Click here to experience the NEW (beta).

Boat Paint & Varnish

The iBoats Experience

Boat classifieds, Boats for sale Boat classifieds, Boats for sale

Boats for Sale

Browse thousands of constantly-updated listings and search by location, brand, and boat type See more...
Boating forums and advice Boating forums and advice


Connect with our expansive community and tap into the knowledge base of the most dedicated boaters around. See more...
Products for fun on the water

Shop Products

Browse and search for hundreds of thousands of boat parts, accessories, and supplies to suit your every need.

Paint & Varnish How-To's

How To Choose the Best Boat Paint and Varnishes.

How To Select Proper Boat Paint And Varnishes

An elegant and well-kept boat is always a sight to behold. It not only brings pride to the owner but also attracts a lot of envy and admiration from passers-by as well as other boat owners. The glossy finish, the flawless appearance, and the color depth are the main reasons ... read more for the attraction. However, even the best kept boat will lose its appeal at some point in time. This may be due to mishandling, accident, and also wear and tear. In order to bring out the elegance of a boat, it is necessary to apply a few coats of paint or varnish. Choosing the right boat paints and varnishes can be a tricky affair. This is influenced by availability of a wide range of products.

Why Use Boat Paint or Varnish?

Many people appreciate and admire a beautiful boat. However, they do not know what it takes to have the vessel in such a state. Boat paints and varnishes play an essential role in maintaining as well as making the boat pleasing to the eye. The products offer the following benefits:

· Aesthetic Appeal: - A fresh coat of paint or varnish is what gives the boat a new look. The higher the quality of products and painting skills - the more appealing the boat will be.

· Protection: - Marine paints contain special ingredients to protect it against salinity. Also, copper based paints minimize corrosion that may be caused by electrical currents.

· Personal Touch: - Custom painting also gives the boat personality. This makes it standout from the rest.

Boat Paint and Varnishes for a Boat's Hull

Types of Boat Paints (Marine)

There are many varieties of paints for boats. They will vary by cost, brand, effectiveness, durability, water resistance, protection against salinity, and other factors. Generally, the paints are classified in three main classes:

1. Topside Paint:

These are meant to be used only on the top part of the boat. Usually, they are manufactured from polyurethane as well as nitrocellulose. They form a hard and glossy surface thus making the boat shiny.

2. Bottom Side Paint:

These are painted at the lower surface since they are more resistant to the saline conditions.

They can be further classified as follows :

· Hard bottom paint: They form a hard and smooth surface hence suited for speedboats. They can’t be applied on-top of other paints.

· Ablative: These are much softer than the hard bottom surface paints. They also offer the best protection and can be applied on top of other paints.

· Self-polishing: These are more glossy hence making the boat more aerodynamic. They can be re-coated on top of other paints.

3. Specialty:

These paints are customized to suit very specific applications. These include anti-skid, electrical resistance, less drag, bilges and much more.

Types of Boat Varnishes

Varnishes play several important roles on a boat. First, they bring out the sheen. Secondly, they protect the boat against the elements of weather such as rain, snow, or sun. Third, they inhibit pests and pathogens from penetrating the surface. The main types of varnishes are as follows:

· Alkyd resin based varnishes: These are the most common types of varnishes. They are easy to use and quite versatile.

· Polyurethane Varnish: These are fast drying and also offer hard and more durable coating.

· Two Pack Polyurethane: They are not so easy to apply. However, they offer a highly glossy finish and are very resistant to chemicals.

· Spar Varnish: This varnish expands in high heat or temperatures and contracts in a cold environment. It will feel sticky when touched during the hot weather.

When choosing a varnish, it is necessary to go for one that contains Ultra-Violet (UV) absorbents. This stops the dangerous UV rays from the sun from damaging the boat surface. Also, a good varnish will also contain anti-oxidants that prevent oxidation from taking place.

Painting or varnishing a boat shouldn't be rushed. It requires some research, time, effort, and most certain patience. It first starts with selecting the appropriate boat paints and varnishes. Secondly, the right procedure should be used. For professional results, it is better to use an air gun or spray gun instead of a brush and roller. Also, it is essential to remove any loose paint and varnish. All dents and cracks ought to be repaired before re-painting. By following the above tips, you will have your boat ready for the next marine expedition or the fishing trip. Follow the link to learn about 3M paints for repair. Click to learn about the specs of Interlux antifouling paint.
read less
How to Paint Fiberglass

Painting Fiberglass

Many boaters wonder if creating fiberglass paint for their boat is possible. The answer is yes, it is possible, and it has several advantages as far as finances and long-term maintenance. For those who are ... read more not familiar with the concept of fiberglass, it is a strong, lightweight material made up of the fibers and remnants that are also in glass. These elements are extracted from glass and are then formed into a hard, plastic-like material. The process of painting fiberglass is straightforward and simple, and, when done correctly, your boat's exterior will have a shiny, glossy new look.

What You Will Need:

  • Fiberglass
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Brush/Roller/Spray Gun
Step 1
Your first order of business will be to apply your sandpaper to your fiberglass. Before you do that, you will want to clean the designated surface thoroughly. The more you sandpaper the fiberglass, the smoother it will be. Sand it down until you are completely satisfied with the results. Be sure to clean the fiberglass thoroughly with a subtle soapy application, and then rinse with clear, clean water.

Step 2
After you sand down and clean the fiberglass, you will have to choose what kind/color top coat paint you will need, as well as a matching primer base. You will want to put the primer base on first. Apply one thin, even layer on, let it dry, and then apply a second layer. The strongest primer base material possible is acrylic, so try to get acrylic if it is available. Apply one or two (no more than two) layers of paint over the fiberglass. To get thin, even layers of paint on the fiberglass, you should use a paint roller or a spray gun.

Step 3
The last step in this process finally introduces the gel coat/fiberglass. Combine the gel coat and fiberglass into one component. You will take this material and mix it with a hardener. Then, apply as evenly and level as possible. Do one layer first, let it set and dry, and then put on one more layer. Using a spray gun instead of a brush is preferable and highly recommended. Spray it from about a foot away to keep the gel coat from running. Let the gel coat set and harden.

Once the above process is done, you will have a newly refurbished fiberglass coating that will last you a good, long while. As long as you regularly maintain and clean your fiberglass, it can last even longer. Enjoy!

read less
acid wash and boat paint

How Acid Wash Affects Boat Paint (Video)

Learn how acid washing affects boat paint. Presented by Interlux. ... read more

Video Transcript

I'm Jim Seidel from Interlux. We're here in a boatyard looking around talking about problems people have painting the bottoms of their boat.

This is an acid wash that they've washed the water line to get the stain off with an acid and it has run down on the paint. Should give this a good cleaning ahead of time. The acid does affect the copper underneath. Give it a good washing and then before you repaint.
read less