There are a few different ways to repair a duck decoy. Before using any of the following methods, start by washing the decoy. To do this, use a mild cleaner such as a citrus spray, as well as a scrubbing brush. Give the decoy plenty of time to dry before you get started. If you do not allow the decoy to dry, the primer and paint will not bind to it.
Hot clue is great for repairing cracks along the keel of the decoy as well as pellet holes. It has a high strength and it dries very fast. Give the hot glue gun plenty of time to heat up before using it, however. If the glue is not fully warmed up, it will not seep into the cracks and will only sit on the surface of the damage, leaving the source of the problem untreated. As a plus, hot glue is relatively low in cost as well. It only costs about ten dollars to buy a glue gun and some glue sticks. Even at this low cost, a hot glue gun is the second best way for you to repair cracks in a duck decoy and a quick, reliable way to fix pellet holes.
A soldering iron is the best way to fix a damaged plastic duck decoy. Essentially, the soldering iron is used almost like a welder, except that you are welding plastic instead of metal. This is the most permanent and most structurally secure method available. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult and the most time consuming method as well. You must use the iron to very carefully melt and smear plastic over the damaged area. If done improperly, you can accidentally make the hole bigger or puncture the decoy with the iron. You might need to purchase a piece of plastic of a similar color to use as a filler. To keep from burning yourself, you should wear insulating gloves while using the soldering iron since they reach temperatures of about seven hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
Adhesives are great for repairing both cracks and pellet holes. They are just as effective as hot glue in the long run. It might be a better choice to use hot glue, however, since it is cheaper and takes less time to dry. It takes quite a bit of time for the chemical reactions to complete and the glue to become solid. Nevertheless this is an effective method. Options include Guerilla Glue, Elmer’s Polyurethane glue, and Sportsman’s Goop.
To use polypropylene rope you need to set the tip on fire and hold the rope horizontally. The fire will cause the top to melt and drip. You can use the drops to fill pellet holes. It can be difficult to control where the rope drips. To prevent a mess from happening, it is a good idea to make a stencil of the area that you want filled with a piece of paper. As with a soldering iron, gloves should be worn in order to avoid burning yourself while using this method. This method is both reliable and fast for fixing pellet holes. It should not be used in order to repair cracks in your duck decoy, however.
The idea behind this is to fill the decoy with an expanding foam such as Great Stuff. Some people have recommended this method but we do not recommend it. The foam seems to add a lot of weight to the decoy, and in many cases causes it to become deformed. Don’t try it unless you are thinking about buying a new decoy anyway and you just want to see what happens.
Whatever method you use to fix the duck decoy, you will need to paint it when you are finished. To do this start with a coat of primer. Use a small brush or an earwax cleaner to paint the area with a latex or oil primer. Give the primer plenty of time to dry before proceeding. Once it has dried, paint it with the appropriate color of latex or oil based paint. Alternatively, you can use spray paint primer and paint. If you decide to do this, create a stencil with a piece of paper.