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Thread: painting a boat hull

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    Default painting a boat hull

    I have a Alweld boat and would like to paint it. It has never been painted before. Has anyone painted theirs before, what kind of prep, kind of paint, and do you get more performance out of it compared to a painted hull? Thanks

  2. #2


    Doug, I just sent you pm
    19' Lowe Roughneck
    90/65 Honda 4 stroke
    Outboard Jet

  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78


    Painting aluminum requires a lot of prep and several steps to get it right. For paint, use an automotive, high quality paint. You'll also need an aluminum etch cleaner such as Zep-a-lume and an aluminum conditioner such as alodine. You need running water from a hose, someplace for a lot of water to go, and temperatures above 50 degrees. Then you'll also need a disc sander and wire brush (alternatively you could use a sand blaster with fine grit).

    The process is to wash the boat to rid yourself of any dirt and debris. If the aluminum is old (dark gray), then start with an acid etch to remove most of the oxidation layer. If the aluminum is still bright, you can skip that step for now. Next you need to mechanically scuff the surface. Smooth shiny aluminum doesn't hold paint very well. The more minute scratches you can put in the surface, the better the paint will hold. So, go over every square inch that will be painted with a fine grit sander to scuff things up. Nook and cranny details can be scuffed with the wire wheel. Once you have an even scuff pattern, give it an acid bath to clean the surface and remove any remaining oxidation. Immediately following that, apply the alodine conditioner. After it sits for the proper time, you rinse off the excess, and let the boat dry completely. Do any mask taping that you need to do. Apply the paint by the same method you'd use for painting a car. Let it cure completely before use. The paint will stay in place for many years.
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