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Effective tips on how to paint the topside of your boat to make it look like new

Due to the harsh and sometimes extreme nature of marine environments, boats will usually require a recoat of topside paint approximately every 5 years. 

There are many different types of paint to consider when planning your job. The choice will largely depend on your budget, the desired paint quality, the substrate being painted and the type of existing coating. For the average DIY’er, a one-part polyurethane paint should be considered as it is durable, very glossy and can easily be applied with a brush or roller.

Like all good paint jobs, it is absolutely crucial that adequate surface preparation is carried out before any painting begins.

  1. Assess the existing coating:
  • If it has been painted before and the coating is in reasonable condition, then remove any wax using a suitable dewaxing product and thoroughly clean with a specialized pre-paint cleaner to remove all contaminants. Proceed to sand all over with 220 grit paper. Remove the sanding residue and allow to dry.
  • If the previous finish is showing signs of cracking, peeling or starting to separate from the substrate, then it should be totally removed using a power sander or paint stripper. You should also carry out this step if you’re intending to apply a two-part product onto a surface previously painted with a one-part finish.
  • On a bare substrate, simply sand the area well. Clean thoroughly (de-wax if applicable )and allow to dry completely.
  1. Fill any small holes or voids in the fiberglass using MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix. Seal any stress cracks (spider cracks) with MagicEzy Hairline Fix*.
  2. Mask off the areas to be painted with a quality marine grade masking tape.
  3. Prime the area with a quality primer that is compatible with your top coat. For aged gelcoat surfaces an epoxy primer will reduce the risk of blisters caused by moisture or solvent entrapment.
  4. An undercoat will provide additional depth of colour and improve the durability and film build of the overall paint system. Apply undercoat according to manufacturers instructions.
  5. Wet sand with 220 grit paper. Clean and dry thoroughly.
  6. Apply the final coat according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pay particular attention to recoat times. It is advisable to wet sand with 220 grit paper in between each coat to achieve the best possible finish.

*Some solvent-based paints may not be compatible with MagicEzy products. Please test on a testing panel before applying to main areas.

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