Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

How to Paint the Bottom of a Hull

    • 1). Use professionals to have your boat lifted from the water and properly blocked up with hull supports. The keel should rest on a sturdy support, so the boat does not shift or move. Hook up a pressure washer that has a detergent function. Pressure-wash the hull from the bow to the stern. covering the sides, and then down to the keel. Use clean water (no soap) in the pressure washer to rinse the entire hull. Let it air dry.

    • 2). Look for any bubbling and deep blisters in the bottom paint. Use a sharp utility knife to cut the blisters open and scrape down just before the laminate. Be careful with fiberglass hulls; do not scrape or gouge through the gel coat finish. On wooden boats, see how far the blisters extend into the wood structure. For deep gouges or rotting, mark the area with a felt pen.

    • 3). Locate the area of the hull that you marked with the felt pen, showing the damage or rot that extends into the wooden structure or laminate. Use a brush to apply epoxy resin sealer to the areas. Apply multiple coats on the damaged surface, allowing each coat to dry according to directions. Make the coats overly thick -- you will sand them flush later.

    • 4). Use a wide bristle brush to apply paint stripper on the hull if you need to change the hull paint type. Start at one end and work your away around the hull, applying a thick coat of stripper with the brush. Once the paint has peeled and bubbled on the hull, use a 2-inch hook scraper to remove all the peeling paint and chips. Pressure-wash the hull with soap and water and rinse it with fresh water.

    • 5). Attach a large foam pad and an 80-girt sanding disk to an orbital sander. Start on one side of the hull and begin sanding from the waterline down to the keel. Use side-to-side strokes. Always place the sanding disk on the hull before you pull the trigger on the orbital sander. Remove all traces of of old bottom paint, without sanding too deeply into the hull. Use medium pressure on the sander and always keep it moving. Do not sand the propeller, shaft or bilge hole.

    • 6). Pressure-wash the hull with the detergent setting, then rinse with clean water. Inspect the hull for any rough spots or leftover paint. If you wish a finer finish on the hull bottom, use a 400-grit sanding disk on the orbital sander and sand the hull down again. Use the pressure washer to clean and rinse the hull. Let the hull air for a day. Use masking tape and paper to cover the propeller and propeller shaft.

    • 7). Open enough cans of anti-fouling paint for the amount of hull surface you expect to paint in one day. Mix the paint thoroughly with a stir stick or use a paint agitator if you have access to one. Lay down a paint tray. Attach a paint roller to an extension that will allow you to reach the underside of the hull next to the keel.

    • 8). Start on one side of the hull at the waterline and roll downward. Step from side to side while applying the coat. Paint the entire hull with one coat. Let it dry for 24 hours. Apply a second coat over the previous coat with the roller and extension. You may optionally apply a third coat but wait for 24 hours before applying it.

    • 9). Use long-term heavy duty tape to outline the boot stripe on the hull water line. Once you have the line masked with the tape, use a brush and your choice of paint color to paint the boot stripe. Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry. Remove all long-term tape and masking tape from the hull. Save enough paint for the bottom of the keel and and the areas that were obscured by the hull support struts when the time comes to deploy the boat into the water.

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