How To Prepare A Boat For Painting

Boats notoriously go through a lot of wear and tear in their lifetime meaning that paint will at some point inevitably begin to fade. Here you have two options, you can either choose to paint the boat yourself, or you can hire a professional boat painter. If you choose to paint the boat yourself, preparation is absolutely pivotal. Here are the steps you should follow before painting top coat on boats:

1 – Clean the boat thoroughly

All grime, dirt and anything else needs to be removed from the boat entirely. Generally speaking, it’s easier to clean a boat when it has just come out of the water.

Use a high-pressure hose, a scrapper and rags to make the boat gleam – it’ll need to be absolutely spotless.

2 – Remove hardware from the boat

You’ll want to remove as much as you can at this juncture – even down to aluminium window sliding. Try and remove as much as you can. Anything you can’t remove you’ll want to cover in painters tape to keep clean.

3 – Remove the waxy coating from the boat

If you run your finger on your boat and you can feel a greasy, waxy finish, then you’ll need to remove this coating. Use boat solvent, rough sponges and scrub away this waxy finish.

If you’re in doubt about the boating, go over the boat a second time, the paint will NOT stick to this waxy surface, so it will need to go if present.

4 – Make repairs to the boat surface if necessary

Fill in any cracks, nicks or corrosions before starting to paint your boat. Covering in any holes will ensure that there are no imperfections when it comes to the final paint job – this can seriously hinder final results.

5 – Get sanding!

Using some 80-grit sandpaper and a random-orbit or finishing sander, sand the entire surface of the boat the best you can. As mentioned before, the paint will not stick to waxy surfaces or surfaces that haven’t been sanded properly. Sanding will give the boat the surface needed for the paint to effectively grip and promotes an even paint job.

If you’re unsure on how much to sand, be sure to sand away all visible old paint – however, there are some things to remember when sanding that is very important:

  • If the old coating of paint is flaky or damaged you have to remove ALL old paint entirely
  • Never (ever) use a belt sander on your boat
  • For safety reasons, ensure you’re wearing a respirator and eye protection when sanding – paint chippings are toxic

If you’ve followed these steps correctly you should now be in a position where you can begin painting your boat and giving it that new, revitalised look that you long for.