custom paint

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by micknjo, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. micknjo
    Joined: Apr 2014
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    micknjo New Member

    I want to custom paint my 17ft speed boat. The only paint I can find to give the finish I want is automotive paint. All the marine paints are just solid block colours no candies metallics or flip paints. Can anyone tell me how I can either use these paints and seal them or what products I can use.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The description "marine" on a paint is simply marketing. What type of surface are you painting? Any linear urethane or polyurethane should work fine.
     
  3. micknjo
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    micknjo New Member

    Fibreglass. Automotive paint isn't designed to be dragged through water at 40+mph
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    All PWCs (jetskis) have been painted with urethane enamel for decades. Airplanes and trucks (lorries) get much more abuse than water splashing on a boat, and get years of service. A vehicle going through rain at 100 MPH has no problem with its paint. Most marine paint is alkyd enamels, which is rather soft and not too durable. Thus, boats get repainted every couple of years. Polyurethane paints. like IMRON, are formulated for application on the field. They have a huge range of reducers, accelerators, retarders, etc. to adjust for weather conditions.
     
  5. micknjo
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    micknjo New Member

    Have you tried to put your hand in the water when doing 40+mph there is a lot more friction there than if you hold your hand out of a car windows at the same speed. Salt water is even worse. It will peel automotive paint off in seconds. This is why I asked if there is anyway of sealing my paint finish.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    There are lots of choices, but automotive style paints fall into the two categories Gonzo has mentioned (at least in first world countries), acrylic urethane and polyurethane (LPU's). These work fine on boats and have been used for decades (well the LPU's have). Under the waterline, these paints work just fine, unless moored or berthed for extended periods. The LPU's where developed for the noses of jet aircraft. Imagine running up to 150 MPH on a slightly sandy runway, just would happen to the paint, if it wasn't tough enough. You can take the advice and move on or fall into an unsubstantiated argument about resin and vehicle formulations, that are a bit out of the grasp of the average user's understanding.

    Yes, you're correct in that there are some significant differences in the formulations, between marine and automotive LPU's or urethane, but these mostly have to do with mold, mildew and marine growth additives (some elasticity and elongation additives, plus other stuff too). The base chemistry is still very similar, though quite often the marine formulations have a higher solids and comparatively lower vehicle content. This difference is typically 10% or less, between the two formulations. Automotive formulations also tend to used less volatile vehicles as well, though these also tend to be "hotter".

    Splitting the hairs in these formulations takes some chemical understanding and often you can figure out what is what, with the MSDA/TDS sheets. I know some manufactures simply rebadge industrial coatings for other industries, but most dedicated marine coating formulators, are using enough modifiers to physically change the resulting product for the marine environment, which of course you pay for.

    As to the color and style of finishes available, the marine market is quite small compared to the automotive, so selection is understandably slim. The marine industry has found vinyl stickers to be a more cost effective alternative, so the paint folks aren't in a hurry to offer anything cool looking. Simply put, if you're a painter, you can add flake to pretty much anything. You can also squirt a pearl over something too, so the the options are there, though you'll have to do the formulation, rather then strain it from a can, into your gun.
     
  7. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    Why are you here. You are getting good advice then dismissing it. No point asking if you know more than the people you are asking.
     
  8. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Well, yes, the idea of that auto paint peeling off in seconds is an over-dramatisation !
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Come to think about it, what kind of paint, technically speaking, is typically used on outboard and sterndrive legs ? The touch-up spray cans sure aren't 2-pack, and I doubt make different to auto touch-up cans. And some are metal flake. The OP needs to talk to a paint supplier who sell the fancy colour he wants, and enquire into its adaptability for his task.
     
  10. micknjo
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    micknjo New Member

    Sorry to sound so negative but I don't want to spend a fortune on paint 100s of hours of prep and painting just to ruin it first time out
     

  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Outdrives and outboards use acrylic enamel.
     
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