Repainting an aluminum boat???

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by Dmuntean, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Dmuntean

    Dmuntean Bassmaster

    I'm sure this has been asked before but here goes........ Any ideas on how to repaint an aluminum boat that has decent paint job (no chipping or flaking). I removed some rediculous stickers of catfish on it and while trying to remove the residue some paint was removed. It had a very chalky feel before I waxed it. Thanks in advance!!

  2. krm


    check out the restoration forum over at for a lot of good tips.

    I am currently in the process of doing this. If you only have a few spots of bare metal and the rest of the paint is good, then you can...

    1. sand it
    2. wash the bare spots down with a 50/50 vinegar and water rinse (cheap and effective etcher)
    3. spot prime those bare spots with a zinc chromate primer (available at most marine stores)
    4. paint it.

    Mine had been painted by some amishman with latex house paint and a brush, so I ended up stripping mine down to bare aluminum with aircraft stripper, etching it with a vinegar rinse, and hitting it with a two-part epoxy primer. It's a lot of work that you should be able to avoid, so long as you have good paint on most of it.
  3. OSU_Fisherman

    OSU_Fisherman Bassin' Buckeye

    I just redid an aluminum jon boat. It was previously painted and was just looking pretty bad. I used etching primer spray cans for the bare metal parts that I wanted to paint. Then, I used some scotch brite pads to rough up the previous paint and clean it.

    For the paint I went to a local autoparts dealer and had the exact color code from my truck paint mixed. I dont know if its the best kind of paint to use, but the auto people said that it would stick great to aluminum.
  4. OSU Fisherman, where did you get etched spray can?

  5. fowltalk

    fowltalk Banned

    i've painted alot of boats and about 10,000 cars too, as i once owned a bodyshop for 18 years. u can call me the master of disaster, ok?/..alright then. u got a painted aluminum boat that u want to refinish the exterior.
    First, do u have an air compressor, paint gun, and respirator?....if not u are limited to a brush and roller, or aerosal spray cans.....if u want it done professionally take it to a professional that can apply automotive grade paint.
    anyways, heres the basic steps and materials needed: 2 scotch brite pads (RED) and/or 320-400 grit equivalent sand paper. u want to scuff the surface complete, paying extra attention around the rivet heads, so the new paint will adhere. Since u say u waxed the boat already, u most definetely want to buy a quart of Prep-Solvent (wax & grease remover), wipe the current surface with this PRIOR to sanding the boat surface, otherwise u are spreading the contaminates (wax-silicone) as u sand, which is not good.....u will get more fish-eyes than your best day on the lake. Primer only the bare surface areas with either self etching primer or enamel primer after you featheredged the broken paint smooth. if u wait a day or longer after priming to paint the boat, u should sand the primer areas smooth to fill in the broken paint. If u are capable of spraying the paint out of a gun, buy aprox 1 qrt of either acrylic enemal or urethane single stage enamel and the respected hardener and reducer. It doesn't have to be a major recognized paint manufacturer either.....then go paint the town!!
    u can buy aerosal cans of self etch primer or enemal primer at most auto parts stores (Car-Quest, Autozone, Walmart??). SEM makes good aerosal paints. Car-Quest can prolly mix automotive grade paints for u too, otherwise u need an autobody jobber paint store........just let them know what u r doing & u want to do it as inexpensive as possible. If this is a nice boat and u want it done right, u can holla at me to do it. expect to pay $500 or more to shoot the sides & transom only, leaving the belly alone. 14'-18' boat inc all materials and labor.