How to Paint an Aluminum Canoe

Back in the days when modern materials such as fiberglass were still in their development stage, canoes were mostly made of wood and aluminum. Have you ever tried to paint on any aluminum surfaces before? It’s a mind-boggling job since ordinary paints will not stick to aluminum. This is the dilemma of thousands of people who have inherited aluminum canoes.

Canoes are very handy to have. You can do lots of stuff with a canoe. You can do your weekly fishing with it, you can take your date and watch the birds with it, you can even take photographs with it, and of course, there’s the usual Saturday-afternoon river cruise. It would also be nice I the canoe you own is sleek-looking and has a nice glossy paint. However, painting an aluminum boat is not an easy task, but it is a possible thing to do.

Here are some handy tips for those people who would want to paint their aluminum canoes:

1. Make sure that you want to paint the aluminum canoe.

There are aluminum canoes that don’t need any kind of painting. These canoes were not made to be painted in any way because the natural beauty of the aluminum is the main foundation of its design. However, there are aluminum boats that really need a good painting job. Some of these boats are originally painted and the paint has worn off but if the aluminum is galvanized, there might be no need to paint it.

2. Remove all the remaining paint from the canoe

Removing the paint from the aluminum canoe is a must, just like what others would do when painting old cars or other vehicles. Paint removal ensures that the surface is free of dirt and it will smoothen the surface once again. Paint removal is also necessary to be able to see if there is corrosion underneath the surface. Substantial amounts of corrosion may suggest that the use of the canoe may not be worth after all.

There are many types of paint removal kits out there in the market and these usually cost around 15 US dollars.

3. Sand the canoe

After the paint has been removed from the canoe, it is time to sand it. This will ensure the smoothness of the canoes surface which will play an important role in the overall finish of the paint job. One can use a professional sanding tool or perhaps if he has no budget for that or simply has some time to spend, he can do this manually.

4. Apply the primer

There are different views on the type of primer that should be applied to aluminum surfaces. Perhaps the most recommended primer is a primer which contains a substance called chromate. There are available primers out there- magnesium chromate or zinc chromate which can be used for aluminum surfaces. Others would prefer an aluminum oxide primer. Make sure that you wear some kind of protection to avoid inhaling these substances because these are very dangerous to human health. Make sure that there is good ventilation in the painting area.

One can also apply a self etching primer (one coat is enough), then apply a couple of coats of epoxy primer which can be purchased in any automobile paint store.

5. Apply finish

One can actually use automotive paint after the primer has been applied. Make sure that the primer is properly applied because ordinary paints won’t stick with aluminum. You can ask your local automotive paints dealer regarding the kind of finish that you would want to give your canoe.

A nice canoe deserves a nice paint job. Aluminum canoes can be made into colorful ones through the use of proper materials and the right methods. Enjoy painting your canoe!

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