Category Archives: Aluminum Application

What to Use on the Deck of My Boat?

Over time the life of any boat there will come a time when the deck needs to be renewed. You have a choice of non-skid additives, or paints that already contain nonskid compound.  A non skid boat deck helps protect the surface as well as the occupants.

Looking for a non skid surface you have many options. If your boat floor is currently gelcoat you can regelcoat the surface with or without a non skid additive. More information about gelcoat application can be found here. Gelcoat is more durable than paint and once a gelcoat surface is painted gelcoat will not adhere.

If paint is desired non skid can be added to our marine paints by Duralux and Awlgrip. Often an exact match can be found to your hull paint color. Find more topside paint options available and detailed instructions on adding non skid found in our how to section.

Customers painting the floor of a jon boat, frequently use the Aluma Hawk aluminum paint with a non skid additive. This paint serves as a paint and primer in one for your aluminum surface.

Depending on your paint choices, follow the manufacturers application instructions whether applying to aluminum, fiberglass, or wood to insure best adhesion and slip resistance.

What Products Do I Use to Paint a Livewell?

A livewell is a tank found on many fishing boats that is used to keep bait and caught fish alive. It works by pumping fresh water from the surrounding body into the tank, as well as keeping the water aerated.

Most live wells on boats are made of fiberglass and usually coated with gelcoat. For more information on applying gelcoat see our How to Apply Gelcoat article.

In the case that your live well is aluminum you can apply Aluma Hawk, available in white, to the aluminum surface.

Can I change the color or tint my paint?

For most paints, in order to guarantee efficacy, the only way we recommend changing the color of  paints is to mix like paints, ie. Mixing Aluma Hawk with Aluma Hawk. We do not recommend addition of “universal” tints or pigments into our products. Many customers desire an antifouling paint in a deep, dark blue and this can be achieved by mixing blue and black.

Gel coats and resins can have a tint added, no more than 1 oz per quart, which can limit the effect. Another option is to mix two gelcoat colors, such as white and red for pink.

 

 

What Equipment is Needed to do a Proper Application of Antifouling Bottom Paint?

Here are the items that you will need in addition to the bottom paint for the proper bottom paint application.

60–100 grit – Suitable for the removal of paint or to sand gel coat prior to the application of antifouling paint.
• After sanding remove sanding residue by wiping with a cloth that has been dampened with the proper solvent.
Masking Tape – When it is necessary to mask off areas use a high quality clean edge masking tape, especially when the masking tape will be left on the surface for a long time.
Brushes – For antifouling paints use a natural bristle brush but not necessarily one of as good quality as you would use to apply topside finishes.
Rollers Most solvent resistant rollers will have a phenolic core and will say that they are for use with oil based paints or epoxies. For antifouling paint and epoxy primers, use a 3/8”-1/2” nap roller

For convenience, you can find most needed supplies in our Paint Application Kit.

Can Aluma Hawk Paint be used with Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer?

The direct answer is Yes.

Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primeraluma-hawk-boat-paint-by-sea-hawk-paints-28288-1000x1078 is an effective water barrier and universal primer. When applied to metal hulled boats it can serve as corrosion protection below the waterline. Therefore many boaters want to have that sort of protection on their Jon boat, and apply Aluma Hawk Boat Paint on top.

When over-coating Tuff Stuff Epoxy Primer it is important to meet the required over coating times in order to achieve the best adhesion because temperature and humidity have a direct impact on dry times. QUICK and EASY RULE: When the coating is dry to the touch, yet still has some tack, it is ready to be over coated. Your thumb will leave a print without lifting any epoxy. This is called hot-coating. However, if the coating is completely cured (or after 24 hours) it needs to be thoroughly sanded with 80 grit sand paper to remove the shine, or you must apply another coat of Tuff Stuff within 6 days. Then you have an additional 24 hour maximum window to overcoat with paint.

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

These two products are great on their own, but they can do so much more when working in conjunction with each other.

How to Apply Awlgrip Topcoat to an Aluminum Hull

Awlgip Marine PaintsFirst Identify the paint that is there. Is it compatible?

If yes – Sand, Primer, Paint

If no – the previous coating needs to be taken down. Sand with 80 grit paper until the coating is gone. Sand blasting is not recommended because it takes away the aluminum itself.

How do you know if previous paint is compatible with Awlgrip? Perform this test:

  1. Need a rag and some Lacquer thinner
  2. Sand the surface with 80 grit sand paper
  3. Apply lacquer thinner to the rag and hold it on the sanded area.
  4. Put a piece of plastic on to to hold the rag so the Lacquer thinner doesn’t evaporate.
  5. Hold rag for 35-45 min.
  6. Remove rag slowly. Is surface bubbling or lifting? If no, scrape surface with the blade of a knife. If the paint comes off with the blade or the paint feels rubbery you have identified an acrylic based paint. Awlgrip may be applied on top of it. If the surface was bubbling or lifting, the paint is not compatible and must be removed.

D6600 CF WashII. Apply Awl-Wash Primer CF (Mix Part A and Part B) within 4 hours of cleaning the surface. This provides excellent adhesion to the aluminum surface. Awl-Wash CF can be overcoated with primers after 1 hour of application. Maximum recoat time without sanding is 6 months.

III. Apply a Primer to the Awl-Wash Primer CF. There are 2 main choices.

  1. 545 Epoxy Primer – Thin, building primer. Usually applied when there is no need to fill scrapes or gouges.
  2. Awlquick – a medium build, primer/surfacer. Applied to a surface that needs to be filled where there are scrapes or gouges. Awlquick Base + Converter.

IV.  Apply a topcoat.

  1. Awlgrip – may be brush rolled or sprayed – usually lasts 7-10 years.
  2. Awlcraft – must be sprayed only – usually lasts 4-6 years.

For more information on Awlgrip vs. Awlcraft, click this link.

Awlgrip Color Chart

Painting an Aluminum Hull with Non Antifouling Paint

When painting a boat used for hunting/fishing, such as a Jon Boat, typically a flat finish is desired so you’ll want to use one of our camouflage paints. A primer coat is used to help the paint adhere to the aluminum surface and provides an extra layer of protection from corrosion. You may also use  Aluma Hawk, which is a paint and primer in one.

The Aluminum Boat Paint Green or Aluma Hawk (available in Black, Jon Boat Green, Blue, Sand, White or Aluminum Grey), will serve as paint and primer in one so no need to purchase a primer! For more application details see our ‘how to paint an aluminum Jon Boat’ article. When using the Duralux Camouflage Paint on bare aluminum apply two coats of Duralux Zinc Chromate. These should be used when you desire a dull flat finish.

If you desire a gloss finish, look to the Mega Gloss by Blue Water, available in quarts and gallons, is affordable, easy to apply, and only recommended for above the waterline or moderate use on the bottom (1-3 days in the water, not extended periods). This topside paint works best in very thin coats and can be used on fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and steel; see the prep recommendations found on the product page on the “how to use” tab. The Mega Gloss Primer is recommended when applied to bare metal, if you have concerns about sealing your aluminum, see the Bottom Protect by Blue Water for a barrier coat. See here for more application tips.

You have many options when painting aluminum. Your use of the boat, the allotted budget, and the amount of time you want to spend on the project may help determine the right paint for you. For more information see our ‘topside boat paint options’.

Aluminum Hull Repairs and More

jonboatHow to Fix a Leaking Seam or Rivet on Aluminum Boat

As aluminum boats age they show various signs of wear and tear. One of these signs may be a leaking seam or rivet. Over time, rivets can stretched and loosen, causing a gap in the hull integrity and this results in a leak. The solution to this problem is fairly simple and may be fixed at home using just a few tools and know-how. So, how should this problem be addressed?

Locate the Leaking Rivet or Seam

The first step is to find the exact seam or rivet that needs repair. To do this, put the boat in water and observe carefully. You could also put water inside the boat and see where it allows the water to escape from.

Assess the Damage

The second step is assessing the extent of damage to the rivet or seam. If the seam is too wide to be filled or caulked, it will need additional rivets in combination with a sealant product. If the damage is easily visible a sealant or caulk will be sufficient.

Choose a Sealant or Epoxy Product

There are hundreds of products out there that claim to fix leaks and seal cracks. How do you know which to choose? The Bottom Paint Store has done most of the hard work for you and can confidently recommend 2 products that really work.

If your hull is bare aluminum you can cover the entire surface with a high build epoxy primer to help seal and protect it such as Tuff Stuff. For application details see our link for application of a marine epoxy.

Hawk Epoxy KitHawk Epoxy is an excellent product to repair aluminum hulls. We recommend getting one of the Hawk Epoxy Kits that will contain everything you need for filling in the aluminum. Hawk Epoxy is a versatile product that can be used for many other application too. Everyone should own this kit! See video for mixing and selecting fillers.

Another option is G/Flex 650 Epoxy made by West System. This liquid epoxy is more flexible and versatile than regular epoxies and will adhere to almost any surface. The bond that it creates can absorb shock, vibration, expansions and contractions. It will fully cure in 24 hours. Also, West System has created a detailed and comprehensive set of instructions for a wide variety of applications. They can be found at this link and below:

Fix leaking seams and rivets

Patch holes in aluminum hulls

Repair pitted or pin holed surfaces

Now that your leaky rivets and seams have been repaired, you are ready to paint! Check out this How To Article for more information on how to paint your aluminum vessel. Aluma Hawk is a great option or any of our antifouling copper free paint for aluminum.

Applying Antifouling Paint to a Pontoon Boat

If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the pontoons with 80 grit and then apply Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy. It is a water tight barrier coat designed for use under the waterline and with aluminum hulls. Tuff Stuff will insure that you protect the aluminum from corrosion, and also aid in the adhesion of the antifouling paint. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. See detailed instructions at How to Apply Marine Epoxy Primer”.

TUFFSTUFFnewAfter you apply Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on hull, be sure to use an aluminum safe antifouling paint. The bottom paint needs to be applied the same day as the Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer. Antifoulants in general are designed to repel hard growth. For soft growth you should have an additional biocide that help with the algae. Colorkote is an excellent antifoul for aluminum pontoons used in salt water and/or fresh water. For a solvent free paint, see the Mission Bay CSF.

WARNING: You should only use an aluminum safe antifouling like Mission Bay or Smart Solution. Using any other type of copper based antifouling could severely damage your pontoons and will cause corrosion, pitting and eventually holes in your pontoon boat.

If you do not need antifouling paint and are in fresh water, we suggest using one of the products located in the “How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat article.

Links:

How to Video:

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. 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 Duralux Zinc Chromate after sanding. If using the Aluminum Boat Paint Green or 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, then the Duralux Aluminum Boat Paint Green or Aluma Hawk (available in Black, Jon Boat Green, Sand/Tan, Blue, White or Aluminum Grey) are excellent choices since both 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.

Painting an Aluminum Outdrive

Outdrives are difficult to keep free of growth. The main reason for this is that traditional copper-based bottom paints cannot be used on an aluminum outdrive. Doing so will result in serious corrosion from the aluminum reacting to the copper in the paint.

Outdrive paint kitWhen painting an aluminum outdrive you must use a copper-free bottom paint. There are a couple of different brands out there. Interlux Trilux 33 (The most popular) , and Sea Hawk Smart Solution (The best). Trilux is the most popular and easy to find at your local West Marine. However, the results are not as impressive as Sea Hawk Smart Solution   (available in pint size black as Outdrive Paint) that uses the newest metal free technology. You will get the best possible results with Smart Solution, and is becoming more and more popluar as the best solution for painting an outdrive. It is also the best priced of the two, but is yet not available in an aerosol spray. You can get a quart and brush it on, or you can spray it with a conventional spray gun.

The Outdrive Paint shows best  results when paired with a primer such as Tuff Stuff or Bottom Paint Primer by Sea Hawk.  For spray options the Barnacle Blocker can be used alone or over coated with Smart Solution for improved protection. You can find our Outdrive Paint Kit for increased savings!

An alternative to painting is a foul release system, such as PropGlide.

How to Apply Bottom Paint to an Aluminum Boat


Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy Primer

If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the hull with 80 grit and then apply Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy. It is a water tight barrier coat designed for use under the waterline and with aluminum hulls. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. (up to 6 days)

After you apply Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on hull, be sure to use an aluminum safe bottom paint. The bottom paint needs to be applied the same day as the Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer. Bottom paints in general are designed to repel hard growth. Colorkote is an excellent triple biocide bottom paint for aluminum hulls when in salt water. We recommend Mission Bay for fresh water.  I have listed links below to the products described above. These can be brushed, sprayed, or rolled.  If you already have coating(s) on the hull, pressure wash, sand with 80 grit, and then apply your paint choice.

Links:

How to Video: Aluminum Boat Bottom Paint Application

See here for all aluminum safe bottom paints.