Tag Archives: aluminum boat paint

The Different Types of Boat Paint

In this article we will briefly describe some of the different types of boat paint that can be used to repair, restore, protect, and make your boat looks its best.

Topside boat paint is a type of paint you apply above the waterline of a boat. This can include the sides of the hull, deck, as well as the interior. Marine topside paints usually consist of one-part polyurethane, two-part polyurethane, and alkyd marine enamel. There are also buffable, two-part acrylic urethanes. Due to the sun’s rays, your boat is vulnerable to UV damage so coating your upper hull and deck with a good topside paint can go a long way to protecting your boat.

Blue Water Marine Topside Paints are superior in quality, higher in value and typically, priced better than store brands


Aluminum boat paint can be used for many purposes including to camouflage, decorate, refurbish, or restore aluminum boat surfaces. Paint that is safe for aluminum and can be applied without a primer and can be used below or above the water line.

Aluma Hawk Paint
Aluma Hawk is a fast drying, high-solids, corrosion-inhibiting coating designed for use on aluminum with no need for a primer.


Fiberglass boat paint usually consists of gelcoat, gelcoat putties, resins, restoration solutions, repair kits, and tools/materials. Gel coats are often used to touch up or repair a boats finish. They have a much shorter shelf life and can be a lot more difficult to apply than paint so the manufacturers instructions must be carefully followed to ensure a successful result.

Gelcoat can be used to patch existing gel coat, fiberglass repairs, and new construction and projects.


Wood boat paint typically includes traditional types of oil-based finishes, as two-part paints tend to be less flexible. Because wood can flex and swell, especially along seams, expensive finishes will not last any longer than traditional stain or paint. Teak can be used to prevent fading on a boats wood finish. If left untreated, it will often fade which leads to the need to clean or treat the wood so it is not susceptible to rot, mildew, and discoloration.

Teak wood cleaner
Just Teak is a simple solution to clean, brighten & protect your teak.


Bottom boat paint is antifouling paint or coating designed to diminish weeds, barnacles, and other aquatic organisms that can attach below the waterline of a boat and cause damage. Bottom paint includes ablative bottom paint, hard boat bottom paint, aluminum safe bottom paint, primers for bottom paint, and boat bottom paint remover.

Biocop bottom paint uses the newest biocide technology which is safe for the environment.

If you need assistance selecting the right boat paint for your next project see Bottom Paint Store’s how to articles or call our technical support department Monday-Friday from 8:30-5:00pm EST 888-505-2313.

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

Antifouling bottom paint is needed if you store your boat in the water. If left in the water without protection, marine growth may attach to your boat’s exposed hull. Marine growth slows a boat down and increases fuel consumption. Here are the items that you will need in addition to the bottom paint for the proper anti-fouling 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.

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! Aluma Hawk is one of the easiest and most popular paint for your aluminum boat, and available in (white, blue, Jon boat green, black, aluminum grey, and sand). These are both a paint/primer in one that can be applied to most surfaces with little preparation needed.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.

How do you paint Aluma Hawk on a boat?

You can use a brush, roller or spray gun. Most applications will need 2 coats of Aluma Hawk following the proper dry time requirements. No sanding is necessary between coats of Aluma Hawk if less than 48 hours between applying coats. If needed, MEK (Methyl Ethly Ketone) can be used for thinning, as well as clean up.

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’.

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 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.