Menu Close

Re-painting a narrowboat: Preparation


The time has come to turn our attention to our narrowboat Lark Rise III. As we would like to rent her on an accommodation only basis she is in need of re-painting. The hull also needs re-blacking. With an upturn in the weather, it was an ideal time to get started.

Accommodation as an extra income

I lived on Lark Rise III before I met Sarah. But once we had decided that we would move in together and get married, we both felt a narrowboat was too small for the two of us. Hence we bought Sk├╗tsje to live on. For most of the first year with lots of work to do on our barge, Lark Rise wasn’t used much. We made the odd trip to the other side of the marina to pick up heavy items from the van and turned her engine over occasionally but that was about all.

However, last May, with the barge still in chaos, we decided to go downstream for the weekend on the narrowboat. The weather was wonderful, and we had a great time. But we also discussed the potential of renting her out on an accommodation only basis.

The first task: grind off all the old paint and rust

There isn’t much that you can do about painting the outside of a narrowboat in the Winter. Generally, it is either too wet. Or it is too cold for the paint to dry properly. But with a window of opportunity in February with a week of sunny weather, I made a start with grinding off any loose paint and rust spots. Here I am making a start in the video below.

Grinding off the old paint and rust spots on Lark Rise III

Applying an undercoat

Once the thankless task of getting rid of the loose paint and rust is complete you need to apply an undercoat. There are a number of companies that produce appropriate paint for a narrowboat. We chose to use paint from Jotun. Their Vinyguard paint is a good choice as it is a rust inhibitor as well as an undercoat. The Jotun website has information on the best way to prepare your boat and apply Jotun paint. Here is the bow section after a couple of coats of Vinyguard.

The bow with two coats of silver grey Jotun Vinyguard undercoat applied

One side of her has had one coat of paint so far. But rain and plummeting temperatures have stopped any work outside again. So for now, we look out to a narrowboat that looks more at home at sea with the navy rather than on the Upper Thames.

Lark Rise in her current painted state of battleship grey

Next time, we will report more of what is happening on the inside. Plus how we have managed to find some help with her renovation at no extra cost.


scroll to top