Canoe Paint (Color, Designs, And Schemes)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 21, 2022
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Painting a canoe is pleasurable and stress-free. How well canoe paint works depends on the type of canoe and the types of canoe paint you have chosen. There are various types of canoe paints available like Total boat Aluminum boat paint, Rust-Oleum Marine topside paint, Sea-Hawk paints Aluma Hawk Aluminum-boat paint, Interlux Bottomkote Antifouling paint, Total boat wet edge topside paint, etc.

Key Takeaways

  • You should keep in mind that all canoes can’t be painted by applying a fresh coat of paint to increase the likelihood of a paddle
  • When repainting, apply at least two even coats of paint after sanding down the canoe and removing any remnants of the original paint
  • You may also need to use a clear coat of stain after the paint has dried, depending on the paint you settle on
  • Rust-Oleum Marine topside paint is the best option for wooden canoe fiberglass canoes
  • If your canoe is made of aluminum then the Total boat Aluminum boat paint will be the best option for you

Examples Of Canoe Paints, Colors, Designs, And their Compatible Canoes:

Before you start painting, it is essential to understand the details to achieve your goal. The paint should smoothly stick to the surface of the canoe, whether it is wooden, plastic-built, or aluminum-made. Did you know that there are various canoe paints and designs to suit your taste? Read on to find out.

Type Of Canoe PaintDescription And DesignColors  Compatible Canoe
Total boat Aluminum boat paintYour paint will not easily peel off due to its resilient property to abrasions, damaging chemicals, corrosion, and fading. It is durable and dries quickly, adding a perfect finish to your canoe. Compared to other canoe paints, it is cheaper. Before achieving the desired result, you’ll have to apply several layers.Black White Khaki  Earth green army green Light grey Aluminum-made canoes
Rust-Oleum Marine topside paintIt dries fast with a finish of a gloss, smooth, and satiny. Due to its solid coating, it can protect your canoe from harmful conditions of weather, and UV rays, and is abrasion-resistant. If you’re working on a small budget, it is ideally cheap. Ensure you’ll paint in an open space for good ventilation before finally settling on this paint. Bright redDeep green Navy blue and beigeWhiteBlackBattleship greyWooden canoe fiberglass canoes
Sea-Hawk paints Aluma Hawk Aluminum-boat paint, a fiberglass canoeOne coating is enough, unlike other canoe paints. It is economical. You can use it as a primer or a top coat for your canoe. Because manufacturers designed it for aluminum surfaces, it doesn’t require a primer before its application. Compatible for use with salt or freshwater, it dries instantly. It has no anti-fouling features.SandBlueBlackAluminum grey-greenAluminum canoes
Interlux Bottomkote Antifouling paintDries faster. Wearing the canoe is slowed down by the coating paint. The canoe surface smoothens with the continuous use of this paint. It didn’t ensure a glossy finish, and compared to other kinds of paints, it is costly.Blue Black Green Racing bronzedFiberglass canoes
Total boat wet edge topside paintHave an impressive finish from the superior durable colors. Easy to use and resistant to paint-damaging chemicals, scratches or abrasions, and UV. It has a glossy finish, and getting the desired smooth finish requires more applications.Bristol beigeAqua MistClassic whaler BlueFire red flat black sea green flat whiteWhiteYellowBlack Fiberglass canoes Wooden canoes

Schemes On How To Paint A Canoe:

Have you ever wondered how you can paint your canoe and get a perfect finish? Depending on the type of canoe, there are slight differences considering these canoe-painting steps. 

1. Supplies Preparation:

Ensure you have the following before you start painting;

1. Paint thinner

2. Paintbrush

3. Paint mixing stick

4. Paint roller

5. Paint tray

6. Marine paint

7. Dust mask

8. Utility knife

9. Tack cloth

10. Orbital electric sander

11. Acetone 

12. Gelcoat repair kit

13. 120-grit sanding disk

14. Pressure washer

2. Choose The Working Space And Clean The Canoe;

a) Considering the weather, get an open working space. To get your canoe dried after cleaning and painting, you’ll need a sunny day after forecasting the weather for the next two days.

b) For better washing, flip the canoe over two sawhorses to expose the hull. Clean it with water to remove dirt and grime, using your pressure washer. 

c) Dry it under the sun and ensure all the grime and dirt are washed off, double-check to confirm it’s completely dry.

3. Mend All The Broken And Cracked Hull Parts;

Using the gel coat, repair the deep dents and cracks, plus all the damaged parts.

4. Sand The Canoe;

a) To ascertain that the stickers are completely cleaned, remove all the stickers on the hull with a knife.

b) Start sanding your canoe until the old paint is completely off, using the electric sander. Though it would take longer, you can also use sandpaper if you don’t have a sander.

5. Wipe Off The Dust Or Wash The Canoe

a) Mix powder soap with water, then dip your hard brush in the mixture if you choose to wash the canoe. Remove the dirt and dust by scrubbing.

b) Wipe the canoe using a tack cloth until all the dirt and dust are fully removed, if you prefer to wipe it off. 

6. Canoe-Drying

Dry the canoe fully for enough time. Before putting the primer, run your hands over it to find out if it’s dried properly. Air-dry it after cleaning it with soap and water.

7. Primer Application For Aluminum Canoes;

a) To ensure the rest of the canoe is not messed up, use masking tape to cover all the canoe parts not to be painted. 

b) For the surface of your canoe, oil-based primer canoe paints are the best.

c) On the primer, you can add a little paint thinner. The canoe’s interior and exterior parts are the places to apply it.

8. Paint The First Coating Of The Canoe

a) To get the best results, mix the paint with thinner in the ratio of 1 part thinner to 9 parts paint.

b) Using a paintbrush, cover all the canoe’s interior and corners, then smoothen if you notice bubbles.

c) For better results, dry it for about 10-24 hours.

9. Sanding The Canoe

Using a sandpaper or electric sander with grit, sand the interior and exterior canoe parts after the first coat is properly dry.

10. Wiping Off The Dust

Before proceeding to paint, make sure the canoe is thoroughly cleaned off the dust by wiping it with a tack cloth.

11. Applying The Second Coating

Paint all the difficult areas to reach, like the gunwales and end caps. Depending on your preferences, you can apply a third coating and repeat steps 9 and 10.

12. Adding A Clear Coat

Let it dry overnight after adding a clear coat on the interior and exterior, using a paintbrush or a clean roller. For fiberglass canoes, this is optional.

13. For 48 Hours, Keep Your Canoe On Dry Land

This guarantees proper curing, and if you ignore this vital step, all your efforts will go naught. As you wait for it to be ready, keep it in a dry place.  


There’s a wide variety of canoe paints to choose from, available in physical stores and online. Go for one that best suits your requirements and likings, because the final decision lies on you. Happy painting!


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