Painting a kayak....???

I recently purchased an Old Town Dirgo 140. The boat is great and im very happy with it so far. I got a good deal on it too.

I bought it online, but the color is not the same color of green I thought it was going to be. From the pics, it appeared to be a dark, hunter green color. Well, its more of a Kermit the frog green/ John Deer green than hunter green :-/

I can deal with it, but I plan on having this boat for several more years so I would like to paint it. I was thinking just some black/hunter green flake over the existing color, to blend/fade it.

The hull material is Variable Layer Polyethylene… kind of a hard plastic type material.

Has anyone painted a boat like this?

Any tips or suggestions?

What type of paint do I need? I was just thinking some auto spray paint, or something a little tougher like rustoleum or something.

What sort of prep work should I do? I was thinking it might have to be sanded, but could I just paint over the existing finish?

Im by no means an artist, but I know what id like it to look like, and I think with a spray can and some really long,even passes over it I can achieve the fade and coverage im looking for. If I mess up, well oh well i guess, I already dont like the color so it cant be much worse (famous last words right? lol)

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Ah’ dun’t think
any paint will stick ta dat material for very long.


painting poly
is a maintenance issue, paint won’t adhere permanently so if you’re ok updating it, then by all means do so.

Another option is model contact paper (? little help here with the medium name), a sticky colored adhesive. You can get it in strips or sheets from a model hobby shop, it will adhere well, and if you need to repair it you can peel it off and reapply it.

so what’s wrong with john deere green? Add some black and yellow and you have the jamaican colors!

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Nothing wrong with John Deer Green…

My last kayak was ‘headache orange’ as my paddling buddies tell me. ( red/orange/yellow blend)and that was alright… but this time around id like to blend in a little better on the river. Thought green was my answer, but not this shade lol!

I understand what your talking about with the sticker type stuff…

You know that realtree camo adhesive crap that folks put on the bottom portion of their trucks? I was considering something like that, but figured it wouldnt hold up as well as if I painted it.

Krylon Fusion

– Last Updated: Apr-24-07 5:05 PM EST –

Some folks here have reported good luck with the Krylon Fusion spray paint that's supposedly designed for plastics. I haven't tried it myself.

More ideas:

Really Nothing Works Well On Plastic
Nothing really adheres to plastic well, but you could try rustoleum Fusion spray paint.

I recent got an RTM Disco with such a god awful fade color scheme I am thinking about taking a can of rustoleum to it.

Poly flexes too much.
Paint becomes hard, not very flexible, once it dries. Since poly flexes quite a bit the paint would crack. Once it got water in the cracks, it would come start to flake/peel off. I’m not a paint expert, but I think that’s pretty standard.

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Painting a kayak
My first rec boat was and is orange. Heritage calls it “Mango”…It looks orange to me. A Heritage rep could not advise me to a proper paint.

I’ve seen Krylon commercials lately promoting their latest “Fusion” spray paint that bonds with polyethylene.

Haven’t tried it yet; but will probably spray a few cans on it for fun since I do acrylic artwork on the side.

My new khaki fishing machine will remain khaki.I love orange juice, but not orange on a boat.

Think of environment
paint will eventually wear off and polute the environment. Nothing really likes to stick to polyethylene. Get over it and go paddle…Nature doesn’t care what colour your boat is.

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It is possible to paint polyethylene
But the process involves the use of special cleaners,“flaming” to produce a chemically active surface & a 2k paint system.

Car bumpers are painted using this method.

Been happy
with the Krylon Fusion on my royalex canoes. Not granite proof but every area on my canoes that hasn’t hit a rock is still looking good.

(wanna buy a mango and pink pamlico?)

I think thats what im going to do. Just try whatever Wal Mart has for rustoleum kinda stuff that looks like it will work on plastic.

Im sure that rocks and stuff will scrape it off, but I can deal with that. Putting a new coat or a few touchups isnt really an issue to me.

Im not changing the whole color anyway, just fading/blending a darker green and black to make it a little less ‘loud’

If it doesnt stick, I suppose that ill lightly sand it and then paint. I doubt ill try the torch method, that sounds a bit too much for me, and id hate to mess up my new boat.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Anyone else paint their boat? All ideas are appreciated :wink:

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Car bumpers

– Last Updated: Apr-25-07 11:08 AM EST –

usually are ABS not polyethelene. Krylon Fusion along wit most everythin' else doesn't stick well long term ta PE (ah' tried a few times even wit proper surface prep.) Fision sticks OK to the vinyl an' ABS on Royalex boats but not as well as true vinyl paint.


Better to learn to love the color.

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Yak Painting
Hi Bob,

Most “modern” kayaks are made out of “super linear” or “extruded” plastic and don’t accept paint very well due to the composition of the plastic or the “release agent” that is applied to the mold before the yak is poured.

However - -

That doesn’t mean it can’t be done! If you are determined to paint it, try this;

  1. Sand the surface with 600-800 sandpaper just enough to knock the gloss off.
  2. Spray on an “Adhesion Promoter”. (Available at any automotive paint supply store)
  3. FORGET any rattle-can paint!!! You need a paint that is catalyzed!!! - - Not avaliable in a spray can!!!
  4. Use a “top-of-the-line” urethane automotive paint such as Dupont, PPG, Sherwin-Williams, etc. You are free to use a single stage or a two stage paint - - your choice. A flexing agent is not necessary! Major brand urethanes have a “built-in” flexing agent!

    Hope it works out for you!

fusion paint
I’ve tried the fusion paint. It’s not all it’s said to be. Oh it sticks better than most paints I’m sure but you probably wont get the durability you’re looking for. I’d say you’d be better off witha 2 part polyurethane or epoxy paint. There’s also a paint out called Imron, I think its put out by dupont,suppose to be incredibly resiliant but very costly. Good luck, Hope this helped.

Krylon may work on some plastics
but on whatever the stuff is that plastic kayaks are made of it doesn’t. First hand knowledge…

(and hell, if one is going to sand all the gloss out simply to get paint to adhere,one should simply stick with what one has and ‘accessorize’ to match the color(A Martha Stewart moment)

My sailboat is Imroned
$3500 to do a 28’ boat, incl. labor. It gets scratched, fortunately hasn’t chipped.

Paint will stick there’s things like Velva seal mid coat adhesive stuff like that you put on the plastic and sticks to it and the paint stick to it don’t listen to these people. if you press the right it will stick and let it cure