How To Wax Over Your Boat’s Lettering

Q: How should I wax over lettering?

A: Very carefully! I’ll answer this question in reference to both types of lettering – graphics that are flat such as your boat’s name and the plastic or metal letters that are raised, such as the make of your boat typically found on the side of the housing structure.

For graphic lettering, it’s best to avoid buffing over them with a buffer. Too many things can happen such as catching an edge of one of the letters and ripping it off or scratching the graphic if you’re using a cleaner wax or compound or if your buffer has any grit in it. It’s best to buff around the lettering, getting as close to it as you can without actually touching the letters. Then take a rag and wax inside the letters and around them where the buffer couldn’t go by hand. Use a strong cleaner wax so you have a better chance of getting a glossy result to match the areas nearby that were buffed with a buffer. You can wax over the letters if you use a pure, soft wax (not a cleaner wax or wax with any compound mixed in). Spray wax is great for this type of application.

If your boat has raised metal or plastic letters, such as the manufacture name on the side of the housing structure, it’s best to try and take these letters off if they’re screwed on. This way, you can buff the whole area so it has a nice, even shine to it and then affix the letters back on.

If they’re stuck on with adhesive, then leave them alone and be very careful buffing around them. If you catch the edge of a letter with the buffer pad, it can easily go flying off and as we all know, anything that falls off the boat and can’t float ALWAYS lands in the lake instead of on the deck or dock. In this case, follow the steps above for waxing in and around graphic lettering.

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