How to Remove Anti-Fouling Paint

Anti fouling paint is applied to the hull of a boat to protect it from dirt and grime in the ocean. Boat owners remove anti fouling paint in order to apply a new coat to the hull for further protection. While some owners prefer to remove the paint using sand paper while others prefer to use a chemical based paint stripper made specifically for boats. It is applied and removed with a paint scraper. Using sand paper alone requires some hard work. This is where an electric sander comes in handy. If you don’t own one they can be rented from a marina or hardware store.

For those who prefer to remove old paint with sand paper or an electric sander, experts recommend wearing safety glasses and old clothing. Use 220 grit sand paper to remove any loose dirt, then switch to a finer wet and dry paper. When the old paint is removed apply a primer or paint sealer and a new coat of paint. If you choose to use an electric sander, they can be rented from a marina or even a hardware store.

Using a paint stripper may be a messy job but it works quite quickly, probably more quickly than using sand paper. You can rough up the surface of the hull with sand paper first so the paint stripper will easily penetrate the surface. Paint strippers are made specifically for boats and will remove paint from any type of surface.

Removing Anti-fouling Paint

Removing Anti-fouling Paint

Purchase a good quality cleanser first and rinse and dry thoroughly before applying the stripper with either a roller or paint brush. When the paint starts to bubble, use a paint scraper to remove it. Remove as much as you can, then reapply if needed. Don’t let it dry or you will have to apply another coat and start all over again. When you are done clean the surface again to remove any leftover paint and dirt, rinse, dry for at least one full day and apply a new coat of sealer, primer and paint.

Paint strippers like Peel Away Marine Safety Strip won’t damage the surface and is environmentally safe. There are no dangerous fumes and it works well on any type of boat. Paint scrapers that have a good strong handle and a smooth edge work best for removing anti fouling paint. A high powered sander may be quicker, and a store clerk can help you choose the best sand paper for the job. Some boat owners prefer to use a good rubbing compound and marine wax to protect their boats hull instead of using paint sealer, primer and paint.

Whichever method you choose, be prepared to put in a good days work to remove anti fouling paint from your boats hull. A gallon of paint stripper should be enough to cover a 40 foot area and it is said that this quantity is enough to strip up to 15 coats of paint. For removing paint and varnish, paint strippers are quite messy so you will need plenty of rags or old towels to clean old paint from the scraper. A sharp scraper will do the job much more quickly than a dull one so be sure to include a file to your shopping list.

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