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Painting an Aluminum Boat

Bidisha Mukherjee
Here is some information regarding the technique to paint an aluminum boat.
Aluminum boats are the most popular choice because of being lightweight and durable. For proper maintenance of such boats, it is necessary to get them painted. As aluminum is a metal, the task of painting becomes a bit challenging. However, it can be made easy if you know the proper technique.

Preparation of Surface

Place the aluminum boat on a pair of sawhorses in the same way it is kept when in floating condition. When it positioned above the ground, working on it gets easier.
Start the procedure by sanding the boat. You can use a portable electric sander for this purpose. A block of wood or a sheet of sandpaper are other two options available. It will be convenient to undertake this step regarding the inner portion of the boat first, and then overturning the boat to sand the exterior portion.
Sanding is done to remove all the loosely bound old paints from the surface. If you find that some amount of paint is left behind, do not bother as it will not affect your paint job. Even the scratches formed as a result of sanding will be covered up once you paint the boat. If you are doing this activity for the first time, you can skip this step.
After sanding, cleaning the boat thoroughly with soap and water solution is a must. Scrub the body of the boat vigorously with a hard bristled brush to get rid of the debris. Then, wash off the boat with a water hose fitted with a power spray. The boat has to be dried thoroughly before you apply the paint.

Application of Primer

Select a primer that is suitable for application on metal. Normally, oil-based ones are used on aluminum boats. It is always recommended to mix the primer with a paint thinner in the proportion of one oil pint into a gallon of primer. This is done to conceal the minor scratches that were caused due to sanding.
Primer can be applied with the help of a paint brush, roller, or sprayer. To obtain the best results, a sprayer should be used.
Firstly, apply the primer on the inner surface of the boat, and let it dry properly. Then, turn the boat upside down to put the primer on the outer walls. It takes a long time for this compound to dry up completely. Therefore, leave the boat untouched for 10 - 12 hours.

Application of Paint

Spray painting is the right choice, but you can use a roller or a brush if you want. Use only water resistant varieties. Firstly, apply the paint on the inside part of the boat, let it dry, and then apply the paint coat on the exterior portions. It is advisable to put two coats of paint to obtain the right shade of the chosen color.
A thorough drying up of the paint is a must before you proceed to the next step of applying a clear coat. It is applied in the same manner as of the paint and primer by using a sprayer. This is done to ensure protection to the painted surface from scratches and various weather elements.
When the clear coat dries up, your boat is ready for use, and you can take it into the water. Once your boat is painted, it can last for as long as ten years. Hence, go ahead with the described procedure, and enjoy your boating experience in a relaxed manner.