Boat Deck Repair: How to Refinish a Boat Deck

  • 2-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-125
What You'll Need
Wood stripper
Paint scraper
Wood stain
Paint brushes

A deck repair involving the refinishing of a boat deck is a project that can be handled by most any do-it-yourselfer. Refinishing a boat deck is similar in process to refinishing a patio deck. All you simply need are a few tools and materials in order to accomplish the task of refinishing you boat deck. Many of the items needed to refinish a boat deck may be found throughout your home.

Step 1: Purchase Materials for Refinishing a Boat Deck

From a home improvement center or hardware store you need to purchase the supplies needed to refinish your boat’s deck. The wood stripper that you purchase should be of a type that is safe to use on all types of wood and produce little to no toxic fumes or other side effects through its use.

Step 2: Apply the Wood Stripper

Apply wood stripper to the boat deck according to the instructions found on the container. The stripper can be applied with a paint brush (use a different paint brush when you apply the stain and varnish coats).

As the wood stripper is applied, take a paint scraper and gently scrape the paint residue and material that bubbles up. The paint or stain will scrape up like a sludge material so be sure to have plenty of rags nearby and a bucket to discard the waste in. You may also want to wear gloves when applying the wood stripper and scraping the paint residue from the deck of the boat.

Step 3: Sand the Boat Deck Surface

Take sandpaper and sand the surface of the boat deck after you have cleaned up all of the sludge material from the surface. You will need to sand any uneven or rough portions of the boat deck in order to make it smooth and ready for the application of wood stain and a varnish sealant.

Step 4: Apply Wood Stain to Boat Deck Surface

Apply the wood stain to the boat deck surface using a paint brush. Use even strokes when applying the stain in order to eliminate uneven or unsightly brush strokes. You can use a rag to also to apply the stain if you like or to wipe up any excess stain left behind from use of the paint brush.

Step 5: Apply Varnish to the Boat Deck Surface

Allow the stain to dry completely and touch up and areas that were missed during its application. Once dry, apply a coat or two of varnish to seal the stain and provide protection for your boat deck. Be sure to choose a varnish that is waterproof and able to withstand the rigors of being on the water and being exposed to direct sunlight over prolonged periods of time. On occasion you will need to refinish the boat deck in order to keep it from warping or becoming damaged.