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Painting an Aluminum Boat

Aluminum is one of the most often-used and highly-regarded building materials when it comes to boats. It is light and sturdy, and it provides a smooth, easy ride through even the roughest waters. Painting an aluminum boat is not a difficult process, but it does require a lot of effort and energy to make sure that it is done correctly. In this article, we will go over what you need to paint an aluminum boat properly, including preparation, special considerations, and after-painting care.

Know the Problems Associated with Paint on Aluminum

There are problems that occur when it comes to paint on aluminum. Paint blisters, and the sight of flaws on painted boats, no matter what material the boats are, is nothing new. Getting paint to stick on aluminum is not always easy, and many people who buy secondhand boats report that they have a difficult time getting the old, chipped, and damaged paint off of the boat so that they can repaint it. Frustrating as it may be, it is extremely important to make sure that you are fixing any structural problems with the boat before slapping on a coat of paint. Aluminum itself is great. It is resistant to corrosion. Marine-grade aluminum is resistant to rust and corrosion. However, it does oxidize. The film that the aluminum develops is tough and transparent, and while it sturdily protects the boat from damage, it isn’t always beautiful to look at. Oxidized aluminum can leave your boat looking dull; hence, why you need a paint job.

High-Performance Paints

In order to paint an aluminum boat successfully, you need paint that is able to do the job at a rate of high-performance, and two-part paints are a good way to do that. You should know that once painted, aluminum isn’t able to form that layer of oxidization that otherwise is so helpful to keeping the boat resilient. Two-part paints provide protection while also balancing for aesthetic appeal. Regular paint works well until it is breached, and then it becomes a problem. A breach occurs when water infiltrates the paint. It can be resisted for a reasonable amount of time, especially as the oxidization occurs, but eventually, water continues to work its way under the coating and this causes the outside of the boat to break down. The pitting of the aluminum is not only aesthetically displeasing, it is also hazardous.

How to Avoid Problems

It’s not easy to avoid paint corrosion and damage. In fact, some would say it is nearly impossible. That is why you have to strategize your painting job. After getting the boat ready to be painted, you should paint the boat and then protect it with a sealant. If you see that the paint is beginning to chip, you should apply pliable sealant to protect the water from entering. High-performance paints, combined with sealant, are a good way to ensure that your boat is protected from the elements in at least a minimal sense.

Vigilance is a Major Key

When using a boat, it can be all-too-easy to forget that you should keep looking to make sure that you are vigilant about inspecting the boat for any “wounds” or signs of corrosion. Before painting, you should soften all the rough edges. This way, you’ll be able to avoid the spread of corrosion and promote a healthy exterior. Check the boat regularly for problems, and apply sealant to any “wounds” you may see. Aluminum is an understandably-popular boat construction material, and painting it should always be done carefully and thoroughly. While aluminum doesn’t corrode, it does oxidize, dulling the boat’s appearance. By using high-performance paint and sealant, you will be able to slow down any damage and reduce exterior chipping.


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