Best Boat Paint For Aluminum

Best Boat Paint For Aluminum

There are many advantages that come with having a boat made out of aluminium, not only does it provide you with better handling and maintenance while using it, but they are also incredibly durable and will pick up far fewer scratches than their wooden counterparts.

The only real drawback is that it can normally take a little while longer to paint aluminium, especially since you will often have to prime the boat before you can even apply any paint, though with that being said, it’s still well worth adding a coat of paint to a boat no matter what material it is made of so that you can put your own personal stamp on it.

How To Paint An Aluminum Boat

Before we take a look at some of the best paint options for aluminium, it can be worth going over how to actually paint an aluminium boat the right way since it can be a little more tricky than simply brushing the paint on right away.

You will need to first sand the entire boat before then cleaning it out with soap water and using a stiff bristle brush to scrub it down. This is a crucial step for making sure that the aluminium sticks without peeling off.

Once it’s dried off, you’ll then want to use an oil-based primer and a paint thinner and apply this primer to all sections of the boat that you intend to paint over. Once this primer is applied, let it dry for a few hours before you can start putting on the coats.

The best way to paint an aluminium boat and to allow the paint to pop as much as possible is to paint one half and once it has completely dried, go on to paint the other half. This also makes it much easier to paint manually and gives you a nice rest in between your work.

Product Reviews

Since you will need a certain type of paint to be able to stick to the aluminum without it dripping off as soon as you apply it or looking rough and cheap after a few hours, we’ve compiled only the best paints on the market that are perfect to use when dealing with this sturdy material.

Here are some of the best paints you should consider using when deciding how to decorate an aluminium boat.

TotalBoat Aluminium Boat Paint

Not only does this paint come in several different darker and more neutral colors including earth brown and army green, but you are also able to use it on bare metal surfaces meaning you won’t even need to go through the trouble of applying a primer or any coats, just simply clean the surface of the boat and start brushing.

The low-sheen finish offered by this paint is extremely easy to clean and very resistant to any corrosion and chemicals, so you can ensure it won’t start peeling off once you take it out into the water.

This paint would get higher marks if it included some more vibrant and lively colors, though with that being said, if you’re more concerned about convenience and having a tub of paint that will save you a tremendous amount of time, this is the product for you.


  • Resistant to chemicals and corrosion
  • Doesn’t require a primer or undercoatings
  • Low-sheen finish
  • Good price


  • Colors are fairly bland

You can also find this product at:

Tuff Coat UT-201 Black-Submersible

The real beauty of this boat paint comes from its non-skid formula which allows it to still be nice and thick without slipping on the surface, ensuring that the paint is evenly distributed once it has been applied to the boat.

It is also incredibly durable and long-lasting thanks to how the paint is crafted since it uses a cross-link of acrylics, urethanes, co-polymers, and recycled rubber to give it a very deep black finish while also ensuring it always sticks to the aluminium, even in the harshest of conditions.

The thickness of this paint also makes it perfect for masking any damages or imperfections that your boat may have picked up over the years, and while this version comes in a sheen black color, you can find other tubs of the same branding that come in different colors including light gray and sand, along with some lighter versions such as light blue and white.


  • Non-skid formula keeps paint stuck on at all times
  • Very durable and resistant to chemicals
  • 15 colors to choose from
  • Very thick paint makes it easy to cover any damages


  • You will need to mix it while you paint to prevent the particles from settling out

You can also find this product at:

Rust-Oleum Available 207005 Marine Topside Paint

There are a lot of benefits to using this Rust-Oleum paint, especially due to just how much quality you get for such a low price. However, it should be noted that this paint should only be used above the waterline and preferably on the interior.

With that being said, there are so many colorful options to choose from that this is a great paint to choose if you just want to quickly spruce up the inside of your boat to make it a little more comfortable and stylish for you and your friends while you lounge around.

Additionally, this paint also provides a very glossy finish which is also very easy to apply and is very resistant to UV rays, so you won’t have to worry about it peeling or drying out when the temperatures are a little higher than usual.


  • Very cheap for good quality
  • Glossy finish
  • Several very flashy and vibrant colors
  • Resistant to UV rays
  • Easy to apply


  • Can only be used on the boat’s interior

This product can also be found at:

Duralux M736-1 Aluminium Boat Marine Paint

This paint is full of protective attributes, being very resistant to any chemicals, harbor gasses, salt water, and harsh cleaning agents, making this both a fresh coat of paint and an incredibly useful protective agent.

On top of this, applying the paint to a boat is incredibly easy. You can skip the priming altogether since it already contains adhesion in its formula, saving you half the time it would normally take so that you can get back out on the water in no time at all.

Whether you like the idea of adding a splash of green, red, or yellow to your aluminium boat, this is a top-quality paint that will liven up your boat with any of these colors while still being very affordable.


  • Adhesion formula means you can skip priming altogether
  • Plenty of vibrant colors including yellow, green, and red
  • Extremely durable and resistant to chemicals and corrosion
  • Very cheap for great quality


  • 2 coats are usually required

This product can also be found at:

Sea Hawk Paints Aluma Hawk Aluminium Boat Paint

If you’re looking for a paint that is easy to apply while still being very durable and flashy, you’re not going to want to miss out on this premium quality paint by Sea Hawk which dries rapidly, meaning once you apply it, you won’t have to wait long before the boat is ready.

As an added bonus, this paint also doubles as a primer, making it even easier to apply and perfect if you are new to painting boats and want a product that’s going to do a lot of the hard work for you.

You are only limited to 4 colors and it does cost a little more than many of its competitors, but if you’re a little strapped for time and want something that you can apply in no time at all that also features plenty of protective properties, this is still a fantastic option.


  • Drying time is extremely quick
  • Doubles as a primer
  • Plenty of protective properties make it very durable


  • Fairly expensive
  • Lack of colors

You can also find this product at:

Majic Paints 8-0850-2 Camouflage Paint

You have two options to choose from when purchasing this product, you can either buy it as an aerosol or a quart can, depending on how you want to paint your boat and which tool you think would make the job easier.

Keep in mind that if you decide to go with the aerosol, the manufacturer’s instructions do advise that you stand between 10 and 16 inches away from the surface. Otherwise, you can simply apply the paint using a roller or brush, and while there are only a few colors to choose from, the paint itself is designed to act as a natural camouflage, allowing your boat to blend in with virtually any background.

It is also very weather-resistant, so you won’t need to worry about the paint getting peeled off by heavy rain or snow, especially since the water-resistant finish forms an incredibly tough bond that won’t allow any water to seep into the boat or ruin its appearance.

If you’re planning to use a boat for hunting or fishing and want a paint that is going to last you a long time while also allowing you to blend in with the nature that surrounds you, this is one of the best paints designed for aluminium that is currently on the market.


  • Unique camouflage appearance
  • Very weather resistant
  • Option between quart can or aerosol
  • Incredibly cheap


  • Limited selection of colors
  • Often requires 2 coats to ensure the paint is evenly distributed

This product can also be found at:

Diamond Brite Paint 46000 Aluminium Paint

In as little as 4 hours, your boat can take on a sleek and shiny diamond appearance thanks to this paint which can not only be used on boats, but can also be applied to any aluminium objects including radiators and roofs, making it very versatile even with its very fair price point.

This paint is also a ready-to-use substance, meaning you won’t have to do any of the thinning yourself, saving a lot of time and money. The color of the paint itself is very glossy but still not too bright to where it ever looks out of place.

Because of this, it’s perfect for hiding any damage dealt to the boat over the years, and while you do only get the one diamond color, it still looks outstanding when it’s applied and is still very durable against weather or chemical erosion.


  • Very sleek and shiny diamond appearance
  • Fair price for very good quality
  • Option between a gallon or quart can
  • Can be used on other home appliances making it very versatile
  • Only 4 hours for the paint to dry
  • Ready-to-use no thinning required


  • Only one color to choose from
  • Can be a little too eye-catching for some people

This product can also be found at:

Buyer’s Guide

There are a few more considerations you should take when painting aluminium boats as opposed to other materials since it can be very easy for the paint to drip off or become uneven, however, while this can be a result of the individual, it mostly comes from the paint itself and what the manufacturers have used within the liquid.

Therefore, there are a few things you should always look out for when picking up a new can of paint for your aluminium boat so it comes out just the way you want it to. Here are the main factors you should always consider when choosing what paint to use for an aluminium boat.

Drying Period

If you have a lot of time to spare, or if you simply don’t intend to take your boat out any time soon, then this may not be as important of a factor to you. However, many people will want to try out their new customized boat as soon as possible, which is why it’s always worth checking on the can for how long it will take to dry.

The quality of the paint and the components manufacturers use will often determine roughly how long the paint will take to dry fully, and while this would normally take several hours or even an entire night, you can find many cans that will only take between 3-5 hours when it comes to aluminium.

Ready To Use

If you can see on a paint can that it is ready to use, this means that you can skip a lot of the usual steps that come with painting aluminium including thinning and priming, especially if it says that the paint is able to be used on bare metal surfaces.

These extra steps will often take up more than half of the overall time that it takes to paint the boat from top to bottom fully, so this added bonus saves you a tremendous amount of effort.

Color Options

You obviously will want to choose a color that you think would suit your boat best, though with that being said, if you have a boat that may have been weathered and damaged throughout the time that you have used it, you may want to consider using brighter colors which also tend to be a bit thicker.

These types of colors will easily mask anything you may want to hide from observers such as worn-out edges or a rusty interior, so it’s good to keep this in mind when choosing a suitable color.

Amount Of Paint

Very often, people will buy a quart can of paint without paying much attention to the amount, and because of this, they can then end up having too much paint leftover, or not enough to finish the entire boat.

Of course, the amount of paint and the number of cans you should be looking for depends on the size of your boat, however there is a simple equation you can follow to determine roughly how much you will need.

All you need to do is multiply the length of the boat’s hull by the beam, and then multiply that number by 0.85, this will be your area. Divide the area by the coverage of the paint, and you will know exactly how many quarts you will need to paint an aluminium boat.

The Bottom Line

While all of these paints will be perfect for applying to an aluminium boat to help it look a little more personalized and sleek in its appearance, they all do have unique benefits depending on what kind of painting experience you want.

Whether you want a can of paint that’s easy to apply and won’t require you to prime the boat before you start painting, or one that is a little more pricey but much more resistant to harsher conditions and chemical erosion, you can find exactly what you’re looking for by experimenting with these aluminium-friendly paints which are all available on the market for you to buy right now.

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