How to Paint a Boat

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Noticing a little more wear and tear on your boat than last year? Then perhaps it would benefit from a nice coat of paint even the fish will look at in awe! Boat painting doesn’t have to be difficult. The large, oddly-shaped surface may be a little challenging, but we believe you can do it with the proper tools and techniques.

So, do you want to know how to paint a boat? Continue reading for your step-by-step guide to boat painting, including the trickier areas like the hull and bottom of the boat.

How to Paint a Boat Instructions

Now, we know all boats are different, so these instructions are not set in stone for everyone. However, we hope you can take some knowledge from this guide about how to paint a boat:

  • Remove all boat hardware (trim, rails, cleats, and vents)
  • Repair any imperfections (chips and dents)
  • Wash your boat with warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth
  • Put on PPE (protective gear)
  • Dewax or sand your boat to remove the old paint (depends on the material and paint)
  • Prep the boat with a layer of primer
  • Wait at least 30 to 60 minutes before painting (but we recommend 24 hours)
  • Wax entire boat again to further prepare for new paint
  • Apply one coat of paint
  • Wait at least 24 hours before the second coat (but we recommend one week)
  • Apply second coat of paint
  • Wait one week (this ensures it’s fully cured)
  • Wax or apply a protective coat for best results
  • Wait 24 hours (but we recommend one week before setting sail)

    How to Paint a Fibreglass Boat

    It’s best if your fibreglass boat is painted by a professional or at least with someone who can help you. If you’re taking on the challenge yourself, here’s our fibreglass boat painting tips:

    • Use single-part enamel or polyurethane paints: these are cost-effective and easy to apply
    • Or two-part polyurethane paints: these give the best appearance and are long-lasting
    • Use the ‘roll and tip’ method: one person will apply the paint with a roller and the other will brush out the paint
    • Three coats is best for fibreglass boats

    How to Paint a Boat Bottom

    You may think one paint suits all, but that’s not the case with the bottom of the boat. The undersides are constantly exposed to water, sealife, and bacteria which doesn’t quite reach the rest of the boat.

    One paint type is fine if you don’t use your boat often, but here’s some bottom boat painting tips for those wanting best results:

    • Try to use a corrosion-resistant paint
    • You must dewax or sand the boat if a fresh gel coat was used originally
    • If not a fresh gel coat, skip this process and just remove any loose or old paint
    • Not many people will see the bottom, so just roll the paint right on (but remember to wait the right amount of time)

    How to Paint a Boat Hull and Deck

    Deck and hull painting is thought to be the easiest part of how to paint a boat. Why? Because despite them being the surfaces you use most, they’re typically smooth and corrosion-free. Here are our hull painting tips:

    • Use masking tape to block off areas you don’t want to paint
    • Remove any hardware and objects
    • Hull painting requires a different technique—while you can apply thick paint to the rest of your boat, you must avoid dripping and running paint with thin coats
    • Try to use a non-slip paint or topcoat


    Durable Marine Paint at TA Paints

    There you have it—now you know how to paint a boat! We hope you take inspiration from our short guide and apply it to your own painting journey.

    To summarise, we’ve covered:

    • General boat painting
    • Fibreglass painting
    • Bottom painting
    • Deck and hull painting

    TA Paints are the UK’s leading paint supplier, solely manufacturing our paints in the UK. This means we completely control the creation of our products, guaranteeing high-quality paint every time.

    We also offer discounts for bulk orders and free delivery on selected products, arriving in just one to three days with our quick turnaround time and nationwide delivery. Call us today with any questions about our marine paint stock.