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-----

"Painting an aluminum boat"



Current postings:

April 29, 2022

Q. I have a question about spot priming to repair and repaint an aluminum boat. Boat previously painted with one part polyurethane marine paint. Holding up very well.

Needs spot repair. After sanding and necessary prep, is Rustoleum self etch primer adequate for bare aluminum? Is it compatible with sanded and scuffed surrounding existing polyurethane paint. Can it be sprayed over existing paint? Does self-etching primer need a top coat before repainting? Boat to be repainted afterward with one part marine polyurethane.

David Krysiak
- North Adams Masschusetts
^


May 3, 2022

A. Self etching primer must be OK. You can test it on piece of aluminum scrap. Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Cerovski vrh
^




Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

2001

Q. I'm currently building an aluminum boat and I would like to paint this boat once it is complete. I've talked to a few different people about the method used to paint aluminum but I don't quite know what the correct method would be for painting aluminum?

I would appreciate any help that you may provide.

Gregory P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Lafitte, Louisiana
^


similarly 2002

Q. Hi,

I saw your post on painting an aluminum boat. I could not find an answer. Could you share any responses you got. I have a Gregor aluminum v-hull and I want to paint it brown for freshwater duck hunting. Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks,

M Millen
- Los Gatos, California
^


Trolling Motor


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Primer for Aluminum


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A. If you want to paint an aluminum boat you first have to use a aluminum oxide primer. Make sure the boat is totally clean before priming (lightly sand the boat) then use a tack cloth [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and rub the boat down. Then prime it with the aluminum oxide primer.

After that dries, you can paint it with whatever you like.I have done 4 boats this way...they turned out great!

Hope this helps,

Marshall

james marshall
James Marshall
- hot springs, Arkansas
^


sidebar May 16, 2007

We thank Marshall for this information -- but please note that he is suggesting a primer designed for aluminum oxide (oxidized aluminum) surfaces -- not a primer comprised of aluminum oxide. You will see the confusion running through this thread until the entry for May 15, 2007 which clarifies what James is speaking of. Sorry.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


"How to Paint Your Boat"
from Abe Books
or

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(commissions from your purchases make finishing.com possible)

2002

Q. Good advise. How did you apply the oxide primer? Wagner Sprayer [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]? I am a novice at this, so be real basic please. Thanks! I just bought an aluminum jon boat that needs a good paint job to bring some life to it...

Paul [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Gilbert, Arizona
^


2003

Q. I am getting ready to paint my 12 ft aluminum boat and I understand that I need to use a Self-Etching Primer [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] but my question is do I need to get all of the old paint off or just get off what I can and use the primer over the bare metal as well as the sanded down old paint. Sanding all of the paint off is a hell of a job. Any suggestions.

Christopher L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Tamarac, Florida
^


A. You want to remove any non-adherent paint (because it does no good for your fresh paint to stick to non-adherent paint), and you want to scuff the surface of the remaining paint, Christopher. But there is little benefit in sanding away adherent factory paint. (Readers please note that this advise is for the owner of a 12-foot aluminum boat, not for a boat manufacturer).

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2004

Hello,

I recently also started work on my 1966 12' Aluminum Speed Master and had to strip down about 8-10 coats of paint. Try using Kleanstrip KS-3. The BEST! about $15 or so for a large amount. I had to go through soooo many coats, both in and out, that I went through 1 and 1/4 cans. Which isn't bad, seeing that the one at some boat store I bought cost double, and was not as tough as this stuff is.. I guess I will ask around about this aluminum oxide primer, and see if I can get the low down, since it seems that we are all in the same place and are getting ready to paint soon. Try the Stripper. I guarantee it!

Mario G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Torrance, California
^


sidebar

My recollection is that KS-3 is a methylene chloride based stripper. Check the contents and, if so, note that methylene chloride is highly toxic and you must be careful to wear goggles [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and Rubber Gloves [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and only work outside with good ventilation.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2004 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Dear sirs ,

I am the proud owner of a 12 ft V-Hull aluminum boat. Great little boat but in dire need of being spruced up. My problem is that I would like to paint and I'm not sure what steps I need to follow nor which products I should use.

Kindly let me know what you would suggest in layman's terms .

Thank You, Very Much Appreciated,

Lourdes G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Hobbyist - Lake Worth, Florida
^


2004

Q. I just got a 14 ft aluminum Jon boat and I want to paint it but I need to know where to find some aluminum oxide primer. got any suggestions?

Billy J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
fishing guide - Celina, Texas
^

----
Ed. note: See the entry of May 15, 2007, Billy. You are looking for a primer designed for aluminum oxide surfaces, i.e., aluminum boats, not a primer based on aluminum oxide chemistry.


2005

Q. Can anybody help with information re process and materials to be utilized in painting and protecting of new aluminium 5.6 m recreational vessel.

Many thanks,

Mike W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
retired surveyor - Perth, Western Australia, Australia
^


A. Hi, Mike. As we get towards bigger boats & newer boats, more professional approaches are required. These include cleaning with Alumiprep 33 [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and chromate conversion coating with Alodine 1201 [linked by editor to info/product on Amazon] before painting. These are hazardous materials (expensive to ship), and care must be used to avoid environmental damage.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


"Boatbuilding with Aluminum: A Complete Guide for the Amateur and Small Shop"
by Stephen F. Pollard
from Abe Books
or

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DVD: Brushing Awlgrip


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Awlgrip products


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2005

Q. I have a old V hull aluminum boat that I want to refinish with my son, I have all the old paint off and am ready to do all the patching that will be needed to make the hull water tight. What is the best product to seal the hull? Glass.......or what.

Thanks,

Eric W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Father & Son - Jax, Florida
^


2005

A. To paint Aluminum is labor intensive. The environmental effects of zinc chromate (aluminum primer) is deadly to the human body.

We use Aluma-wash then Alumiprep 33 [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] before the primer is applied. Awl-Grip is the preferred color paint involving a two part process that is expensive. All Aluminum starts corroding (rusting) once it hits the air while some have anodizing applied but if scratched or welded the erosion continues. Our boats range from 40 to 200 feet and few paint jobs last more than ten years.

In Ft.Lauderdale, a private tug named Hero still operates for over 30 years without any paint. She is all aluminum with an air-cooled diesel and no thru-hulls. Her entire hull covering exists of a wax coating on the inside and outside. Zero problems and no maintenance after the initial coat.

steven m [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Ft .Laud. Florida
^


2005

Can I use Awl-Grip to paint an aluminum jon boat? If so, does all of the old paint need to be removed or just sanded? Also, do I need to prime when using awl grip? Thank you for any help!

Greg E [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Hobby - Dania Beach, Florida
^


2005

Q. I was fishing in Oregon last year near the Pacific Ocean where I met a mobile boat cleaning service. The owner sprayed a chemical compound on my aluminum boat, brushed it and washed it off leaving the boat looking like new. What type of compounds would he have used?

Blaine H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Fisherman - Windsor, California
^


A. Hi, Blaine. This acid wash probably contained hydrofluoric acid. You'll see the same stuff used in some commercial truck washes for aluminum tankers. Hydrofluoric acid is really dangerous stuff -- leave it to somebody else!

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2005

We live in Phoenix Az. and want to go boating during hot summer months.We cannot touch the interior so we want to paint the interior white. This boat has never been in the water and is brand new. what kind of paint and where I can purchase the paint? Thank You.
ps. The boat color is olive drab and not a smooth finish.

Richard P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Phoenix, Arizona
^


2005

Q. What is the fastest and easiest method to remove a water line from an aluminum boat hull? I have a new boat and recently put it into a lake for four days. When pulled it already had a "scum line" that I would like to remove as easily and quickly as possible. What are product choices that are effective for removal of the line? I would then like to coat the hull with some type of product/protectant that will keep scum lines from reoccurring.

I do not want to use an acid wash at this stage since the line is on a relatively new surface. My mission is to accomplish this feat as fast and easy as possible.

Dwayne R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
fishing enthusiast - Oroville, California
^


2005

A. In response to Dwayne with the "scum line". I recently owned a 14 ft. semi V aluminum boat and when I got it, it looked terrible. It had been used in a local river that is nasty. The scum ring on the boat was three layered and terrible. I tried many things even a power drill and attachment. I finally decided to try 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler]. not the kind that is course but in the wood working business we call it angel hair. It took off all the rings with less effort and more quickly than all the other attempts combined. You could probably try Brillo pads also. NOTE: My boat did not have decals. Always use these with a bucket of water to keep the surface wet. You may have to rinse every foot and a half to prevent drying.

Jason W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Tupelo, Mississippi
^


2005

I am still not sure if you absolutely have to remove the old paint on the boat before you paint again but I do know the process after that. You should use a self etching primer first. One coat is enough. It is available anywhere automotive paint is. It has a catalyst so be sure to purchase it too. Next 2 coats of epoxy primer are needed. This is also a 2 part primer. Finally you can use any automotive paint to paint your boat once you have went through those steps. Be sure once you sand your boat to prep for painting you use a lacquer thinner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] to remove any grease etc., wipe it on and then wipe it off wet. Also you should use a tack cloth after that to insure all dust removed. Then just follow the primer and paint steps above. A previously painted boat....dunno if you need to completely remove the old paint though.

Justin R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Dyersburg, Tennessee
^



2006

I am restoring a 70's era aluminum runabout, it has several coats of paint on the hull exterior and I would like to return it to its original aluminum finish . do aluminum boats come from the factory with a protective coating ? after repolishing the hull will I need to protect it from salt water?

Dan Mackinnon
hobbyist - Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
^


Primer for Aluminum


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2006

THE QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED IS........ WHERE THE HELL CAN YOU BUY ALUMINUM OXIDE PRIMER? everyone keeps saying that you need to use it but I have been online for hours and still can not find out where I can buy some. I see that others are struggling to find it too. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Nathan Theriault
bass angler - Dover, New Hampshire
^

----
Ed. note: Apologies, Nathan! Please see the entry of May 15, 2007. You are looking for a primer designed for use on aluminum oxide surfaces, not a primer based on aluminum oxide chemistry In other words, a zinc phosphate primer for amateurs and (possibly) a zinc chromate primer for professionals. Sorry for the confusion!


2006

I want to know the proper procedures for exterior and interior painting an aluminum boat that will be used for duck hunting. I would also like to know the type of paint/epoxy to use on the boat.

Thanks,

Tim Brown
Hobbyist - Greenbrier, Tennessee
^


2006

From: ++++++
Nathan, I strongly agree with your posting! I just bought an aluminum boat earlier today and I too am looking for refinishing tips.
Check out this link I found for your primers and stuff... go to... Jamestowndistributors.com and do a search for PRIMER. Look to the right side for Epifanes Epoxy Primer - White. I hope this helps. In the meantime I'll keep looking for more info.

M'Lisa Dalley
- Bastrop, Texas
^


2006

You can get the self etching primer at Autozone, or at NAPA.

Hope that helps.

Jeff B. Steavens
- Lansing, Michigan
^


2006

Hey all

type in "marine paint specialist" they will have any materials needed for the paint and preparation.paint on "any" surface can be treated using the right preparation method, therefore allowing you to paint over an existing finish. In regards to using an automotive paint after you have applied the correct primer"I WOULD STRONGLY ADVISE USING MARINE PAINT" as this is designed for that purpose, it may be more expensive, but it will be a lot more durable than a standard automotive paint.

Regards
Steven Thomson
(V.W., Audi specialist)

Steven Thomson
- Wellington, New Zealand
^


2006

Hi I paint aluminum boats and a lot of other ships of marine, Zinc chromate works but and or some type of acid etch primer then a barrier coat (epoxy) hi build is very protective, watch for the window of overcoating as it will not stick if left to long, it is a very hard primer. Then some kind of sealer but not necessary, this will keep out bleeding or staining but also gives a better bond to the top coat, and most automotive, or marine paint, which marine is always more expensive. Endura also has a full package of marine setup, very durable. Awlgrip [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] is also compatible with aluminum, awesome finish but expensive. Make sure you sand the aluminum with at least 80 grit for good adhesion, washing first with some type of degreaser or lacquer thinner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] before you start anything or you just grind it into the metal.

Victor Gabrielson
- Ladysmith, B.C., Canada
^


2006

Hi. I want to paint the inside of my 16 foot Aluminum boat. I know about the Aluminum Oxide Primer and the tack cloth. Now I can't find the Scuff coat gray paint (or non skid Paint) to paint over the primer.

Thanks

Georgie L. Bednar
Retired - Pueblo, Colorado
^


2006

Found some info on painting aluminium mast including advice on overcoating previously painted Aluminium.
Go to www.oceannavigator.com/articles/9613/2

Jason Hollister
- Tasmania, Australia
^

----
Ed. note: That link no longer works, but you could go to the site and see if the article still exists.


2006

To Mario.
Stripping a riveted hall . When you stripped your boat with "Klean-Strip", did you have any problems with the rivets, or seams?
Thanks

Steve Mulder
Boat painting and stripping - Hazel Park, Michigan
^


2006

I have a neighbor that has an aluminum boat that has a Rhino bedliner spray on the hull. It won't leak at all and looks attractive. He claims he doesn't have any algae problems either. Something to consider. I thought it was creative idea myself. Hope this helps.

Todd Canty
- Fenton, Michigan
^


2006

Someone mentioned they had a Rhino lining on their hull, I inquired as I am restoring a 16 foot Springbok cruiser and the price is reasonable. They quoted my $1000.00 Canadian and that includes the stripping and prep work. This is from a auto collision centre who is an authorized dealer for Rhino lining.

In my opinion, considering all the time and expenses with doing it yourself for stripping paint and painting and that this may be required every 5 - 10 years it certainly seems beneficial to go the Rhino lining way...heck I even decided to do the interior too (since it comes in 4 different colors) my appointment is next week and I can't wait to see the outcome.

W. Abbink
Hobbyist - Kingston, Ontario, Canada
^


2006

W. Abbink
How did the rhino lining turn out? How is it holding up? I would like to see some pics.

Dustin Rogers
- Vista, California
^


2006

I just painted my 14 ft jon boat about 6 months ago and it turned out great. I used a product called armourpoxy which is a one stage epoxy, all you need to do is lightly sand the hull and brush on. all of the brush marks will disappear and it will look great. although it comes out great the process sucks and the paint is really thick. overall the outcome is worth it I'll have the best lookin boat around. good luck

Tom keeney
parts manager - Westminster, Maryland
^


2006

I would not have truck liner type coating on the exterior bottom of any hull. This will create drag and reduce performance. Installed on the inside of a boat however is beneficial in most cases as it can reduce noise in boat acting as an insulator, cool off the floor in summer months, deter corrosion, slip resistance, covers existing scratches etc, etc.

Hope this helps.

Dean P. Theriot
- Houma, Louisiana
^


Trolling Motor


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2007

I decided to do the rhino liner on the exterior of an aluminum boat, rhino does not make it without the abrasive, however I did find a company that does which eliminates the resistance while in the water because it leaves a smooth surface.

Leon Pence
- Waterford, California
^


2007

Hi, read a number of postings re. painting alu boats. with ref to the costs being high to paint , just wondered if you have considered using bitumen on the outside under the waterline ? We use it on boats which are on drying moorings and /or get beached. Not the prettiest finish but self heals on scratches and deadens sound a little. Only needs 1 coat and sticks to anything so lessens prep time; doesn't need etched alu.
tip- choose a hot day to apply - spread is much more even.

jerry disley
- westby dorset England
^


2007

Perhaps you should consider soda blasting your aluminium boats to clean,strip and prepare for painting. Works great. and is fast.

Alan MacDonald
- Halifax, NS, Canada
^


2007

Hey Folks

I also have a V bottom aluminum boat that I have been working on. Having looked long and hard for a decent looking boat and trailer, I wanted to do the job right. So far I have only cleaned the outside of it and it works. My neighbor does a lot of hot-rod type work on vehicles. He gave me a bottle of Eagle 1 Mag Wheel Cleaner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and it worked. Just follow instructions, spray on, wait 30 seconds and rinse off with water. You will be amazed at how well it works on the aluminum. I did both the outside and inside of the boat, used 2 bottles of the stuff and cost me a total of about $15.00 (US dollars). Now I did run into some stubborn stains and I used some 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] and a scrub brush to take care of it. I am still looking for something to paint the inside of the bottom of the boat. Hope this helps out.

Semper Fi

Jack Landrum
- Arkansas City, Kansas
^


2007

I have bought self etching primer at Napa. It is an auto parts store.

Nate Braun
- Eagan, Minnesota
^


2007

I have just inherited a 1958 Arkansas traveler.
I understand it was originally red.
My uncle has painted (up the water line) disgusting blue.
He has also painted the inside with a broom (it appears),also blue.
I was going to scrub it clean,re-spray the interior gray, replace the wood and re-spray the hull original red.
Will it stick and help protect the bow?
Or fall off and look like crap?
Total novice of boat repair,fanatic of catching rainbow trout.
-JB

Jeffrey Wayne Bess
consumer - Estacada, Oregon
^


2007

Where can I purchase aluminum oxide primer and how do you apply it?

RICK SHERMAN
- Albertville, Alabama
^


2007

My 1968 Duracraft 19.5' aluminum boat has been painted by a previous owner using Ford automotive paint. Although the paint is not peeling, cracked, or chipping I would like to change the color. My question is, do I have to strip it down to bare metal or can I just sand, prime, and repaint over the existing paint?

Chris Sikorski
Consumer/Hobbyist - Warren, Michigan
^


May 15, 2007

Can't believe this thread started years ago and people are still asking about aluminum oxide primer, LOL. If you do an "Internet 101" google search or talk to any marine paint store you will quickly find that you should be using consumer formulated - ZINC Phosphate ZINC Phosphate not Aluminum Oxide to prime aluminum boats, and yes it is also for below waterline applications.

Michael Sepot
- Chicago, Illinois
^


sidebar May 18, 2007

I think Marshall was suggesting that you need to use a primer designed for use on aluminum oxide surfaces (whether that be zinc chromate, zinc phosphate, or otherwise). While some readers understood that, other readers misread this to mean a primer based upon aluminum oxide chemistry -- and unfortunately the error went uncorrected. Sorry.

We thank you for the clarification and recommendation, Michael! But the reason the site and this thread have survived so long is that we don't print flames. Smug posts lead to flaming posts, so they're best avoided as well :-)

Thanks again for sorting it out!

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



2007

Hello,

I was looking for boat trailer paint info on the web when I stumbled unto this page. It appears most of you are trying to find a product that will help paint adhere to aluminum. With many years of experience in the commercial glass & glazing business, we have used , successfully I might add, the NAPA brand self etching primer for curtain walls & storefront aluminum framing finish touch ups. I have personally used it on KYNAR paint & anodized finishes in this area. 100+ degree temperature swing. It adheres well as long as the substrate is lightly sanded & wiped clean with Isopropyl Alcohol [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. This product should help bond your top coat to your aluminum.

Jon Zalaznik
- Omaha, Nebraska
^


2007

Hey guys, I've browsed through most of the posts, and from what I've read, this is the process I need to complete:

Strip boat down to bare metal
Sand with 80 grit paper
Apply Self-Etching Primer [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]
Apply two part enamel marine paint
Apply some sort of clear coat

Is it possible to use the two part enamel for the bottom and above the waterline? I've been told the trick to getting the paint to stick is to sand the aluminum until it is shiny, since a dull finish is oxidation which will fall off. Thanks for the advice guys.

Matt Fraser
- Thompson, MB, Canada
^


Trolling Motor


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2007

I'm 17 a senior in high school and I recently purchased a boat in need of new paint. Guys have been saying that I need to clean the hull after sanding/stripping with a household cleaner or dewaxing solvent to make sure the paint adheres. I was wondering if it is important that all of the cleaner/dewaxing solvent is washed or wiped off before the primer goes on. thanks

Brett M.
Consumer/fisherman - Minneapolis, Minnesota
^


2007

We are new to houseboat industry and would like to find out info on using the zinc chromate for the bottom, this boat is all aluminum. Please advise.

Fred and Sharon Waterhouse
hobbyist of marine living - Pacific, Missouri
^


2007

My dad works on a drilling rig, and the company lets him use some paint if he buys it from them. I was wondering if you could use it. the paint is called safety yellow and looks pretty cool on my aluminum boat (I just dabbed it on a small place). please help I'm in the 10th grade and bought the boat that had chipping paint from my uncle.

Nathan K
Student 10th grade, Buyer - Baird, Texas
^


Marine Aluminum Restorer and Polish


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2007

Unfortunately, Nathan, neither you nor we know anything about the paint except its color and it's a bad idea to work with a chemical that you know little about. But I doubt that the paint will be harmful to your boat. Paints with copper in them should not be used on aluminum, but I doubt it has copper. Paints with organo-tin compounds should not be used except in the most specialized cases, so I doubt that your father's paint has that in it either. As a science lesson though, and for safety sake, see if your father can get hold of an MSDS sheet for the paint. The manufacturer of the paint has it for sure, but where it went I would not know. I trust that your father is familiar with the safety aspects of the paint but doesn't know its usefulness for painting an aluminum boat.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2007

I strip down the aluminum apply vinyl-lux primewash and it you want a fine finish you use primkote after the viny-lux which you could sand to a find finish then your top coat of your choice West Marine has every thing you need and InterLux paint by International paint has a 800 number for all your questions.

stick man Hebert
- Louisiana
^


2007

I have a gallon of Dupont automotive zinc chromate primer that I have had for many years and it is still good can't remember when or why I got it. I just had to have a new aluminum 18 gallon gas tank made for my boat that fits under the floor and is subjected to getting wet (previous tank developed holes after 15 years, tank was never painted ) My question is should I paint the tank with the zinc chromate primer. My neighbor who welds says don't use zinc chromate as it will increase corrosion (I don't believe him) Any opinions out there
Thanks John

John Bemiss
hobbyist - Mcclellanville South Carolina
^


2007

I have found you might want to paint the motor, but if your boat is green then don't waste the time and money painting the boat. There is no need.

George Matthews
- Cambridge, Maryland
^


2007

My 91 year-old dad and I just restored, except surface finishing, a 1960 18 1/2 foot Crestliner. It was designed with visible wood strips connecting the deck to the sides of the boat (looks very distinctive). I would like to finish it without paint - only the aluminum and wood showing. I think I understand, from reading this letter thread, how to clean the aluminum, but how should I, or should I, treat the aluminum skin?

Thanks for hosting a very civil and helpful thread.

Wayne

Wayne Merrell
- International Falls, Minnesota
^


2007

Please help! I'm a single Mom trying to get the right INFO! I bought an older 14 ft. aluminum boat for my teenage son to restore. We pressure washed it, and have spot sanded. Is it necessary to sand the entire boat? The pressure washing seemed to take off every thing loose, (we can see lots of aluminum now) but some of the factory paint is not coming off. Do we spot prime the aluminum showing, or do we prime the entire boat? So glad I found this thread... we WERE going to paint it with canned spray paint!

God is so good!
Thanks for any helpful info!
Carol

Carol Anderson
hobbyist - Birmingham, Alabama
^


2007

I painted an aluminum tool box on my truck to match. I 100% washed it, degreased it with lacquer thinner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] , then scrubbed it with a very rough scouring sponge and Muriatic Acid [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] to etch the surface, as soon as it was completely dry I sprayed it with an industrial enamel($20 a gallon), slightly thinned to spray with an automotive spray gun. I was very impressed with the finish. Its been on a couple of years and the only spot worn out is where my four wheelers bumper rubs on it while driving through some pretty rough and long ranch roads, which would rub through any paint, No peeling spots yet.

Joe Lynch
- San Antonio, Texas
^


January 6, 2008

Hello, first off, I am a professional painter by trade. I to have an 15 ft. aluminum boat that I am totally restoring. I have already completely restored the trailer and it looks awesome. O.K. Here's the run down.

It's always best if possible to strip the old paint off if possible. Use a good stripper, an automotive paint store, not shop, carries some nice choices, or, like I did. A wire wheel that attaches to a drill. If you have many coats, the main focus is to remove anything that is loose. New paint won't stay on over areas that are not already bonded and your paint job will only be as good as the bond it is adhered to.

Once you boat is stripped or scraped, use a good degreaser on it. I used a strong solution of Simple Green [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. Once it's degreased, use jasco's acid etching on it and let it dry completely. It is important that as soon as the acid etching is dry to prime you boat. The air can make it start corroding very quickly.

To prime it, I used a product called Galv-alum. You can get it at Dunn Edwards paint company or other paint companies I'm sure. It is designed to prime different types of aluminum. The Zinc Chromate is what Lowe's boats uses for their primer, but I have had trouble finding it and I hear it's not to safe to use unless you know what you are doing. I also understand that the Galv-alum does the same job and is an easy product to get, and also much safer to use. After you spray on your primer, let it dry for a least a few hours and then recoat as recommended on the can. You primer is what really sticks to the boat itself, not the paint. The paint only sticks on top of the primer so you want to make sure more than anything that you have a good solid two coats of primer. The prime coat is the most important. Let it dry for a few days. Paints and primers dry from the outside in so it takes longer to cure and if you apply paint to primer that isn't at least fully dry. it may make for a weak application down the road.

Paint. Polyurethane enamel. You can find it just about anywhere. I recommend for a nice job that you don't try to cover the boat like a showroom finish the first coat out. Spray on a good first coat but don't focus on trying to cover it 100% perfect. That's how you get orange peel and runs, trying to brush them out can make you job look like crap. Rather than one good coat, Spray you first coat, kinda like a good fogging or light coat, wait a day or two, and then spray your second coat. Because you already have one lighter coat sprayed on, the second coat doesn't take as much effort to cover so it won't orange peel or run on you. Two decent lighter coats vs. one thick first coat. Let the paint dry for a day or two. The warmer the weather, the faster it will harder and vice versa. If you spray on two good coats they will already have a nice gloss to it so hull drag will be less. You don't have to clear coat it if you don't want to. But the benefits of putting on two coats of clear coat are added better protection and if you scuff you hull, it will scuff the clear coat first before it gets to the paint depending on how bad you hit something. And clear coat is much easier to touch up or buff out than scratched paint. You can clear coat it using polyurethane enamel clear coat and again use the same process as you did the paint. I know this sounds like a lot. But what do you want? A boat with a proper paint job that is going to last so there is less maintenance and more enjoyment? Or, just bust it out and it looks like butt and doesn't hold up well? Then what? Your back on your weekends fixing a bad paint job when you could have been patient, did it slowly, and made it look so tight the first time out. I myself am a perfectionist, my paint job proves. And one more thing, if you can get a spray rig capable of spraying the primers, paints, and clear coats even if you have to rent one, Your job will definitely come out much better than brushing or rolling ever will even when they say the paint will self level.

Like my dad always said, "if you going to do something kid, do it right the first time, or don't do it at all!" And he's right. PATIENCE! This fish will always be biting. Happy painting.

PS- This blog does not in any way make me responsible for what you do or don't do painting your boat. I am a professional painter and this is the method I used on my 15 ft. Lowe aluminum bass boat. Also, for those of you that simply have a duck boat, Jon boat, or what not, I know Cabela's sells a paint kit designed for that purpose. I believe it was a flat acrylic enamel kit that came in colors like camo, green, brown, etc. Take a look, that might be the route for duck boats that don't need everything that I did to my boat. The prep work should be the same though if you want it to hold up better.

Duane Osborne
- Glendale, Arizona
^


January 6, 2008

Follow up post from earlier tonight. This is on the Lowe boats website under the aluminum fishing boats section. This is where I learned what to use on my aluminum boat.

Lowe Boats State-of-the-Art Paint Systems
5052 H-34 marine aluminum and are first hand sanded to create a proper base. The hull is then cleaned and acid etched, coated with a zinc chromate primer and baked at 250°. Following a coat of high grade polyurethane enamel, the hull is again baked at 250°.

In my earlier post, existing paint is best removed if possible but if it is in good condition, then break down the top gloss by lightly sanding. Also, you can use the Galv-alum aluminum primer instead of the Zinc Chromate primer. I don't have a heat oven so the sun did just fine, and then of course as Lowe boats say themselves, a coat of high grade polyurethane enamel paint. There it is straight from one of the leading horse's mouth.

Duane Osborne
- Glendale, Arizona
^


January 10, 2008

Can anyone tell me what is the easiest way to strip an aluminum boat to be painted? I'm not that crazy about spending a week sanding and scraping. Thanks.

A Lacewell
Hobbyist - Medina, Tennessee
^


February 4, 2008

But here's the best way to paint an aluminum boat. I learned from experience after dicking around with all the boat guys at West Marine and their 150-220 gallons of marine paint.


1. Go to Cabelas.com

2. Buy yourself their aluminum boat primer in the quart size - $15.99 (should be salmon red color)

3. Buy yourself any of their number of beautiful "Duck Boat Paints" They come in marsh green, dead grass green, hunter green, sand tan, etc. You can find these online by search "duck boat paint."

4. Take a wire wheel and a drill and clean up any patch work, burrs, chipping and cracking paint. Go over it with some of that synthetic steel wool stuff (coarse, the kind that's not actually steel) Go over it with a light sandpaper. You do not have to knock it down to bare metal, just get it nice and coarse.

5. Apply two coats of primer, let sit 24 hours.

6. Apply two coats from your Duck Boat Paint, let dry 48 hours. It should be cured by then.

7. Take your aluminum v hull, Jon, duck, skiff, or row boat out on the lake and enjoy!



PS - This stuff isn't gonna resist every scratch or bump or rock you might run into, but it cures hard, holds up nice and flat for a good long while. And what's best? It's dirt cheap. I painted a 14 ft Jon boat inside and out with a quart of the primer, quart of green paint, and quart of their no slip rubber boat deck paint. Total cost was 50 dollars for all 3 cans.

Travis Johnson
hobbyist - Austin, Texas
^


sidebar February 8, 2008

Your post is much appreciated, Travis, but the idea that all West Marine employees are idiots while Cabela's employees are wizards is ridiculous, and the kind of thing that starts a race to the bottom. I suspect there was a communication problem where you use your boat only in fresh water, or your boat is small enough that you always pull it out, and that wasn't clear to them.

In that case the anti-fouling paint they may have recommended is an extravagance. However, if a boat ever stays in salt water overnight, anti-fouling paint is absolutely required; it is not an option. Without it, it will become totally covered in very hard to remove barnacles in just a few days.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


February 8, 2008

I have a 40' aluminum cruiser boat that was stripped to bare aluminum about ten years ago, at the time it had epoxy paint on it. now its time to repaint it and I would like to know what is the best way to prep it and and if epoxy is the best way to go. thanks

Ralph Ripple
marine service - West Bend, Wisconsin
^


February 11, 2008

So what's the truth about rhino lining on the bottom of a Jon boat? My Jon boat is old and has a lot of holes why wouldn't it be a good idea to sand it down J-B Weld [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] the holes then rhino line the outside?

Andrew Gonzalez
hobbyist - Ft Lauderdale, Florida
^


February 14, 2008

I have sanded my boat stern drive down to bare alum. I primed with 4cr #7405 Primer spray.
question #1. Is this a good primer for alum.?
'' '' #2 What topcoat spray paint (black) can I use?

Larry Belbol
hobbyist - Parsippany, New Jersey
^


February 14, 2008

Ok guys, again, aluminum primer for your boats. Galv-alum, that is the name of the product. Here is a link, its the spec's on it and will show you this is what you need: www.dunnedwards.com/retail/documents/document.asp?id=506C949E8C9D4C81AA029E3EC0A2BE98 I am a painter, I own a painting business and have been painting since the very early eighties. . This is real simple to paint these boats but no one still seems to know. Quick run down. 1. Strip off old paint if possible. If you have paint currently on your boat You don't have to take it all the way down, as long as your current paint is intact, just scuff it with a wire wheel, or a light sandpaper. the key is to just break down the gloss. If it is peeling, you still don't need to take it all the way down to metal, unless you want to. And I did it on my on boat because it makes for a more professional job. But you do need to remove anything that is loose and flaking. If it's still bonded well, then don't overwork yourself. Once your boat is scuffed and or sanded, degrease it with Simple Green [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and then thoroughly rinse it off. Then, take an acid etcher, I used jasco's, you can get these at your local paint store, but you can pretty much use any good one, they are usually the same, just go under different names, etch the boat with it, and then again, thoroughly rinse it off. Ok, time to prime, Galv-Alum  is made for work like this.  Prime twice, but let dry between coats as recommended. Once done, polyurethane enamel. One coat is fine, my boat has two. Don't try to make the first coat beautiful, it will create sags and or orange peel. Do it in two light to medium coats. Then, you can opt for a clear coat. Use a polyurethane clear coat. And again, like the primer and paint, two coats. You don't need the clear coat because the polyurethane enamel will provide adequate gloss retention, but a clear coat helps when you scratch or scuff your boat. Without clear coat, the paint is what gets scratched first then the primer, then the hull. And then matching and touching up the scrapes may mismatch in color. With a clear coat, if you scratch it, then you can easily touch up clear because clear has no tint, and or buff them out. I still see everybody still wondering what to do. And by the way, the Rhino liner on the inside of the boat is brilliant I have a spray rig big enough to shoot those finishes so that what I will be putting on the inside of my aluminum fishing boat. I have taken pictures of my boat and trailer as I have been restoring it. When the boat is done, I will try to post my step by step photo's and you can see the progress and the results. Time consuming, maybe a little, but do you want a boat that looks crappy? Take your time and you will benefits by a job that will get noticed, and that's where the pride is. Not only that, but the more solid the job, the longer it will last, look good, and have less maintenance. Good luck guys.

Duane Osborne
- Glendale, Arizona
^


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