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How to Apply Paint on Aluminum Boats – DIY Steps

Aluminum Boat - DIY

Do you feel the paint on your boat is in need of some maintenance? Or does it need a fresh new coat of non-skid paint to prevent injuries caused by an unexpected slip or fall? If yes, then it is time to add a new coating to your boat. Aluminum is one of the best materials used for building boats since it is durable, lightweight, and easy to work with. However, like most metals, it is often difficult to paint. To succeed in painting it, you need to prepare well. The trick is having a clean surface and proper materials. Here is how to apply a new coating on aluminum boats.

Balance the boat

Before doing anything, balance the boat on two sawhorses. This will make it easy to handle the boat. It allows you to work on the boat better than you could have done if it was on the ground. Although the initial position of the boat is not important, it is advisable that the inside area of the boat faces up.

Prepare the boat surface well

Once the boat is in a balanced position, prepare the surface well. However, if your boat had been painted before you will need to sand down the old paint. You can do this with a sheet of regular sandpaper and a block of wood. Ensure that you completely sand off the existing layer of coating. You should not be worried if you cannot get 100 percent of the paint off and don’t be concerned about scratching the metal with the sander. Once you are done with the coating, these scratches will be invisible. It is much easier to sand the inside before turning the boat over to sand the outside.

Wash the boat

Once you have completely sanded the surface ensure that you wash it completely. For a bare aluminum surface use an aluminum metal preparation treatment. This will insure all contaminates are removed while leaving a microscopic etch for superior bonding. Have a bucket full of water and use a brush with stiff bristles to scrub the boat. Remember, washing the boat will remove any impurities or dirt that might later cause the paint to peel off the boat. Rinse the boat well preferably with a water horse and then allow it to dry.

Cover your work area with plastic or paper

Remember to first remove anything that might be damaged by the paint and then cover the remaining area with a piece of paper or plastic. This will ensure that the surrounding area is not damaged by the paint. Besides, use electric fans and open all the windows to provide ventilation.

Apply primer to the boat

Although there are many different types of primers that you can apply, an oil based primer will work best on aluminum surfaces. You should thin the primer so that it can be easier to work into the microscopic scratches of the boat. Start by coating the inside and allow it dry before moving to the outside. Allow the primer to dry before you can start painting. Note: the non-skid paint for the interior of the boat does not need a primer coat as it is self-priming.

Paint the boat

Paint the boat with any color of your choice. You can start by coating one-half of the boat and allow it to dry before moving to the other half. To get the desired results, you may need to have two coatings. Finally, apply a clear coating. This should be sprayed in the same way as the primer paint. It not only protects the boat against scratching but will also give it a newly painted look. Based on several factors, you may want to apply a few coatings of paint. Once the boat is dry, you will be good to go in no time.