Originally Posted by ilelboat
Would like brand name, testamonials of paints used for old rusty steel boat. Any tips and suggestions would be appreciated.
I highly recommend DEVOE coatings for steel. They are formulated for industrial purposes, e.g Devguard 4160 primer, Devthane 389 topcoat (gloss) urethane. Google DEVOE paints to find dealers in your area. These are 2-part paints, high quality, fairly expensive, and provide the best appearance when sprayed on. It would be a waste of time and $ to use them unless you are prepared to do the job properly i.e. have the boat sandblasted to a white appearance. Sandblast only as much at one time as you can follow up with a coat of primer paint within 4 hours of sandblasting (oxidation [rusting] begins after 4 hours, even though you can't see it). A great feature of these urethane paints is that scratches, etc. can be easily repaired by the amateur - sand 3-4" on either side of scratch to primer coat, brush or roll on finish coat, sand with increasingly fine wetsand (up to 2000), followed by rubbing compound worked with an electric polisher, and presto - you will never know that there had been any damage. I am the owner of a 28' steel sloop, and even though the Devoe paint was applied seven years ago, it still looks like it came off the factory floor yesterday, and most people are surprised to learn that it is not made out of fiberglass, with its flawless high gloss finish.
If you are not up to having the boat sandblasted, then I would recommend removing as much old paint and rust as possible using a grinder with wire brush, followed by a rust inhibiting paint such as Tremclad. Keep in mind, however that there will be a world of difference in both appearance and longevity between the two approaches.
Good luck with your project.