Are you an aluminum boat owner who frequently uses his most treasured vessel in water? If so, you need to take in mind that it is crucial to invest in the best paint for aluminum boat in order to enable your boat to be provided with the best possible care and protection. But, are you insightful enough about the appropriate pick for you?
As you know, proper maintenance and the early prevention of boat damage can help you save more on very expensive repair or replacement costs in the long run. Indeed, since an aluminum boat is a pricey investment, it certainly deserves to be treated with utmost care and regular maintenance. And, you can do so by picking the right paint for it. Please be guided that your preference could significantly change based on your current needs.
In this post, you will learn that not all paints for aluminum boats were designed equal. With the product reviews, buying guides and other aluminum boat paint information discussed below, you will be enlightened about the most suitable option that could meet your requirements and solve your problems. Continue exploring the rest of the guides in this article so you could choose the one that is worth your hard-earned bucks.
Table of Contents
- Best Paint for Aluminum Boat Reviews of 2023
- 1. TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Paint
- 2. Rust-Oleum Marine Metal Primer
- 3. Majic Paints Camouflage Paint
- 4. TUFF Coat Non-Skid Coating
- 5. SEA HAWK PAINTS Aluminum Boat Paint
- 6. TotalBoat Marine Topside Paint Primer
- 7. Hunters Specialties Liquid Paint
- 8. Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System
- 9. TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Barrier Coat
- 10. RUST-OLEUM Gray Alum Primer
- What to Look for When Buying Paints for Aluminum Boat
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Paint for Aluminum Boat Reviews of 2023
1. TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Paint
Painting an aluminum boat does not have to be a painstaking process if you’re able to pick the right paint to execute the job. Fortunately, to make the painting project a lot easier, you may give this product a try to work wonders for your most valued aluminum vessel.
This paint for aluminum boat is impressive, can ensure low sheen finish and it does not easily chip, peel or fade. And, since it can combat various forms of chemicals, repel abrasion and corrosion, this can provide maximum sturdiness and shield for your boat. There is no need to do the priming mainly because you can directly apply it to the metal by using a roller, brush or spray.
Moreover, this is formulated to be safe to use as it is free of chromate. It does not come with strong foul odor and can be instantly cleaned using water and soap. You can pick the color you prefer and this quart size can already manage a total of 80 by up to 100 square feet.
- 100% certified durable marine paint designed for galvanized metal and aluminum vessels
- Does not require the use of primer as it can be applied directly
- Not prone to fading, chipping and peeling
- Available in different colors
- Safe to use and comes with less chemical smell
- Color on the can seems entirely wrong
- Paint tends to come right off
2. Rust-Oleum Marine Metal Primer
Would you like to invest in a top-of-the-line primer that can guarantee excellent coverage? Then, this product is the best match for your preference. You can apply it to bare metal using soft brush and you will be amazed of how smooth it will flow and how superb it is in terms of leveling uniformly even under direct heat of the sun.
As for its adhering ability, this is topnotch. It can roll on without any trouble and is capable of sticking quite well too. This is actually manufactured for prime metal surfaces on top of waterline. It acts as a base coat that is intended to offer permanent finishes and more excellent topcoat adhesion.
Likewise, this product dries to touch in only a span of one by up to two hours and it could already cover a total of 100 square feet for its size. This works wonders in defying corrosion and is highly recognized for being a very sturdy primer that is sandable, works adeptly on lightly rusted, painted or bare metals.
As for the kind of protection it can offer, this is absolutely incomparable. It is substantial to allow the finishing paint to fully dry to a uniform sheen and you’ll be impressed of its exquisite look.
- Dries in a span of 1 by up to 2 hour-time
- Specifically formulated for prime metal surfaces above waterline
- Can cover a total of 100 square feet
- Comes with balanced gloss and ensures sophisticated final look
- Can repel corrosion and is quite sturdy
- Doesn’t wash off your hands with water alone
- May be difficult to find in local stores
3. Majic Paints Camouflage Paint
This camouflage paint will look nice with any setting backdrop. Its water-proof finish helps come up with a solid bond that combats various potentially dangerous weather and other environmental elements. Hence, if you prefer a paint product that is specifically designed to provide utmost protection to metal and wood elements, then this stuff is an A1 option that won’t leave you feeling disappointed.
By the same token, this is decent paint for the money and is a piece of cake to spray or apply. It is capable of holding well and can ensure a sleek and water-resistant finish. It does a sterling job of repelling rust and its impressive camouflage color is what certainly makes it more appealing.
- Defies rust when applied
- Ideal for boats, duck blinds, vehicles, ladders, guns, tree stands, trailers, ladder stands, bows and the like
- Shields metal and woods from harsh elements
- Can guarantee water-proof finish
- Provides camouflage with any setting backdrop
- Takes some time to dry
- Tends to scratch off instantly
4. TUFF Coat Non-Skid Coating
If you are a boat owner, it is just right for you to incessantly search for the best way to paint an aluminum boat. This is for you to provide your vessel the kind of protection it deserves and at the same time for you to avoid the expensive costs of boat repair or the need to replace an old boat to a brand new one.
The delighting news is that this paint product is a good catch that won’t dismay you in the end. Take note that it is essential to ensure that you properly mix up the can. Additionally, only utilize the appropriate primer for your surface application if you’re aiming for a nice finish and satisfying final outcome. It is also necessary to ensure that you buy the right color primer.
It is not prone to skidding as it is designed to be rubberized. Apart from all these, this is also manufactured in the USA making it a well-known option for many consumers around the globe.
- Certified long-lasting and durable
- Designed to be single component that requires no mixing
- Safe to use and purely water-based
- Good value for the money
- Can provide long-standing moisture protection to wood decking
- Especially requires time-consuming application
- Does not hold up quite well as advertised
5. SEA HAWK PAINTS Aluminum Boat Paint
This is certified sturdy paint for age-old and faded aluminum vessel. In line with this, it could also work wonders on a few newly fastened aluminum plate. In reality, as compared to other similar options available these days, this is glossy and quite thick. And, when it comes to its bonding capability, this is definitely unparalleled. Your aluminum boat can maintain its good looks even after a few months of application. This is a clear proof of its lasting durability and protection that you won’t find in others.
- Color looks stunning
- Easy to roll or brush
- Goes on thick unlike other similar products
- Dries incredibly fast
- Sticks firmly to epoxy, aluminum or old paint after light sanding
- Can be potentially harmful to health
- Seems to be combustible
Its color is nice, it is no sweat to apply and dries literally fast which makes it quite distinguished from other options that require remarkable amount of time to dry and cure. What’s more, it is capable of sticking strongly to aluminum, old paint and epoxy after light sanding was executed. As you can see, it won’t be a waste of any single cent at all.
6. TotalBoat Marine Topside Paint Primer
If you find it quite exhausting to look for the best primer for aluminum boat, then you may put an end to your long quest because the most exceptional primer that can meet your requirements is already right in front of you.
A cost-effective, high-performance and durable primer is what you are absolutely seeking for. By happy chance, this product features all of that. There is no need to wait for a long time before you can see final results.
This primer can be used for gel coat, wood and fiberglass as well. In like manner, this is available in gray and white colors, and in distinct gallon and quart sizes. Meanwhile, as for its coverage, it can be used for a total of 250 by up to 300 square feet per gallon.
- Guaranteed to provide superior performance
- Can be applied to gel coat, fiberglass and wood
- Non-lifting and is known to be fast-drying
- Adaptable with one-part and two-part enamel and polyurethane finishes
- Does not necessitate multiple coats
- May take lots of work brushing it in the edges
- Dries pretty fast
7. Hunters Specialties Liquid Paint
If you need to buy reliable and premium quality paint in painting aluminum boat hull, this product is worth a try. As for ease and convenience of use, fast-drying ability and permanent camouflage paint color, this is the best bang for the money.
This aluminum boat paint does a good job of flowing well from a spray gun and it is reliable in terms of covering properly. Truth is, this paint product coats well over primer. Hence, if you prefer to provide your boat or vehicle a permanent camouflage paint look, then this is the one! This can help restore your old vehicle or boat and make it look like an expensive and brand new one.
It is not time-consuming to use and apply and it can dry fast as well. You can always expect a good finish without any hideous lumps to take care of. Its quart can size is already adequate enough to cover a large area.
- Can provide longer-lasting camouflage paint
- Capable of drying in a short span of time
- Comes in quart can size
- Straightforward to use and apply
- Can guarantee an even finish without lumps
- Tends to become hard easily
- A bit high price tag
8. Kiwi Grip Non-Skid Deck System
This non-skid deck system product is king. It is manufactured to be a one-part system and it only calls for one coat on most surfaces. Moreover, there is no need for shells, sand, fillers or rubber flecks. And, since it is designed as water-based acrylic, it is risk-free to use as it does not pose any health risk. You can select from 5 available stunning stock colors.
Regardless, this product comes with rollers that are a little challenging to utilize particularly in obtaining the preferred height. This is also prone to clogging instantly.
- Designed to be one-part system
- User-friendly and safe for the environment
- Does not require fillers, sanding, shells, or rubber flecks
- Formulated as superior quality water-based acrylic
- Helps reduce the finished expenditure of non-skid application
- Comes with tricky to use rollers
- Color reveals some marks easily
Without any shadow of doubt, this is the real deal because it helps you set aside some bucks as it does a great job of minimizing the expense of non-skid application. It is not time-consuming and too demanding to apply, so there is no need to spend extravagantly.
9. TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Barrier Coat
The most trusted brands are the ones where you can purchase legit and high-performance marine paint for aluminum boat. And, just like this product, this is manufactured by a credible brand, so there is no need to worry about getting the right pick for your present needs.
You can overcoat this product with other one and two part type of paints or anti-fouling bottom paints. It is dependable to use on all underwater metals as it can provide the greatest amount of corrosion shield. This can help save pontoon boats and aluminum hulls from getting seriously damaged due to constant corrosion. It can already cover roughly a total of 400 square feet per gallon.
- Offers top-drawer corrosion protection on all underwater metals
- Does not call for sanding between coats
- Famous for being 2-component epoxy primer as well as barrier coat
- Highly recommended to utilize underneath and above the waterline
- Can guarantee sterling corrosion prevention on pontoon boats and aluminum hulls
- Cleanup is a pain in the neck
- Quite intricate to measure out the amount you require
10. RUST-OLEUM Gray Alum Primer
This gray alum primer is very easy and convenient to use and apply. It is practical for both newbies and professionals. Provided that you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions accordingly, you can guarantee that this product will adhere well to where it is applied. It is worth mentioning that this is the best pick for galvanized metals.
Not to mention, this primer is a harmless substitute to utilizing a few other alum primers manufactured with zinc chromate. It works like a charm when it adheres to old paint and it is superb at covering large area well. Unlike other similar brands, this does not create filthy mess and is comparably easy to tidy up.
- Can offer super solid seal for the top coat
- Easy to use with the aid of roller or brush
- Does not require long drying period
- Capable of being cleaned up using water and soap only
- Good at being top coated with any finish
- Quite thick so it is prone to clogging
- Questionable long-term durability
What to Look for When Buying Paints for Aluminum Boat
The process of repainting, restoring or refurbishing your aluminum boat can be a tedious process that seriously necessitates significant amount of effort, passion and skills. Some boat owners hire professionals to execute the painting job for them while others prefer to do it by themselves. Truth is, there is no need to spend more for the job can be done on your own by simply adhering to the application instructions of the manufacturer and you’ll be amazed of how the boat will be transformed.
But, buying aluminum boat paint is not simply picking the one you come across with without doing any research before purchasing it. Of course, there are a number of vital factors that need to be checked out first when shopping for the right option for your needs.
Some of these factors include:
- Price tag. Can you afford it? Budget is a crucial factor on your decision.
- Is it easy to use, apply and clean? Is it possible to DIY it?
- Does it require long period of drying and curing time?
- Can it ensure even and smooth final finish?
- Is the product really appropriate for aluminum and metal vessels?
- Does the package already include all the needed tools to accomplish the painting job?
- Is the paint available in different colors?
- Can you use the paint underneath or above the waterline for vessels that float on the water?
Virtually, try to purchase one that is purposely formulated to be used for metal surfaces. Needless to say, it will be more advantageous if you invest in a paint that is particularly designed for aluminum. The reason behind this is because the paint will instantly adhere to and would last more permanently as compared to any other paint for metals. And, the paint must be particularly designed to handle small or big boat painting projects.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an aluminum boat paint?
Aluminum has long been utilized for various construction projects, for building personal watercrafts and aluminum boats, and for home furnishings because this material is known to be quite durable yet lightweight. While it is true that it comes with contemporary and silvery-white metal appearance that looks smooth, many boat owners, homeowners and other constructors prefer to update the aluminum surface using paint.
Aluminum boat paint is used to refurbish or restore old and deteriorating aluminum materials in marine applications. The best thing about the use of this product is that the process is plain sailing that even beginners can handle the job. Provided that you stringently adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions, it will be a lot easier to makeover the metal surface instantly. This is practical in that it provides maximum protection and lasting durability for the painted material.
How does it work?
Paint for aluminum boats are especially meant to provide the best possible care, maintenance, long –lasting protection and durability for various types of vessels. By simply applying marine-grade paint to your aluminum vessel, you can avoid spending lavishly on different boat repair or replacement costs in the future.
Since your boat is commonly used in the water, this becomes exposed to saltwater; UV and other harsh environmental elements that could cause instant wear and tear. So, to inhibit these abuses, corrosion and other damages to your boat, painting it is the right solution for you to consider. Aluminum boat paint products are specifically designed to help rebuild, restore or refurbish an old or damaged boat and make it look new again.
Note that this product is not only formulated to help enhance the overall look of your vessel, but also to provide the greatest amount of durability and protection for it to withstand the test of time.
What are the different types of aluminum boat paints?
There are uncounted paints that claim to be suitable for aluminum materials; all the same, these will require being utilized on top of a self-etching primer. You only need to keep in mind that aluminum typically creates a slight layer of aluminum oxide on its surface and this is the reason why it is tough for the substrate to be bonded on.
The types of paint that you can use for your aluminum boat includes latex paint or acrylic paints. You may pick the paint that comes with satin or matte finish if you prefer to have satisfying final outcomes. Glossy paint may work; however, this is not highly practical as this would reveal any glitches in the metal material you are painting.
It is possible to utilize any kind of paint you prefer once you already applied the primer. In other words, the paint you can use does not necessarily have to be labeled for metal materials use. Please be guided that if the item that you’re painting will be kept outdoors, pick a paint that is precisely utilized for outdoors. Meanwhile, spray paint can be one of the less challenging paint products that you can apply. If you want, brush-on paint is also a good option to consider.
Why do you need a paint for aluminum boat?
It is very indispensable to repaint your aluminum boat because doing so will greatly help in fighting off corrosion. Once it is neglected, the raw aluminum of your boat hull will be exposed. You need to understand that as the paint continues to deteriorate, the aluminum becomes exposed to the elements and this would bring about corrosion. Thus, if you already notice some visible signs of corrosion on your boat, repainting it sooner is paramount.
Painting your aluminum boat can help ward off blistering. As you already know, water could instantly get underneath the paint in some areas in your vessel, specifically surrounding hardware like screws, bolts and nuts. In line with this, when hardware is fastened, it breaks the paint and this could cause some damages and blistering which is absolutely hideous.
When it comes to covering dents and scratches, you can preserve your watercraft by painting too. Since your boat will commonly scrape against sandbars, bump up against docks, and take many sorts of abuse from several distinct sources, an extra protection is needed. Otherwise, this will in the long run expose your aluminum to corrosion and they will appear quite ugly. Luckily, painting can do wonders in this aspect.
Substantially, one of the major benefits of painting your aluminum vessel is it helps rejuvenate your watercraft. Since, it can’t be helped for aluminum hull paint to look boring and faded due to extreme sun exposure and harsh elements in the environment, you can give your boat a new stunning look, more protection and lasting durability by repainting it.
The performance of your vessel will also get affected if it starts to wear down. So, do not wait for that to happen before you take action. High-performance bottom paint for aluminum vessels can help you provide your boat with frictionless and sleek surface that would absolutely help boost its performance.
It is essential to know that once you observe some indications of slowdowns when riding your boat, a new layer of bottom paint underneath the waterline could be the perfect solution. Aluminum boat paint products execute a practical job of impeding more costly expenditures for boat repair or replacements. These are great products to refer to if you seriously hope to extend the lifespan of your most cherished vessel.
As you can see, painting your aluminum boat is not solely for aesthetics purposes but more so for additional durability and protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted aluminum boat paint brands?
For sure, you’re feeling confused of what suitable aluminum boat paint to shop for particularly if you have not bought one in the past yet. Well, this is especially true when you come across a lot of options that you do not even have any knowledge of. To put simply, sometimes, the decision making process becomes even harder when there are a plenty of choices to go over.
Anyway, if you wish to end up buying products that are manufactured by the world’s most trusted brands, then you may narrow down your search and explore on the following recommendations below:
- Kiwi Grip
- Majic Paints
In essence, these brands are a few of the most highly acclaimed ones due to their superb performance, premium quality, long lasting protection and durability.
How to use?
Are you wondering how to properly paint your aluminum watercraft? The delighting news is that restoring, refurbishing or refinishing your boat is no longer a struggle-filled project to manage nowadays.
Here are the practical steps to follow when painting your aluminum boat:
Look for the most suitable location where to paint the boat. Look for an area that is enclosed enough and free of any harsh elements, yet still capable of providing proper lighting and ventilation- this is to ensure that you can execute the painting job without any danger and disruption.
It is fundamental to execute some digging and for sure, you can locate the most appropriate spot where you can do the painting project.
Begin by sanding. This will get rid of the old layer of paint. To do so, consider using 80-grit sandpaper. If you will paint a small vessel, sanding by hand will do; however, if you need to paint a larger vessel, an electric sander is highly recommended. After you have removed the old paint, you can use 40-grit sandpaper.
The 40-grit sandpaper is intended to roughen the aluminum; this will enable the primer to get a more excellent hold on the sleek metal.
Tidy and prepare your aluminum vessel. Begin by getting rid of residues using a high pressure hose and afterwards use boat soap and start rinsing off each area. This process may take a while; be that as it may, it is definitely substantial for a superb quality painting job.
Apply the primer evenly. It is worth noting that primer is specifically required when painting metal since this tremendously helps in efficiently bonding the paint to the boat more firmly and it offers the aluminum an additional layer of shield.
Paint the aluminum boat. Once you have finished applying the primer, you can start painting. Please take note that it is critical to take it one section at a time. See to it to keep using uniform and unidirectional strokes in order to guarantee a smooth and nice finish. This will also help avert overloading the brushes or rollers for this could result to drips.
On the other hand, if you are utilizing a sprayer, it is a must to use a constant motion and avoid over-spraying any given spot since this could possibly result to drips as well. And, it is highly advised to keep a neat cloth within reach to get rid of any drip prior they become dry.
Imperfections are of course inevitable. To solve this, you may consider doing second coating for this will help enhance the vibrancy of the boat and will remarkably aid in covering up any less serious problems with the first layer of paint.
Lastly, it is high time to apply clear coat. This is deemed as the most outstanding means to preserve the color of the paint, and it will also safeguard it from scratches, and this will serve as a shield against ultraviolet damage too. Take note that it is important to cover most of the boat with merely a few cans of clear coat that is designed as marine grade.
What is the warranty?
When it comes to the warranties of the different aluminum boat paints reviewed in this article, the good news is that these are all backed up by different warranties. But, take note that since these are manufactured by different brands, majority of them do not have the same warranty offers. Thus, it is imperative to go over the product information first before you make the final buying decision.
In general, warranties offered for the reviewed paints for aluminum boats in this post include specific period of time warranty, money back guarantee offers and some of them offer replacements of defective items. In case, you can’t find the warranty details in the product description, you may get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer service support for more information.
Where to buy?
When buying aluminum boat paints, you can visit the nearest local hardware stores or boating or marine supply stores in your area. Generally, they can offer you with a number of options to select from. However, if you prefer a more convenient shopping experience and be provided with lots of options, freebies and special discounts to pick from, shopping online can be your best choice.
There are many credible and legit online shopping sites available these days and one of the best choices is Amazon. Here, you will be offered with numerous selections to look into so that you can decide wisely which one best matches your needs and style.
How to care and maintain?
Whether you own a smaller aluminum watercraft or a bigger one, you can’t avoid the time when repainting your boat will be seriously necessary. As you know, marine vessels are exploited too much reason why they especially require proper care and regular maintenance. To safeguard them from the highly corrosive environment of saltwater and from extreme sun exposure, painting your aluminum vessel can be the right solution for you.
In summary, as you have learned in this article, the best paint for aluminum boat can considerably help you cut down the expensive costs of boat repair or replacement in the future. The right kind of paint can go a long way. Undeniably, this is the perfect solution to provide the best possible protection for your boat and ensure its lasting durability for a very long time.
As you have read from the different paint products explored here, there are many must-have features to look into and the proper way of applying such products must be highly considered when shopping for the right paint for your aluminum boat. So, it is highly advised to take these factors in mind when you start your shopping.
Fortunately, with the product reviews delved into in this post as well as the shopping guides and other valuable information about the right paint for your aluminum boat, you can never go wrong. You will be guaranteed that you can get the real worth of your hard-earned money and be satisfied with the final results.
Without question, it is not enough to just listen to what others say, you also need to do your own homework to ensure that your choice is not something to be upset about.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.