Restoring some old paddles found at the cottage!

Whilst rummaging around the cottage shed I came across two paddles, they were showing their age, as the wood was discoloured and varnish was peeling off, structurally they were no longer as sound as they once were.  What was I to do? use them in the boats in case of an emergency? discard them? No – I thought to myself with a little time and effort I can bring these paddles back to life and at the same time bringing some Canadiana back into my cottage.

Overall the project took me just a few hours to complete, and just a little bit of sweat equity as I had most of the materials lying around the cottage

Old Paddle

Materials I used:

  • 2 Canoe Paddles
  • 1 tube of wood filler
  • 1 quart of candy red paint
  • 1 orbital sander
  • 1 quart of candy red paint
  • 1 orbital sander
  • 2 – 100 grit sanding discs for the orbital sander
  • 400 grit wet sanding paper
  • 1 can of spray adhesive
  • 1 can of gloss clear coat
  • 1 rag for cleaning
  • 1 utility knife
  • 1 sheet of clear plastic
  • 1 computer and printer
  • 2 Brushes
  • 1 – Lot old newspapers or cardboard to cover work surface

Below are the steps I took:

  • I began by filling in any cracks, holes or imperfections with the wood filler on the 2 paddles
  • After letting the wood filler set overnight, I used my orbital sander with the 100 grit sanding disks to smooth down the paddles, remove all varnish that remained, and sand down stickers that were on the paddles.
  • I cleaned the paddles down with a clean damp cloth, removing any remaining dust. I let the paddles dry up prior to first application of paint
  • Using a nice soft brush I applied 3 coats of Candy Red paint allowing appropriate time for drying in between coats.

    Maple Leaf stencil
  • After application of the 3 coats I used 400 grit wet sandpaper to get a smoother finished, and wiped down any residue left behind.
  • I then downloaded a picture of a maple leafs and printed it on a piece of paper.
  • Once printed out I used the picture as a template and using a utility knife cut out the image on a piece of plastic
  • Once cut out I used spray adhesive on the back of the plastic and temporarily adhered it to the paddles.
  • The maple leaf image was painted with a soft paint brush and the plastic film was removed prior to adhering to the paddle permanently.
  • Once dry I applied 3 coats of gloss clear coat to finish the paddles.


Hope you enjoyed my project  – if you have any other creative paddle ideas you would like to share with me please leave comments in the space below

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

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