Refinishing Aluminum Gunwales

G’day everyone-

I am restoring an old finberglass 12’ Kawartha that I picked up at a yard sale recently. It has aluminum gunwales that are in good shape structurally, but are blemished discolored and look pretty ratty overall.

Any ideas on refinishing these? If I painted black, would this significantly increase the “to the touch” heat of the gunwale in the blazing SC sun?

I’d love to hear any ideas you have or methods that have worked for you to refinish or paint aluminum gunwales and also anything I could do to cut down on heat.


Try some metal polish
You can get at places likw Advance Auto

Jack L

If the gunnels are already black
I have used a black permanent marker with a large felt tip successfully. I just did the black gunnels on a boat and it looks much better. I had used it for touchup on a boat in the past, but on this boat I did the entiregunnles and thwarts. I have not dealt with aluminum that wasother than black.

You could try Simichrome polish. It is not cheap but worked well on aluminum bicycle components for me.