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Pontoon Boat - Aluminum Panel Repainting


I have some aluminum pontoon boat panels (above the water line/deck mounted) that need repainting. I am not intending to remove the original paint (light brown). I will paint over it. What prep and paint type is advisable? I may have to mechanically remove some adhesively applied striping which may expose bare metal. What is the best prep for the bare aluminum surface that may result. Will the use of this prep and its contact with the light tan paint to be painted over adversely affect the adherence of the new coat to the original paint?

Bob B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Springfield, Massachusetts

Pontoon and Hull Cleaner

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June 17, 2008

Hi, Bob. Sorry no one replied to your inquiry previously. letters 21588 and 31788 have pretty good discussions on the topic of aluminum pontoons which has at least some applicability.

There is no need to remove adherent paint, so you are on the right track. You may be just fine with a prime coat designed for aluminum. But if you are a purist, the proper pretreatment of bare aluminum is actually a chromate conversion coating consisting of two steps: cleaning with Alumiprep 33 [affil link] and chromate conversion coating with Alodine 1201 [linked by editor to info/product on Amazon] before painting. These are hazardous materials so you may have to pay a shipping surcharge; use them carefully.

Good luck!


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

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