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
Will this primer work with Interlux Perfection 2 part paint and does in come in white ???
Not recommended, with Perfection use Interlux Epoxy Primekote
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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 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
This primer didn't brush out well.
I was using TotalBoat Topside Primer on bare wood surfaces in my boat. The conditions at the time were overcast and low 60's F. The primer didn't brush out well even while trying to keep a wet edge. With hindsight, I probably should have thinned it.
Chris Craft restoration
Green Bay, Wi.
I would not buy this again...
Ok, hate to do this, but done lots of painting, tried this primer for a topside epoxy job I'm doing. There may be a good use for this but not for mine and if you are expecting a nice sandable primer that you can get nice and smooth, this is not it !!!! worst junk ever had to deal with in my life !! After giving it 30+ hours dry time @ 80 still sands terrible and balls up terrible. I talked to tech guys after waiting 6 hours(they say 1-4) and told let dry more, still junk to me..they said maybe to thick ?? did with foam roller in what I consider not to heavy. Super disappointed in this and have not finished dealing with it as of yet...
Cure time was unacceptable
I applied this via roller, during the April to July time frame, here in Key West FL. With no thinner at all it was nearly unworkable. It gummed up the sandpaper even after 7 days of waiting. I started thinning it (up to 40%!) and got better results, but the final product almost always gummed up the sandpaper to some extent, no matter how long I waited. Considering the temps here in the Keys, it makes no sense as to why I'd be waiting days upon days for a cured product. It really put the brakes on my project as it set me back weeks waiting for a sandable finish. One coat, wait 3-5 days, one coat, wait 3-5 days. Eventually I was able to get it sanded and overcoated, so I'm not giving it one star, but I'll be reluctant to ever use this again. On the flip side, however, I've had great success with everything else from Totalboat!
Key West, FL
Highly recommend prior to painting!
Provided a great base for the paint!!Use to restore an older pool slide.
This is a good product. I used two coats to cover above water line of my paintless aluminum boat.Used a brush. Easy to apply, and I'm sure it made a good base for my Topside Total Boat paint.
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!