Aluminum boat is an incredible choice for boaters when it comes to water activities because they are durable, lightweight, and highly rust-resistant.
Although they are prone to galvanic corrosion in saltwater and freshwater, the UV rays and the harsh marine environment take their toll on even the best-coated aluminum vessel.
But don’t fret, we have a collection of the best paints for aluminum boats that offers a sturdy proactive coating that will restore the faded anodize aluminum and help shield it against further corrosion and other damaging elements.
Best Paint For Aluminum Boat
Why Paint an Aluminum Boat?
No BS! If you’re looking for the perfect boatbuilding material, aluminum could be it. Aluminum is the most widely used material to produce the hull in fishing boats.
It requires less maintenance and repair coat; it doesn’t rust and is safe. These factors are spearheading the demand for aluminum boats in the market.
Although aluminum boats are highly rust-resistant, they are not corrosion-proof.
The aluminum boat is susceptible to weathering, which might result in fading, corrosion, as well as fouling.
As you know, early prevention of boat damage and proper maintenance is vital, as it saves you from an expensive repair or replacement costs in the long run.
Luckily, there are various ways to prevent and protect your vessel from the effects of corrosion and oxidation. And using paint is a pocket-friendly method that allows you to reap the following benefits:
Add beauty and Elegance
If you were browsing the paint aisles in search of the best paints for aluminum boats makeover, you’re on the right page.
You can transform the dull, scratched, and dent boat by updating the color of the vessel with our top picks.
Although, DIY aluminum boat painting could be time-consuming. But, these paints takes out the hassle and make the job even enjoyable. They are easy to use, versatile enough for any project, and give an aesthetic finish without fail.
Protect the vessel against rust and fouling
Builders have done everything they could within their power to ensure maximum durability against rust and marine element. But, once the boat is in your hands, it is up to you.
Aluminum boat owes its excellent corrosion resistance, making it passive to the environment.
But, the vessels deserve a protective paint coating that provides a high electrical resistance barrier between the aluminum and the water, or else the boat will erode and produce aluminum oxide.
When this occurs, the paint will flake off, leaving the raw aluminum of the hull vulnerable to external elements.
Having said that, if you spot the tiniest corrosion on your boat, you should hasten up to paint the hull ASAP before things get out of hand.
The best paint for aluminum boat will bond well to any aluminum, offering barrier protection that decreases raw exposure to an electrolyte (water), which prevents further corrosion process of a galvanic cell, as well as fouling.
Aluminum Boat Paint Reviews
1. Rust-Oleum 207013 Marine paint for Aluminum Boat
Barnacle build-up is annoying to boat owners because it can quickly cover the vessel and ruin the curb appeal.
Aside from that, when the boat’s hulls get coated with marine growth, it weighs down your boat, causing your motor to lose speed and use more fuel.
Now, that’s where the Rust-Oleum 207013 Marine paint is useful. The coating keeps algae, barnacles larvae, and other marine growth off the hulls.
It’s ideal for use on aluminum, woody, and fiberglass boats to prevent fouling below the waterline.
More precisely, this product is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater. The sturdy, smooth finish produces a flat sheen that surpasses most aged antifouling coatings.
It has an average drying time and covers approximately 110 square feet. However, you can recoat in 4 hours and ready to launch in 16 hours
- Ideal with roller
- Easy to apply
- Better than the typical light blue paint
- Provides durable hull’s protection
- It has strong fume
- Poor shipping
2. Marine-Tex RM330K Gluvit Waterproof Epoxy Sealer
After reading this review, and fail to add Gluvit in your marine paint collection, then you are missing the point.
Because Marine-Tex RM330K Gluvit will impart a beautiful barrier coat that minimizes water absorption and galvanic corrosion – it is a must-have product.
This paint is also useful in the interior path of the boat. You can revive a deteriorated wood deck with a few strokes.
Do the rivets leak? Well, not anymore. Gluvit will solve this issue without having to re-rivet or drill your entire boat.
It seals leaky rivets and seams in aluminum hulls, as well as leaks around fiberglass cabins or decks. It also fills minor pinholes and cracks.
For this reason, it provides superior protection for aluminum, fiberglass, and woody boat.
The hard protective coating is flexible with hull movement to bridge and seal hairline cracks. However, it takes time to dry, which allows penetration into cracks to seal and strengthen.
- It prevents water absorption and galvanic corrosion
- Offers maximum protection
- It seals leaks and little cracks
- It’s easy to use
- It’s a bit time-consuming for beginners
3. TotalBoat TotalBilge Paint Gray Gallon
I’ve never tried a paint that’s so easy to use, fast-drying, yet offers excellent coverage until this moment. Since I had experience with Total Bilge paint, I have decided to include it on our list of the best paint for aluminum boat.
The paint can take on exposure to heat, humidity, chemicals, and harmful marine growth. For this reason, it is ideal for use to protect bulkhead, locker areas, and bilge.
A gallon offers a hard-wearing coverage of about 250-300 square feet that lasts years to come. Also, it prevents oil and sludge from absorbing into and damaging the vessel.
It is perfect for the chain locker, engine rooms, and other wet areas on the aluminum boat.
- Available in quarts and gallons in gray or white
- Vast coverage
- Ideal for bilge, locker, and bulkhead areas
- It dries quickly
- Long-lasting finish
- Durability takes several coats
4. TotalBoat Lust Marine Varnish
The TotalBoat Lust marine Varnish is the medicine that takes away all the headaches when painting a vessel.
This product makes painting effortless by skipping the hectic sanding work between each coat. Now, you can apply more than four coats in a day without sanding and still achieve a professional-looking result.
Lust has a similar viscosity to that of the traditional European varnishes, although it can be recoated within an hour at 72°F.
On top of that, it has been heavily fortified with UV stabilizers, so it becomes more robust as you apply more coats.
TotalBoat Lust produces a wet-looking glossy finish that dries fast and hard. The gloss level improves layer by layer.
More importantly, the finish is UV and weather resistance, which makes it the perfect choice for trim, interior and exterior brightwork, and more.
Only Lust can give you the beauty and durability needed for your aluminum renovation. Besides, it’s easy to apply and requires prior painting knowledge
- Ideal for brightwork
- Available in High Gloss or Matte finishes
- Exceptional durability and finish retention
- Fast drying
- It requires no sanding
- It’s a bit pricey
- Inappropriate delivery, pint-size pot instead of a gallon
5. Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
The rust-Oleum 206999 is an oil-based formula suitable for aluminum, fiberglass, and woody boats. Although, the paint has strong fumes so ensure there is plenty of ventilation when using it.
The oil-based formula is flexible and easy to achieve excellent leveling. It’s applicable with roller, paintbrush, and sprayer.
The finish completely brightens your boat. It offers superior gloss retention that helps maintain the beauty and elegance of the vessel.
Aside from curb appeal, the finish is UV and abrasion-resistant in extreme weather conditions.
More importantly, it dries to touch in as little as 1-2 hours and cover approximately 100 square feet.
Take note of excessively heavy films, it leads to insufficient drying of paint, as well as affecting your credibility.
- Vast coverage
- Durable enough for UV and corrosion impact
- It creates a wow factor
- Easy to apply
- It has an offensive smell
What to Look For When Buying Aluminum Boat Paint
You can’t just grab the first aluminum boat paint that catches your eye and expect to get the best outcome – well, that could happen by chance.
Of course, there are vital factors to put into perspective when shopping for the right option that serves your needs. And, we have outlined them for you.
Pardon us, we skip all the mumbo jumbo buyer rules and give you only two factors that will land you on the ideal product.
They are as followed:
Compatible with aluminum Boat
Is the product suitable for aluminum and metal vessels use?
Can you use it underneath or above the waterline?
It is critical to know whether or not the product is solely for aluminum boat. The reason behind this is because the paint will instantly adhere and last longer compared to other products suitable for metals.
Don’t get me wrong, not as though metal paints won’t work on aluminum vessels, but you stand a better chance of getting the desired result with the paints formulated for aluminum boat.
If the whole idea is to do it yourself, then why choose a paint that is difficult to use?
Painting an aluminum boat is not a day job – that is why most people reach out to professional painters for their expertise.
Hence, if you are to doing it yourself, ensure the paint is easy to use, clean and dries fast.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best sealant for an aluminum boat?
There is no need to surf the Net searching for the best sealant to use on your aluminum boat, while we have it here on our list.
This brand is currently ahead of the curve with its exceptional deep penetration to fill minor cracks and pinholes, without much hassle.
Therefore, if you have Marine-Tex Gluvit, you can rest assured of the best possible outcome.
What kind of paint do you use on aluminum?
I would rather you went for an acrylic or latex paint.
They are cheaper, easier to clean up with just soap and water, produce fewer fumes, and require fewer coats.
As for the finish, gloss will work, but it shows off any surface imperfections.
On the bright side, they are durable, easy to maintain, resistant to damage, and produce a spectacular, reflective finish.
Can you paint over old paint on the aluminum boat?
I don’t urge any boater to paint over the already painted aluminum boat.
Use either 80 or 100-grit sandpaper to sand any old paint or surface contaminants until you have a clean, shiny metal.
This operation will leave behind some scuff marks. But don’t be frightened, it’s a good thing because the tiny scuffs and scratches will help the paint adhere to the aluminum.
Why does paint peel off aluminum?
There are several reasons why paint loses its adhesion to aluminum surfaces, but more often than not, poor surface preparation is always to blame.
Below are few causes why paint peels off aluminum:
- Use of paint without first priming the surface
- Failure to clean or sand a baked-on enamel or glossy finish before repainting
- Inadequate removal of rust
What kind of paint should I use on aluminum boat?
The easiest and most popular paint for your boat is the aluminum boat paint green or Aluma Hawk (white, blue, Jon boat green, black, aluminum grey, sand). These are both a paint/primer in one that can be applied to most surfaces with little preparation needed.
What is the best paint for Aluminium?
Latex or acrylic paints are the best for painting aluminum. Choose the ones designed for use on metal. If you’re handling an outdoor project like patio furniture, ensure the paint is exterior grade. Tempting as it might be, don’t go for high-gloss paints because they will highlight imperfections on the surface.
What is the most durable paint for aluminum?
1. Rust-Oleum 7515838 Professional Enamel Spray Paint. Rust-Oleum is a high-quality type of color you can use to coat metallic surfaces like aluminum. This professional-grade rust-preventative paint will work well in most environments and requires little maintenance for the long-term care of your exterior facade.
Do aluminum boats need bottom paint?
Aluminum Can Do Well in Salt and Freshwater
When not in contact with other metals, aluminum can do quite well in both fresh and saltwater, needing only bottom paint for aluminum boats to prevent fouling.
Is rustoleum good for aluminum?
For longer-lasting, better-looking paint on aluminum and galvanized surfaces choose Rust-Oleum® Professional Aluminum Primer. This durable base coat ensures a tight-binding top coat that eliminates the usual problems of blistering, flaking and peeling.
Why does paint peel off aluminum?
When paint loses its adhesion to surfaces such as aluminum screen doors and galvanized steel gutters, poor paint preparation is almost always to blame. Causes: Paint was applied without priming first. Failure to clean and/or sand a baked-on enamel finish or glossy surface before repainting.
What is the best primer paint for aluminum?
The Best Aluminium Primer Paint
- Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3. Zinsser produce a 3 in 1 primer that is a quality aluminium primer.
- Rust-Oleum Special Metals Primer.
- Hammerite Special Metals Primer.
- Marathon Primathon.
- Plasti-Kote Aluminium Primer.
Can you paint aluminum without primer?
The non-porous surface of aluminum simply doesn’t hold paint well. Experts agree that a primer allows all your painting efforts to last longer and look better on the aluminum surface. It will oxidize and chip without a proper primer.
What is etching primer for aluminum?
About Self-Etching Primer
Rust-Oleum® Self Etching Primer prepares bare metal, aluminum and fiberglass surfaces to promote maximum adhesion and smoothness of the top coat. This product is formulated to stop rust and is an essential step to achieve a professionally finished look.
What is antifouling paint for boats?
Bottom paint (aka antifouling paint) is a paint or coating designed to discourage weeds, barnacles, and other aquatic organisms from attaching themselves to (and in the case of wooden boats, eating) the underwater portion of your boat’s hull.
Do you prefer flexing in a gleaming aluminum boat when next you are going fishing? If the answer is yes, the above products are what you need.
Why drive in a horrible boat or leave your precious ride vulnerable to corrosion and marine elements, whereby you can invest a penny in the best paint for aluminum boat and be confident whenever you hit the water again?
Aluminum boats are the best when it comes to water activities. They are quite expensive, and be should be well catered for.