Q:

How do you paint an aluminum boat?

A:

Quick Answer

To paint an aluminum boat, expose all surfaces by removing fittings, strip off any old paint, sand the boat, apply a primer, and spray the boat with marine-grade polyurethane paint. Keep in mind that aluminum boats only need paint for protection if they remain in the water all year.

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Full Answer

After removing all fittings, use a liquid paint stripper to remove old paint before washing the boat with soap and water and completing a final rinse. Use 50-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper to sand the hull of the boat until new metal is exposed, removing oxidation. Remove any remaining grease or chemical residue from the metal of the hull by washing it with a lacquer thinner. The metal begins to oxidize again within one to two hours, so complete the next steps immediately to ensure the metal holds the primer.

Thoroughly coat all surfaces with an acid etch wash primer spray, and allow it to cure according to manufacturer instructions. Apply two coats of marine epoxy primer, allowing it to cure before sanding it with 100-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper. Wipe the surface clean before spraying the hull with a final coat of marine-grade polyurethane. Be sure to check manufacturer specifications to ensure the primers are compatible with the paint.

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