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What Type of Paint Should You Use on a Jet Ski?

Posted by Boat Lover's Towel on

What Type of Paint Should You Use on a Jet Ski?

The paint you choose for your jet ski depends on your budget, what the hull of your jet ski is made of, the area of the jet ski you’re painting, and the look you want. 

There are several types of paint you can use for different areas of your jet ski. There’s more durable paint for your jet ski’s hull, which spends the most time underwater, and there’s topside paint, which is used for the areas that do not become fully immersed in water.

Here are some common types of jet ski paint and how to apply it.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Jet Ski

Basecoat-Clearcoat Paints (BCCC)

BCCC paints are a budget-friendly option. They require only one coat of paint, unlike other types of jet ski paint. Basecoat paints are less prone to oxidation, and they help improve your fuel efficiency.

However, BCCC paints are sensitive to abrasions and scratches, so you have to be careful when cleaning your jet ski. Don’t use any abrasive polishing or rubbing compounds. If you take care of your basecoat paint, it can last for a long time.

Epoxy Paints

Epoxy paints are a mixture of hardener and epoxy resin, and they provide a solvent-resistant, durable finish. The amount of epoxy paint you need per square foot is lower relative to other types of jet ski paint.

Because epoxy paints resist abrasions, they have a long lifespan, as long as you clean your jet ski after each use and remove all residual moisture.

If you want to change your jet ski paint frequently, epoxy paints aren’t a good choice since they can be difficult and costly to remove.

Enamel Paints

Enamel paints are known to be able to withstand different weather conditions, and they provide a stunning, glossy finish. They’re also easy to use—they dry very quickly, and they last a long time once hardened.

However, enamel paints are a more costly option.

Polyurethane Paints

Polyurethane-based paints are popular for cars, boats, and jet skis. They can resist extreme weather and provide a high gloss, consistent finish.

They are also self-cleaning, meaning dirt and dust can be washed away automatically. However, polyurethane paints are not the most durable option. They can also alter the color of wood surfaces.

How To Paint a Jet Ski


Locate a covered space where you can paint your jet ski without anything damaging your paint coat. However, make sure this space is well-ventilated—jet ski paints are not safe to inhale.

You’ll also need a mount where you can place your jet ski so it remains stable during painting.


Start by washing your jet ski and removing all stickers from the body. 

Next, sand off the old paint to create a good foundation for the new paint.

Take off all the parts of the jet ski you can, and then mask and tape all the parts you can’t.


Once you’ve sanded the jet ski and applied primer, it’s time to paint. Mix the paint according to the instructions. Don’t mix too much at once or it will dry out before you’ve applied it.

Next, fill up the paint spray gun container. Spray a bit on a piece of cardboard to make sure everything’s working properly.

As you paint the hull, work in thin coats to stop the paint from running. You’ll probably need to apply four coats.

Allow the paint to get tacky between coats.


Can I Use Spray Paint on My Jet Ski?

Spray paint cans are not a good option for jet skis. Since the hull of your jet ski will spend most of its time underwater, you need a more durable option, like hard bottom paints or hybrid or semi-hard paints.

If you’re going to use a can of paint, you’ll need a paint sprayer, though.

What’s the Best Paint for Jet Skis?

You can paint the top deck of your jet ski with any waterproof gelcoat paint since it doesn’t get fully immersed in the water.

When it comes to jet ski hull paint, you need a more durable option. For the part of the hull that’s above the water line, you can use polyurethane or enamel topside paint. For the part that’s often underwater, you can use acrylic marine paint or epoxy marine paint.

Should I Have My Jet Ski Professionally Painted?

If you want a custom-painted jet ski, taking it to a shop is a good idea. Professionals have stencils and patterns to follow, as well as more experience applying the correct thickness of paint. 

Additionally, if you’ve never worked with sandpaper or a paint spray before, you might want to get your jet ski professionally painted.

Keep Your Jet Ski Looking Sharp With CleanTools

A high gloss finish on your jet ski always starts with a good wash. Whether you’re taking care of your epoxy paint coat or getting ready to apply a new coat of paint, you’ll need a marine boat cleaner and a few highly absorbent towels. With a few wipes, the Boat Lover’s Towel will have your jet ski sparkling, free of debris, and ready to hit the water in style.

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