Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

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weasel
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby weasel » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:53 am

So automotive paint can be used? If it has the UV protector in it and the hard outside shiny shell finish, then there is no need for any other coating to cover it correct.

I have bought the fiberglass how to book, but haven't quite got to that point yet. Thanks a bunch!

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steveh41
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby steveh41 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:55 am

Dave,

Thanks for starting this informative thread... lots of needed info for those of us who are a little uncertain about the best way to finish our builds and want to get it right the first time. Another example of the power of this forum to bring together and share ideas and experience. :D

Regards,

Steve
The longest journey begins with a single step… then repeat as necessary!

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Dave Grason
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Dave Grason » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:03 pm

weasel wrote:So automotive paint can be used? If it has the UV protector in it and the hard outside shiny shell finish, then there is no need for any other coating to cover it correct.


Yes, I believe that you are absolutely correct! And I want to prove it.

I personally am of the 100% belief that automotive paint will work just fine in a marine environment. But again, there is a certain amount of misinformation on this subject and I really want to either prove that it CAN be used or it CAN'T. I will be painting my Zip using BASF's R-M automotive paint just to see. I had good results spraying my car. Slug is enthusiastic about DuPont's paint. I've also shot DuPont Nasen and I have gotten fine results ... but not on a boat just yet.

There is something about this subject that I don't think a lot of people give much thought to. And this is that, IF we find that automotive paints will work just fine, we will also find an entirely new world of possibilities open up to us. There is no marine paint manufacturer that I know of that makes a metallic or metal flake paint. Any boat that sports such a look has the metallic mixed in with the gelcoat on a fiberglass boat. But PPG, DuPont and others all make custom show paints that are just stunning to see and would look fantastic on some of our boat projects, IMHO. In fact, if you want to have some fun, just go look at the House of Kolor website. Be prepared to be blown away if you're not familiar with their offerings.

http://www.houseofkolor.com/homepage/

Someone, some where offers candy colors that can be applied to engines. In the future, I want to put a Small Block Chevy in my Mist Miss. Traditionally, Chevrolet engines have always been painted orange. I think it would be REALLY cool to have my SBC painted CANDY orange. Then the intake manifold and the water jacketed exhaust manifolds could be polished aluminum while all the brackets get chromed. Lines would all be anodized and braided aircraft hose. As we all know, any inboard boat should have the hatch or other covers opened up before firing the engine up after it's been sitting for a while. What better time than to have that show piece engine drawing a crowd? LOL.

BTW, as a side note, you folks do know of course, that most manufacturers of fiberglass boats that put so much metal flake into the gelcoat that their products looked like Christmas trees going down the lake... did it because metal flake does a good job of hiding shoddy fiberglass work. Something to keep in mind. :P
Last edited by Dave Grason on Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Dave Grason » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:19 pm

Here I go, double posting again. Sorry but I just thought of something.

While we're building this thread and establishing a reference of sorts, we should also make sure to differentiate between boats that get trailered and boats that spend their down time moored in a marina. If there is ANYONE that has a boat that they keep moored at a marina and they've had problems with bottom coats not holding up as planned, please chime in so that we can all learn.

Referring back to my first post in this thread, it is my understanding that any trailerable boat will do fine with automotive paint below the waterline. This even includes boats who may be moored part of a boating season - weeks or a few months - at a marina and then be taken out at the end of the summer. I also believe that a boat's sitting on it's bunks on the trailer will not have any adverse effect on a good quality automotive paint either.

Some one step in here if I'm wrong. But PLEASE don't give anecdotal evidence, meaning, don't tell us about some guy that you know that had such and such happen to HIM! What we need here is to hear from folks with FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE! 8)
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Aussie
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Aussie » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:03 pm

Hi Dave,

Great to see the support for the Automotive paint as I am 100% in supporting this paint for use.
Like you have said paint products have improved and changing all the time, technology is getting better all the time. Paints that were considered to be
the ducks guts yester-year are not always the go now days (People need to change with the times).

I have always been involved with spaying cars from a young age and the difference in the change of Automotive paints is unbelievable, they are now so much easier to use and easy to get a good clean result.

I came about the decision to go with the Auto paint over a marine product after taking with a PPG representative, as they didn't do the colors that i wanted in the marine he said whats wrong with the Automotive range? I said well marine is marine and Automotive for cars. Well he laughed and said is that right. He asked me to tell him what the difference was between the Polyurethane 2 pac Marine paint and the Automotive range, well i didnt know the correct answer so this is the response i got from the rep.

No 1. Price - Anything marine they put extra mark up on.
No 2. Marine limited to more traditional color range.
No 3. They are both Polyurethane 2 pac
No 4. Automotive range of colors are endless.
No 5. He said where do most cars sit in there life time (Out in the elements).

He basically summed it up by saying that why pay for the marine if it is not the color you are after?

Well that was good enough for me so i bought my paint from PPG for the Belle Isle Automotive Polyurethane 2 pac Metalic pearl white for the bottom and Metalic brown for the sides. Along with all the essentials Primer (White) mixing cups, staining cups (A must have item)and top coat Poly 2 pac clear coat.

AS I am painting the sides as well as the bottom and on a large boat i did need quite a bit of product (The Pearl comes with a base coat and top coat then clear over that so it was the most expensive) All up with paints, primer cups, strainers, thinners hardeners etc it came to $1,280. But that is in Australian dollars so dont be to scarred by that.

So my paint process went like this 1. Hull coated in epoxy 4 times and sanded between.
2. 2 Pac primer (White in color) applied to hull and sanded. (Any imperfections found were further filled)
3. Wet sanded the hull down to 400 grit as per the recommendations of PPG.
4. Masked the water line and covered the sides of hull to enable painting bottom of hull.
5. Painted base coat on in 3 coats, 3 x coats for top coat pearl, followed by 3 coats of clear (total paint time to
complete the 9 coats on the bottom of hull was about just over an hour) benefit of spraying.
6. let sit for a week and masked the bottom ready to paint sides (Transom remained unpainted).
7. Applied 3 x base coat of metallic brown and 3 coats of clear ( less than 1 hour to paint).

Some photos attached of the paint steps and the finish, paint has now been on hull for 2 years and has been bumped and had stuff dropped on it epoxy dribbles they have been wiped off and the paint hasn't got as much as a scratch on it)


Jamie
Attachments
43.jpg
Masked ready for pearl white bottom
46.jpg
Pearl white base coat, top coat and clear
47.jpg
Masked ready for sides

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Aussie
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Aussie » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:05 pm

A few more photos.

Jamie
Attachments
49.jpg
Freshly painted sides
54.jpg
Color in the sun
61.jpg
General pic

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mrintense
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby mrintense » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:14 pm

I am seeing a lot of mention of automotive paints and I get the arguments for its use. However, one thing I am not seeing too much of is application methods. There are side references to spraying the finish, but my question is, can these beautiful auto paints be rolled and tipped. Spraying for me is probably going to be a non starter, yet I am also having difficulty coming up with paint colors I am interested in with marine paints.

So can we also include discussion about whether a paint type is suitable for spraying as well as roll and tip? and if so, how is the paint prepped?

Love this thread by the way. Lots of useful info here.
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise named "Some Other Time"

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Aussie
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Aussie » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:33 pm

Carl,

Roll and tip would be out for the metallic colors i imagine that it would end up patchy as it needs to go on from the spray (I have in the past tried to remove a bug that landed on the metallic, where he had crawled he had left a distinct trail and when i wiped him out it left a very uneven mix of metallic and color).

As far as roll and tip on the automotive paint i cant comment as i have always sprayed.

A half decent gravity fed low pressure gun doesn't cost much, dont know if you have a compressor or not but you might have a friend with one?

Spaying is something that i learnt from the age of 14 years old so it is the only option for me.

Some else may have tried roll and tip with the Automotive paint.

Yes color range in the marine is very limited. Got any colors in mind yet Carl?

Jamie

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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby mrintense » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:49 pm

Aussie wrote:Carl,

Roll and tip would be out for the metallic colors i imagine that it would end up patchy as it needs to go on from the spray (I have in the past tried to remove a bug that landed on the metallic, where he had crawled he had left a distinct trail and when i wiped him out it left a very uneven mix of metallic and color).

As far as roll and tip on the automotive paint i cant comment as i have always sprayed.

A half decent gravity fed low pressure gun doesn't cost much, dont know if you have a compressor or not but you might have a friend with one?

Spaying is something that i learnt from the age of 14 years old so it is the only option for me.

Some else may have tried roll and tip with the Automotive paint.

Yes color range in the marine is very limited. Got any colors in mind yet Carl?

Jamie


I'll add something to my build thread regarding my color choices. As for rolling and tipping, I would only attempt that with solid colors (not metallics). I actually have a old school spray gun and an air compressor, but I am reluctant to spray in my garage because of the overspray. also, don't these paints require special safety equipment?
Carl
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Aussie
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Aussie » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:27 pm

Carl,

I used some drop sheets to cover the tools etc, there wasn't much over spray at all in fact i was quite surprised.

I used the normal type of PPE (Personnel Protective Equipment) Ear plugs, clear safety glasses and a good quality P2 mask.

Only place i did get some over spray was along the floor at the edge of boat.

Worth considering, a new gun and away you go :D :D

Jamie

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Dave Grason
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Dave Grason » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:15 pm

I'm with Jamie. With automotive paints, spraying is really the only application method. So here is one area where marine paints have an advantage. They can be applied by someone with no more equipment than a roller and brush. HOWEVER, I do have some paint left over and I have my test panel that I used to set up my spray gun. When the weather warms up a little, I will sand down my test panel and I will see how rolling and tipping will work with automotive paint.

Aussie wrote: I have in the past tried to remove a bug that landed on the metallic, where he had crawled he had left a distinct trail and when i wiped him out it left a very uneven mix of metallic and color.


I have learned at least this much with base coat/clear coat systems. The base coat dries REALLY fast ... like in 10 minutes to the touch. With the BASF R-M paint, I could clear coat over the base in one to two hours. This fast drying means that bugs don't have a whole lot of time to kamikaze themselves into the paint. The clear coat, on the other hand, dries considerably slower. When I recently painted my car, I had a number of bugs land in it here and there. I also had some dirt in some places and there were some places where the spray gun spit or dripped. But I knew that I would have these problems ahead of time and I had planned for this. I bought enough extra clear to pile on at least four rather heavy coats. I did this so that I could sand down the clear to make it darn near perfect. Of course, you will lose some thickness when you do this so that's why I sprayed on extra coats. So, the next day, I wet sanded the entire car by hand starting with 1500 grit paper. I worked up to 2000 grit and then to 2500. This completely knocked off the gloss but it also got rid of ALL the boo boos, bugs, dirt, drips etc. Then I finished by buffing everything with Wizards Mystic Polish. Buffing with a good buffing compound that is made for power buffing brings all the gloss right back. It's AMAZING!! Here's a link to the buffing compound that I used:

http://wizardsproducts.com/mystic-polish-32-oz/

Harbor Freight has a cheap buffer that is actually really superb. This is because there is a speed control. Harbor Freight also has some really good buffing pads. Here's a link for the buffer:

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-in-10-am ... 62861.html

I would start out buffing a panel at a really slow speed so that I didn't sling buffing compound all over the place. As the compound would get worked onto the paint and I didn't have to worry about slinging it around, I would speed up the buffer. I ended up with a really smooth finish that was also super glossy. I'll take some photos and post them as soon as I can.

Here is a link showing the pad that I used:

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-1-2-wool ... g-pad.html
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Andy Garrett
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Andy Garrett » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:43 am

This is a good subject Dave, and one that should be discussed for the benefit of the new guys and gals.

I will add this:
The purpose of your paint should guide you decisions. Now, that seems like a simple question, but it isn't.
If you are painting the bottom of a boat that will stay in the water while stored, you are miles away from a trailered Zip that hits the water 3 or 4 times year.
If you destinations are clean water and soft sandy beaches, that will demand less abrasion resistance than unpadded docks and rocky shores.
My Zip was painted using the toughest (not the easiest and certainly not the cheapest) stuff I could find, because I fully intended my little boat to be used and used hard. Supermarine Ironsides was my choice, and I have not regretted it.

I will also add this:
Artistry is important. Boats are elegant things with shapely lines that invoke movement and style. The paint schemes we use should not just cover the surfaces, but accentuate them. If your boat is best served aesthetically by a multicolored scheme on the top deck that will receive little wear, does it require expensive, high abrasion paint?
My 2007 Harley was a Sheriff's patrol bike in its previous life. I bought it in Florida, and rode it home to Kansas. On that ride, I learned to hate the green color and dreamed of how I might change it. For the entertainment of my grandsons, I purchased $600 of House of Kolor products and painted it in blue and red flames like Optimus Prime of the Transformers movies. After I was run down and the expensive paint destroyed, I decided to go a very different route. With a full suite of HVLP equipment sitting in a bin, I painted my beloved HD with Krylon rattle cans in a military theme. Why? When I was in the Army, that's how we painted our vehicles. We kept the paint fresh with rattle cans. If they got dinged or scratched, it just added to the character.
I suspect that my bike doesn't have the most durable coating, and will suffer from things like spilled fuel, but it allowed me to be artistic and meet the durability needs of the design. (Disclaimer: I would never use Krylon on a boat's hull, but maybe elsewhere on a boat--the right boat.)
IMAG3749.jpg


Moral of the story:
Know your needs. If you don't require antifouling bottom paint, don't buy it because some intrepid 'expert' talked you into it. If you are on the fence about abrasion resistance, maybe consider opting for the stronger stuff. Get a grip on what you plan to do with your boat, and make a realistic choice.
Andy Garrett

Perhaps the slowest Zip build in Glen-L history...

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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby joshuab » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:54 pm

I rolled and tipped my bottom paint (interlux brightsides) but have planned from the start to spray all my bright work in auto clear, there are a couple zips on this forum that were done this way, allen fullerton did it on his deck and it turned out beautiful, i have no doubt it will hold up fine, look beautiful and equally important be maintenance free
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Dave Grason
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby Dave Grason » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:30 pm

Andy Garrett wrote: I purchased $600 of House of Kolor products...


WOW~! You got off cheap! HOK stuff is EXPENSIVE!

I like your idea of using spray cans for those items that are not needing high quality paint jobs. With a little prep work, some careful masking and good spray techniques, it is amazing the quality that spray cans can deliver these days. I've even sprayed clear coat with spray cans and gotten great results.

joshuab wrote: ...have planned from the start to spray all my bright work in auto clear ... look beautiful and equally important be maintenance free


It's for certain that a good automotive clear will outshine and out last varnish. Gone will be those days of having to re-varnish that wooden boat every couple of seasons.
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Re: Let's demystify some of these boat finishes

Postby hoodman » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:34 am

Since this thread is primarily focused on spraying. Could someone talk about the equipment required to get into spraying? For example there are a lot of affordable compressors over at HFT and the reviews seem to suggest that people have used them to paint cars. If I could get completely set up to spray for around $300 I think it might be worth it. Otherwise I think it might be better to either choose a paint that can be rolled/brushed on or just take the hull to a pro to shoot it.


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