Tips for painting an aluminum boat.

Thread starter #1
Keep in mind I have never picked up a spray gun or ever painted anything besides a room in my house.
I have a 2003 aluminum smokercraft. It's has a steering console and it's 18 ft long and not sure the width. But it's very wide and stable.
I can figure most things out and I'm fairly mechanically inclined. I picked a compressor up from a guy that says he has painted with it. I just need to know the basics like the correct paint to purchase. Should it be latex, oil base or something else. How to thin it and with what. My major concern is how to get it off the trailer. I don't have any big trees in my yard. So I'm looking for ideas to maybe Jack it up and pull the trailer out and it be stable enough to spray.

Even though it's aluminum,it still weighs around 1000 lbs. I know I want to pressure wash and scuff it up somewhat. Also would like a recommendation on a basic spray gun.
 
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WayneB

Senior Member
a couple pair of jack stands and a floor jack will support it, if you are bottom painting also, you may as well just flip it over and do bottom first.
If it is bare aluminum, you will sand and scuff and apply a zinc chromate (green) primer or automotive epoxy sealer.
Awl Grip paint holds well, and shines up pretty good, made just for boats.
If you find a finshmasters store near you, go in and ask for ful-thane which is comparable to awl-grip and is a one-coat system.
grab their $60 cheapie spray gun and a couple inline air filters and a couple disposable respirators and have at it.
The worst that could happen is you put on an extra coat, wet sand and buff to the shine you want. It ain't rocket surgery.
 

JackSprat

Senior Member
If it is bare aluminum, you will sand and scuff and apply a zinc chromate (green) primer or automotive epoxy sealer.
.
At this point wash down thoroughly with distilled vinegar before applying the primer. This will slightly etch the surface and provide a good "bite" for the primer.

Awl-Grip is good but I don't know that I would use it for a first time project. Several manufactures make marine one part polyurethane which is more forgiving.
 
At this point wash down thoroughly with distilled vinegar before applying the primer. This will slightly etch the surface and provide a good "bite" for the primer.

Awl-Grip is good but I don't know that I would use it for a first time project. Several manufactures make marine one part polyurethane which is more forgiving.
Or Tide detergent, it also will etch aluminum.
 
Prep. The more you sand and smooth and the better your prime job is the longer it will last. Wipe the entire boat down with denatured alcohol before shooting.

Some of the best jobs Ive seen its rolled on with paint rollers.
 
Keep in mind I have never picked up a spray gun or ever painted anything besides a room in my house.
I have a 2003 aluminum smokercraft. It's has a steering console and it's 18 ft long and not sure the width. But it's very wide and stable.
I can figure most things out and I'm fairly mechanically inclined. I picked a compressor up from a guy that says he has painted with it. I just need to know the basics like the correct paint to purchase. Should it be latex, oil base or something else. How to thin it and with what. My major concern is how to get it off the trailer. I don't have any big trees in my yard. So I'm looking for ideas to maybe Jack it up and pull the trailer out and it be stable enough to spray.

Even though it's aluminum,it still weighs around 1000 lbs. I know I want to pressure wash and scuff it up somewhat. Also would like a recommendation on a basic spray gun.

Roll it on. Google and youtube. Roll on jobs. Comes out great.
 
Thread starter #8
Ok so yes I am considering rolling it on now. I have found a product called Durabak-18. It says it's a deck product. I'm wondering though if it can be applied to the sides as well? Also my intentions was initially paint the entire boat Jonboat green then use the cama paint to put a pattern of camo on top of it. Now I'm not sure if regular paint would adhere to the Durabak-18.
 
Ok so yes I am considering rolling it on now. I have found a product called Durabak-18. It says it's a deck product. I'm wondering though if it can be applied to the sides as well? Also my intentions was initially paint the entire boat Jonboat green then use the cama paint to put a pattern of camo on top of it. Now I'm not sure if regular paint would adhere to the Durabak-18.
Has to stick to aluminium. Youtube roll on jobs.
 

jimbo4116

Retired Moderator
I used Durabak non skid to paint the aluminum rear deck I built for my CC boat. That was seven years ago. Only place it has lost its adhesion is on the heads of the stainless steel carriage bolts I use to attach hinges and such. I scrubbed the bare aluminum with a SS cup brush then etched with half strength muratic acid. I think it would do a good job on a boat hull. It will adhere to itself. I used it to paint non skid strips on the fiberglass deck as well. It is still holding as well. Only drawback is it is expensive. I can't remember what the spread rate is but you do not get a lot of coverage. It comes in quarts and you really need to use the entire quart at a time. Any left in the can will cure from the air trapped when you reseal it. Learned that the hard way.
 
If you like Durabak, check out Grizzly Grip. Used on a lot of aluminum boats that are in rough situations. https://www.grizzlygrip.com/
https://www.grizzlygrip.com/boat-marine


They have their own compatible alum. primer, I used it and was very satisfied.

If you want a camo pattern you can rattle can it - may wear off in a couple or three years, but keep your stencils and you can easily reapply.

FWIW, in marine speak, a "topside" or "deck" paint means that it does not have anti-fouling qualities, which applies mostly to saltwater boats and boats left in the water all the time. You can use a topside paint on a freshwater, trailered hull satisfactorily if it is appropriately primed. Think about it - the paint on your car gets about 100 times the abuse as the paint on your trailered hull.
 

660griz

Senior Member
I painted my 14' Smokercraft with aluminum spray paint I got at HD.
Worked great. I was going to camo it but, sprayed the base and liked it. Well, it was hot out too. :) Paint said it bonded to aluminum. I scuffed up the entire boat, cleaned it well, and painted.
 
I just scuff and rattle can mine 16 ft wide jon with Rustoleum every few years though. Just gets beat up in the Lower Etowah too much to put a big paint job on it.
 
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