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Painting an inflatable boat. Answered

Hi folks.
I have been given a Gladding Float-Pac inflatable dinghy that has been left out in the weather a bit too long & the surface of both the orange & green rubber has become stained from fallen leaves.
I have had a look around the interweb & have found a couple of paints suitable for inflatables but to tell the truth they are a bit expensive just to smarten up a boat that will seldom get used particularly as I would have to buy two colours.
The boat is in otherwise good condition with no holes or punctures & there is no scuffing or fabric showing through so finishes like Tuff-coat wold be a bit over the top.
Does anybody have any suggestion for a pait that would be flexible enough for the job, i'm not really too worried about the colours although the original green & orange would be nice to keep.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions folks.



Best Answer 7 years ago

How about if you bought the paint you want, but in a smaller amount, then painted a design such as a leaf pattern or something patchy looking to disguise the stains? Less paint=less cost.

Good idea :-)
To tell the truth part of the problem is that following shoulder surgery a few weeks ago I am still not able to do any proper work around the place & it is driving me nuts...... I am quite sure that neither my consultant my physio or my better half can complain too much about a bit of painting while I sit in the garden; particularly as it is one of the few things I can do with my left hand.
I can get paints in black or white for a tenth of the cost of the tuff-coat type products & I know they will do the job as I have a friend who has used them.
I have a feeling the little dinghy is about to get a couple of black & white stripes & a new deck colour :-)

No idea what would avoid reacting with and damaging the rubber and yet bond to it effectively.

I'd suggest contacting the manufacturer. I'm sure you're not the first to run into this. They may have suggestions about suitable paints, dyes... or cleaners to remove the stains.

Or you could just call the stains the first installment on a camo treatment and not worry about them. They'll probably bleach out with exposure to sunlight anyway.

Good idea to contact the manufacturer unfortunately the dinghy is quite old & they are no longer in business I believe they may have been swallowed up by a larger concern or possibly just outgrown the inflatable market, I have emailed a couple of others but to be fair I really don't expect a reply.
I would prefer to re-paint if possible rather than just leave it stained, it is a very good little dinghy not one of those cheap ones they sell in mail order catalogues & in beachside stands.
Thanks for the suggestions.

So contact someone who makes something similar. Paper mail is still a bit more likely to get a response than e-mail, especially if addressed to an executive and accompanied with a SASE.

The paints are expensive because they remain very flexible to stretch with the rubber when inflated.

Dont bother painting it just clean it and use it. Take the money you save and get something you really need,

I know it may seem very cynical of me but I am inclined to believe they are expensive because they can be.
I spoke to an old pal of mine this morning who works in the trade & he has encountered the same problem, there are quite a few paints & coatings on the market that will do the job perfectly well but they are pretty much only available in black or white, he only knows of two companies in the UK that supply in green, orange, blue etc, the law of supply & demand strikes again :-/
I think I may go with the suggestion from caarntedd, use an entirely different colour & create a design on the boat perhaps a couple of black & white lines down the sides & a black deck area.