Refinish & Paint Fiberglass Boat Hulls

Help keep your boat lasting a long time.

Fiberglass boats can last a very long time, often up to 15 years. The gelcoat finish can wear off over time, however, and require you to refinish it to keep up its appearance and durability. Once you refinish the hull with fresh gelcoat, painting the boat can give it a new look and more protection, provided you use the right paint. The exact amount of work you need to do depends on how much damage the boat has taken over time.


1. Wash the entire hull with a rag and acetone. Rinse the boat off thoroughly.

2. Sand down the hull, especially any parts where there are scratches and/or gouges. Sandpaper works for most of the hull, but an orbital sander is best for damaged areas. Clear the sand dust with a fan or air gun (like a blow dryer).

3. Apply gelcoat resin to the hull of the boat; make sure you know the right type of resin for your boat . Use a roller brush for most of the hull and a foam brush on the edges/corners. Apply at least two coats.

4. Sand over the entire surface of the hull once the gelcoat dries.

5. Paint over the hull with a urethane marine finish and a paint gun. Wear a face mask and other protection while painting. Make sure you know all local ordinances regarding ventilation for this type of painting.

6. Wax the surface after the paint dries, using a towel to apply a wax that works with gelcoat.