guide to help you with your decision. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right paint, so keep reading to find out exactly which choice will fit all of your needs when on your next maritime adventure. ATVA Online has you covered:

Your boat’s paint is its first line of defense. It helps to protect against the wind, the rain, and the waves at sea. It can also prevent slip and fall accidents for you and your guests while sailing the open waters. All boat paint shows signs of aging after a certain amount of time, so it is important to inspect your boat regularly for signs like peeling, chipping or cracking. This can signal it is time for a touch-up job. Here’s a look at some of our favorite picks for marine paint.

4 Best Boat Paint Options for Your Vessel in 2021


TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint, Marine-Grade Anti-Slip Traction Coating for Boats, Wood, Fiberglass, Aluminum, and Metals (Gray, Quart)


This non-skid deck paint comes in both quart size and gallon size to fit all your project needs. There are three different color options of beige, grey, and white. It is a marine-grade paint which means it is made to withstand the harsh environmental factors that come from the open water.

Boats made of both fiberglass and wood can benefit from this safety surface. Two coats of paint are recommended, or three if you are looking for more aggressive traction on your surface.

Shiny paint can be a problem when mixed with water. TotalBoat TotalTread is a low-sheen formula, making it a safer choice for your boat’s deck.

It also helps to provide traction with the wax texturing agents included in the paint. Once the paint is dry, these wax pieces create a high-traction surface for safety on any part of your boat. It withstands heavy traffic on the deck’s surface and also helps to block damaging UV rays.

Some of the competing brands use silica in their paint formula instead of wax. Silica is very abrasive and can actually take the skin right off of your knees. This exclusive wax formula provides traction while also creating a non-abrasive surface for your whole family. It is the ideal solution and a great paint for boat decks, ramps, steps, cabin floors, locker covers, docks and more.


  • Non-abrasive traction
  • Adds safety to your boat
  • Protects from harmful UV rays
  • Can be used on both fiberglass and wood


  • Only comes in three colors


Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint, Gloss White, 1-Quart


Rust-Oleum is a trusted name in the world of paint. It is not surprising that their Marine Topside paint is a high-quality option for boats too. They offer an oil-based formula that helps to protect your boat from the harsh pounding of the waves. It is meant to hold up to all different types of weather conditions, plus the sun’s damaging UV rays.

This paint is recommended for fiberglass, wood, or metal surfaces above the water line. It is a fast-drying formula, with results seen in one to two hours. This leaves you more time to do what you love and less time spent painting.

It keeps the glossy finish over time, leaving your boat looking like new for longer.

Apply the paint with either a brush or a spray method. Pick the application method that is more suited for your space. It comes in convenient 1-quart or 4-quart sizes to fit every project. Just be sure to consider the fact that you may want multiple coats when ordering the paint for your boat.


  • Durable
  • Keeps glossy finish over time
  • Available in 8 different colors
  • Can be used on fiberglass, wood or metal


  • Oiled based formula can be messy and hard to clean up after painting


TUFF Coat UT-100 1 gallon Non-Skid Coating, Light Grey


If you are looking for a rubberized non-skid surface, TUFF Coat is your paint. Rubber is a very durable substance, making it the perfect choice for boat decks.

It will help to repel the sun’s harmful UV rays plus other environmental conditions, keeping your boat in the best shape possible.

This option only comes in gallon size, so you’ll have plenty to paint whatever you need. No mixing is required for this easy to use solution. Before you begin your project, be sure to prime the surface.

If you plan to use it on metal, you will need a specific metal primer to create the proper bond. It can be used on both metal and wooden boats, and also can be applied to docks and Pontoon boats.

Choose from eight different color options for your boat to create the perfect paint job. The rubberized traction adds a layer of safety and security for everyone on board. As an added bonus, this paint is also made in the USA.


  • 8 color options
  • Made in the USA
  • No mixing required
  • Can use on Pontoon boats


  • Need to prime the surface before painting


KiwiGrip Non-Skid Deck System, Blue, 1 Liter, KG10141R


The Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System is different from the other three options we have reviewed so far. This paint contains no fillers, unlike the other formulas. Instead, the non-slip surface comes from a texturizing process during the application.

A special roller comes with this system and using it to apply the paint creates the perfect textured, non-skid surface. The roller also allows you to adjust the amount of texture in your application, giving you exactly what you are looking for in the paint.

With this unique system, you only need to apply one coat of paint to your boat.

Only one coat means you’ll end up saving money in the end. The formula is water-based and Eco-friendly, making it a great option for the environment. It can be used on wood, fiberglass, metal, concrete or epoxy surfaces for all your traction needs. 

The system comes in five different colors. If that is not enough, you can also tint any of the colors to create your perfect shade. The colors are low glare, keeping away dangerous UV rays while out on the open water. This feature helps keep your guests safe, but also saves wear and tear on your boat’s paint job.


  • No Fillers
  • Eco-friendly
  • One coat application
  • Texture is adjustable


  • Have to apply with the specially textured roller

Factors to Consider when Buying Paint for Your Vessel

Do Your Research

Before you purchase your paint, there are a few things to consider. Not every paint is compatible with every boat, so it is important to do your research before you start. First of all, you should know what type of surface you are trying to paint. Wooden boats respond to paint much differently than metal boats and also need a different form of protection while in the water. The wrong paint can actually flake off, leaving dangerous debris in the ocean or other bodies of water. Some surfaces require special treatments such as a primer before the paint application. If the directions are not followed, the paint will not stick to the surface.

Color Options

Depending on the decor of your boat, color options might be a consideration for which paint to use on your boat. Some paints offer multiple color options, while others may be limited. Some paints can be tinted to create a custom shade just for you. You will need to decide how important color is to your project before settling on the most suitable option.

Environmental Impact

Your boat paint has to interact with the elements and the environment all the time. If your boat is stored outside, your paint job has to withstand weather, UV rays, marine organisms and more. A good paint job is crucial to keeping your boat in excellent condition. Choosing the wrong paint can have a big effect on the marine environment around you. Water-based paints are safe for the water, while oil-based paints can be more durable. Consider the impact your paint will have on the environment paired with the level of protection for your boat before you make your final decision.

Consult the Reviews

Be sure to consult the reviews. They can offer valuable information about the application process and the durability. They can also provide insight into any safety features and how it helped others to gain onboard. Armed with these important points, you can be confident you are getting the best marine paint.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimal time of day to paint the non-skid surface on your boat?

Answer: The best time to apply a non-skid surface to your boat is in the mid-morning after the dew evaporates. A sunny day will help the paint to dry properly, but you should also avoid the hottest part of the day to keep the paint from overdrying. Don’t start a painting project on a cloudy day or you might risk a tacky surface.

How do you know the proper way to apply the paint?

Answer: The best way is to read the instruction manual. Be sure to research the previous type of paint that was applied to your boat to avoid mixing paint types and creating a bigger problem. If you don’t know what type of paint is already on the surface, ask a professional for an evaluation. It is worth the extra research to get it right the first time. 

Do I need to sand between coats of paint?

Answer: Unlike other paint jobs, you do not need to sand the surface between coats of marine paint. The textured surface acts as a sanded surface, letting you skip the extra work between coats.

Final words

Choosing the best paint for boats can be a big job, but with the right research, you will have no trouble. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of some of the top-rated options, making it easy for you to find the right fit. Get ready to enjoy the benefits of a good paint job for seasons to come. Thank you for staying with us! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *