Over time, outboard motors accumulate a thick layer of dirt, not to mention bleaching of the paint. This is because many outboard engines were initially painted with single-stage paint that has little or no ultraviolet protection. Even those with the proper paint may have colored plastic covers that discolour over time. The biggest obstacle to painting an outboard motor is cleaning the engine debris before you start. As with any painting project, proper surface preparation is crucial for the final product. To buy an outboard motor, you can read our saltwater outboard motor buying guide.
- Remove the outboard motor from the boat, if possible. If not, then cover the ship itself with plastic to prevent spraying. If you can remove the motor, mount it on an easel.
- Peel off all decals and stickers from the engine using a paint scraper or your fingernail. Depending on the age of the label, it can just take off. If the engine has thrown the emblems, cover them with tape.
Remove the motor cover. It will have to be painted separately from the engine itself.
- Spray the entire engine and engine hood with degreaser, concentrating over-spraying on the greasiest parts of the engine. Once finished, allow the degreaser to soak in the grease, but do not let it dry on the surface.
- Set the high-pressure cleaner to its fan setting. Avoid spraying the engine with the harsher environment of the pressure sprayer as this may damage sensitive components such as hoses. Allow the engine to dry before proceeding.
- Cover components that should not be painted using masking tape.
- Scuff surfaces that are to be painted using the gray automotive scuff pad. You must altogether remove any shine to ensure that the paint adheres to the surface.
Clean the surfaces to be painted using wax and degreaser on a cloth to remove any traces of engine oil or grease.
- Spray the engine cover and engine using a marine safety paint that is safe for use in high-temperature situations. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying the boat in the water.
Tips and Warnings
- You must use a temperature-resistant paint around the engine components because of the heat they produce.
- Paint only in an open area to avoid inhalation of paint fumes.