Painting a Boat!




I did this at TechShop Menlo Park's automotive area!
If you get a chance to get your boat out of water, you may as well give it a new look by painting it. I choose the color pink! 

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Step 1: Scraping

Using a razor blade, scrape off any unwanted stickers. If you're removing your registration digits, make sure to write them down somewhere so you'll remember when you need to vinyl cut them again. 

Step 2: Sanding

Using a rotatating electric sander and a hard grit disk sand the surfaces in preparation for painting. Sand down enough to remove unwanted dirt, bumps and sticker remnants but don't go too deep as to damage the fiberglass underneath. Boat paint can contain toxic chemicals so do wear a particulate mask and some goggles. A respirator is suggested but a heavy duty mask works well too.

Step 3: Taping

Using blue painters tape, tape off any areas you want to protect from the paint. 

Step 4: Painting

Depending on how long you're planing to keep your boat this color and how much money you happen to have, you'll choose the paint you want to use. Use either two part epoxy, which is very expensive and most durable, one-part epoxy which is slightly less durable or you can also use straight outdoor grade glossy paint. It will look fine for a couple of years before the sun and salt water start to wear and tear into it.  You can use rollers or brushes and apply as many coats as you can letting them dry in between.

Step 5: Clean Up

Wash your brushes and let the paint dry before pulling the tape off.

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I'm trying to decide if it is worth painting my boat myself, or if I should get it proffesssionally done. Do you know how much all of your supplies cost? (Paint, sanders, rollers, etc.). Also do you know how many gallons of paint it took, and how big the boat is? Thank You.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    As constructive feedback, remove the masking tape BEFORE the paint completely cures (ideally, when it's still tacky). It prevents the paint from lifting when the tape is pulled.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Good point cheddarlump and, even though it's a bit the pain, install new tape for each coat. I pull the tape off as I go -- that way I know it will pull *clean* and not tug at the paint I'm wanting to leave on the surface.


    4 years ago

    Were you able to paint where the trailer covers the boat?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I am letting you know I used this method to paint my fishing boat. Thanks!


    6 years ago on Step 4

    Great instructable ! I have this on my "to do" list, and you have saved me quite a bit of time.