The Best Paints for Fiberglass Boat for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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Are you the proud owner of a boat made of fiberglass?

Would you like to give her a new look?

Maybe you want to repair and touch-up some areas not done right from the factory. It’s always been a taboo and a hard task to paint fiberglass?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, then you are going to love this short guide. I am going to show you:

The five best paints for fiberglass boats out there.

My favorite paint brands.

What you need to consider when choosing paint.

My DIY tips for painting your boat.

My favorite marine paint brushes. And…

My step-by-step boat painting project.

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
TotalBoat TotalBilge PaintBudget PickTotalBoat TotalBilge Paint
Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

1. Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint

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Pros:

  • Great price
  • Open-time of 30 minutes
  • Easy application
  • No mixing required
  • Provides excellent coverage
  • Works well on fiberglass

Cons:

  • Not as thick as higher-priced alternative
  • Not as long-lasting as higher-priced alternative

If you’re looking for a budget alternative for fiberglass boat painting, we recommend a high-quality paint that is available at a great price: the Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Outdoor Classic gloss white.

This option is designed to be used on fiberglass hulls that are on your boat or trailer. The product is a high quality gloss that comes in a quart size. It’s designed to be very pigment rich and will provide an outstanding coverage. This paint is designed to help inhibit solar damage that will occur on your boat.

The paint is actually a one-coat paint meaning you don’t have to spend time applying two coats to the fiberglass! This allows you to install the paint much faster.

2. TotalBoat Wet Edge Marine Topside Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

TotalBoat Wet Edge Marine Topside Paint

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Pros:

  • Great durability
  • Water-base paint
  • Strong and Dries quickly
  • Not toxic, environmentally friendly

The Total boat wet edge marine paint is a water based lacquer paint that is perfect for fiberglass and wood surfaces. The paint is applied by brush, roller or airless sprayer depending on the project.

3. Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rust-Oleum Available 207012 Marine Flat Boat Bottom Antifouling Paint

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Pros:

  • Very affordable price
  • Very gloss finish
  • Simple brush roll on

The Rust-Oleum Marine Bottom Antifouling offers a gloss finish that is quite stunning. It’s durable and very long lasting even on rough seas.

With a very large one quart container that’s enough to paint the bottom of a 12-foot boat, you’ll be able to save money on what you’re paying for right now.

4. Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint

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Pros:

  • Above-average ventilation
  • Easy to accommodate

Cons:

  • Not the best backing for a motor cover
  • May contain a slight rubber odor

If you’re looking to extend the lifespan of your boat in a way that’s not going to cost exorbitant amounts of money, then we highly recommend you give Interlux’s YBB379/1 Fiberglass BottomKote NT Antifouling Paint – Black, Gallon a try. This is one of the best bottom paint products out on the market that leaves a strong protective layer on your boat.

The Interlux Fiberglass Bottomkote NT not only extends the life of the boat, but it also does so without harmful chemicals. The paint is formulated with an environmental-friendly formula that stands up to the environmentally-conscious consumer.

A lot of marine paints, especially those on the market today have harmful chemicals that could pose a threat to the environment and to the boat itself. If you’re looking for a product that can not only be environmentally friendly, but also can protect your boat from the elements, then you might want to try the Interlux YBB379/1.

5. TotalBoat TotalBilge Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

TotalBoat TotalBilge Paint

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Pros:

  • Will form a flexible marine-grade barrier
  • Contains silicon for a smooth, fast drying finish
  • Suitable for use on both fiberglass and wood
  • Compatible with TotalBoat primer system
  • Built-in drawstring plastic agitator ball
  • Shop / sprayer ready

TotalBoat’s TotalBilge paint is a great product for anyone who owns a fiberglass boat. This isn’t just paint for your boat … it’s a marine grade primer.

The end result is what is referred to as a bilge paint, as it’s ideal for the area under water where you can’t paint. This finish also better at resisting water than regular paint.

This primer boasts a number of useful features. It will form a flexible marine-grade barrier that protects against staining, salt water, sun damage, and a whole host of other issues.

6. TotalBoat 409322 TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

TotalBoat 409322 TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint

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Pros:

  • Great for applying non-slip texture to fiberglass
  • Excellent paint coverage
  • Affordable
  • Comes in white, gray, and black
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well on wood
  • A bit thin

For those that need a great paint that would work well on fiberglass, the TotalBoat TotalTread Non-Skid Deck Paint is an affordable option. It’s designed to provide durability and a slip-resistant surface for rowing, sailing, and power boating. The manufacturer makes a lot of claims about how versatile this particular color is, but it seems like it’s really only good for fiberglass.

In terms of performance and features, this paint gets some serious points for both. It claims it’s eco-friendly, which is nice to know. Another perk is that it’s formulated to be easy to use. It’s a single component paint which you mix with water. Acrylic coatings are also easy to clean.

7. TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint

Our rating: 7 / 10

TotalBoat JD Select Bottom Paint

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Pros:

  • Water-based
  • Available in White
  • Very durable and flexible
  • Low VOC White Paint

Cons:

  • You’ll have to apply 2-3 coats
  • Not available in 5 gallon buckets

This is a great high-quality paint if you’re looking for a water base paint. It’s highly water-resistant and flexible. If you’re in an area with large temperature changes, this paint can handle it.

This paint contains bio-based materials which are sustainable and non-toxic. It’s environmentally friendly and you can even eat your paints ingredients.

It’s a left-brite white paint which means that it’s not totally smooth when dried. And this paint gives off a slightly waxy consistency than other paints.

8. Aquaguard Waterbase Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint

Our rating: 5 / 10

Aquaguard Waterbase Anti-Fouling Bottom Paint

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Aquaguard’s biocidal paint is an ideal choice for both a boat first timer as well as an expert. This is possible due to its easy to apply with a brush and roller, and its intense coverage.

Aquaguard’s superior protective, anti-fouling, and antifungal properties are main features that make it stand out.

The fungicidal properties dissipate any chance of fungus growth on the hull. They could be the difference between buying a new boat or saving the original.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best bottom paint for fiberglass boats?

In addition to the different requirements for aluminum and wood boats, it is also worth mentioning that fiberglass boats require special types of paints.

Fiberglass is a porous material, which means that it can absorb water. Because of this, fiberglass boats really need to be treated with the right interior and exterior coatings.

While they are not foolproof, the best paints for fiberglass boats are those that are formulated to help keep water from beading or chemically reacting with the fiberglass.

Some paints are even formulated to help prevent water from seeping into the fiberglass from the inside.

All of this matters because the last thing you want is for your paint to fail and fail quickly. Ideally you will want a paint that can stand the test of time for at least a couple of years.

Can you paint a Fibreglass boat?

Yes, you can paint fiberglass boats; the key is to use paints approved for use on fiberglass. Avoid “acrylic enamel” paints as they are not meant for fiberglass at all and can actually eat the fiberglass over time.

Opt for a high-quality “flexible finish” fabric paint. These paints are made for wood, metal, and fiberglass boat covers. Most manufacturers provide approved paint colors for their fiberglass boats.

Always keep in mind that water-borne paints are water-based and more fragile than oil-based paints. They chip easily if hit or scratched, and more often than not, they are an opaque white color rather than a bonding agent with the fiberglass itself.

The thinner the layer of paint on your fiberglass, the more likely you are to experience chipping.

What is the best boat deck paint?

At the end of the day, the paint you choose should follow your own mindset. If you are trying to keep the boat looking pristine and shiny forever, a good varnish will last a good number of seasons. If you are looking for something you can touch up easily, a good paint is the way to go.

For our list, we’re looking at paint that can be applied quickly, easily, and easily touched up without a lot of effort or money. For many, paint fills that role perfectly.

What is the best primer to use on fiberglass?

The best primer for fiberglass is one that will adhere well to the fiberglass without adding too many layers. Layers of paint on fiberglass will cause the base layer of primer or paint to buckle, warp, or crumble away. Some fiberglass primers advertise that they don’t need a top coat, but I've never had good luck with this myself. You can also buy a liquid spray-on top coat that goes on like paint but dries like primer. The most important thing is to try to find the thinnest primer you can buy.

The most typical problems I see when repainting fiberglass that has already had paint jobs are bubbling and crumbling. With the slightest dent in the fiberglass, the paint will start to bubble up and the surrounding paint will begin to crumble.

Conclusion

It is almost beyond compare on how much time, energy, and hence money is invested in selecting the perfect paint for a fiberglass boat. Not only do you have to shop around for hours, going from store to store to get the best prices, but you also have to be informed on not only the qualities that make a good paint for fiberglass, but also how to shop for them.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Rust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside PaintBest OverallRust-Oleum 206999 Marine Topside Paint
TotalBoat TotalBilge PaintBudget PickTotalBoat TotalBilge Paint
Interlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling PaintUpgrade PickInterlux YBB379/1 Fiberglass Bottomkote NT Antifouling Paint