I am wanting to clean this thing up and make it look decent. I only paid $100 for the boat and 8hp gas motor. The boat is 15.6 feet and 5ft wide. It is sound little boat but needs a little tlc. I'm going to carpet the inside, add a few LED lights, storage up front, fishfinder and trolling motor. Just wanted to see what's the best way to primer and paint it. Thanks in advance.
The fun part is gonna be getting it down to metal.
I'm no expert by a long shot, but if I had to take a shot at it I'd think some self etching primer would be good to start out with. Duplicolor has it spray cans, usually available at auto parts stores. Then if I had to make a choice on paint, I'd look at some type of industrial or implement paint. Tractor supply has implement/equipment paint in limited colors. Rustoleum makes a few different lines of industrial paints in a wide range of colors, some for straight to metal app's. Grainger has a good selection of them.
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I would follow these steps.
Use paint stripper to get as much paint off as possible. A good paint stripper will bubble and soften it up real good and make that old pain easier to remove. Then sand it down to the metal. Hopefully you have a nice power tool with a sanding disc, surface conditioning pads, etc. This will also etch the metal. Then use a good self etching primer. After you primer it your ready to paint it how you want it. Use a good high solid paint.
Projects like that are really fun and can be rewarding. I just restored an old jon boat and it turned out real nice. I didn't paint it though. Its never had paint on it so I just left it the old aluminum color. Yours need a good paint job though. Let us see the work in progress and the final product.
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I've done a lot of research on painting aluminum and Chassis Saver and POR-15 are some of the strongest, most abrasion resistant paints you can buy. They both have a silver paint color option. Chassis Saver is significantly cheaper. Both of these paints are near impossible to get off your skin and start to cure as soon as they are exposed to air/moisture--instead of opening the can, poke two holes at opposite ends of the lid, pour the amount needed in a tray, then cover the holes with silicone tape. Make sure you are protecting your skin, eyes, mucous membranes, mouth if using these products.
If the old boat is rusted significantly, you can just paint these directly without primer/etching/sanding. If there is original paint intact people recommend sanding and etching first. These two products do not bind as well to clean bare metal.
Good advice in this video
Abrasion/chip resistance shown in this video
With any paint, the results will depend greatly on the prep quality
Chassis Saver Instructions:
GENERAL SURFACE PREP: If dirt, grease or oils are present, clean surfaces using a quality commercial water base degreaser. For heavy build-up of grease, oil or road tar, scrape or wire brush excess material prior to degreasing. Allow surfaces to dry thoroughly. RUSTED SURFACES: Remove loose rust and scale using a stiff wire brush, by grinding, or hand tool cleaning. Remove all loose, peeling or bubbling paint. NOTE: Chassis Saver works best over rust. Do not over remove rust. Chassis Saver needs to “bite” into a rough, rusty or well scratched surfaces for proper adhesion. Use of “rust converter” products should be avoided as they may affect bonding of Chassis Saver to metal. BARE, SMOOTH METAL: Clean, smooth or new metal surfaces must be roughened prior to coating. Sandblasting is recommended but manual sanding with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper is also acceptable. When blasting, provide a medium to coarse profile for optimum adhesion. Avoid the use of glass, plastic or walnut shell blast media as they leave surfaces too smooth. ALUMINUM: Chassis Saver does not adhere well to bare aluminum. Prime with a quality 2K epoxy primer or 2K self etching primer. Do not use 1K self etch primers. It is advisable to do a test area first to check adhesion.
For clean, bare aluminum the following prep is recommended for best results with subsequent urethane epoxy or acrylic enamel. There are short cuts (self etching primers, etc; but results may vary)
These steps are for after the aluminum has been fully cleaned of debris, previous paint, corrosion, etc and sand blasted or sanded with 180 sandpaper, and degreased with detergent/simple green/water 1. Protect your lungs, ears, mucous membranes, and skin. Gloves, mask, glasses 2. Rub with scotch brite pad 3. Alumnaprep or equivalent aluminum etcher 4. wash with water twice, air dry Do step #4 quickly, the faster you get the alodine on top, the less oxidation forms on the aluminium 5. Alodine, air dry 6. Primer (epoxy urethane or acrylic enamel) 7. Top coat (epoxy urethane or acrylic enamel) 8. Clear coat (epoxy urethane or acrylic enamel)
In summary. Bare aluminum bonds best to alodine. Primer then bonds to the alodine. Top coat to the primer, clear to the top.
Short video on prepping aluminum for primer (using small pieces of aluminum)
Alternative, less toxic (but still wear the mask/gloves/glasses), less expensive method. Not quite as good. Step #1 and #2 same Step 3. 50/50 white vinegar and water Step 4. same Step 5. zinc chromate (green can) Steps 6-8 same
In this method the aluminum bonds with the chromium. The primer then bonds with the chrome, the topcoat to the primer, etc
Economic options: The very best methods for painting aluminum are expensive. 2K epoxy primers then urethane paint topcoat +/- clear coat. Urethane paints are expensive and good 2K epoxy primers aren't widely available. Acrylic enamel primers are not nearly as good and acrylic enamel paints don't adhere to epoxy primers well without some prep and enamel hardeners.
A more economic option, sort of a down the middle approach, that should get very good results at a lower cost 1. Prep the aluminum as above cleaning/degreasing (Simple Green degreaser available at HD or Lowe's)/sanding/scotch brite pad then 50/50 white vinegar/water then alodine (available on Amazon.com and multiple airplane maintenance websites) 2. Apply Interlux 2000e two part epoxy primer (available at West Marine) 3. Let it dry for 5 days 4. Then scuff the epoxy primer with 300-400 grit sandpaper, wipe clean with Simple Green degreaser 5. Mix Valspar 4625 hardener (Amazon.com) with Valspar Oil Porch and Floor paint (Lowe's) and apply
Let the boat dry for a week before putting her in water.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'm gonna get it fish ready and make a few "test runs" (wink wink) and prob paint it this winter but them again I love fishing in the winter too. I'm sure I will paint it but a man has to have priorities.
This is a simpler, more cost effective method. Might not be as durable as two part epoxy base, but this would be a very good cost effective method for painting aluminum. I modified this post after seeing some recent issues with Majic brand primer.
1. Get down to bare metal and sand with 80 grit 2. Wash with TSP (trisodium phosphate--at Lowe's and Home Depot) 3. Sand with 180 grit 4. Wash down with acetone 5. Prime with SEM self etching primer 6. Apply Rustoleum Bare Metal Primer one coat 7. Let it dry and buff it with a Scotch Brite pad 8. Apply second layer of Rustoleum Bare Metal Primer (widely available) 9. Let it dry and buff with Scotch Brite pad 10. Apply Majic Exterior Oil based enamel (Tractor Supply) mixed with Majic enamel hardener first coat 11. After 4 hours drying time and a 320 grit wet sand apply additional coats
Note: the author of the link below has since modified his recommendation of primer to Rustoleum Clean metal primer
Read this article--this guy also recommends Majic paints from Tractor Supply for the oil based enamel top coat The additional step he recommends is after the metal is cleaned to use a self etching primer before using the Oil based sandable primer. He mentions that some use 50/50 white vinegar/water; but he recommends SEM self etching primer.
I recently ripped out the carpet from my 1997 Lowe deep V, and painted the floor and front casting deck. I used Duralux aluminum boat primer (green) as my base coat. Then applied the Unit Rig gray marine enamel for the top coat. I mixed in an anti-slip polymer for some grip. I hit the bare aluminum with a wire cup brush, which provided the necessary roughness to adhere. I can send you some pics if you'd like?