How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat

Paint a Jon Boat

Aluminum Jon Boat

Jon Boats are flat bottom boats manufactured for easy maneuverability in shallow water. The most used material for construction is aluminum, making them lightweight and durable for fishing and hunting.

What kind of paint do you use on an aluminum boat?

Choose a water-resistant aluminum boat paint that adheres to aluminum. Using a sprayer or brush, paint the inside of the boat first. Paint in horizontal strokes for an even coat. The inside coat should dry for 12 hours or so before you paint the exterior.

A camouflage paint job is a good idea for hunters using a Jon boat to help blend into the surrounding land and water; choose your favorite color of Blue Water Mega Gloss for a higher gloss than camouflage paint. The easiest and most popular paint for your boat is the aluminum boat paint green or Aluma Hawk  (white, blue, Jon boat green, black, aluminum grey, sand).  These are both a paint/primer in one that can be applied to most surfaces with little preparation needed.

Make sure you have a location for painting your Jon boat that is free from blowing dust and debris (a garage is ideal).

Surface Prep: The surface must be dry and free of grease, wax, dirt, or other foreign matter. Scrape off all loose paint and dull any gloss area with a light sanding or power brushing. Remove all dust with a cloth dampened with paint thinner and allow to dry, you can use wax and grease remover or acetone. Sand the existing Jon boat paint surface or bare aluminum with 80-100 grit sandpaper.

Use a paint scraper or sander to remove any peeling paint or areas that are likely to cause peeling on your new paint. Don’t worry about scratches because these will make it easier for the new paint to adhere by etching the surface. Use a soft-bristled brush to make sure you remove all debris left from sanding.

Painting a Jon Boat:

A primer coat is used to help the paint adhere to the Jon boat aluminum surface and provides an extra layer of protection from corrosion. When using the Duralux Camouflage Paint on bare aluminum apply two coats of primer after sanding. If using  Aluma Hawk, these can be your primer and paint.

Aluma Hawk PaintIf you choose to use a simple one-step system on your bare aluminum Jon boat, Aluma Hawk (available in Black, Jon Boat Green, Sand/Tan, Blue, White or Aluminum Grey) is an excellent choice since it can be used as a primer/paint in one over bare aluminum. You should prep the surface as stated above, and then wipe down the bare aluminum Jon boat with white vinegar prior to coating. This acts as an acid and will “etch” the surface for better adhesion.  You will need to apply two coats of this flat-finish paint.

To make the inside have a non-skid surface use the Non-Skid Additive with the Aluma Hawk. See the ‘how to apply non-skid paints’ for more details.

If you need the ideal barrier coat to put over roughed bare aluminum then consider Pettit Marine’s Aluma Protect Epoxy Primer. This aluminum primer kit contains strontium chromate and is designed to form the ideal barrier coat over roughed bare aluminum. 

aluminum primer

How to Paint an Aluminum Boat

If you’re the owner of an aluminum boat, you may be wondering how to go about painting it. While the aluminum hull itself doesn’t need to be painted, the aluminum deck does need to be protected from the elements. Here are a few tips on how to paint an aluminum boat:

  1. First, clean the aluminum deck with soap and water. If there are any areas of corrosion, sand them down until they’re smooth.
  2. Next, apply a primer designed for aluminum boats. This will help the paint adhesion and prevent future corrosion. If you use Aluma Hawk, a quick-drying, high-solids, corrosion-inhibiting coating designed for use on aluminum, there is no need for a primer. Same goes for Duralux marine enamels, which is a vinyl-type coating for aluminum and galvanized surfaces and has excellent adhesion that eliminates the need for a primer.
  3. Once the primer is dry, begin applying the boat paint of your choice. Use a brush or roller designed for use with oil-based paints and try and paint in thin coats. Applying thin coats of paint will help prevent runs and ensure a smooth, even finish. Work in small sections and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  4. Once the paint is dry, enjoy your newly-painted aluminum boat!

Painting an aluminum boat such as a jon boat, pontoon or fishing boat, is a process that takes preparation and the right supplies. If you’re looking to tackle this project on your own, be sure to read our how to articles and follow the paint manufacturers steps carefully. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to call the Bottom Paint Store customer service team – we’re happy to help!