Any boat is exposed to the elements, and from the regular wear and tear, the vessel can look worn and beaten easily. An aluminum boat is sturdy, and its lifespan is longer than others, but it is still subject to surface contamination, scratches, dents, corrosion, and paint peeling and fading.
You can continually improve its appearance with a new paint job, which will also extend its lifespan. So if you want to undertake painting an aluminum boat, the first thing to do is know which type of paint is suitable for an aluminum boat.
Preparing and painting the boat
To achieve an excellent paint job, ensure that you thoroughly prime the boat surface so the paint will properly adhere. No contamination and other surface damage should mar the surface to achieve a smooth and glossy finish.
1. Inspect and repair
Check the boat’s functionality and look for cracks and corrosion. Check if there are parts that you should replace. Inspect the strakes and keel for small holes, replace rusted rivets and bolts. Ensure that that boat is structurally sound so you’ll have a sturdier boat before painting it.
2. Use paint remover
Remove old coating with a commercial paint remover so you can have a nice bare surface. Cover the areas you have painted with the paint stripper to prevent it from drying before it can penetrate through the layers of paint. Wait about two to four hours before you start stripping the paint while the remover is still wet.
The boat’s metal surface is smooth, so you must roughen it to ensure excellent paint adherence. Use 180-grit sandpaper to prep the surface, and remove minor imperfections. Sand in one direction only. If you are painting the entire boat inside and out, follow the same steps to prepare the boat’s interior.
4. Wash and dry the boat
After sanding, wash the boat with soapy water to remove dust and residue from the sandpaper. Then, rinse it thoroughly and leave the boat to dry completely.
If you are painting the interior, paint it first before tackling the exterior. It is advisable to use non-skid paint for the interior. For the exterior, apply primer first and allow it to dry. The primer helps the final coating to adhere to the surface properly.
You can use marine-grade exterior enamel or a two-pack polyurethane coating. You can apply these paints by spray, roller, or brush. Prepare the paint as directed, and apply two thin coats evenly. Polyurethane paints dry quickly. You may need to thin it with the appropriate thinner to extend the painting time. Paints for aluminum boats are available in several bright and neutral colors.
For the final touch, apply a layer of topcoat. The topcoat provides another layer of protection. It prevents staining, corrosion, and damage caused by UV rays.
Ensure that you learn all the steps necessary to paint an aluminum boat. Likewise, prepare all the materials you need before starting the job, and wear safety equipment to prevent health issues.
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