Tag Archives: topside 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.

Topside Boat Paint Options: What are your choices?

There are many different topside boat paints and qualities, generally, the more you spend the better the results.

Blue Water Mega Gloss is affordable and 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; see the prep recommendations found on the product page on the “how to use” tab and if the Blue Water Mega Gloss Primer is needed.

In flat paint/primer in one option, you’ll find the Aluma Hawk. This is extremely popular for hunting and fishing boats and ease of use in white, blue, sand, aluminum gray, Jon boat green, and black. Duralux offers some camo paints; for use on aluminum the Duralux Zinkromate Primer is recommended and for use on wood the Duralux Yacht Primer is recommended for best adhesion.

Popular color options can also be found with the Interlux Brightside, commonly used for topside gloss surfaces with moderate water exposure. Also, Interdeck white paint with added non-skid is perfect for a white slip-resistant deck.

The best available boat paint for the topside with the best finish is Awlgrip, most expensive but best results and loved by customers. Awlgrip marine paint also requires a little more “do it yourself savvy” to apply these paints, and require the correct activators and reducers when applying. The manufacturer of Awlgrip recommends it for use only above the waterline.

Your topside boat paint choice depends on your budget, the durability needed and the amount of time you want to spend on your boat paint application.