Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2006

Difference Between Automotive Paint and Marine Paint

Q. We are repainting our 100+ ft. long racing boat. It holds 50 rowers. Can we use car paint instead of marine paint? What is the difference between marine and car paint?

A. I cannot tell you what the specific differences are because it really depends on the product formulations, but in general car paint is designed for appearance and the weather. Marine paint is designed for appearance, constant or intermittent exposure to sea water, sunlight, and possibly also the growth of barnacles and other marine organisms. If I were painting a boat I would use a marine polyurethane which has the same slickness as an automotive paint.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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