Prepping Jon Boat for Bottom Paint

The cracked rivet is repaired so now onto prepping the jon boat for bottom paint. The bottom paint that will be used is Wetlander. With this jon boat turning into a fishing / mud boat, the Wetlander Bottom Coating will give it a protective coating that will help this boat slide over obstacles like mud or thick grass. It should also help seal this riveted jon boat but we have to put it on the boat to figure that out!

First Part of Preparation

The first step in preparation is reading the instructions and seeing what they recommend. I called Scott Hogan at Wetlander and he recommend that I take the paint off of the boat, then use their primer, then their top coat. So the first thing I had to do was remove the old paint that came on the jon boat!

Before you get started on that, find out where you want your bottom paint to cover, and then tape those lines. Remember to add multiple layers of tape! You will peal off one layer of tape for each time you let the coating dry. I did the Primer Coat and then the Top Coat so I only needed to layers of tape.

Removing the Old Paint

So there is a few ways of removing paint:

  1. Mechanically – By force, hand or by machine, removing the paint.
  2. Chemically – Using a chemical to melt or dissolve the paint to remove it.

I decided to go the mechanical route so I just used a sander. I didn’t know much about removing paint with a chemical stripper, and it sounded messy so I thought I would still with the sander.

The sander I used was a Bosch Random Orbital Sander. It had a variety of speeds and you could use different sanding disks.

Sanding Away

I set the speed to 4, put on my mask, eye protection, and hearing protection, and got to work.

It took me a total of one, 120 grit pad, and about 8 hours of sanding. If I would have changed out my pads, I problem could have done it quicker but I didn’t.

Key points

  • I didn’t put too much force on the rivets. I didn’t want to disturb them and make them loose.
  • It took me about 10 minutes to find my groove and find what angles worked with the sander.
  • Having the air hose close by made it very easy to clean out the sander every now & then and it helped to blow the boat off.
Clean up and Ready for Paint

I was able to get the majority of the paint off. I didn’t want to sand too much because this aluminum is already so thin, and I didn’t want to take too much material off trying to get the small amount of paint left on.

After I was done sanding, I blew the boat off, wiped it down with Acetone. Then I switched to lacquer thinner. After that, I tested a few spots with a dry wipe and the wipe came clean. So I was ready to paint!

Things to note:

  • The Acetone was very aggressive and melted the paint, smearing it when I wiped. So if you’re going to use Acetone, make sure you get all the paint off. If not, I switched to lacquer thinner and that worked best for me.
  • Make sure to wipe down your tape. You don’t want any contamination where your brush might touch.
  • The quality of the finish product starts with the preparation. DO NOT trying to save time and skip steps here. It takes time.

So now the jon boat is prepped and ready for the bottom paint by Wetlander! Onto the Painting Stage!

So if you’re interested to see how slick these boat bottom coatings really are, and if they are worth the money, stick around! New articles and videos are posted every Saturday morning @08:30!