So you have decided it is time to give your boat a new coat of paint. But have you ever done this before? Do you know the difference between marine paint wood and marine paint for fibreglass? If you do you won’t need to read this post, but for anyone else, you might want to read on and get some great tips before you put brush to boat. There is so much to think about when it comes to painting your boat that you can easily overlook something and make a small issue bigger but with these tips that shouldn’t happen…
Remove The Hardware
While not all boats have easily removable hardware like cleats and rails it is worth seeing if you can remove them. This will make the finished job look cleaner and more like the original paint job you are looking for. It’s worth that extra time removing whatever you can as it will make the paintwork look much cleaner and professionally done.
Get The Right Paint
When you see a cruise ship or naval vessel that has just been recently painted have you ever wondered how they get the pain work so bright and shiny? It’s because they use military-grade marine paint that gives any boat a high level of shine and indeed protection. But if you don’t want to spend that much money on the paint something like Urethane paints for fibreglass boats are the easiest to use and don’t cost nearly as much.
Get Rid of Those Imperfections
Even the smallest of imperfections in the surface of your boat will make the paintwork look dull and faded as the light doesn’t quite reflect right off of them. You can easily repair small chips and gouges without the need to seek help from someone in professional boat repair.
Wahs, De-Wax, Sand, Wash
When you are preparing the surface of your boat for the paint you should be doing all those things in that very order. Most people forget to do the final wash once you have sanded down, but it really does help to get that surface as good as its showroom original.
X2 Primer Then Paint
Always give your boat at least 2 coats of primer unless you are a professional painter. It’s all well and good getting a good quality boat paint that will protect your boat while out at sea, but without a good layer of primer, it will be pretty much useless. So if you are not sure it is good enough put on a 2nd layer anyway just to be sure. Some professional boat painters won’t have to do this, but if it is your first time it’s well worth doing.
Wax The Boat Once a Year
If you don’t want your hard work to look dull and faded in the first year simply keep waxing it. Doing this from stem to stern just once a year will protect that new paint job for many years to come. In fact, some high-quality boat paints will last 10+ years and still keep their shine!
Know Your Boat
You might think it is a simple matter of knowing if your boat is made of wood or fibreglass, but that is simply not true at all. There are different types of wood used in boat construction and there are plenty of variations on fibreglass. Small differences in the hull of your boat can really affect the way it floats, so making sure you have the right kind of paint and apply it the correct way really is essential.
Get Those Cure-Times Right
If you wait too long after a coat of primer you might notice some minor imperfections in the paint and if you don’t wait long enough you might see some paint running which will also cause imperfections. Most marine paints come with a manufacturer’s recommendations and they are well worth reading.
Pick Your Painting Times
If you plan to paint your boat in the wintertime you need to think about things like the temperature and humidity of the paint you are applying and the surface you are applying it to. This again will go back to the type of surface your boat has because different materials react differently to cold/hot temperatures. The last thing you need is to do a coat of paint and then warm rains to ruin it and make it look all bubbly and drained.
Different Areas of The Boat = Different Paints
Most people would have already worked this out, but you will be shocked at the number of bad paint jobs I have seen where people have painted their whole boat in the same paint. I have even seen people paint the hull of their paint with primer and lave it at that! You really need to understand the sorts of conditions and surfaces each part of your boat might endure as all of the parts of the boat are not equal at all.
If you have any good boat painting tips do leave a comment below so we can all learn how to paint them properly first time, every time.