Fiberglass canoe paint or gel-coat on budget

Discussion in 'Materials' started by cestevespr, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. cestevespr
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: daytona beach

    cestevespr Junior Member

    I was given a fiberglass canoe It has gel-coat on it but has a nicks and hairline cracks over it. The fiberglass itself is good I had to fix a couple spots on it and now I need to paint it. I was wondering what would I need and how much to fill the scratches of the gelcoat and what would be the least expensive option paint or gel-coat to make it look nicer. This will be used for saltwater fishing and will not be sitting in the water or a showroom. Preferably I would like to spend under 100 if at all possible not including sandpaper or brushes. Also what would I need and how much of it?

    List I have so far
    sandpaper
    foam brushes and rollers
    paint or gelcoat?
    3M vinylester (not sure if I need it or it will work)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. kjones
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: florida

    kjones New Member

    Paint is much easier to apply than gelcoat; gelcoat is more durable. A gallon of gelcoat runs around $100 and covers about 50 sq feet. A marine enamel paint runs around $60 a gallon and will cover a couple hundred sq feet.

    See these links on applying gelcoat and the alternative paints for more details.
    You can use a filler like 3M's Marine Premium Filler for repairs. Just some direction to get you started.
     
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  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Unless you want a showroom finish, you can sand it with #120 and paint it with Rustoleum or other alkyd based paint. Hairline cracks can only be removed by sanding the gelcoat off. Nicks and scratches can be filled with Bondo.
     
  4. cestevespr
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    cestevespr Junior Member

    Is it ok to paint over hairline cracks or add bondo to that after sanding it down? Also will I need to prime it before painting?
     
  5. midnitmike
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    midnitmike Senior Member

    I worked on a small fleet of fiberglass kayaks this summer and before starting had to wrestle with these same questions. My customer wanted cheap and good looking and I tended more toward the philosophy of durable and long lasting. Because of the much higher costs associated with using gelcoat vs paint we settled on what we thought would be the less expensive alternative.

    The kayaks were sanded, spot filled, sprayed with a two part hi-build primer, sanded, sprayed again, sanded, then had three coats of paint applied with a light sanding done between each. The end result was a beautifuly finished boat...exactly what the customer wanted.

    Material costs:
    $95 gal Primer
    $25 tube filler
    $225 gal top Color coat
    $225 gal bottom Color coat
    $225 gal Clear coat

    Given the cost of the material, the labor, and the rather poor durability exhibited by even this fairly expensive paint (you can pay a LOT more BTW) I'm not sure it was all worth it.

    I might be inclined to follow Gonzo's advice here. Use Bondo or one of the 3M products to fill in the scratches followed by a good paint. Keep it simple and enjoy the use of a free canoe.

    MM
     
  6. cestevespr
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    cestevespr Junior Member

    When I paint how long do I have to wait in between coats? I plan on doing several thin coats of paint.
     
  7. midnitmike
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    midnitmike Senior Member

    That's going to depend on the paint and the enviromental conditions at the time. In my instance I had to wait several days (cool and damp) before the paint was tough enough to sand. You'll have to do some research on the paint and the manufacturer's recommendations.

    MM
     
  8. cestevespr
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    cestevespr Junior Member

    what grit sandpaper do I need for filler and in between paint coats and how much of each do I need to purchase 80 and 150? I have a list of what I want to purchase attached I have brushes just let me know what I need what I do not need
     

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  9. midnitmike
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    midnitmike Senior Member

  10. cestevespr
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    cestevespr Junior Member

    not using gelcoat and it doesnt tell you how much of the supplies you will need
     
  11. JTF
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    JTF Junior Member

    I doesn't matter what paint you use it will scratch very easy especially on the keel section. If your going to go to the trouble of a re finishing use gel coat. Very easy to apply at a fraction of the cost of paint. I pay $7.30 per kg of white and you would need about 3-4 kg to spray a 16' canoe. Ad wax in styrene to the gel coat as well. You can use a paint spray gun with a 2.5-3mm tip, a cheap one will be about $60. Once it cures spray a guide coat in it and rub back with 120 dry then 400 wet 600 wet 800 wet then cut with a good compound and polish.
     
  12. cestevespr
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    cestevespr Junior Member

    I am going to see if I can borrow/buy an inexpensive spray gun if not will try the bondo & paint thing. How much wax in styrene will I need?
     
  13. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    I think you can probably go broke painting your canoe by buying expensive marine paints. There are a couple of good alternatives that should make a nice job.
    The first is porch and deck enamel (oil-based) and the second is rustoleum. Yes, marine paint is a bit better quality but this IS a canoe and nobody is going to know you don't have a brand new canoe. Value-wise, non-marine paints are superior by far.
    I'm fairly finicky and that's what I would do.
    Primer is probably a waste of money. You are working on a non-porous surface. If it was wood you'd have to use primer.
    Prep the boat by digging down to green fiberglass along any spider cracks, fill with (as suggested) bondo, sand to 320 and the job will look great.
     
  14. cestevespr
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    cestevespr Junior Member


  15. midnitmike
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    midnitmike Senior Member

    You want to use an epoxy paint that's specifically formulated for concrete floors on your fiberglass canoe?

    If you're going to shop at Lowes why not at least do this:

    http://www.lowes.com/SearchCatalogD...gId=10051&N=0&newSearch=true&Ntt=marine paint

    MM
     
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