How to Remove Anti-Fouling Paint

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Anti-fouling paint, or bottom paint, is a protectant applied to the hull of a boat to prevent the growth of barnacles and other organisms that might impede performance or affect durability. Although no anti-fouling agent can stop growth altogether, the paint does help to reduce it. Removing the paint from the surface of your boat can be tedious when employing traditional cleaning methods, but it can be accomplished with the appropriate tools and an effective chemical solvent.

Things You'll Need

  • Anti-fouling paint stripper
  • Hull cleaner
  • Large Sponge
  • Dry towels
  • Paint scraper or putty knife
  • Water

Select a paint stripper intended for removing anti-fouling paint from fiberglass. Such solvents can safely be applied to the hull of your boat and can be found online and in hardware stores.

Prepare the surface with a commercial hull cleaner. Prepare the solution according to the product label and apply it to the surface of the boat with a large, soft sponge until all loose dirt or residue has been removed.

Rinse the cleaner with water from a hose or bucket. Follow up with dry towels to prepare the surface of the hull for the paint stripper.

Apply an even coat of paint stripper, using a brush, roller or special applicator, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Wait for the manufacturer's recommended period of time for the solvent to set before attempting removal in the next Step.

Begin loosening the softened anti-fouling paint with a paint scraper or putty knife until it is completely lifted from the hull. Rinse the excess paint and paint stripper from the boat with running water and allow the surface to air-dry for a full 24 hours before applying a new coat of anti-fouling paint.

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