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tennwalkinghorse

Question about painting an aluminum jon boat (low budget hooker help)

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Hey guys, I've got a question.  I've acquired a 30 year old jon boat, read the threads about refinishing them.  I am a little reluctant to bring it down to bare metal being that the boat is old and aluminum may be a little thin.  Boat has, from what I can tell, been painted twice already.  Not looking for a showroom finish - just something functional.  Was wondering if I just scuff up the paint that's there - not really pealing or anything, just chipped in a few places - can I paint it with a rustoleum or crylon paint?   Also, if I opt to go with a marine self-etching primer would this adhere to the existing paint or MUST it be brought down to bare metal?  Any and all input will be greatly appreciated as I have never owned a boat before.  By the way, the boat will not be left in the water all the time - only while fishing. :-/

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I would use a chemical stripper.  The more layers, the longer/more work it will take but take your time, it will be worth it.

As for the metal being thin, many of these older models actually used a thicker gauge aluminum ;)

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If the existing paint is bonded really well, you can just scuff sand it and paint over top of it.  If the existing bond is suspect, then you are better off doing what LBH recommended and chemically strip it, then wire wheel it, give it a wash of 50/50 white vinegar and water, prime with zinc chromate, then paint with whatever topcoat system you choose.

FWIW, Rustoleum sells a marine topcoat for about $12 a quart.  Look up "roll and tip" paint method.  Done properly it looks like it was sprayed on.

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