My 30' sailboat suffered some minor damage and faded gelcoat on the topsides so I decided it was time to paint.
I have spent literally hundreds of hours getting every thing perfect and am now down to putting on the topcoat.
The 545 has been sanded fair down to 400 grit. I have Wooster Candy Stripe rollers ( the mohair 1/4" nap) and Wooster Jaguar Ultro/Pro Soft brushes.
The paint is dark green.
I put on the first coat and it looked awful. Bugs, dust, sags, runs, and a whole lot of deep brush marks.
It was determined that way to much paint was put on and not nearly carefully enough.
I sanded down the paint all the way through the brush marks and still had enough green that the coat then looked about as translucent as it should have been.
I then carefully tarped the boat all the way to the ground and put on another coat. I put it on much more thin and spread the paint out about as far as it would go. I got about 90% less bugs and dust and no runs or sags.
The brush marks were much finer but still everywhere. When I say everywhere I mean every place the brush touched you can see it. I would say the paint flowed out to about 80% and then stopped.
I tried several things and brushed just as absolutely as lightly as I could. In some places I only broke out the bubbles and now you can see brush marks and roller stipple in the same place ( I can't brush any more lightly than that). I tried rolling on the paint and then waiting a few minutes and rolling it again (this just added more bubbles). I tried brushing with the brush at a 30 degree angle and then coming back over it immediately with the brush perpendicular ( this seemed a little better). And finally I tried tipping horizontally with no better results.
I have several questions.
Firstly, am I going to do better with foam brushes and rollers? I got the best brushes and rollers I could find but I'm gettting millions of bubbles and it seems like the brush clumps a little so I have hundreds of big bristles instead of thousands of individual ones.
If I just keep sanding these coats down through the brush marks and building some depth of paint is it going to be okay when I finally get it right or should I get the paint all the way off?
Is there something I can do to get this to flow a little better? Its thinned to 30% now.
Should the brush be kept in reducer or something else while I'm rolling?
I would like to wet the lot under the boat to help reduce dust but will this raise the humidity level inside my tent? It's running about 50% by the water anyway.
Clean up. At $115 a gallon for reducer I would like to use something cheaper for cleaning brushes and stuff. Any suitable alternatives?
Also I have used west system all over the boat for filling and fairing and it all looks perfect except for two tiny screw holes on the transom that won't take paint. I could sand and prime again but I don't know if I could mix two drops of 545 primer and then I would have some left over. Something else to put there?
I am an anal retentive perfectionist by the way but no one who has looked at this paint has said it looks acceptable. I just hate to put this many hours in and not get that last mile.
Thanking you in advance
Sounds like you have to buy your paint from the captive store at the yard, right? Further it sounds like you might be painting out in the sun with a dark color. The surface will heat up quickly and stop the paint from flowing. This happens when you spray too, but it's just not near as ugly. There is no easy solution. You could try painting early in the day, but you have to try to dry the surface off first. There is usually less bugs then, also. Later in the days is a less attractive option since you are in a race against the onset of the dew. Dew will absolutely ruin uncured Awl-Grip.
I don't have a magic bullet for this, I'm sorry
I would reduce to 25%. Don't go too thin- the paint needs body.
I roll out with a 3/16" roller. The roller has to be well rolled out in the pan to get the paint load down. The amount put on boat is still about 6 square feet. I roll and tip by myself. I tip vertically. I have two brushes ready and throw out the first as I pass the stem. Don't try to cover in one coat. You will need to sand out for the second coat (one of the pains as apposed to spray). It takes some time to find the correct brush- needs to be a very fine bristle and not so heavy as a badger type varnish brush. Sand out your bad coats till you have no brush marks left- 220 and a quick pass with 320 is fine for this.
The key with roll and tip work is to lay down a good paint film with the roller. Roll out the roller in the pan to get the paint load down. Roll on the paint in the area you KNOW you can cover well with the paint on roller (~6'). Back roll once to settle paint film and tip right away. It takes some time to learn to do right The tip brush needs a light touch- too deep of an angle or to rough and you will cut furrows in the paint film which can not settle (same is true for too course of a brush or a brush which is not fresh or too wet). You need to move fast. I roll and tip a forty foot sailboat of low freeboard in less than an hour. It takes some time to get up to speed but awlgrip is a very good product for brush work on large surfaces like hulls. The work can equal or surpass most spray jobs if you nail it. Personally I now spray everything but did a number of hulls roll and tip before I got around to buying the gear for spray.
The just tipped paint should look like a sheet of water on the hull. If you see brush marks it has too little paint or bad brush/brush work. Too much paint and the runs start. Good ideal to look over your shoulder to catch runs before they 'set'.
Just use acetone to clean up.
Don't use foam anything.
Paint at 77 degrees w/humidity less than 45%
Just found this roll/tip link in another thread:
Thanks for the tips.
As I was sanding this coat off I noticed that the side that didn't get as much sun (through the tarp) looked better, so I am going to try and cover it better until I'm ready to roll.
One more thing. Since I have some build up of paint now do I need to continue until I have a perfect coat and nothing showing through, or do I need to get 3 more good coats on?
Film build and color hiding are no longer an issue. Just make it pretty. I know that when spraying, you can't get the paint to lay down just right with only one coat regardless of how many cured coats are underneath. But since you are brushng, it's a bit different.
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