5 Best Paints For Aluminium Boats

As your boat ages, it will begin to deteriorate in quality. This is also the case with a boat that is subject to frequent use.

As a result, you will likely notice that it appears worn and in need of rejuvenation.

Others may simply wish to customize the appearance of their boat to make it more personal to them. Regardless of the reason, investing in the best quality paint for aluminum is crucial. 

Aluminum needs to be properly cared for and maintained regularly to ensure that it doesn’t become corroded and damaged upon contact with water and the elements.

For this reason, the paint that you select should possess many properties that make it suitable for application onto this surface.

Ultimately, it should help to preserve the quality of the boat.

Below, we have selected and reviewed our top 5 picks of the best paint for aluminum boats that the market has to offer.

You will also find our handy buyer’s guide where we have provided you with all of our top tips for selecting the best paint product for your vessel. 

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OUR TOP PICK

TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Paint for Canoes, Bass Boats, Dinghies, Duck Boats, Jon Boats and Pontoons (Light Gray, Quart)

If you are looking for a marine paint with a tough formulation, look no further than the TotalBoat Aluminium Boat Paint.

It is a one part polyurethane paint that can be applied directly onto the aluminum surface of your boat without needing to be etched or primed beforehand. 

Courtesy of the durable formula, the surface is protected against corrosion, abrasion, and UV damage.

It’s also environmentally friendly and doesn’t contain any chromate. Aside from this, it has few VOCs and doesn’t produce a strong, distracting odor. 

This paint can be applied using a brush, roller, or sprayer so you can opt for your preferred method.

Furthermore, you will not need to sand the surface in between coats and after an hour of drying, you can apply additional layers.

When dried, this paint dries with a low sheen finish.

Pros

  • Made In The USA - as this product has been made in the USA, you can be confident in the source of your purchase.

  • Colors - There is an assortment of earthy tones available so you have the freedom to select your favorite option.

  • Size - Available in a quart or gallon you can choose how much paint you will require for the size of your boat.

Cons

  • Dry time - you must wait 12 hours before sanding and applying the final coat then you must wait for a further 48 hours for the paint to dry completely.

EDITORS CHOICE

TUFF Coat UT-100 1 gallon Non-Skid Coating, Light Grey

The Tuff Coat Non-skid Coating has a thick, rubberized formula that will not run.

As such, it is easy to apply it evenly to the surface of your boat for a high-quality finish.

Not only can this paint be used on aluminum boats, but it can also be used to paint pontoon boats, duck boats, and boat decks.

Although this paint has a single product formulation, it should still be mixed thoroughly before use due to its thickness.

The toughness of the coat displays how durable this product is.

It is also resistant to chemicals and UVs so you can be sure that your boat is protected against possible damage.

As a water based paint, it is non-hazardous and can easily be applied using a paintbrush, roller, or sprayer.

Because of this, you have flexibility regarding the different methods that you adopt to apply the product to the boat's surface.

Pros

  • Colors - There is a vast selection of colors available so you can select your preferred option for your boat.

  • Formulation - as this product has a water based formula it is safe to use and easy to apply.

  • Versatility - this paint can be used to coat a range of different vessels.

Cons

  • Mixer - you will likely need to use a drill mixer because shaking the can may prove ineffective in getting rid of the paint's clumpiness.

BEST VALUE

Rust-Oleum Available 207005 Marine Topside Paint, Battleship Gray, 1-Quart, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

From a brand that is recognized for producing high-quality, durable paint products, you are unlikely to be disappointed with the Rustoleum Marine Topside Paint.

It is intended for use on fiberglass, wood, and metal boat surfaces providing great protection above the waterline. 

As this paint has an oil base formula, it has flexible properties that will resist cracking.

It is also easy to apply and will level well.

Because this paint has a smooth finish, it will emulate the natural beauty of your boat once it has been applied to its surface. 

The superior gloss retention also helps to maintain the appearance of the boat. 

In regards to durability, this paint is resistant to abrasion, extreme weather, and UVs.

For this reason, it will provide long-lasting protection to ensure that your boat is not subjected to easy damage.

Pros

  • Cost - as this paint retails within an affordable price range, it is an ideal choice for those that want to paint their boat on a budget.

  • Dry Time - Impressively, this paint can be dry to touch in as little as 2 hours.

  • Versatility - it is suitable for use on a range of small boats.

Cons

  • Durability - unfortunately, this paint is sometimes prone to peeling once it has dried.

RUNNER UP

Duralux M736-1 Aluminum Boat Marine Paint, Green Boat Paint, 1 Gallon

The Duralux Marine Paint and Varnish are suitable for use on commercial and personal boats.

Thanks to the versatility of the formula, it can also be used to paint most structural objects.

Painting your boat with this product needn’t be a time consuming task, as the excellent adhesive properties eliminate the need for priming beforehand. 

This paint washes easily without deteriorating and is also resistant to rust and corrosion caused by contact with oil and harbor gases.

For this reason, your boat is provided with long-lasting protection against damage. 

Impressively, this paint is available in a selection of colors to satisfy the tastes of different boat owners.

From shades with a camouflage effect to those with a brighter, statement tone, there is bound to be an option available to suit all different boat owners.

Pros

  • Size - this paint is available in a gallon or quart so you can select the volume of product that you require for the size of your boat.

  • Quality - as a professional quality product, you can be confident in the results that will be achieved following application.

  • Formula - because this is an oil based painting product, it is going to deliver long-lasting results.

Cons

  • Color accuracy - some customers have reported that the color of the paint they received differed from the shade that was advertised.

RUNNER UP

Aluma Hawk Jon Boat Green, Qt.

The Sea Hawk Aluminium Boat Paint dries quickly and can be applied directly onto an unprimed surface due to its corrosion inhibiting coating.

Impressively, this product is free from chromates and can be applied above or below the boat's waterline. 

As a dual purpose resin product, it can be used solely as a primer and it doesn’t need to be supplemented with a topcoat if you don’t consider this stage necessary.

It possesses excellent adhesive properties when used on aluminum although it can be used on fiberglass and other substrates if necessary too. 

This paint is a versatile product that is safe for use on boats that are going to be submerged in freshwater or saltwater.

Aside from this, it is also resistant to damage caused by the water and contact with hydrocarbon oils.

Pros

  • Easy to apply - the one step application process makes this product easy to apply.
     
  • Coverage - this paint offers excellent coverage and provides a durable coating to the boat's surface.

  • Versatility - this paint firmly adheres to aluminum, epoxy, and layers of old paint. 

Cons

  • Thickness - due to the thickness of the paint formula, some people may find it difficult to work with.

Best Paint For Aluminium Boat Buying Guide

There are many factors that will influence the aluminum paint that you select for your boat.

You must avoid simply opting for the first one that you stumble upon.

We have listed some criteria that we would advise you to consider below.

Surface Suitability

You must ensure that the product is suitable for application onto an aluminum surface.

This is because aluminum isn’t as accepting of other types of paints that are not specifically recommended for this surface and this will likely be reflected in the results. Whilst some paints may have a water based formula, others will have an oil based formula so you have the flexibility to choose the best type for your boat. There are some versatile paints that are suitable for use on aluminum and other surfaces such as fiberglass too. 

Application

It’s important to consider how easy the paint is to apply. Some paints will have a thick formulation which makes them a little more difficult to work with but some paints with a thinner formula will need to be applied multiple times. The majority of paints can be applied using a roller, paintbrush, or sprayer so you have the flexibility to choose the method that you find the easiest. 

Dry Time

Whilst some paints state that they will be dry to touch 2 hours after application, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be dried enough to come into contact with the water.

The specifications of the paint will state how long it will take to dry fully. You will find some that take as long as 48 hours.

Considering the dry time is important to ensure that you dedicate enough time to the full completion of the task. 

The Finish

Ideally, when the paint should dry with an even and smooth finish. In some instances, you may need to apply the product multiple times to achieve the desired finish.

The quality of the finish will also influence the paint's durability. Ideally, it should be resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and contact with oils or gasoline in the water.

Paint with a durable finish will not be subject to easy damage. 

Color Availability

Most paints are available in an assortment of colors to accommodate the tastes of different boat owners.

The shade of paint that you choose is going to be influenced by several factors such as the climate of your location and the statement that you want to make with the theme and brightness of the color.

Some boat owners may prefer to emulate a camouflage effect. 

Primer Requirements

The application of a primer isn’t a requirement for all types of aluminum boat paint.

This is because many paints have impressively strong adhesive properties which means that they will still work well without a primer.

Despite this, others will need to be applied onto a surface that has previously been primed to achieve the best results. 

Cost

There are many different types of paints available, some of which retail at a higher price point than others.

Setting yourself a budget before browsing the selection is recommended as you can cater your search towards this.

Paints that retail at a higher price aren’t necessarily going to attain the highest quality results, as several products retail within a lower price range but will still coat your boat to a high standard.

Painting your boat can soon become a costly expense if you fail to select the correct type and quantity as you will find yourself buying more in the future.

In our guide above, we have included a variety of products that retail within different price ranges to cater to different budgets.

Best Paint For Aluminium Boat - FAQ's

How do you prepare aluminum for painting?

Aluminum is deemed to be a pretty easy surface to paint.

Despite this, light abrasion is recommended as this will get rid of any imperfections and texture to the surface for the paint to adhere to.

Before applying the paint, you must ensure that the surface has been cleaned and allowed to dry completely. 

Can I spray paint my aluminum boat?

Your boat can be painted using either a paint sprayer or a brush and roller.

A paint sprayer will achieve even results, whilst a roller will allow you to cover a larger surface. 

Furthermore, a brush can be used to paint intricate and hard-to-access surfaces. 

Last update on 2021-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API