Camo paint removal

I just bagged a nice lowe 19ft. aluminum canoe for long river trips with the kids. We can bring the kitchen sink in this sucker !!!

Anyhow the previous owner decided to give it a leaf camo paint job and it came out a mess. It looks bad and the poor prep work caused much of the flat paints he used to flake off while leaving plenty that stuck just fine. The paint still on it is hanging on good.

I would love to somehow get this thing looking better ( not perfect )so PLEASE let me know if you have any ideas, here’s mine…

  1. some sort of chemical stripper. Then leave it silver.

  2. Lightly sand the whole thing and paint it something like desert flat tan or prime and paint it with marine paint like white or some other light color. ( I do have access to a body shop type spray gun and compressor ).

    Thanks in advance !!!

Tough job…
You might try pressure washing the paint off. If it wasn’t prepped correctly then the paint most likely won’t stick to the aluminum very well. That will be a mess though with paint flakes messing up the area where you will p-wash. Maybe take it to a coin operated car wash when nobody else is around.


Star10 stripper
Star10 stripper works really well for removing paint and won’t make a mess of the aluminum. Most commercially available stripping products are caustic based and will cause problems with the metal.

Otherwise there are several citrus based strippers that will work, but are fairly slow to do the job. I’d try the pressure washer first, then use the chemicals for whatever is left.

Hi …probably any good , quality paint remover gel will work …it would be nice to know what brand paint he used and whether it’s oil or water based. if there’s no original paint under the camo…i would “paint” it with the gel remover and let it sit for awhile and gently use a plastic scraper to remove the loosened paint. the other option would be to use a heat gun on the paint, since it’s aluminum underneath and proceed the same…use a plastic scraper to gently remove the paint so as to not scratch up the metal.

Heat and pressure wash
Use a heat gun or propane torch to bubble up the paint, then pressure wash.

Thanks everyone for the info. !!!

really pretty easy …
see if anyone you know owns a ‘glass beader’, like a sand blaster but uses tiny glass beads instead of the more abrasive sand. Under low/moderate pressure, that paint will disappear, and really clean up and shine the hull. You may be able to rent one, or find a local body shop who might do it for you. Stripped a motorcycle frame of some minor rust, and it and the gas tank of all paint years ago that way. Came out pretty shiny before the re-paint prep. Easy to control at low pressures.