OK you kayak painting experts:

I know, some will say it is not a good idea to paint at all: but,

I checked with the auto painting guys and they say to sand lightly and use a primer. I am going to use Krylon Fusion spray paint, but should I also use a primer? and what about a clear sealer coat?

marine paint
Not sure what you have in mind.

If it were me, I would use a good quality marine paint and brush it on. Use a good brush, fill in the nooks and crannies first, then the flat areas. Nice and thin coats. Oh yeah, sand it, clean with acitone, or boat cleaner, prime.

There are some marine paints that are as durable as gel coat.

Or have an auto parts place spay in on and you do all the prep work and supply the paint.

What are you painting?

– Last Updated: May-20-08 10:06 AM EST –

Glass or wood?

I've painted wood kayaks over epoxy with no primer. I wet sanded with 400 then 600 grit. I brushed on enamel and I looked like a perfect gel coat when done. If I was trying to do the absolute best job, I would use primer and sand that with wet 1000 grit. It would give one more layer of smoothness and fairness to the surface.

Marine enamel is no different than krylon or Benjamin Moore enamel from the hardware store. The price is different however. Better paints have more color ingredients and will cover better and flow better. The "Marine" enamels tend to be very good quality in that respect. I've used them too.

Sometimes it's easier to use a brush. A spray can is good for smaller objects and on a large object you will get overspray and it won't lay out for you unless you saturate it good. Commercial sprayers throw a wide pattern and there's a lot of skill in doing it well like a body shop.

If you're spraying a glass kayak, wet sand it with 400 and then higher. Using primer also gives you a glimpse of any imperfections too. I did a repair job on a glass kayak and sprayÊpainted it with no primer and it came out great.

Boat is polylink
I thought I remembered a post about an ugly green boat - so did you get the Santee? Another post had you trying to decide between a Santee and a Pungo earlier this month.

Can’t help with the painting part, but knowing the material may improve your answers.

I’d also mention that if it is that ugly the boat is probably visible as hell. This isn’t a bad thing unless you get a red (Christmas Tree) or orange (Halloween) PFD. Yellow might be nice…

didn’t get the Santee…
bought an ugly green/black old town 111. The price was right for a first kayak, but now I have an ugly kayak. It is polylink and painted once before, and holding the green paint well, except in some places. it was originally black.

So now I want to paint it a girl color. Hard to tell what it will end up looking like, but want to do the best I can.

some ideas
first if it has already been painted then no need for a primer. You can scrape on the existing paint with a paint scraper to see what comes off. then sand and clean.

You could tape off large section of the deck so that you would only be changing the color of the large flat areas, leaving the green alone around the edges, combing, and all the places that are difficult to paint around.

An off white might look good with the green. You could also do a wide stripe on the side of the hull, or do the entire hull.

That way when it gets scratched it will blend in.

Anyway, if I painted the deck of my kayak, that’s what I would do. If you did it right it would look cool.

Thanks for the ideas:
Last night when I had time to look at this newly purchased kayak I realized that the original color was green that had been painted black. So now I have large patches of black on top of the green. I now have decided to try to remove the black paint, but not sure how to do it. I did sand some and the color just turned to a dull gray. Maybe I should continue sanding? I am hesitate to put on a paint remover of any kind since it is polylink (plastic). Has anyone ever removed paint from a plastic kayak?

If it was mine…
I would use stripper. They make water based strippers. If it works it will be a lot easier then sanding. You won’t harm the boat!

Why seek advice from auto painters?
Do they paint plastic amphibious cars?

Removing the paint may give you a new
perspective. May want to keep that color.

I would not use a paint stripper on any
Substrate composed of a synthetic substance.

I would sand the paint that is already on the boat and if it is adhearing to the substrate repaint with a 2K polyurethane.


– Last Updated: May-30-08 11:41 AM EST –

I would try to get the old paint off first by lightly scraping and trying to peel it off. Or try some Acetone. Seeing as you'll be painting over an old color, though, a primer wouldn't be a bad move so you don't end up with a funky color you didn't want.

I recommend Rustoleum Painter's Touch spray paint. That's what I used on my kayaks and never had a problem. And actually, I was at the store the other day and Rustoleum now makes a spray paint specifically for plastic bonding.

If you want to make a design, use contact paper to cover up the areas you *don't* want painted. Contact paper sticks to the kayak and peels off easily. When you look at the photos below, I cut out contact paper in the "M" design and stuck it on the kayak, painted, and when it dried I peeled off the contact paper and the yellow "M" was left behind. Now I did go back and paint in the M's... it wasn't necessary, I just did it for a little lighter yellow.

Dagger Blackwater (original color) - http://michiganhockey.net/kayak/blackwater%20full%20shot.jpg

Kayak covered in paper/contact paper - http://michiganhockey.net/kayak/painting2.jpg

Finished product - http://michiganhockey.net/kayak/blackwater%20sideshot.jpg
Finished product - http://michiganhockey.net/kayak/cockpit%20view.jpg

Paddling - http://michiganhockey.net/kayak/jasonpaddling.jpg

Bonding to plastic
I used Krylon Fusion on the Chipewan because of its claim that it bonds to plastics. I sprayed it epoxy and royalex that had been washed with soap and water and wiped down with alcohol. Half of it has scraped off after about 20 uses, and it came off easy. The paint rubbed off on the ropes I used to tie it down to the car, and anything else it the boat rubbed against. If that’s how chemical bonding works, I don’t need it.

I recently used some of the Rustoleum on the royalex Encore. But I’ve only had that boat out once since the paint was applied. At least the paint wasn’t rubbing off on the rope, like the Krylon did. Now distrustful of chemical bonding, I did lightly sand the royalex, hoping to give the paint an opportunity to mechanically grip the hull.

I recommend sanding the old paint off. I favor sanding since even if you paint-remove, you want to sand to give the new paint something to grip. Then wipe off all the dust and get the hull chemically clean with alcohol.

You are getting a lot of advice pointing you towards different solutions. Let us know what you finally choose to do and how it turns out.


I just clicked on this to see
who considered themselves paddling experts…


Painting experts actually
So likely no one qualifies…