Painting Plastic Yaks

A while ago someone had asked about painting their kayak (plastic) and I had suggested maybe trying Krylon’s new Fusion spraypaint, which is designed for plastic. I emailed them yesterday and I thought I’d share the response received today:

“While the Fusion paint film is water resistant, it is not submersible. We do not offer a marine grade paint or clear coat in our current product line. The longevity of our coatings would be very limited when used on submersible surfaces or substrates.”

Hope this helps anyone thinking of the same project.

Forgetaboutit no paint will stay on
that’s why graghics are moulded in to kayaks. Some painted trim tapes like 3M pinstripe and boat trim and vinly stickers do work but paint just won’t stay on. Before long the kayak will look bad…very bad.

too little too late…

– Last Updated: Aug-03-04 6:30 PM EST –

I think it was me who you suggested the krylon paint to and last weekend I painted... I painted the blades to my paddles and I painted a small spot on the kayak where the rental company I bought it from had painted numbers that wouldn't come off. Hopefully the company is wrong and the paint will hold.

if you are interested that's what they look like now. I'll let you know how it holds up. Thank goodness the spot I painted on the yak is a small one, maybe 10X8 inches.

Your link is broken…but

– Last Updated: Aug-03-04 5:53 PM EST –

anyway I'd look around (on the net is a good place to start) for a nice vinyl graphic sticker to cover those places you want to hide. The painted on numbers that you are talking about should come off with a little acetone (old fashion nail polish remover) and a little elbow grease. One of the guys at the local boat store found some very nice flames for his Blackwater kayak on the net. You need to clean the area where the sticker is going to be placed with acetone too.

fixed the link
I’ll look around and see what happens if worse comes to worse I’ll remove it somehow. I’ll start looking…

Umm …
“but paint just won’t stay on”

“the rental company I bought it from had painted numbers that wouldn’t come off”

Maybe someone needs to ask the rental company what kind of paint they used. : )

lol good point
I’ll call them and ask them right now, it may have been permanent black marker for all I know. It sure didn’t to come off with acetone or sanding I’ll tell you that much!

I just called them.
they use black magic marker. She said they used to turn the numbers into animals when people bought them but it takes too much time so they don’t do it anymore.

3 years & counting for the paint I used.
I used Krylon Ultra Flat paint on my kayak. I was gonna do the whole boat, but only did a portion to see if the paint would stick. That portion has held well for 3 years. Now, the paint will come off when scraped over rocks & logs.

I was thinking about the Krylon Fusion paint, but they don’t make the colors I want… Yet.

Paddle easy,


Coffee I’ll let you
know how the krylon fusion holds up, that’s what I used. They didn’t have the colors I wanted either but I made do for now.

Submersable to most companys means…
non-stop immersion.

Most Kayaks do not live in the water like many yachts. The paint might not chemically bond with or exactly key into even the best planned / wetsanded plastic surface but it does “stick” until scraped of by something other than the water it travels through… most generic spraypaints will also work the same as long as the plastic surface has at least been degreased. So go ahead and go for that neon pink.

Plastic is a tern used for many
types of material. Do you know what type you have. Polyethylene, GRP etc.

Sally’s Cannon and my Aquabound have black & blue blades; AND, Sally’s are black, and mine are blue, TOO, LOL!

They get beat up a bit on many of our paddles down here what with me fending off from coral rock (oolitic limestone for the geology folks) walls of canals and shorelines when I fish, and from both of us pushing off the gritty, sandy and sometimes rocky bottom when we launch or transit shallows.

I’m thinking of painting them yellow or international orange for better visibility. It’s amazing what a diference light vs. dark color blades can make when viewed from a couple-three hundred yards away: the light ones are far more visible than dark ones, and down here, it’s one more attribute in our arsenal of being seen in our sometimes powered craft-crowded waters, or when we’re in the open and those boats and jetskis are going fast and keaving less reaction time.

So let us know how they make it through the summer, por favor, and what conditions you were paddling in. It might make a bunch of us very happy campers if we find your pioneering paddle painting perseveres as you

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Magic marker usually comes of with…
…alcohol. Barring that, lacquer thinner should do the trick. Sometimes, it will leave permanent yellow stains on plastics.

Water test
I took some of the Fusion paint that I used on our deck chairs and sprayed an old hard-side plastic bucket with a test stencil. I let it dry for 48 hours and then I submerged the bucket into a large tub of water to see what would happen…and…nothing happened!

I suppose that after many days of continued immersion it would soften up and flake off/scrape off, or salt water would have a different effect.