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Bottom Painting Equipment, Supplies, & Safety

Before prepping and painting your boat, you'll want to make sure you have all the necessities including paints, primers, technical data sheets, safety equipment, tools, and other supplies. If you know what paint and primer you'll be using, it's important to read the technical data sheet (TDS) fully so you understand the best temperatures to work in and how to mix and apply the paint for best results.

Safety is very important when working underneath a boat. You will want to make sure the boat is fully supported by boat stands.

After many years of bottom painting, paint layers can build up, especially with hard bottom paints. It may be desirable to remove this buildup to ensure a cleaner underwater profile and better fuel economy. Typically, antifouling paint can be removed by either chemical strippers, sanding, or soda blasting. To learn more about these removal techniques, click here.

If the bottom was stripped, depending on substrate, a primer may be necessary. Before priming or painting, you'll need to clean the entire surface. Use clean rags dampened with a dewaxing solvent to remove any remaining sanding residue and surface contaminants.

When you're ready to paint, gather your supplies first, starting with your paint and the manufacturer's technical data sheet. Also, be sure you have enough paint before you begin.

List of Painting Supplies and Safety Equipment

  • Nitrile or latex gloves
  • Respirator with appropriate cartridges
  • Boat stands
  • Hearing protection, helpful when sanding
  • Eye protection
  • Dustless sander and 80-grit sandpaper
  • Paint suit
  • Dewaxing solvent
  • Thinner, as recommended by paint manufacturer
  • Clean rags, Scotch-Brite pad
  • A high-quality masking tape
  • Rollers, brushes, and paint trays that are applroproate for the type of paint you're using (solvent or water based)
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