TotalBoat Topside Primer is a premium marine undercoat compatible with one-and two-part topside finishes. Intended for use above the waterline, it can be sprayed, rolled, or brushed prior to painting with polyurethane or enamel topside paints.
Use on wood, fiberglass, gelcoat, & over previously painted materials. This single-part, high-build primer requires only a single coat, dries quickly & sands easily. Thin with Totalboat Special Brushing Thinner 100 when brushing, and xylene when spraying. TotalBoat Topside Primer comes in White or Gray in Quarts and Gallons.
We recommend this primer with our TotalBoat Wet Edge Topside Paint, available in 21 brilliant colors.
IMPORTANT: Stir primer continuously for five minutes before use.
Bonus included with all purchases:2 Plastic 1 QT Paint Pots, 2 10" Wooden Stir Sticks, 1 Pair Large Latex Gloves.
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High-performance, one-part primer
Lead and chromate free
Thinning and Cleanup
Thinning (Brush/Roll Application): TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner 100
Thinning (Spray Application): Xylene
Cleanup: TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner 100, TotalBoat Dewaxer & Surface Prep, or xylene
Preparation & Application Tips
Preparation is the key to good-looking, long-lasting, results. A properly prepared surface is clean, solid and dry. Do not paint immediately after rain, during foggy weather or when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a foam roller or firm polyester brush for best results. If spraying, thin with xylene up to 15-20%. Avoid lap marks by not painting in direct sunlight and by coating sections of the surface either down or across hull to natural breaks, maintaining a wet edge.
If your edge begins to dry or you see that you missed a spot and the primer is already setting up, allow it to dry completely before touching up that area.
Do not lather on primer too thickly or you will compromise all flexible adhesion characteristics that make TotalBoat Primer one of the industry's leading one-part undercoats. Dry Film Thickness should be 1-2 mils.
Phenolic Modified Short Oil Alkyd
Brush, Roll or Spray
Number of Coats
Dry Film Thickness (per coat)
Wet Film Thickness (per coat)
Dry Time (to touch)
1 hour @ 50°F 30 mins @ 70°F 10 mins @ 90°F
Dry Time (to overcoat)
4 hours @ 50°F 2 hours @ 70°F 1 hour @ 90°F
250-300 sq ft/gal
< 358 grams/liter
Solids (by weight)
Solids (by volume)
Below Water Line (yes/no):
Number Of Parts:
Rate Of Cure:
Topside Paint Primer
I rolled this on after using TB penetrating epoxy. It's not drying enough to sand. What can I do?
That usually happens if it is applied too thick. You can wait it out or apply a heat lamp to help it cure.
JD Tech Team
Which of the rollers you sell work best with this primer to give the thin coat?
The Epoxy-Plus Roller Cover will work well.
JD Tech Team
Is there a specific roller that you recommend with this primer?I understand a light coating works best.Thanksbruce
Quantum Primer 6 in. Mohair Roller Covers work well, and yes a thin coat is best, thin with Totalboat Thinner 100.
JD Tech Team
If spraying this primer and thinned with Xylene as described, can a second coat be applied without sanding once the solvents flash off ? And if so, what is an estimated wait time to recoat at 80F? thanks
It's recommended to let dry and lightly sand between coats.
JD Tech Team
Hello, I have a stitch and glue boat with a meranti plywood hull. Can Total Boat Primer be used below the water line? From the video, Lou is using the primer over the entire hull. Thank you, Mike
We recommend using TotalBoat Total Protect below the waterline, you can also use that above the waterline.
JD Tech Team
Can you Gel Coat over this Primer?
Not the best, use the two part epoxy primer.
JD Tech Team
What size tip should be used when spraying?
Thin with xylene and use 1.1 mm tip.
JD Tech Team
In the description for this product it clearly states for above the waterline but in the video it is put on below as well. Can this primer be used below the waterline before applying paint and if so, how long will it hold up? I run in fresh water only and always trailer my boat. I also wash it down after each use.
Always up for a project
Yes, if the boat is not left in the water more than a day or two.
JD Tech Team
Are there any types of paint this primer should NOT be used under?
I purchased this product a couple of years ago and used it both in the engine room and topside (on the dash/windshield area of my 38' Chris Craft) as a primer before I finished coated. So far the paint has held up well. FYI, clean up your splatters this stuff doesn't clean up well after it dries.
This primer can be used under any topside paint. Used on decks of our 1976 Pearson with great results. Went on easy and dried quickly. Paint has not come off at all . Has been one year.
I have only used it under flat and gloss but they were total boat and west marine I have found that they are as good or better than the more expensive paints for coverage and durability hope this helps.
Can TotalBoat Topside Primer be used on acrylic plastics?
The service must be sanded out first so top coat can take to plastic service.
I haven't tried.
JUDITH LYNN MEISSEN
First time user
This was my first time refinishing a canoe. The primer filled small scratches and was easy to apply as directed.
Easy to use
I'm a first timer at this. Restored my 72 Boston Whaler 13' and just follow the instructions.I did 3 coats of primer and lightly sanded in-between each coat. Easy!
I used this full strength. It set up quickly and easily sanded smooth. I alternated between white and gray as I fared the hull. I mixed the final coat 50/50 with wet edge topside to give a little gloss to make sure absolutely smooth hull that was easily sanded. I am very pleases with the entire TotalBoat product line.
Primed topside prior to painting with Total Boat one-part epoxy. The short 1 1/2 hr drying time was great, as I could apply the initial coat of the epoxy the same day I prime.
Goes on smoothly
I needed to paint the underside of the hard deck on my catamaran. I had been given a gallon of one part white polyurethane but needed to prime the surface before painting. I used a foam roller and all went smoothly. I have one coat of top coat and going for two. The proof will be time. I have used two part primer but this was a lot less nerve wracking.
soooooooooo... ok this is not my first boat that I have ever painted. But I am not a pro. the total boat primer is not as easy to use as I was anticipating. I have had better luck with some of the other primers out there like the interlux primers. Now that being said I guess every product has a "learning curve". So here we go. First and foremost this stuff stinks take the proper precautions and wear a mask. I can't imagine the fumes are good for you. second and I think I will say this twice do not and I mean DO NOT use the red tree foam rollers they will make you want to drill a hole in the bottom of your boat and sink it right then and there. They break down and fall apart in about 2-3 min I learned this the hard way. I would reccomend a good 3/16th inch nap mohair roller. yes you are going to have stipple it is not going to go on perfect however you have to sand this anyways. that brings me to another point I read several reviews about this not being sanding friendly, I beg to differ this product sands out really well. the main reason I think that people have trouble with the sanding is that it does take a couple to three days to cure hard enough to actually be sand able. I found this out the hard way as well. my first attempt on my transom I waited 24 hours and it was not coming off well at all. still pretty soft. I sanded that all off and then waited three days on the next try. I wet sanded with 220 grit and wow what a difference that made, three days and wet sand. I will use this product again on the next boat I paint after you figure out the quirkiness of the product I think you have a great product in hand. so all in all I think this is a good primer I can't say much about how it holds up yet but maybe in a couple of years I will be able to add to this review. hope this helps people out there when working with this product
I chose this primer because this boat is going to be stored outdoors year round. My aluminum boat has a wood transom and I wanted to protect it from rot. The primer worked great. Went on well and dried quickly. Once it was set, it bonded well to my transom. I covered it with Rustoleum marine paint and the transom turned out great. I don't anticipate having to repaint for many, many years.
Took days to dry
This primer took days to dry. After 24 hours in 90 degree Florida heat I tried to sand this primer and within seconds it gummed up the sandpaper and left scratches in the primer. I decided not to continue and allow it two more days to dry. After I allowed it to dry for days it didn't gum up the sandpaper and it sanded off really nice. Would I buy this product again? Yes, I just no I have to wait a couple of days before I'm able to sand. I would of liked to give this primer 5 stars but since it takes so long to dry I gave it 3 stars.
Great product, would buy it again
Good product, sprayed good, covered good and left a good hard finish.