How to Paint an Outboard Motor on a Yamaha

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to Paint an Outboard Motor on a Yamaha
Get back on the water with a shiny new engine. (family boat image by Xavier MARCHANT from

An outboard engine takes a lot of abuse from moisture in the air, frequent handling and baking in the sun. Your Yamaha engine was an expensive investment. Like most people, you probably want to keep your engine looking brand new even after a number of summers on the lake. Painting your engine is a way to get that brand-new engine shine without the new engine price.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Low-tack painter's tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Scrub sponge
  • Water
  • Putty
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint
  • Spray sealer

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  1. 1

    Cover any parts of the Yamaha engine that you don't want to paint with low-tack painter's tape. Cover the decals as well if you want to protect them from paint.

  2. 2

    Clean the engine thoroughly with a degreasing cleaner. Oils from the engine will ruin your paint job and cause the paint to bead on top of the engine. Scrub the engine with a scrub sponge. Rinse with clean water.

  3. 3

    Sand the entire outboard engine with fine-grit sandpaper. Your goal is to create texture on the surface of the engine so that the primer will adhere to the surface. Use a 400- to 600-grit paper. Wipe away all sanding dust with a damp rag.

  4. 4

    Fill gouges with a two-part putty. Spread the putty into the gouge until the area is filled and smooth out along the top of the engine. Allow the putty to dry. Use sandpaper to remove the excess putty.

  5. 5

    Prime the engine with a thin coat of primer. Choose a primer that is formulated for marine uses. Apply the primer using a steady, back-and-forth motion. Go back over the same area multiple times with a light spray until the entire surface is well-coated. Allow the first coat of primer to dry for four hours. Inspect the engine for bumps, ridges and drip marks. Sand the outboard engine with fine-grit sandpaper to work out any imperfections. Wipe away the sanding dust with a damp rag.

  6. 6

    Apply additional coats of primer by repeating the previous step until the surface of the engine is flawless. Allow the final coat of primer to dry for four hours.

  7. 7

    Spray the engine with a thin coat of spray paint. Work the spray can back and forth in a steady stream. Allow the paint to dry for two days. Place a piece of 600-grit sandpaper under running water. Sand the engine to remove any peeling or bumps in the paint job. Wipe clean. Repeat the painting and sanding process until all of the imperfections are gone and the painted finish is flawless.

  8. 8

    Spray the engine with a light layer of clear coat. Allow the sealer to dry. Wet a piece of 1,000-grit sandpaper and buff the surface gently. Apply an additional coat of sealer.

  9. 9

    Let the outboard engine cure for seven to 10 days before handling.

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