Five Steps to Flawless Boat and Yacht Paint

painting white boat

If we know anything around here at Chi Yacht Refinishing, it’s the difference between an excellent marine paint job and a poor one. Painting a boat or yacht is no small task and can be done by a boat owner, but if an owner is unsure about how to handle this job, they should consult with a professional.

The concern is less about how it looks (although that is important too) but more so about not damaging the surfaces or creating more work down the road. Here are our top five steps to getting a flawless yacht paint job.


Evaluate The Vessel

The first step when it comes to painting a vessel is to evaluate all of the surfaces that will be painted and determine what kind of shape they are in. This is the time to get a good picture of what the boat needs and what will be required of the persons painting it. Evaluate if additional skills will need to be learned or if hiring some portions of the work would be a better option.

Determine the cost of this project both as a DIY and via a professional. This is an important factor since marine paint is quite a bit more expensive than household or car varieties. Get some quotes from quality shops, in fact, contact us at Chi Yacht Resurfacing, we would be happy to help you with a quote.

Estimate the time this project will take and whether or not that fits with the overall scope and parameters. Boat painting as a DIY project can take a significant amount of time, and that can often mean money in a boat yard.


Choose The Right Paint and Anti-Fouling

Investigate what kind of paint is best for the boat surface and consult with the brand manufacturer if that is unclear. Steel and aluminum bottoms will need different attention and materials than fiberglass and carbon fiber.

Talk to paint specialists to get their expert opinions and consult with the greater boating community to see what has worked and what hasn’t. Same is true for the anti-fouling options as everyone is likely to have a different opinion.


Prepare The Surfaces

After the vessel is hauled out, investigate it carefully for any blemishes or defects. This part of the job is essential since paint should never be applied over corrosive or damaged surfaces. Repair any scratches or fiberglass holes and sand the surfaces to ensure there is a clean surface to work on. If this sounds like a big job, it absolutely is and will likely take up a significant portion of time on the overall project.


Choose The Application Method

There are a few ways that paint can be applied to a boat. Assuming not everyone has access to professional tools, like airbrushes and paint guns, there are two main ways to paint a vessel.

  • The Brush Method – This method will require using the broadest brush possible with long flexible bristles designed for glossy-style paints. With this brush, a painter will criss-cross in diagonal pattern rather than horizontally. Paint will spread easier using that technique. The final strokes will be done in vertical strokes to even out and give the paint the best possible finish minimizing streaks and brush marks.
  • The Roller Method – Rollers are a great way to get a smooth, clean finish with gloss paints. A long bristle brush can be used with this method to eliminate any bubbling that rollers can leave in their wake. This method may require multiple coats since the paint will go on thinner.


Create a Maintenance Schedule

Once all the hard work is done, and the vessel is back on the water, create a maintenance schedule to evaluate, clean, repair and polish the paint. This can be done every 6-months to year depending on how often the vessel is in the water and how corrosive that water is to the boat or yacht.

Let us know if we can help with a boat or yacht paint or an anti-fouling project. Chi Yacht Refinishing has years of experience working on both smaller vessels and large superyachts. Contact us today with any questions.