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Old 09-14-2021, 01:09 AM   #1
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Seeking info on ‘traction grit’ for painting deck...

I am planning on painting a boat deck with Durabak. Communications with the company have been a bit spotty, but the fellow from the company indicates that I need to add grit to the second coat for traction.

In his words “ Do you have a source for washed, polished, rolled dry white sand of 10 MM or less. You will need roughly 75 lbs. of it for the 2nd coat to give some friction for non-slip. PVC chips or white rubber chips can work, but the size or the material is very important. ”

I’m surprised I’d need 75 pounds of it for a 39’ boat, and there are quite a few adjectives there which make my search trickier. Not even sure what he means by ‘10 MM’ in this case. MM to me normally means millimetres but obviously not in this case. Microns? Mils? Typo?

Anyway... So far I haven’t been able to find anything much online, but I think I just haven’t narrowed down where to properly look yet. Paint supplier? Would sandblasting grit work ? I am in Canada FWIW.

Curious on people’s experiences using traction grit, and any info is appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:59 AM   #2
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When using sand as a no skid surface it is common to lay down 2+ inches of sand.

After the paint base hardens , the extra which is simply weight to assure the surface is covered and uniform , is simply removed with a broom and a hose.

Different technique but we chose Treadmaster for more sever offshore service.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:28 AM   #3
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Sounds like the 10mm is spec'ed for commercial vessels , even flight decks. I will bet that is "grit size" and 10 while aggressive, I don't think it is anywhere near 10mm.

Interlux paints have a non skid that is not aggressive but pretty effective for recreational vessels.

Could call them, but I don't think it is sand..... so chemical compatability may be an issue.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:11 AM   #4
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I used Durabak extensively on a previous boat. There is Durabak Textured and Durabak Smooth. If you use Durabak textured, the necessary grit is already in it. I personally found that 2 coats of textured and one coat of smooth over that made for the best combination of texture and ability to clean. You WILL need 2 coats of textured for it to look right. But it’s pretty aggressive so I found the one coat of smooth over that made it just right.

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Old 09-14-2021, 07:23 AM   #5
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Sounds like the 10mm is spec'ed for commercial vessels , even flight decks. I will bet that is "grit size" and 10 while aggressive, I don't think it is anywhere near 10mm.

Interlux paints have a non skid that is not aggressive but pretty effective for recreational vessels.

Could call them, but I don't think it is sand..... so chemical compatability may be an issue.
10mm is just over 3/8 inch and I would think that is huge for a deck and would be uncomfortable to walk on.
I've used the interlux "beads" several times and with gelcoat they are a great non skid size and comfortable to walk on barefooted.
But it sounds to me like you might want the textured product that was mentioned above.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:27 AM   #6
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I just did a deck with the Petit textured deck product. I suspect the grit isn't sand because it floated to the top of the can. Even doing small sections at a time, I'd end up different amounts of grit; a lot at first then less as I went along.

I also think there was a lot more grit than needed. To get the color right I mixed 2:1 untextured with textured, and even the areas I did last (with the least grit) had plenty. I also think the grit size was much too aggressive. I once slipped and scraped my knee on the deck. The scrape was a couple of inches around and bled for quite a while.

I agree with the suggestion to use an untextured coat after applying the texture. If doing three coats, I'd do the last two untextured. Also, where I did apply an untextured top coat, it's still hard to clean.

My big take-away from this project was to look for a different way to apply texture next time. No more granules of sand or anything like that on my decks!
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:00 PM   #7
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I've used a couple of different things over the years. I find that going too agressive is easy. Like CaptTom, I did a deck with crushed walnut shells that was too rough (only because the grit was fairly large). It would wear out the knees of my blue jeans in a day if I had to do any deck work. Another layer of paint helps, but sometimes it might require 2 or 3 more layers.

I still have a little jar of "real boat deck sand" (Pettit? Interlux?) that was crazy expensive. Now I go to https://kleenblast.com/#tab-1 in Tacoma where I can get #50 of sand for about the same price in a variety of grits. A builder's supply house that carries plastering materials will also have a selection.

Unless you can find somebody who has done exactly what you want, you'll need to experiment a little. Do tests with a commercial spice shaker and see if it needs to be any prettier.

Best if your abrasive medium is the same color as the deck paint.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:12 PM   #8
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We did the decks of our last boat with Kiwigrip. It was a lot less work than what you are talking about. I did sand the old nonskid off before doing the painting. But then just tape and paint. Glop it on, spread it around with a plastic trowel and roll it out with a texture roller. Pull the tape immediately so it doesn’t get held in by the paint when it dries and you are done. It is also very easy to repair since a couple of the POs deck repairs needed to be redone. Kiwigrip will cover minor cracks and imperfections too. Clean up with water.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:54 PM   #9
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We did the decks of our last boat with Kiwigrip. It was a lot less work than what you are talking about. I did sand the old nonskid off before doing the painting. But then just tape and paint. Glop it on, spread it around with a plastic trowel and roll it out with a texture roller. Pull the tape immediately so it doesn’t get held in by the paint when it dries and you are done. It is also very easy to repair since a couple of the POs deck repairs needed to be redone. Kiwigrip will cover minor cracks and imperfections too. Clean up with water.
Like Dave, I use Kiwigrip. Been happy with it.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:39 PM   #10
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Also Kiwigrip wears like iron. When I had to fix a PO repair I had to use 40 grit on a belt sander to het through the Kiwigrip.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:49 AM   #11
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Not useful on pleasure boats ,but carrier flight decks use flint in quite large shards.

Yes a barefoot walk would be bloody , but so would the call to the admiral saying a half dozen $70,000,000 aircraft slid over the side .
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:39 AM   #12
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I've not used Durabak, all I can offer is what their web site says with regard to their textured poduct

"specially treated rubber granules self-contained in a totally flexible polyurethane base resulting in the "give” & “comfort” that no other non-slip boat paint offers...."

Sounds like they've got just what you need.

If you want to use your own grit here's the technique I've used sucessfully with many kinds of paint. Two part epoxy, polyurethane, oil based. Pretty much anything.

- Paint the margins, the parts you don't want grit in.
- When thoroughly cured mask the edges of the margin to grit area.
- Working with a roller lay down a moderatly heavy coat.
- When you've got about an arm's lenght of an area done sprinkle sand in a uniform layer leaving an unsanded wet edge. More sand than you need for the final appearance. The two inch layer mentioned above is not necessary.
- Extend the painted area and add more sand. Repeat unitl the deck is covered.
- Let it all cure
- Broom off the excess sand
- One or two more well thinned coats depending upon how agressive you want the non skid to be

The sand is whatever you want to use for coarseness. For a farily agressive non skid on a recreational boat playground sand works. For a less aggressive non skid the fine white sand is used, harder to find and more expensive.

Any way to uniformly spread the sand works. Evey something as simple as a jar with metal lid and holes poked in the jar.

If done in two part epoxy this will give you a very durable and professional looking job. But, it's a lot of work. Durabak's textured or Kiwigrip is going to be a lot easier and work just fine.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:00 PM   #13
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This is a timely post for me as my foredeck is quite unsightly from the efforts of the PO with the use of sand and Awlgrip. He used quite a large size of grit and it’s uneven. It’s also a dirt trap and is still splotchy after vigorous scrubbing.

The foredeck on KK42’s has a high degree of slant, so something is required on the deck. I have considered engaging some outfit to put a textured FRP surface on the deck but that would be a lot of money. Either way, I’m going to have remote the previous surface. As the PO removed the teak on the foredeck and side decks, I should probably give it all a good inspection and possibly a layer or two of “glass” in the process.

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Old 09-15-2021, 12:13 PM   #14
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I coated the flying bridge deck with Alwgrip snow white and shook Interlux non-slip powder out of a container with screen over the stop to get an even spread. It seemed a bit too scratchy after that when it dried, and I spread a very thinned coat of Awlgrip over it for a very effective non-slip surface which lasted many years and may still be there for all I know.
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Old 09-15-2021, 02:44 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies!

I finally got a good connection with Ray at Durabak and we got all the way through my list of questions and sorted things out. I have to clarify- he’s been really great to deal with. Incredibly helpful. The distance, bad internet connections and heavy workloads on both ends got in the way a bit.

Turns out the ‘10 MM’ thing was a typo. And as for the real particle size, to make a long story short, basically what I want is about 100 grit, in sandpaper language. Which makes perfect sense of course when I think about it.

Turns out that Durabak sells some sort of PVC anti-skid flakes. Presumably the same stuff they mix into their paint. So I ordered some of that stuff. Problem solved. His instructions are to lay down two coats, then some grit, then another smooth coat on top of that, as some of you have recommended. He suggested using a leaf blower to blow the PVC onto the paint.

I am using the clear version of Durabak, painting over a wood deck in this case, and the clear version does not come with the traction with in it, which is another thing I had been confused about.

The reason the clear version does not come with anti-skid is that this leaves the user free to choose what color of grit substance you want to use, depending on what you are painting over top of.

Some other stuff I learned-
Ray said that most of the forms of grit I did manage to find online would have worked. Mostly what I found was available from sandblasting suppliers. Common substances seem to be silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, glass beads, and walnut/pecan shell. Sand off the beach/wherever would work if it was clean, but it might not be pretty and the particle size might not be what you want.

Anyway- sounds like it ain’t rocket science. I’ll do some tests first. I’m not too keen on having sandpaper for a deck either.

I do have some Kiwigrip and may be using some on this deck at some point, depending on how well it plays with the Durabak. The main reason for using Durabak instead, is that it has the bonus of being completely waterproof. The Kiwigrip is not. According to the company rep I talked to, it’s somewhat permeable so I’d need to seal the wood with something else first. Sounds like with Kiwigrip alone I would end up with the wood trapped under a semi-permeable membrane.
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Old 09-15-2021, 02:50 PM   #16
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Another vote for Kiwi-Grip. Easy to use, tough, water clean up. And you can somewhat adjust the texture/coarseness when painting it on by how much or how little of the product you apply and drying time (temperature dependent).
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:56 PM   #17
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Have a look at this video.
He is using Soft Sand and it gives a great result.

https://www.boatworkstoday.com/video...id-i-apply-it/
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:43 AM   #18
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I used silica sand on our decks. Rolled a coat of two pack poly paint on and applied the sand with a shaker. When dry, rolled another coat over it.
Worked very well as an anti slip but was as rough as sandpaper which was not so good.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:54 AM   #19
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An easy no skid for fairly flat decks can be done with _coarse_ cotton mosquito net .

What the Canada campers use to keep out the B52 sized black or green flies,not no see ums.

The deck is laid out in pencil with clear of no skid areas for looks , the net is spray starched flat then cut to the pattern on the deck.

2 part epoxy (you mix in the hardener) is rolled onto the deck , the netting is laid on with a a "steel roller" as is used for laminating.

This can position the netting and sink it into the paint.

A thin second coat of paint is laid on when the first is not yet hard.

Cheap ,looks great , and repairable as cotton grinds off easier than sand
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:33 AM   #20
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Valspar Paints (Lowe's) makes a non-skid deck paint that's tintable and goes on thick enough to fill minor imperfections in fiberglass decks, etc. Been using it for years with good durability and color retention. About $30 a gallon around here.
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