Best Paint for Outboard Engine Cowling Repainting

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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Best Paint for Outboard Engine Cowling Repainting

Postby ShorLine » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:12 pm

I would like to repaint the cowling for my 1983 Johnson 70-HP.

What is the best spray paint to use?

Where is it sold?

Thank you.

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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula

Re: Best Paint for Outboard Cowling Engine Repainting

Postby jimh » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:07 pm

If you want to match the original colors, a good choice to use will be the OEM paint.

OEM paints are sold by dealers of the OEM engine brand.

These paints are sold in aerosol cans, and they are generally easy to use.

The OEM of your 1981 Johnston engine was OMC, and they are now gone. The successor company is Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), and they are still selling spray paint in OEM colors for older engines. Check with a local BRP dealer.

If your 1981 engine was in a special edition or limited-run color trim, those colors may not be available.

If you do not require that the paint produce the exact original color, you can use any spray paint you like. I have found that KRYLON spray paint usually produces good results and is available in many colors.

KRYLON aerosol spray paint in cans is sold by many retailers; my local hardware store has a large inventory in many colors.

There is no limit on choice of paints, and you could, if you desire, use expensive commercial grade two-part paints like IMRON or AWLGRIP. Those paints often require special application methods and can be hazardous for casual spraying. Products like High solids 2.1 – 3.5 VOC Corlar® Epoxy or Imron® Polyurethane might be useful for an outboard engine cowling. Paints like these are sold by specialty industrial paint suppliers or by specialty paint shops.

Whatever paint you use, be certain to carefully read the label for directions for preparation, application, re-application, and drying time.

I cannot tell you which paint is the best paint because you have given no criteria for judging the paint. "Best" could be anything: best color match; best finish lustre and gloss; best durability for wear; best resistance to UV light; best price; best availability; best ease of application; best results in uncontrolled environments.

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Location: Queens NY

Re: Best Paint for Outboard Engine Cowling Repainting

Postby Oldslowandugly » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:26 pm

Since the engine cover is fiberglass, it is pretty easy to recondition. You can sand, fill, and paint just like on a car. Any good brand of paint will work but in a spray can you only have a couple of choices, enamel or lacquer. I used Dupli-Color brand lacquer auto touch-up paint. I chose a dark blue used on GM cars on the entire engine and the cover. It was a pretty good match to the OEM color. Once painted you can get nice decals on Ebay for most engine brands. I also used some Fine-Line brand pinstriping tape for the three blue pinstripes. In the picture there is some green masking tape still on the cover so ignore that. Sorry for the poor pic.Image