Painting The Boat’s Headliner

The headliner in our boat was looking terrible. There was oil engine from when Gary had changed the engine oil and somehow it sprayed. There were several vanish splotches and various black marks. I’ve tried to clean it, but nothing seemed to work. I finally decided to try and cover the marks with Kiwi shoe whitener. I did a spot here and a spot there. The only problem was that then I had a brighter spot of white than the rest of the liner. There was also a sheen difference. The original liner was shinier and the whitener was more of a flat white.  After several months, the brightener seemed to be holding up and doing fine, so I decided to do the entire liner in the salon.

Before photo. Pre-spotting, and oil spots.

The shoe whitener is designed to be flexible and to be able to hold up on your shoes, so I’m thinking that it will hold up to boat conditions. I drilled a hole right under the sponge to make it easier to dispense, and I poured it into a small plastic container. I used a dish cleaning sponge to apply it, taped the surrounding teak and did one section at a time. Some paints will show sheen differences if you stop and start. There were several spots that needed more than one coat, and I came back and hit those spots several times. There doesn’t seem to be a sheen difference from doing multiple coats. The good thing is that it will be easy to do touchups when the time comes. Since we store our fishing poles on racks along the ceiling I’m sure we will end up with a few marks. It’s a low ceiling, so those that are not height challenged like I am, are constantly ducking while inside (causing more marks).

Shoe whitener & dish sponge

It took about 4 bottles of 4 oz whitener. The bottles were $4 – 5 each, so throw in a $6, roll of painters tape and it’s a project that you’ll be into for about $25. I think it was money well spent. I will update if we have any problems with it, but for now, I’m really happy with how it turned out.

After photo. I have the covers on the windows, so the lighting isn’t optimal.