How to Paint a Kayak – A Step-By-Step Guide for 2022

People want their kayak paints for different reasons. You can paint your kayak if you’re going to hide the scratch or make the kayak look brand new or you may think a little makeover on the kayak is needed.

That’s why I am here to teach you how to paint a kayak.  Furthermore, the lesson is essential for saving money from expensive ways of improving the kayak’s aesthetic beauty and performance.

Here you’ll find the answers on how to paint a plastic kayak and how to paint a fiberglass kayak. You should paint for a kayak yourself; that’s why I am giving the details of the steps here. Before wrapping up the article, I’ll answer some common questions about painting a fishing kayak. So stay tuned.

Why do You need to Paint a Kayak?

Painting a kayak is no longer for increasing the aesthetic beauty, but it needs to improve the performance of the vessel. Scratches are the first problem when we ride on a kayak. Often it hits objects on the water and thus scratches happen. It will turn into potential damage if we let the scratches lay down. Painting a kayak can be done in two ways.

Using a Paint Brush

Using a Paint Brush

Painting with a brush is a time-consuming process. Also, it needs tough skills. If you are a newcomer to painting, then you should avoid large kayaks. A small kayak seems perfect for a beginner. Sometimes you might feel that brush is a better option. Yes, a brush can be a better option if you want to add some detailed designs to the kayak.

Using Spray

Spray painting seems easier than brush painting. You can kayak cover a large area of the kayak in no time. Also, spray ensures an even coat. A spay is not for a novice. Before spraying, you should learn carefully from a person. The spray has some drawbacks. Among them the most important one is, spray wastes more paint as a lot of can’s paints can end up in the air.

UV Damage and Fading

Direct sun exposure, namely UV radiation and warmth, can damage and fade your kayak’s original colors, the equivalent way it does your car. Fresh coats of paint combined with a UV protectant spray, will restore your kayak colors.

Don’t Forget About Preparation

Before painting, you should be prepared. That’s why several things you have to know and collect before painting.

  • Several varieties of sandpaper are needed for sanding the kayak. You should collect sandpapers with a grit of between 100-220.
  • As you are going to paint plastic or fiberglass kayak, you should make water-resistant and plastic suitable paints. Caution: standard paints won’t stick on plastic.
  • Fiberglass kayak needs suitable paint other than plastic.
  • For painting, Marine safe spray paint for plastic, acetone, finishing spray paint or wax painting mask are necessary.

what kind of paint to use on a plastic kayak

The key to a successful paint job is selecting the right type of paint – one that is water-resistant and clings to the hull’s surface. It shouldn’t matter if you have a polyethylene, fiberglass, or wooden kayak as long as it’s appropriately prepared for the specified material.

Oh, and there’s one more thing:

To protect the color, use a clear coat – Krylon 1311 is one highly suggested alternative – once you’ve finished painting.

6 steps follow How To Paint A Kayak?

Painting a Kayak is the sum of different steps. For a uniform painting, you should follow the steps exquisitely.

Step #1: Removing the Stuff

First, you have to remove all the stuff you don’t want to paint, which means you should remove stuff like the seats, screws, and accessories, etc. also you need to ensure a large area with an excellent ventilation system. If you want to paint in an open area, then you should be careful about the wind. A little wind can mess up the whole process, especially for spray painting.

Step #2: Sand Down on the Kayak and Use Acetone

After preparing the area, the next thing you have to do is, clean the kayak with the dishwasher thoroughly and exquisitely. Make Sure, the kayak is entirely dirt and residue-free. Dry it down completely. Grab the sandpaper and sand down the whole kayak.

If you want to pain partially, then you should sand down the specific area. Now, apply acetone on a clean cloth and make it damp. Wipe the area where you want to pain. Acetone removes oil that prevents the paint from sticking.

Step #3: Start Painting Kayak

It’s time to do the business. Before starting the painting, make sure you have put the mask on. Spray the pain on the surf kayak’s surface as evenly as possible and spray until you find the kayak sun shade you are looking for. Now you can use brushes and Stencils for specific designs.

Step #4: Clear Coating and assembling the kayak

For a finishing touch, you should give a final coat for clear finishing spray paint. Now rejoin the seats, nuts, screws, mounted accessories, etc. Finally, after a while, do another cleaning by the dishwasher and wait until dry. Apply wax onto the kayak surface to add an extra protection layer.

Stop! – Let The Paint Cure

Yes, the paint could be touch dry or dry enough to apply a second coat within a few hours, but don’t waste all of your hard work by not allowing the paint to cure.

Curing is the process of solvents and water evaporating off a painted surface, during which the paint’s coalescing agents cause film formation – which develops into a hardened surface.

Step #6: Clean And Wax Your Kayak 

After you’ve reinstalled all of the hardware and accessories, give your kayak a last wipe down using dishwasher soap and water to ensure it’s clean. You may now reapply a decal if necessary.

The following step is optional, however, I recommend using marine wax as a finishing touch.
Waxing your kayak will preserve the new paint from scratches, increase its longevity, and improve the shine of the hull.

Can You Paint a Plastic Kayak?

Painting your kayak can offer it the appearance of being brand new. We occasionally run into pebbles and other items on the water then scratch the surface of our boats.

When choosing a paint, make sure it is water-resistant and suited for plastics, as conventional paints may not adhere to plastic.

You may paint wooden, polyethylene, and even fiberglass kayaks as long as the paint is appropriate for the vessel. If you utilize any of the methods listed below, use marine-grade polyurethane paint, which is more durable in water than ordinary paint.

Can You Paint a Plastic Kayak

If you intend to use your vessel for fishing, you should consider painting it in camouflage. A recreational yak is being used by people who have a low-cost fishing yak. They then customize it for their activity, like painting a yak with a camouflage print.

People frequently want to paint their kayaks in more natural colors rather than bright colors, which might be distracting to anyone attempting to hunt or fish.

Spray Paint Your Kayak

Spray painting is more convenient than brush painting since it applies the paint to a larger area at once, resulting in a more even coat with no brush marks.

Spraying, on the other hand, might use more paint than brushing since a lot of the paint can end up in the air. Spraying paint may be a messy operation, so paint in a well-ventilated and open area. When you spray paint, the paint particles become airborne and produce a lot of fumes.

Can You Paint a Fibreglass Kayak?

Acrylic paint sticks well to fiberglass, eliminating one of the most difficult aspects of painting it. Acrylic paint is less prone to cracking and blistering, and it is simple to clean. This water-based paint is easy to apply and has fewer chemicals, making it more eco friendly.

Sure, a fresh coat of paint may make your kayak look brand new and gleaming by concealing any signs of wear and tear on the hull.

However, just painting your trusty kayak to improve its appearance is only part of the story; there’s more to painting a kayak than just cosmetics.

Kayak Painting Supplies List

  • Marine-grade polyurethane paint
  • 50-100-grit sandpaper
  • painting tape or masking tape
  • Foam paint roller and brush, and spray gun
  • Acetone 
  • A pair of protective gloves 
  • Water hose and water supply
  • Marine Wax
  • Dish washing liquid or detergent
  • Cloths/Rags
  • Sawhorse

Fandeli Sandpaper Sheets


The sandpaper will come in handy when it comes to lightly sanding the surface of your kayak before painting it. This will result in a rougher surface that will help paint to stick better and form a stronger bond between the paint and the surface of your kayak.

Dish washing liquid

Dish washing liquid

While some recommend using a heavy-duty cleaning solution to remove residue from the surface of your kayak, we’ve found that warm water and light dish soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s, work just well.

Acetone – Quick, Professional Nail Polish Remover

Acetone - Quick, Professional Nail Polish Remover

This is another wonderful option for cleaning your kayak before painting it. Acetone is excellent for removing any oils left on your kayak that water and dish detergent are unable to remove.



You’ll use them to clean and dry your kayak before painting it. Having a few extra towels and rags on hand during the painting process will allow you to clean up any paint spills or other mishaps that may arise.

Marine Wax Cleaner

Marine Wax Cleaner

Once the paint is dry and you’ve cleaned it well, this will give your kayak a great, sleek finish. This is an optional step, but adding a coat of wax to your kayak after washing will protect both the material and the quality of your paintwork.

Painting Mask

It’s critical to protect your lungs when painting a kayak, especially if you’re going to use spray paint. As a result, you should invest in a high-quality painting mask to protect your face and lungs from paint fumes.

Magimate Paint Brush Set

Magimate Paint Brush Set

The majority of people utilize spray paint for the base coat of their kayak, while more elaborate designs necessitate the use of brushes. And, because you never know what size brush you’ll need, we recommend purchasing a set with a variety of sizes before you begin your painting project.

A pair of protective gloves 

A pair of protective gloves 

We recommend getting a few pairs of disposable protective gloves unless you don’t mind getting paint on your hands throughout this project. Otherwise, when your job is over, you’ll need to obtain some paint thinner or abrasive soap to clean the paint off your hands

Forup Portable Folding Sawhorse

Forup Portable Folding Sawhorse

This is an optional accessory because some of you may choose to paint your kayak while it is on the ground. However, we believe that working on and around your kayak is considerably simpler if it is placed upon a pair of solid sawhorses.

How to Repair a custom paint a kayak

how to paint a fiberglass kayak


How can I camouflage paint a kayak?

Are you interested in how to paint a kayak camo? Use a sponge dipped in an identical shade of paint from the base colour. This will help you to add a beautiful but straightforward camouflage print.

What do I use for preventing the oily substance from a kayak?

you can use acetone for removing greasy substances. Do not use it on wet surfaces, and you have to use acetone on dry surfaces.


I think you’ve got a proper description of painting a kayak. Also, you can paint on a kayak paddle by using this method. You should be careful about the spray. Do not use without musk, glass, and gloves. Try to spray as fast as possible

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