Need suggestion on paint

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by pctongfcbcdalla, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. pctongfcbcdalla
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: Dallas, TX

    pctongfcbcdalla Junior Member

    I am a first time boat builder.
    I purchased a 14' skiff marine plywood kits, fiberglass tape, fiberglass cloth, epoxy resin to build the skiff. It comes to the end stage. The boat look nice with some bubbles. I have done everything I know with advice from the forum to make it fair. I am looking for white paint to cover the whole boat. It seems there are many choices of marine paint. Some are very expensive. I am in Dallas. Would you give me some advise about what kind of paint to be used on the boat? I want to paint it white. Can I find paint from home depot, walmart or other store that fit for the boat job? I saw at the automobile department of Walmart paint for fiberglass cars. Would it good for boat?
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    Quality high gloss latex exterior paint should work just fine. the companies that make house paint have large R and D departments, people want paint that will hold up to sun and weather on their houses. they have developed some tough and durable paints for just such a use, and they work fine on a boat. However Latex does not have good abrasion resistance for when you might land your boat on a sandy beach, but it is easy to touch up regularly. I have also used oil based high gloss paint from the big box stores with good results, though oil based paint is getting more difficult to find.

    Boat paint is made in much smaller batches by much smaller companies and do not have the resources to develop new and more durable formulations. Most of the marine paint suppliers use traditional formulations, not necessarily better, but more typical of what the marine industry is used to using. I have heard by some professional boat painters that price is not any indication of durability.

    Pay your money and take your chances. I am personally not convinced that the costly marine finishes are any better than high quality exterior house paint.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've tested marine and house paints against each other. In the marine environment, every single marine paint outperformed the house paint version, in all the ways we measure them. This said, in some cases the results were close enough, that some house paints could fair reasonably well on a boat, of course only above the boot stripe.

    Though marine paints are made in smaller batches, compared to house paint, their R&D is there and in recent years it's been highly fluid in regard to advances. Similar advances in house paints have worked through as well. Most of these are in the additives used in the resin and binders to improve gloss retention, elongation, hardness, etc.

    In fact, these tests have shown the high end acrylics out performing the basic alkyds in most categories, though you pay for this. I also disagree in that you don't necessarily get what you pay for in paint. A high end LPU cost 10 times as much as a low end acrylic and easily outperforms it in every regard, by a huge margin. It does get difficult to compare performance levels on $30 a gallon offerings, in the different formulations, but this means your swimming in the shallow end of the pool, with limited choices and similar performance attributes.

    The cheap way to go is a porch and deck acrylic ($25 - $45 gallon), though it's not especially durable with much abuse, it will hold it's gloss quite a while. A similarly priced alkyd will offer slightly better abrasion resistance, though it's gloss retention will likely dim sooner. If you move up into the modified alkyds and acrylics (yep, you'll pay more), everything goes up: durability, gloss retention, yellowing or chalking, moisture resistance, etc.

    If looking for an acrylic, find one that says 100% acrylic on the label, which will have the best binders of the bunch. Sherwin Williams A-100 is a good acrylic choice. If you use a cheaper acrylic, it'll just chalk up much sooner.
     
  4. pctongfcbcdalla
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: Dallas, TX

    pctongfcbcdalla Junior Member

    Thank you both for the patience and information. I think I got the idea.
    My boat is a small 14 ft skiff. I will use it once or twice a week the most. After use I will tow it on trailer back home. The total weight of the boat is about 200 lb. It is very easy to flip bottom up all by myself. According to my reading from most of the articles here and other forums, it seems to me the house external paint will last at least 3-5 years in water, which is to say the bottom of the boat. I am 66 years old. I estimate my time to use this boat is about 10 years which means I will need to repaint the boat for once to twice the most. And after retirement, I have all the time I need to sand or to scrape the old paint off. I went on web to check on price. The high end external House paint is about $30-40 per gal. The low end of the marine paint is about $90 per gal. The high end marine paint is about $150. I think I will choose to go with house paint. If any one knows the price different from my finding, I would like to know where to get it. That is to say, if you can tell me a good price marine paint that close to the high end house paint, I certainly will go to marine paint.
     
  5. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    since paint is now considered a toxic waste, most municipalities have collection sites for left over house paint. If you have a list of acceptable quality brands, frequent these places and they usually will give you the paint (many new and unopened) or for a nominal fee.

    The other place to get quality paint cheap is the custom paint stores, they ALWAYS have bins of mis-tinted paint in the back. These too have to handled as toxic waste and is costly to dispose of, many of the stores will give away, or sell for a nominal $1/gallon to who ever wants it.

    Either way you do not have a lot of choices of colors, but you can get top quality paint that way. There are about 90 different shades of white for example, mixing any two or three will give you a "white" that is "close enough" for your use.

    If small boat projects it is the cheapest place that I have found decent paint for next to nothing, if not free. I like getting the bright colors, there are usually these to find too. Someone picks a color out of a color sample book, and than after they paint a whole wall with it, return it to get something not quite as bright. Bright colors are fun and great for small boats, easy to spot and find if necessary, and takes great pictures from shore.
     
  6. pctongfcbcdalla
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: Dallas, TX

    pctongfcbcdalla Junior Member

    Thank you

    I never thought of the city waste collection center as a resource of paint. Certainly will go to see what I can get.
     
  7. pauloman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: New Hampshire

    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    PAR - not sure about your comment about batch size. Had a coatings mentor years ago that had been the production manager for a giant paint company (will in business). He said they would make a 1000 (or was it 10,000 gallon batch). Put some in 5 gal pails for contractors etc. and then some in quart cans for the marine boating market.
    don't know what kind of paint - I assume enamel.

    that said - ext latex is the cutting edge of paint R and D - because of the huge volume of business (and the competition for it). Consider a house on the beach or lake side - how often do they need repainting? not that much different from a lakeside boat.

    - My advice on white - go for off white. I once repainted a 25 ft sailboat deck with 'off white' - so it wouldn't show all the dirt. Surprise, surprise, it turned out to be the 'brightest white' boat in the marina.



    paul
    progressive epoxy polymers
     

  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Hi Paul, batch size was just a reference to total volume in the marine, compared to land based versions. Agreed acrylics are getting lots of attention and not just the exterior house paint. Automotive WR-LPU's have become mainstays, not the redheaded stepchildren they used to be. Manipulation of the polyurethane molecule has really come a long way in the last decade and binders and other additives too.
     
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