First and foremost, fiberglass is known for being super strong material that literally makes it very practical for boats in a lot of ways. In addition to this, such material is so durable enough that it could ensure long years of good service and performance; which means you won’t necessarily need to buy a new one provided that you take the proper care and maintenance. That said, you need to pick the best paint for fiberglass boat.
And, since fiberglass needs to be painted or repainted particularly if you prefer your most valued vessel to look good all through its lifetime; picking the right paint is definitely crucial. Luckily, in this post, you can make comparisons between the different fiberglass boat paint products that were reviewed here.
Substantially, the product reviews as well as buying guides, and other related information about fiberglass boat paints tackled in this article will virtually serve as your guide to end up picking the right paint that would take care of your needs. By conducting research before the final decision when shopping for such product, you can avoid the hassle of buying the wrong product that wouldn’t even solve your problem in the first place.
Table of Contents
- Best Paint for Fiberglass Boat Reviews of 2023
- 1. Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint
- 2. TotalBoat Wet Edge Topside Paint
- 3. Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint
- 4. TotalBoat TotalTread Non Skid Deck Paint
- 5. Interlux Fiberglass Antifouling Paint
- 6. TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint
- 7. TotalBoat TotalBilge Paint
- 8. Aquaguard Water-based Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint
- What to Look for When Buying Paint for Fiberglass Boat
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Paint for Fiberglass Boat Reviews of 2023
1. Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Paint
Painting a fiberglass boat with Rust-Oleum is certainly rewarding both for you and your boat. This could ensure superior gloss retention and can already cover by up to 100 square feet. In addition, there is no need for you to wait for a long period of drying time since this can dry up by at least one up to two hours only. As you can see, this is a lot different from other similar products that require long drying and curing period.
Please be guided that if you wish to ensure smooth and satisfying finish, it is a must to strictly adhere to Rust-Oleum topside paint instructions. Also, the most valuable thing with this product is a good primer coat. See to it not to overlook these two crucial factors when getting started with your painting project.
- Manufactured with oil-based content that makes it easy and flexible to apply
- Ensures very sturdy coating that repels extreme weather conditions and abrasion
- Practical to use for metal, wood or fiberglass above the waterline
- Dries fast and can cover by up to 100 square feet
- Guarantees long-standing ultraviolet protection
- A little difficult to clean up
- Comes with a strong odor
2. TotalBoat Wet Edge Topside Paint
Fiberglass boat painting does not need to be a very exhausting job to manage provided that you were able to pick the right paint that would best match the requirements of your vessel. This product is a premium quality marine-grade polyurethane topside paints that is a piece of cake to apply and can guarantee high-gloss finish.
In the same way, this can offer maximum resistance to stains, abrasion and ultraviolet damage. As compared to other options sold on the market nowadays, this works flexible enough to combat all contraction, expansion and flexing movements that hulls and other topside surfaces generally encounter in fluctuating weather conditions. As you can clearly, see, this is an indication of its dependable sturdiness and resiliency.
Unlike other paints formulated for houses, this product can offer you tougher performance, so there is no need to worry about your old boat that needs repainting. It is also a lot easier to use and manage, capable of thinning quite well and does a good job of leveling and resulting to perfect finish that you can’t ever imagine to be possible.
- Capable of offering utmost protection against harsh weather conditions, UV, saltwater, pollution etc.
- Can guarantee elegant and sturdy finishes
- Comes in two formulations that help keep a wet edge in different types of temperature
- More durable than the products manufactured to paint houses
- Also ideal for outdoor furniture, trim and front doors
- A little overpriced
- Slightly long wait period for orders
3. Rust-Oleum Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint
Do you find painting fiberglass boat a stressful task for you to manage? Actually, the case does not need to be so provided that you have the right paint product to assist you as you achieve whatever purpose it may serve. This stuff is meant for multipurpose applications making it a wise investment that is worth-considering.
By the same token, this paint for fiberglass vessel can offer maximum protective coating that can fight off the rapid growth of algae, barnacles and other sorts of marine growth. And, if you prefer a sleek and hard finish that offers a flat sheen over age-old anti-fouling coatings, then this will make an incredible job on those aspects.
Such paint is not cumbersome to apply even for beginners; all you need to do is to mix it properly prior the application process. It is highly advised to execute the painting project outdoors or somewhere with ample ventilation.
- Capable of recoating in a span of 4 hours
- Practical to utilize for steel, wood or fiberglass surfaces
- Can provide protective coating that repels different marine growth, accumulation of algae and barnacles
- Adept for both salt water and freshwater use
- Guarantees very sleek and hard finish
- Comes with a very serious foul smell
- Dries extremely fast in high temperature
4. TotalBoat TotalTread Non Skid Deck Paint
While it could be a pain in the neck to search for superior quality fiberglass boat spray paint, one of the ways of successfully doing so is to look for the world’s most trusted brands like TotalBoat. Just like this non-skid deck paint, both newbies and professionals will find it user-friendly and a fantastic paint product to bank on.
Furthermore, this marine-grade paint is known for being a one-paint system that comes with strong slip resistance feature. When it comes to taking care of wood and fiberglass decks, this could ensure the greatest amount of traction and can help significantly diminish sun glare.
Over and above, it is plain sailing to mix and you can effortlessly apply it with the aid of top quality rollers and brush. As much as possible, let the paint dry between coats for about one day. This way, it could dry really hard and will guarantee a very durable surface.
- Can minimize sun glare and ensure maximum traction
- Offers greatest amount of protection to impede daily wear & tear
- Practical to use for docks, gangways, decks, cabin soles, steps, cabin tips, ramps and anchor locker covers
- Manufactured with slip-resistant feature
- Not abrasive
- Requires slightly long curing period
- Use and apply with extra caution
5. Interlux Fiberglass Antifouling Paint
Repainting fiberglass boat can be expensive, energy and time-consuming type of project that every boat owner needs to deal with whenever necessary. The delighting news is that the task can be less exhausting if you buy the right paint that could provide nice finish, utmost protection and sturdiness, as well as good final result.
Essentially, what make this product a great deal are its many impressive features. For instance, its coating is superior when it comes to averting premature wear and tear. It an incredible feature known as slow polish action does a unique job of reducing useless buildup of paint. And, it also aids in boosting the advantages of ablative and hard paints by means of its distinctive dual resin method.
Moreover, this stuff can hold up quite well and is highly recognized for being one of the top-rated bottom paint products available these days. It’s a sterling paint that rolls on easy with a little paint thinner added to it.
- Economical option for all sail and powerboats and in all waters
- Helps maximize the perks of ablative and hard paints
- Good value for the money
- Guarantees superb coating that impedes instant wear and tear
- Rolls on easy
- Not glossy
- Misleading information regarding its size
6. TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint
Refinishing fiberglass boat will definitely be a less burdening task to accomplish if you invest in a high quality and reliable bottom paint manufactured by TotalBoat. What makes this one of the most favorite picks for many boat owners worldwide is the fact that even if it is on the vessel for a few months already, it will still look at its best after getting wet and dry.
As for its application, this is user-friendly and newbies can also consider this when executing their first fiberglass boat painting project. This is particularly manufactured with topnotch single-season anti-fouling shield for wooden and fiberglass vessels that frequent freshwater and saltwater.
You can instantly apply this paint by using roller, brushing or spraying over current hard or ablative bottom paints. In like manner, you can polish it for more fuel efficiency and better improved speed. It is interesting to know that this stuff is made with water-activated ablative formula that reactivates when launched and deactivates on dry areas.
- Top quality marine paint that’s water-based and low VOC
- Can be easily applied with the right tools
- Capable of covering roughly 400 square feet per gallon
- Offers anti-fouling shield for wooden and fiberglass boats both in freshwater and saltwater
- Vessels can be launched by up to one year and a half after application
- Seems not to be ideal for boats transported on a trailer
- Price can create a hole on your pocket
7. TotalBoat TotalBilge Paint
Painting over fiberglass can be done smoothly and successfully with the right paint to use. Luckily, this product can work wonders to your old boat that seriously needs repainting. Apart from giving your old boat a new impressive appearance, this could also shield it from various potentially damaging elements that bring about instant boat deterioration.
More than that, this fiberglass paint is a one-part epoxy-based marine paint for locker, bulkhead and bilge areas. This is reliable in terms of obstructing solvents, moisture, alkyds, acids and oils. If you opt for a sturdy and hard finish that is not susceptible to lifting, then this is the best match for your requirements.
Not only that, this stuff also works well in providing superb coverage, it is not a hassle to use and apply even for newbies and you don’t necessarily wait for a very long time for it to dry. This is not prone to mildew accumulation and other sorts of stains as well. This could cover a total of 250 by up to 300 square feet per gallon and available colors are white and gray. You can also choose between gallon and quartz sizes.
- Can defy acids, solvents, moisture, alkyds and oils
- Available in gallons or quartz
- Application is a breeze, can cover huge area and can dry fast
- Guarantees sturdy and hard finish that is not prone to lift
- Cleanup is a child’s play and inhibits mildew or stain
- Formulated with very high VOC
- Pretty hard to clean up once spilled
8. Aquaguard Water-based Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint
If you seriously hope to get the real value of your hard-earned money, then this fiberglass paint product won’t leave you feeling regretful. As proof of its excellence, this is highly acclaimed for exceeding VOC standards. And, it is approved by US EPA. In reality, this is what makes it one of the top-drawer options that a lot of boat owners patronize since it can deliver what was advertised.
Not to mention, as compared to other toxic paint products out there, this product comes with non-toxic fumes that make it a risk-free choice even for those who have allergic reactions. But, to keep yourself safe while executing the painting task, always wear protective gears like gloves, respirator mask and protective eyeglasses that are used for various types of work like painting.
- Comes with ablative action that defies barnacles and other types of marine growth
- Highly recommended for wood and fiberglass vessels
- Approved by US E.P.A
- Capable of rolling on instantly to ensure longer-standing finish
- Ensures effortless and fast cleanup process
- Comes with inaccurate label
- Not the ideal choice for those with restricted budget
What to Look for When Buying Paint for Fiberglass Boat
There are so many factors to give thought to before you spend on paints for fiberglass boats. And, since it will require considerable amount of energy, time and huge sum of money when picking the right paint for your fiberglass boat, it is especially critical to look into the vital considerations prior to going for it.
In essence, what will matter the most is to plan carefully prior to taking up this tricky and demanding task.
- Budget. Is it affordable or too expensive for you to invest in? Take note that not all products sold at pricey selling tag are top quality and all products offered at a much cheaper price are junks. Always inspect the product carefully so that you can come up with a cost-effective decision. Weigh the pros and cons. And, do not compromise long-term benefits.
- Can the paint offer longer-lasting durability and protection? Once these two can be guaranteed by your chosen product, the next thing you’ll need to look for is if it is capable of providing the best possible finish for your fiberglass boat.
- Ease and convenience of use and application. Isn’t it a mess to work with?
- Does the paint contain non-toxic components? Isn’t it too dangerous for health? Is it environmental-friendly? Check the warning indications of your chosen product first.
- Is it resistant to various harsh environmental elements?
As clearly indicated, there are a number of factors that must be first looked into so you can ensure that the product of your choice can provide the maximum protection, durability and resistance for your fiberglass boat. Make sure to check these out before making the final buying decision.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is paint for fiberglass boat?
Fiberglass vessels are impressive and are specifically crafted with stunning gel coats that are resistant to almost all harsh elements. But, as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. So, whether you like it or not, there comes a time when painting or repainting your fiberglass boat will be seriously required in order to restore its sheen and good looks.
Paints for fiberglass boats are manufactured to help fiberglass vessels be provided with much needed protection and long-lasting durability. Indeed, such paint product is meant to help preserve the stunning look of a vessel and shield it from anything that could bring any sort of damage to it.
How does it work?
Fiberglass vessels come new with the aid of colored gel coat. Be that as it may, gel coats tend to fade sooner or later and are impossible to be tidied or waxed to enable them to look new again. This is how paints for fiberglass boats work. They help ensure that the boat will look at its best again after the painting process.
Prepping and painting the fiberglass boat is not same as prepping and painting aluminum or metal materials. For a fact, special steps must be stringently adhered to in order to achieve the best final outcomes without causing any damage to the fiberglass.
Such paint products are meant to provide better protection, durability and appealing appearance to the entire fiberglass boat that need to be painted or repainted.
What are the different types of fiberglass boat paints?
Let us now explore about what kind of paint do you use to paint fiberglass?
- One-Part Paints. These generally come in the form of polyurethanes which could be auspiciously applied in a manual method. Such application technique is referred to as rolling and tipping.
This method works by one person rolling on the paint while another person is brushing out or tipping the paint with the aid of a dry brush’s tip. If this technique is accomplished properly, this works fine like spraying. Take note that excellent thinning is quite vital to result in a smooth job.
Likewise, this kind of paint can be sprayed. However, it is essential to ensure where the over spray goes and that some of the objects that won’t be painted should be properly masked off. At times, the equipment could be rented too.
- Two-Part Paints. These are highly acclaimed for being the most outstanding paints in terms of gloss retention as well as sturdiness. They are quite thin and specifically necessitate several coats. Nevertheless, these are chemically hardened to a very sturdy finish that’s capable of offering long-standing service.
Additionally, most of these paints are manufactured for various professional uses and applications. Truth is, many of them are toxic and stringently calls for spray booth and positive pressure mask when executing the painting job. And, this is prohibited to be done at home.
In line with this, there are some of these paints that were formulated to be manually applied through simply tipping and rolling. A lot of manufacturers have established water-based two-part paint systems which could be tidied up with water.
It is worth to consider that proper hull preparation for these types of paints is more rigid as compared to one-part paints mainly because of the thinness of each coat. The impurities cannot be hidden by paint, for a fact, this would merely emphasize them.
Why do you need paint for fiberglass boat? (Benefits)
Taking proper care and maintenance for your fiberglass boat is no easy. It could actually be quite demanding, costly and challenging at the same time. But, since your most cherished vessel is one of the sources of your happiness, it is just right that you provide it with the much needed protection it deserves. After all, doing the painting or repainting project will help safeguard your vessel from anything that may cause serious damage to it. So, there is no need to have second thoughts whether this is the right thing to do or not.
If you hope to spend more fun and thrilling times with your fiberglass boat, then you need to consider painting or repainting it now. The reason why it is very practical and advantageous to restore your fiberglass boat by painting or repainting is that you could enjoy lots of benefits in the long run. Doing so will help you and your fiberglass boat in a lot of ways such as:
- Avoid spending lavishly on overpriced repair cost or the need to buy a new boat.
- Provide your fiberglass boat a new look, make it become more durable and be shielded by various environmental elements, corrosion and other environmental attacks that could lead to serious damages.
- Make boat care and maintenance a less stressful task for you to handle.
- Extend the lifespan of your boat and improve its performance.
- Help make your fiberglass boat look at its best and quite different from its old look and style.
Just like when maintaining the paint in your house, the same goes for your fiberglass boat. The more you look after it, the better it becomes. Be reminded that the length of time you can spend your special moments with your boat will depend on how you take its proper care and maintenance. As a boat owner, it is your sole responsibility to inspect your boat regularly so you can detect potential problems early on.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Note that this also applies to expensive investments like a fiberglass boat. Even it is true that these are crafted to be sturdy and heavy-duty; still it cannot withstand the test of time if not provided with utmost care it deserves. In other words, you also need to do your part when it comes to shielding it from any elements that could speed up its deterioration.
Needless to say, if you provide your boat with the greatest amount of protection, you can avert premature wear and tear and can preserve your vessel for many years to come. If you’re going to dig deeper, this is actually a sort of money-saving technique because you can avoid pricey repairs and boat replacements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted fiberglass boat paint brands?
Since it is your main goal to take proper care and maintenance for your most treasured fiberglass boat, it is just right that you carefully select the right fiberglass boat paint that could satisfy your requirements and the needs of your vessel. As you know, it is only in this way you can ensure that the paint will last for a longer period of time and could offer more durability, protection and professional look for your boat.
Of course, trusting a reputable brand should always be your top priority if you would like to be guaranteed of premium quality paint products for fiberglass. And, the best fiberglass boat paint brands trusted by many boat owners worldwide include:
It is interesting to note that these are credible and most sought after brands precisely because they have been tested and proven to serve their purpose in a successful manner.
How to paint a fiberglass boat yourself?
Here are the guides on how to correctly paint a fiberglass boat by yourself:
For the preparation phase:
- Make sure to clean the boat properly. Actually, this must be executed eacjh period you have taken the vessel out. When cleaning, you can use some rags, high-pressure hose and scraper. Meanwhile, when washing down the surface, only use non-chlorinated detergents and rinse thoroughly.
- In order to ensure a neat and smoother pain job, consider taking away all the hardware. However, if this can’t be done for some reasons, you may cover these using a painter’s tape to safeguard them.
- To get rid of the wax coating, you will need to utilize a solvent. Take note that paint won’t stick to a waxy surface.
- Fix the surface of the boat such as any form of corrosions, scratches or cracks. It is a must to fill any holes using marine-grade epoxy.
- When sanding the vessel, 80-grit sandpaper is needed to sand the surface of the boat. It is especially necessary to lift off the old paint entirely. Rough the fiberglass surface using 40-grit sandpaper; on the other hand, utilize 36-grit sandpaper on sections with epoxy.
- Begin by utilizing a primer even though this isn’t strictly required for fiberglass vessels. Please note that the primer must be compatible with your selected paint. Then, apply a single layer of primer. Utilize 300-grit sandpaper and gently sand the vessel prior to applying the next coat.
Start painting again after at least two hours of completing the primer if you wish to obtain satisfying outcomes.
- When you’re all set to paint, make it a point to mix the paint as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Afterward, you can start applying the first layer using a paint roller.
- Finally, patiently wait for roughly 1 by up to 2 hours after the initial coating and then lift off the painter’s tape that you have applied. After that, you may continue with your second coat. For you to easily paint the hard-to-reach sections, you may use paint brush to do so.
Not to mention, to guarantee rewarding and the best possible final outcomes, it will be paramount that you safeguard the drying paint from any sorts of residues or bugs. Be certain that the paint has fully dried as per the directions of the manufacturer. It is advised to avoid exposing your vessel to any harsh cleaning agents or heavy use for approximately 1 week.
Conclusively, make it a habit to clean your vessel completely after every use to allow the paint to last for many years to come and for it to remain looking good. Keep your boat shielded on the coldest seasons of the year and do all your best to protect it from ice damage.
What is the warranty?
As for the warranty of the fiberglass boat paint products reviewed in this article, it is good to know that all the products discussed here are supported by different warranty offers. You can learn more about the warranty details of your chosen product by going over the product description. Nonetheless, if the warranty was not clearly specified there, you can contact the manufacturer’s customer support for more information.
In general, the warranty offers include money refund, replacement of defective products and limited or lifetime warranty offers. In case your chosen product is not backed up by a warranty, then you may look for other available options.
Where to buy?
When shopping for fiberglass boat paint products, you can check in local marine or boating supply stores or huge hardware stores that sell almost all kinds of marine supplies. However, you need to be aware that doing so could only offer you limited choices unlike when you shop online.
Online shopping sites like Amazon can offer you with uncountable options to check out. Interestingly, products even come with some special discounts, promos, offers or freebies that you can take pleasure in. Besides, many world-class brands are also found here.
Stay away from online shopping sites that do not offer product warranties as much as possible to avoid unhappy shopping experience.
How to care and maintain?
A superb paint job should last for a minimum of 10 years or beyond provided that it is given with utmost care.
Here are the proper ways of caring for and maintaining fiberglass boat paint to ensure it to last for many years:
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh detergents when cleaning. It is highly advised to utilize natural and soft bristle brush or mop only. Apart from this, as much as possible, avoid using stiff or plastic brushes that could potentially damage the paint.
It is worth noting that chlorinated cleansers would only scratch the paint if it remains in contact for a longer period of time. Hence, you need to see to it to wash it off thoroughly, particularly the section where the water runs down the structure’s side.
- Always make sure that the boat is kept tidy at all times. The atmospheric fallout and amassed residues could only lead to the formation of acids on the paint’s surface and this will bring about some serious damages in the long run.
- Carefully wash the boat down in order to get rid of all salt after utilizing the vessel, this must also be done in the sides of the hull.
- It is highly recommended to wax the vessel at least once annually. There is no need to do so for walking surfaces though.
- Lastly, it is critical to shield the vessel during winter layup so you can inhibit ice damage.
When working with paint and primer or when sanding, it is highly recommended to wear protective gears to protect yourself from any irritants or health hazards. Basically, a few of the must-wear gears include safety glasses, respirator mask and gloves.
Moreover, it is important to check if the foam brushes or roller are compatible with the paint and primer that you choose to utilize for the painting project. Take in mind that there are some rollers and brushes that are incapable of holding up to being utilized with the chemicals in the primer and paint.
And, most importantly, never ever use automotive paint or primer if you intend to paint a fiberglass vessel. The reason for this is because such products are not particularly designed to adhere to the fiberglass surface’s gel coat.
Fiberglass vessels have certainly not lived up to their previous claims of being the type of boat that does not require much maintenance. Notwithstanding, with proper care, your most precious vessel could look at its best all through its lifetime.
In a nutshell, one of the most usual queries that a marine surveyor is asked is whether it is deemed necessary to invest in the best paint for fiberglass boat or not. As previously mentioned in this post, as long as a boat owner has a deeper grasp of the cost involved as well as the extent of the painting project and with the right fiberglass paint product, succeeding in your painting job can be achieved without hassle.
Painting fiberglass is surely challenging since the surface is sleek. However, with the products reviewed in this article, and the substantial guides on how to shop for the right paint and complete guide on how to execute the painting project, you don’t need to stress yourself out. As always, there is no way to fail if you’re armed with insights and suitable methodology on how to execute the task.
Fundamentally, with the appropriate preparatory steps, you won’t have a hard time obtaining a fine and professional-looking finish. All you need to do is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Also, take in mind that the precise fiberglass paints that you utilize highly rely on the object you are painting as well as it is predetermined purpose.
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.