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-solids 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 loves.
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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)
WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including titanium dioxide, ethylbenzene, silica crystalline, and cumene, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, and n-methylpyrrolidone, which is known to the State of California to cause developmental toxicity. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
Below Water Line (yes/no):
Number Of Parts:
Rate Of Cure:
Topside Paint Primer
just replaced some mahogany planks on my 69 Pacemaker and want to put a coat of primer on them to protect over the long winter. I will not be able to put a top coat on the boat until next summer. will this present a problem? I have read that some primers need to be coated over in a certain period of time. Is this the case for Topside primer? If so what would you suggest for protecting the new wood over the winter?
sorry cant help i used it inside the cabin and covered over it in few hours
You could do a coat of primer now and then sand that next summer and apply another prior to a topside paint.
JD Tech Team
I am building a glued lapstrake boat and have applied epoxy over the entire okume surface. Which of your primers should I order and apply before I apply my topside paint? The epoxy is West 105 or System Three, not sure as I have used both. I'm ordering a gallon of your 5:1 Total Boat epoxy today to laminate in my seat cleats as my System Three is old and not setting up properly.
Total Boat Topside Primer is a excellent product. It provided an excellentbase layer for the 5:1 Total Boat epoxy used in the construction of theboat.
The epoxy itself is a good primer. If you still want to prime over the epoxy, the Total Boat topside or Total Protect 2 part are both excellent. If not then scuff up the epoxy first so the paint will adhere.
If you remove the blush from the epoxy and sand smooth, the 2-Part Epoxy Primer will give the best adhesion and help with finish fairing, but if you want easy, open-the-can-and-go primer, the TotalBoat Topside Primer should be applied very thin. This decision also depends on what you intend on painting it with in the end. Please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our paint techs at (800) 497-0010 if you have any more specific questions that we can help you with.
JD Tech Associate
Are there tips to apply this product in higher temps (90 deg f) - I live in south Carolina and want to prime the deck of my sailboat Also does this product have UV protection - what is the maximum recommended exposure time before this product should be covered with a topside paint
This product will probably be tough to apply in those temperatures, based upon the very quick dry times. Thinning this product with TotalBoat Special Brushing Thinner 100 will slow that drying rate, as well as give it some more flow characteristics. One huge thing to keep in mind is that this product is more of a tie coat. 1 or maybe 2 THIN coats, do not try and fill areas or get full color hide with this primer, it will become gummy and annoying to deal with if you are trying to fill areas and apply it heavy. It requires a topcoat for the UV stability, it is not recommended to leave it for a duration in direct sunlight. It may amber slightly over time in direct sunlight, but if you can get to topcoat it in a week or two, that would be safe under direct UV conditions.
JD Tech Associate
Will this work over West Epoxy?
I used it over other epoxy, no problem. Be sure to wash the amine blushoff West. It blushes more than some.
Yes... I used it on the toe rail on my 1946 custom Rhodes sloop and there was one very small section of epoxy. No problem. 2 coats of primer (put on thin) and two coats of Topkote gloss. Holding up very well...
The answer is yes but follow West's guidelines for prep before painting.
Absolutely yes. You must prepare the surface properly though, by removing any amine blush from the West Systems, and sanding the epoxy smooth to 180- or 220-grit before applying.
JD Tech Associate
Per the Q & A this product it can be tinted. However, when I asked my local paint store to tint it they called the Jamestown 800 # who said it typically could not be tinted. The issue seems to be that it requires some special industrial colors or chemicals which a typical paint store does not have. Can someone shed some light on this? Thanks.
Paint technology is becoming more complex and I rely heavily on what mylocal paint store tells me. The days of second guessing things are sadlyfading away. I would trust your paint store.If you can afford a gamble, you could always go buy some pigment, add it andtry it out.The Total Boat Primer is like any other I've used, though. I had to put 2coats of the top coat over it. I am assuming that is what you are attempting- to save having to apply an additional coat of the finish. (?) I prefersurrendering to the two-coat minimum.Good luck!
We do not currently have exclusive tints for this product and we do not recommend universal tints or hardware store tint. In cases that we need to adjust the white a little, or shift the gray color, we will add a little bit of our Wet Edge paint to it. THAT BEING SAID, do not add more than 10% Wet Edge (you can't tint it that much) as it will start to adjust the cure and cured physical properties, and not all paints can be added in this same method.
JD Tech Associate
Can a 2 part epoxy paint be applied over this primer?
Morning James! Yes this primer is fine under a 2 part paint. BUT, always check the paint brand recommendations. Awlgripe and some of the other fancy brands like you to use thier own primer.Mike
The Jamestown Website indicates it may be overcoated with two-part polyurethanes, but no mention of two-part epoxies. JTD tech people ought to be able to answer your question.Good Luck, Bill
James,I would recommend using a two-part epoxy paint ONLY over a primer with the same chemistry, that is, two-part over two-part, unless compatibility is expressly stated by both the primer and the paint manufacturers.
Hi James, this product is designed to be compatible with 2-component paint systems, but we always recommend testing first. That being said, we would still recommend that you use an epoxy based primer to match the performance of your topcoat.
JD Tech Associate
Is a quart enough to prime the interior of a 13' whaler?
My guess would be "no". it may be close to enough, but would not be goodto run out with 6 sq ft to go!
Yes but use more reducer than recommended to achieve smooth finish
1 Quart should be enough.
It would be close, but I doubt it.
The only way to know for sure would be to estimate the square footage and compare that to what the coverage stated on the product. But from my experience using this primer it goes a long way so I would assume so
I used one-half a quart to prime a swim platform 9 ft x 2.5 ft. (22.5 sq. ft)
In order to comment on coverage I would need to more about the dimensionof the surfaces to be painted. My boat is 20 feet long. The basic deckfloor is about 10 by 8, and the sides go up about two feet. One quart wasenough.
Practical coverage is listed as 400sq ft/gallon, so if you can achievefairly uniform coverage, one quart might suffice. (I don't know thehull measurements for the boat).Jim
Yes you will have plenty of primer in one quart. One thorough, very thin coat will do wonders. DO NOT try and build this product for full hide to white or gray out what is underneath, and DO NOT apply thick coats. It does wonderful as a thin tie coat primer, giving incredible adhesion for the topcoat paint of your choice.
JD Tech Associate
When putting this primer over gel coat do I need to sand first.
Yes, it will help with bondingÂ D.Thomas EngelConstruction Manager / PrincipalE&A Enterprises, Inc.345 Investment Ct.Verona, WIÂ 53593
Yes. Always sand before priming or painting.
I did not do that. So far so good, second season and it's doing well
Yes you need to sand before applying this under almost every circumstance to ensure good adhesion and a properly prepared surface to accept the primer. This primer is also more of a tie coat type primer, and should not be used as a fairing primer so the substrate should be very smooth and fair before applying.
JD Tech Associate
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
Don't sand this primer in hot weather or direct sunshine
I sprayed the primer (thinned 15%) with some difficulty. Probably would have gone on better with a larger air cap. At the time all I had was a 1.3 mm. I had a lot of trouble sanding the primer due to its dust particles re-combining into little balls or disks and sticking to both the boat surface and the sand paper within seconds or about 10 swipes. This was after letting the primer set and cure for 3 days. I was board sanding by hand in order to fair a small racing sailboat's hull. I think the problem was due to the sand paper having a small contact area between the flat board and curved hull and friction creating heat. I learned to sand in the shade either early or late in the day when ambient temperature was below 65 degrees. Probably should have wet sanded and used a more flexible board. Applied primer in April in mostly cool weather. Perhaps if primer had cured in warmer 80 degree temps it would not have clumped up as badly for me. It seems like a good primer otherwise.
I would not buy this product again
This primer is too thin for me to use as high build. Much thinner than other high build primers I've used.
Nice heavy primer
Fills scratches and sands to nice solid base for topcoat. Like the label states- two thin coats is easier to work than one thick coat.
Yes extremely pleased with the product and how it performs
Have tried other non-skid topside paint this far exceeds my expectations would recommend this to To any DIY users
Extremely please with the results
FT myers , fl
Best One Part Primer
I have been in the boat building / repair business since 1975. In my many years of working with the various marine primers on the market Total's Topside Primer is by far the best one part I have run across (it will stick to snot!). When combined with your Wetedge Topside product it is unbeatable, when spray applied I can rely on a flawless finish. Great Product!
Capt. Jim OBrien
I would buy this again.
Goes on smooth, covers small imperfections and leaves no brush marks.
Punta Gorda, Florida
Good coverage and dries for recoating quickly...wait to sand
Used this on a Joel white catspaw dinghy that I am building. I like the product, but there are a couple of things you need to know. The brushing thinner WILL lift this paint! Oops....learned that lesson the hard way. Also, give it at least 48 hours to completely dry before trying to sand or it will make a mess of your sandpaper. After 18 hours dry time I tried to sand this smooth. Paper lasted about 30 seconds on my RO sander(with a vac and abranet paper) before it was clogged and useless. At a buck a disc, that adds up quick. Be patient. Put on all of the primer coats and go do something else for a few days. There's ALWAYS something else that needs to be done when you have a boat, right? Come back and you are good to go for sanding.
St. Louis, mo
I used this primer over epoxy resin and under monourithane. It has worked great so far.
Excellent product, would buy again,
good coverage, great foundation for top coat,
Dries fast, high build
I found this primer to be a little tough to apply evenly, it is pretty thick and dries fast. The good news is that it sands easily so I suggest just getting it on and then deal with getting the finish nice and even after it dries, just sand it. I usually wipe down with thinner before I tack rag and apply my finish coat. Don't do that with this primer, it will lift it! Vacuum after sanding, tack it and apply the finish. The finish coat bonds well to it. Overall this is a good primer.