How would you go about painting a canoe?

What do I need to do to paint an aluminum canoe? Is there special paint, do I need to rough it up first or something? Also, one of the brackets on one of the seats has broke off, what can be done to repair that?

How I’d go about it
I’d think about it, ask some folks about it, consider doing it, then consider all the other things I could be doing instead, like paddling it, and then I’d abandon the idea entirely.

I would fix the seat though.

You would have a definite problem
Even carrying out the first part of your answer.

lucky day for you brandiwos
Pnet’s resident expert on paints, varnishes, lacquers, enamels and allied products has arrived to walk you through it …

Am I missing something?

cockneykayaker works in paints, etc
… professionally. If anyone can get you lost in the weeds about it …

Otherwise, maybe spray cans form HD?

Aluminum canoes are supposed to be ugly. It’s part of their appeal.

ok then
How can I remove the ugly pink paint. Im sure it was red back in 1982 or somehting.

Here ya go

– Last Updated: Jul-29-09 1:49 PM EST –

aluminum can be anodized or painted.
I doubt it's anodized but it's possible. From what I found on the net "Stripping anodized aluminum is fast and easy. You need sodium hydroxide to do it. It is available commercially at chemical supply places. You can use Crystal drano (29% sodium hydroxide). Use you hot water and about 1/2 cup to a gallon. Let part sit for a few minutes, part will start to bubble. That is when the anodized coating if off and now your going into the aluminum. Use gloves and well ventilated area!! Wash part immediately in cold water. "
Oven cleaner may work, but it will turn aluminum black from my experience. Will a black canoe look cool? Maybe, but it will get hot in the sun so it's probably not a good idea.

As for removing paint Do Not Sand. You will scratch the living hell out of your boat and spend the rest of the year or longer polishing out the scratches!
CLR/LimeAway may work, or Aircraft Stripper by Kleen Strip (works better if you cover it with saran wrap so it stays wet longer and works better). You can also use a wire wheel on a drill for some areas or a wire brush. It's unlikely but possible the chemicals will eat the seal that keep the keel watertight. Just a warning.

If you want to paint or re-paint then surface prep is the key - the surface must be solid (no loose, peeling paint) and clean (no stripper chemicals left behind, or dirt, etc). Then use Duralux .

Paint will make it heavier and perhaps look better (that's a matter of opinion of course). It doesn't need paint and that will only increase maintenance to some degree.

My Tin Minnow is just vintage aluminum and I like it that way!

Very informative

– Last Updated: Jul-29-09 2:21 PM EST –

Thanks ! I think it will look nice minus the pink paint, but in a rough and tough kinda way. : ) Sounds pretty easy just to take it off.

Try citrus based strippers
less noxious fumes, less likely to eat the AL, clean up with water. Still do it outdoors, and wear rubber gloves.

Methylene chloride and do it outdoors

– Last Updated: Jul-29-09 10:18 PM EST –

and stand upwind with heavy rubber gloves. Puts the citrus junk to shame.
Or, find someone who does bead blasting and really do a good prep.

If you need to remove the old paint
Do not use a stripper based on Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide) as this will attack the metal. As suggested use a stripper based on Methylene Chloride but in a well ventlated area.

You need to use an etch primer on the Aluminium before any other paint applications as this will prepare the surface for the subsequent coatings.

This web site will give you all the product informartion you need.

As opposed to pNets resident expert
On …Wotever !!

Here’s a link to an avatar showing boats from a couple in the Arkansas Canoe Club.

I emailed them to see if they are aluminum, as they posted they were old rentals, will let you know and if they are maybe you can email them.


many years ago offered painted hulls. Red, green, yellow and maybe blue as I recall. Of course, the paint was applied via body-shop air sprayers which I doubt you wish to invest in.

If you wish to re=paint it, you have a lot of sanding to do to remove old paint and clean the bare aluminum of oxydation. After that, you would need a primer designed for AL followed by the color coat.

Seems like a lot of work for an old soldier of a hull. Maybe pink isn’t so bad. Ever see the movie “Operation Petticoat”?