Boat Painting 101: Priming the Hull

In Step 2 of our Boat Painting 101 series, (Watch part 1 here) we have reached the time to prime! The hull is ready for multiple applications of the TotalBoat 2-Part Epoxy Primer which will form a nice, thick but smooth surface onto which we can apply the topcoat. Brendan has prepared the hull perfectly and this next step goes smoothly as he rolls and sprays applications of the epoxy based primer to create the best painting surface possible on the Black Watch 26 hull.

If your hull isn’t fair and properly prepped, you can almost count on your topcoat being difficult and imperfect. A great topside paint job is easier to maintain and repair than many of the other professionally applied spray jobs, such as AwlGrip. Pay close attention to the directions on the can and data sheet for your product. Each paint is different and will have varied application instructions, induction times and prep requirements. Your attention to detail in this important priming step will ensure that your topsides have the best possible base for a killer paint job that will last and look great.


12 thoughts on “Boat Painting 101: Priming the Hull

  1. Wow… this is a bit discouraging… Not many of ‘us amatuers’ have the time or resources for 5 coats of primer, 3 of which are sprayed… Nor are we likely to have a power longboard… If this video is suggesting that ‘Preparing the Hull’ requires this level of time, hardware and effort, I think I’ll wax instead of paint…

    • Don’t be discouraged. This is how a paint job should be done. If we start making videos about how to shortcut the process, no one would be happy, either. You could skip some steps or coats – based on how each coat goes on. And the sprayer is a very basic 3M model. Nothing pro or fancy. And it’s just as good to roll on your primer coats, as well as the topcoat. If you plan on executing a paint job, it would be a good idea to own or borrow a vac and sander as shown here. You will find many uses for it! The longboard with the vacuum attachment is also not a fancy tool. Use the process as a guide and adapt it to fit your tools, time and your own hull.

      • I agree with Conor. I see on the Top Side primer can that you should only mix enough that you can apply in 20 minutes, that seems like a lot a short period of time to apply. If I’m reading the directions correctly, I would have to prime and paint my 28 ft boat in one day, painting within the 2-4 hour drying time of the primer.

        • It really goes on quickly. In order to sand rolled primer coats and then apply topside paint – you need to allow for at least 16 hours to sand and then you would apply the topcoat. Since you are sanding you can wait days to apply the topcoat to the sanded primer. And you have to sand before applying topcoat. Don’t confuse overcoat applications (done without sanding between and when just tacky enough to apply another coat) with applying other coats of primer and or paint. Hope this helps. and as always you can call our tech hotline for help as needed. (800-497-0010)

    • Great question! The dry guide coat works better on gelcoat (very roughly sanded gelcoat) and less so on the primed surface which had yet to be sanded. Same function – different products. Both work equally well!

  2. Any chance of doing a video on removing striping and replacing striping? (Not sure if you sell that product.) I have a Black Watch 30 that is in good shape, but the striping at the water line could be replaced. This strikes me as a job where a few helpful suggestions would go a long way toward making the job easier and better done. Thank you for the videos. They are helpful.

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