Best budget topside paint

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Jetboy, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I'm nearing completion and paint on a small trimaran project. I need some paint. What are the collective opinions on the best value in topside paint for a trailer sailer - probably will be sailed 10-15 days per year, rest of the time live under a good quality boat cover on a trailer.

    I'm looking right now at Total Boat topside paint and primer set. I see a lot of powerboat folks seem to like the Rustoleum pant - and it's really inexpensive. I bought a quart of primer and paint just to do a test panel on some scrap from building to see how it looks.

    What would you all suggest using? I have a full spray setup for both airless and gravity feed. I've painted cars and was a painter in a previous life - 15 years ago. So I'm comfortable with spraying - probably prefer it to rolling at least for top coats. But I'm doing my best to keep this boat a budget build.

    The hull is nearly finished fairing with epoxy/micro. And the floats are Nacra 5.2 - so they will be cleaned with a wax/oil remover, then sanded gel coat, then primed.

    What product should I use?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    The other product I've looked at is the "blue water" brand stuff. They have a two part polyurethane paint that is around $80/gal.
     
  3. 7228sedan
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    7228sedan Senior Member

    I've used Rustoleum's Marine topside paint, as well as Interlux Brightsides in Roll/Tip application. I just finished my first ever HVLP spray using Brightsides. The Rustoleum was a great first try however there is no real comparison... The Brightsides levels out MUCH nicer while the Rustoleum did leave brush marks after tipping off. The Brightsides is a much harder paint once it cures as well. These are both 1 part paints meaning aside from thinning, they apply as is. Any 2 part poly paint will be that much harder once cured. If you're comfortable spraying, try out the Rustoleum. Just be mindful that it scratches/scuffs off quite easily. if the budget allows, I'd advise the step up to a harder paint to prevent frequent re-coating at the trailer bunk/roller locations.
     
  4. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    To go back to your roots, there are a fair number of guys who use Imron. You get a lot of the perks of a 2-part paint, without the $200/gal price tag of marine 2-part paints.

    That said, I used Brightsides on the 1st boat which I did, inside & out, & it turned out & held up quite well. Just a roll, or roll & tip application, depending on where I was putting it.

    Likely you know, but the biggest thing in painting, is the quality of the prep. After that, just make sure that the various components used are compatible, & then pick what you want to use.
     
  5. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I searched for Imron and from what I've been able to find out it seems that unfortunately Imron is now used as a generic name by Dupont and has a lot of products called "Imron". Not sure which one is the best or a good choice. I've read that Imron you buy today isn't the same paint it was 10 years ago, but it's just a re-use of the old name for an industrial coating.

    Any idea how what's what with respect to modern day Imron?
     
  6. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Use an oil based house paint.
    If you really want budget.

    I used it on SOF kayaks and have been happy after being completely upset with a typical boat paint. $30/gal vs $100/gal helped also (and another $100 for primer).
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I use alkyd enamel from any major brand. They hold up fine.
     
  8. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    Second Gonzo's suggestion, but also want to add that you already have great knowledge from your past work.

    I used Nason, sprayed the whole thing myself and it's beautiful! People keep stopping by to say so.

    In white, it's about $100/gal. In custom Lamborghini tints like I used, $250/gal.

    Sprayed it with a high end Devilbiss.

    Paint is very hard, glossy.
     
  9. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    So...

    I've called around to a few paint stores and looked around the interwebs. I think I've narrowed it down to going with either toatalboat (jamestown Distributing) one part polyurethane topside paint ($80/gal) or a two part polyurethane fleet paint like Imron. Specifically it will likely be either Axalta product. Axalta used to be Dupont and has half a dozen Imron branded paints and one called "Rival" which is a bit cheaper. Or a house brand for National Coatings. The big advantage for me of the Imron or Rival paints is that I can buy a gallon of white and save back a quart. Then when I finish painting, which I should have a good bit left over, I can have it tinted to the accent colors I want. I was planning a light grey and red design for the hull sides. So I should be able to do it all out of a gallon of paint rather than having to buy a gallon of white, a quart of red, and a quart of grey. Assuming they all use the same base, which I think they can.

    I'm planning to coat the whole boat in primer first - maybe two coats to smooth out any sanding and swirl marks from fairing. Then shoot two or three coats of white. Then once cured - a week? It's going to be 100* during the day and very low humidity since I live in the desert. Perfect for painting. The shop is about 70 in the morning. I can paint, wait till it tacks, then roll it out into the sun to bake.

    Does that sound like a good plan?
     
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    At the temperature your shop is, Imron can be taped after 2 hours or so if you use accelerator 8989S.
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The local guys like Imron...best bang for the buck.
     
  12. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Imron is not what I call "Budget".
     
  13. Canracer
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Canracer Senior Member

    Rust-Oleum Topside is very inexpensive and many guys have used it and are very happy with it (for the price.)

    Total Boat might be slightly more expensive and it might level slightly better, I just don't know. The quality might fit somewhere between the Rust-Oleum and the Brightsides.

    Interlux Brightsides is good paint and It's not extremely expensive but it isn't cheap either. Because my boat is stored inside and not used frequently, I chose the Rust-Oleum. It will last a couple years and if I don't like it after that period of time, I'll sand it off and try something else (it's that inexpensive.)

    [​IMG]

    After the primer.
    [​IMG]

    I used it for a new bottom.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  14. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    Looks great canracer!

    FWIW, I bought a can of the rustoleum to do a sample piece. I also bought a gallon of the totalboat topside primer. It was $70. A quart of Rustoleum is $22, so a gallon of total boat is actually cheaper if you have a lot of boat to paint. And since this is the first painting, I'll probably need a couple primer coats plus some filling between to get rid of some imperfections I'm sure to find during the process.

    Although my boat is only 18' long, it's got a cabin and a number of storage areas that will need to be painted - not to mention three hulls. So I figured I'd probably need about a gallon of primer and about two or three quarts of topside paint. I'll paint a scrap panel in the rustoleum and see how it goes.
     

  15. Canracer
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Canracer Senior Member

    22 dollars for a quart of Rust-Oleum sounds high. I think I paid about $12 at Lowes.
     
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