DIY Project: Patch a Duck Decoy

It’s a shame to throw away a plastic duck decoy just because it has a couple of pellet holes and is taking on a little water. Better to patch it, save some money, and keep the old block in action.

Clean the Deke
Use warm, sudsy water, a scrub brush, and a hose.

Locate the Leak
Fill a washtub with water and plunge the decoy in, holding it under to get water in any shot holes. Dry the decoy, then squeeze it while turning it to locate leaks. Mark spots with an indelible marker.

Drain It
Drill a ¼-inch drain hole in the tail section and rack the decoy upside down to dry for several days.

Prep for Sealing
Drill out shot holes using a 1/8- or 3/16-inch drill bit. This allows the patch material to easily enter and spread out inside the decoy.

Plug the Holes
Use Lexel, a synthetic rubber found at hardware and home improvement stores. Squeeze a generous amount of it into each drilled-out hole. Use a moistened finger to spread material around the hole's rim and ensure a good seal. Don't forget the tail drain hole.

Prep for Painting
After letting the decoy dry for a few days, sand down large or irregular bumps of Lexel. Use fine steel wool to scuff up portions you're touching up (or the whole decoy).

Paint the Decoy
Use satin-finish latex paint and a ¼-inch brush for finer work, a ½-inch brush for wider swaths.