How to Paint Your RC Boat - DIY Instructions!

How do you paint your RC Boat?

Mine needs a bit of a make over so I decided to try and change things up a bit. :grin::grinning: This isn’t a one-day job so be prepared to do some waiting. Paint jobs need some down time for drying.

NOTE: Remember to choose the best paint compatible to the material of your boat. Boat hulls are usually plastic or fiberglass, sometimes wood. If you’re not sure, it’s safe to assume that you have a plastic one as it is more common. Krylon paint works well on both fiberglass or plastic and is highly recommended

Firstly, gather all your materials.

  • chosen paint
  • primer
  • gloss
  • automotive paste wax
  • sandpaper
  • tack cloth / any cleaning cloth
  • masking tape
  • dual-cartridge respirator (for protection against harmful fumes)

Before painting, I recommend choosing a well ventilated area for easier drying. Somewhere without dust and debris is perfect – we don’t want to get any of those on our boats while painting. An empty spare room or in your garage are both good choices. We also don’t want to inhale all of those harmful paint fumes while doing our paint job. :slight_smile: If you’re kind of low on the budget, choose a dust mask that filters 100% of oil based and non-oil based particles, the P100. Your safest bet to get rid of the fumes though is to choose a dual-cartridge respirator with a multipurpose chemical cartridge and a P100-rated particulate filter.

Next step would be to set up your area. Place drop sheets on the floor and in your working area. Fasten completely using masking tape to prevent any leaks. You may want to open the windows for additional air ventilation or have a small fan set up nearby.

Before doing your paint job, test if your boat works properly. Check for any loose part before starting. When done, start removing all external and electronic components that can be detached (e.g. motor, speed control, receiver, batteries, etc.) This is important! Remove them all because paint can ruin electronic parts. It can also fasten the removable components to the hull.

Wash the hull with soap and warm water to remove dust and debris before starting. Sand the area to be painted using sandpaper. Use 400 grit for fiberglass and 600 grit for plastic. After this is done, use the tack cloth to remove the dust.

Proceed in masking (or covering) any areas that you don’t want to get paint on. This also helps you make straight lines and other design that you can think of. Seal any entrances below deck to prevent color from running in. Next step is to use primer. Take your primer spray paint and begin. Shake well before each spray. Position it 12-18 inches away from the surface and spray using long, even strokes. This will be our first coat.

NOTE: Don’t rush the drying process. It takes about 18-24 hrs.

After drying your primer, repeat the process of sanding but this time use 400 grit. Remove all bumps and uneven surfaces. Once your are happy with the smoothness, use the cloth again to remove any debris and dust.

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to color your RC Boat!

Remember to choose colors that are attractive to the eyes so your craft stands out. You may want to check a color wheel or search in the internet for color themes that would look good together. One thing to keep in mind is the visibility of your craft. It is recommended to use a few bright colors to stand out.

Start from the bottom of the hull going up. Be careful, as with any paint jobs, one mistake could affect everything you’ve worked on so far. A tip I’ve read is that you can run warm water over your spray paint can to ensure consistency in spray flow and patterns.

Apply first coat as a light mist. Use sandpaper in between coats. Second coat will appear more saturated as the layer builds. Wait to dry. Inspect your work, if it looks thinly spread, apply another coat. :slight_smile: It all depends on your style.

Air drying takes a lot of time. Before moving on to the next color, make sure to wait at least 3 days. This is to ensure that the coats are completely dry. Again, use sandpaper in between coats. If you would like to make patterns onyour boat, I highly suggest using stencils or templates. This will lessen the chances of you messing up the shapes and design and will help your paint job look like it was professionally done.

Last step: proceed in applying the clear coat! This will give your boat a glossy finish, making it look shiny and new. Maintain your work by using car wax from time to time. Use it when the finish has completely dried.

So there we have it! DIY Paint Job for RC Boats. Let me know if you’ve tried it, share your experience and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


Hm, interesting. :no_mouth:

Your post is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.