Epoxy type paints for Fiberglass

I will be getting my canoe back from the Canoe Doctor soon and I need to paint it. I have two options as I understand the situation. Option 1) Automotive paint followed by a couple coats of clear epoxy. Option 2) Epoxy type paint.

Any suggestions? Where do I buy epoxy type paint. The repair man told me if I painted it with automotive paint I could bring it to him for the clear epoxy coats, but did not do the colored type of epoxy. I am of the mind that the epoxy paint system would be better but do not know enough about it or where to purchase same.

As always all comments, and advice are greatly appreciated.


Imron is the best. Its an aircraft ppaint that is designed to flex at altitude, and hold up through extreme temperature variations.

But it is expensive, dangerous to use and not available in all states. But it does go down very cleanly id you know what you are doing. Most rowing shell manufacturers use it, and I repainted a beat up old racing single about 7 years ago, and it looked brand new.

But if I had to do it again, I would either go to a boat manufacturer or a decent auto paint/body shop

Epoxy Would Be More Abrasion
resistant. No paint will hold up to scrapes on rocks or other hard objects but a good epoxy paint will do better than normal automotive paint. There are several to choose from at your local marine supply center. BoatsUs and West Marine both carry several types.

BTW- I have occation to visit the Hatteras factory on occation and that is what they do. No gel-coat for them, they sand the glass down to a mirror like finish and apply a two part epoxy paint.



A topside paint will be fine if you don’t store the boat in the water…

can auto body shops apply epoxy paint?
… I’m interested in this topic too for a fiberglass Malecite. If you buy the epoxy, can a decent body shop apply it?

PPG is very good
but is exspensive compared to others. Though you get what you pay for. In your “option 1” it sounds as if your actually talking about a base coat, clear coat (2 stage paint. “Option 2” is single stage, no need to clear coat since it’s a gloss paint. Most auto body shops use enamel or polyurethane paint, of which the poly would be the better choice of the 2. Imron is made by Dupont which is there high end paint, and is good. If you want to DIY, go with PPG DelStar with the Concept 2020 clear. The Delstar is flat paint, easy to spray, the clear is fairly easy to spray (60-65PSI will lay it down like glass). Martin-Senior from NAPA is also a pretty good paint. There are also several paints available at marine stores that are good, but you are paying for the “marine” on the label. US Paint and Marine Tex are best. US Paint you can get the 3 part which makes it nice if your dealing with up/down humidity.


How do you know that??
I use epoxy all the time, but I would never make such a claim.

I could blow on auto style paint.
But have no experience with the epoxy type paints. The shop that is fixing the boat strangely enough only offers to clear coat any existing paint. I think that they don’t want to get involved blowing color for any number of reasons. I will probably talk to some of the local body shop guys and see if they have ever blown epoxy. I would like to get this finished up so I could float it this year so a local body shop might be the ticket.


If you can spray auto paint
the epoxy isn’t really any different. You may even find it easier depending on what your used to spraying. Compared to laquer or enamel it’s a piece of cake. Though it is a pain to clean up since the pigment is a little heavier.

If you gun will spray poly then it will spray epoxy. If you have a lacquer gun like a Binks Model 8 then you’ll have to change fluid tip and needle, a Binks Model 18 works well or a Binks Model 95 gravity feed (less waste).


Agree w/ gillguy …Delstar is the best

– Last Updated: Aug-31-06 3:20 AM EST –

of the 'cheaper' paints. better flow out, higher gloss, harder finish and stronger bond to substrate. IMO, I like AwlGrip better than Imron for exact same reasons in the higher end stuff.

Epoxy clearcoats ??? Suggest you find an more knowledgeable honest professional painter to deal with rather than the person feeding you bad information currently.

Remember it is all in the prep and these paints reward or curse the work below ... depends on what kind of finish you are looking for / expecting.

Great results can come with the humble spraycan(s) if you do it right.

Forgot to add, a smooth, clean properly prepped ( wetsanded) gelcoat surface is just about the ultimate 'primer' to spray over .... just about any thing will stick.

epoxy shield that you cover your garage/basement floor with - found at any lowes/home depot/menards. Set you back about $50 and doesnt come in a wide variety of colors. But it turns out pretty hard and durable - used it for my daughters s&g canoe.