How to Remove Anti-Foul Paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Anti-foul paint, or bottom paint, is applied to the hull of a boat to protect against contamination. The growth of barnacles and other organisms can impede performance and affect durability. Removing anti-foul paint can be tedious using traditional cleaning techniques, but it can be accomplished with an effective solvent and the appropriate tools.

Choose a paint stripper intended for removing anti-foul paint from fibreglass. This eco-friendly solvent can safely be applied to the hull of a boat and is available online and at hardware stores.

Wash the surface with a commercial hull cleaner. Prepare the solution according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply it to the boat with a large, soft sponge to remove all loose dirt or residue.

Rinse the hull cleaner with water from a bucket or hose. Follow up with dry towels to prepare the hull for the paint stripper.

Use a brush, roller or special applicator to apply an even coat of the paint stripper. Follow instructions on the product label for specific application methods as well as the recommended waiting period for the solvent to dissolve the anti-foul.

Loosen the softened anti-foul paint with a scraper or putty knife until it has been cleanly lifted from the hull. Rinse the excess paint and chemicals from the boat with running water, then let the surface air-dry for 24 hours before applying a new coat.

Things You'll Need

  • Anti-foul paint stripper
  • Hull cleaner
  • Large sponge
  • Dry towels
  • Paint scraper or putty knife
  • Water
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