Best Paint for Fiberglass Boat – Reviews and Buying Guide

Last updated on July 19, 2020

Best Paint for Fiberglass Boat

It’s the perfect asset for anyone who loves being on the water: a fiberglass boat. Whether you adore fishing or simply want to enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand, a boat is a dream for many consumers. But boats require upkeep.

Not to worry. We’ll show you exactly what’s needed when it comes to painting fiberglass boats. It’s easier than you think.

We also have sourced five fantastic products that can be used. Browse the products and identify which one would most suit your needs.

Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Fiberglass Boat Paint

1. TotalBoat Wet Edge


The TotalBoat Wet Edge works well as it’s a durable 1-component marine polyurethane. This allows it to give an attractive finish while offering maximum abrasion resistance. The range comes in many different colors, 21 to be exact, and it is even supplied in a gloss retention option.

The coverage of this paint is superior as the coverage is between 350-400ft²/gallon. This makes it well worth the money. Through using these ingredients, you allow the body of your boat to be cleaned easily, which is a must for the different environments that you may find yourself in.

One problem that often arises is an uneven finish when applying these types of products. Total Wet Edge has looked at improving this by providing a paint that is self-leveling, which allows for easy application. The results will look professional and the paint can be applied using a brush or a roller. Obviously, it is crucial that the surface is properly prepared, but the paint can be applied to fiberglass, wood and previously painted surfaces.

Another aspect to consider though is that this paint is for surfaces that are above the waterline. It is not suitable for any surface that is below the waterline for longer than 72 hours.

2. TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint


The next product that is a must for boat owners is the TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint. This durable paint is designed for single-season anti-fouling protection and can be applied to fiberglass & wooden boats. A bonus from this product is that is can be used on boats that are going in salt or in freshwater.

The paint can be applied by brush, roller or spray and it can even be applied to existing ablative or hard-bottom paints. As this is a water-activated ablative, the formula deactivates on dry land and will then react when launched back into the water.

The coverage for this product is 400ft²/gallon, which makes it really economical; and it can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

3. Durabak Marine Liner Kit


Durabak Marine Liner Kit takes protection one step further. This protection is useful in many different aspects. This product can be used in all different weather situations and will stay sealed and secure no matter the environment.

As this is a DIY paint, it is easy to apply and is suitable for all the different applications, such as paint, roller or spray gun. The professional finish will not only look great, but you can rest assured that it is sealing the boat. Not only will this product protect your boat from wear and tear, but it is also slip-resistant & will keep both passengers and crew safe.

This product is also versatile as it is designed to protect boats, but it can also be used on different surfaces. As this product bonds with wood, metal, concrete, fiberglass, aluminum, and painted surfaces, it is safe to use on & off the boat.

Two coats will provide you with a smooth finish that is also slip-resistant. Durabak Marine Liner Kit comes in 15 different colors to suit your preference and will provide you with a beautiful finish for years to come. As an added benefit the paint also provides a sound & vibration dampening effect, and due to the nature of the ingredients, it is also abrasion-resistant.

4. Rust-Oleum 207000 Marine Coatings Topside Paint


Rust-Oleum 207000 Marine Coatings Topside Paint is an ideal product if you’re looking for a finish that is well balanced between matt and gloss. This paint can be applied to any area that is above the waterline and on surfaces such as fiberglass, wood or metal.

As this is an oil-based formula it allows for elasticity within the paint. It has a self-leveling element, which assists with providing that professional finish you are looking for. The drying time is between 1 to 2 hours and the coverage is up to 100ft². Due to the drying time, it allows for quick and effective application.

Different weather conditions are not a problem as it has been designed to resist abrasions and provide long-lasting UV protection. Due to this paint being a semi-gloss, the finish is smooth and allows it to keep the beauty & appearance of your boat for years to come.

5. Rust-Oleum 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint


Now that you have the top of the boat protected it is time to focus on the bottom of the boat. The Rust-Oleum 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint is perfect for the surfaces below the waterline.

You can use it on fiberglass, wood and even steel surfaces as it prevents fouling by releasing copper, which is the ideal way to prevent fouling. The paint covers up to 110ft² and the wait time between coats is 4 hours—with the ability to launch after 16 hours—making this an ideal paint to use if you don’t want to be off the water for days.

Due to its ability to form a protective coating, it works at resisting the build-up of algae and other marine growth. Even though it is a hard paint it provides a beautiful flat sheen finish and can be used in mild to moderate conditions. It is suitable for both fresh and saltwater, which makes it a great addition to any boat owners’ paint collection.

Fiberglass Boat Paint Buying Guide

When You Should Consider Repainting a Boat

There is no specific time frame that can be prescribed in which you should repaint your boat. It will depend on what environment the boat has been in and how long it has been in the water. However, if your paint has started to fade and cracks are starting to show then it is definitely time to give your boat a new coat of paint.

How to Paint a Fiberglass Boat

How to Paint Your Boat

Materials Needed

The materials that you will need to successfully paint your boat will depend on the product that you purchase. Read the instructions carefully as it is important to use the correct materials if you want to achieve that professional finish.

Generally, you will need a good brush, roller (or in some cases a spray gun). Always keep some tape, such as masking tape, close by to cover the surfaces that you don’t want to be painted.

Surface Prep

As with all painting jobs, it is important to always clean the surface properly before applying the new coat of paint. The boat should be cleaned regularly, but to prepare the surface properly using tools such as a high-pressure hose will adequately clean the surface. Remember to always have a scraper on hand to assist with removing any growth that may have occurred.

After you have thoroughly cleaned the boat it is important to rinse the surface well because no soap residue must be leftover. Check the instructions on the paint that you have purchased and use any recommended cleaner, such as a non-chlorinated household detergent.

As you continue to prep the surface make sure you remove any of the hardware such as handles or decoration. Alternatively, you can protect the surface with tape so that you can apply the paint cleanly. If there is any cracking or corrosion, make sure you fix these with marine-grade epoxy. This should form part of your usual maintenance routine, but it is especially important before a new paint job as this will affect the finish.

To ensure that the paint bonds properly it is important that you sand the boat thoroughly. Use the recommended type of sandpaper and make sure that the surface is roughed up enough for the paint to bond. This is especially important with fiberglass surfaces and surfaces previously painted with epoxy. It is important to protect the window frames too as having paint on these areas will affect the finish of the paint.

Primer (Fiberglass Primer)

After you have cleaned your boat you are ready to apply primer to the surface. Applying primer allows the new coat of paint to adhere effectively to the fiberglass. Select the most appropriate primer for your fiberglass boat and make sure that you apply a thin, even coat.

Primer can be applied using a brush or a roller. Just make sure that all the surfaces you are about to paint are covered with primer.

Choosing a Paint

It is important that you select the correct paint for the correct surface and for each specific section. You must identify which parts of the boat will be under the waterline and for how long; as well as which surfaces will be exposed to a large amount of UV.  Different surfaces will need different paints; so it’s important that you know exactly what each surface will need.

Application

Each type of paint will require a specific type of application; however, generally, most reputable DIY paints can be applied using a roller, brush and in some cases a spray gun. It is important to follow the recommendations on the paint that you purchase.

FAQ:

Can I use a paint gun?

For most of the products, you can use a paint gun. But it is important that you follow the instructions for both the paint and the gun. For example, research the correct nozzle to use. Remember that even if you are using a paint gun, always have small brushes handy to get to the small areas that the gun won’t cover.

Final Thoughts

Let’s end with a few tips: When you have finished painting your boat, be sure to protect the paint from small bugs or anything that can stick to the boat until it dries completely. Consult your chosen paint container’s label for the drying time. Always remember to clean your boat thoroughly after each use. Not only will this allow you to identify any problems early on, but it will also allow you to maintain the beautiful paintwork.

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