On to Paint!

Discussion in 'Materials' started by CatBuilder, May 11, 2012.

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  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Boat's not done yet, but a whole lot of parts are done. In fact everything is done except 2 beams, the bridgedeck, deckhouse and various fill ins around cockpits and stuff.

    It's time to start talking to paint vendors.

    There is Awlgrip and other super heavy duty 2 part polyurethanes.

    But, also, I've heard a lot of new boats are being painted with automotive 2 part polyurethane not because it's cheaper, but because it's better.

    What I've heard is that the automotive paint is softer. It won't last as long, but when you have a hard tender or something chipping away at the paint, you end up with streaks that can be buffed out relatively easy. Same goes for a repair... you can make your glass repair and then buff it all together to make it seamless with the rest of the old paint.

    Given a very simple SOR:

    "I need the boat to look perfect all the time with as little maintenance as possible"

    Which paint system (available for purchase in the USA) would you recommend and why?
  2. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Not a paint recommendation...

    But what to do.

    Talk to vendors
    See which will come and give you the complete paint system plan.
    Have them give you a break down of their plan and its cost.

    Then you can negotiate the costs of the whole thing. All the companies have great paints, but remember it is a paint system. Don't mix and match. Stick to marine paints, the car paints can't take the extreme marine uv.

    I haven't done this is in a few years but on a boat like yours it will be well worth in not having to paint your boat again for many many years.
  3. Silver Raven
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Silver Raven Senior Member

    Hey 'cat-man' - You gave your own answer - very well - I thought; "There is Awlgrip & other super heavy duty 2 part polyurethanes" - There sure is - so why try to find another wheel to invent? - me thinks you'll only get a wheel that's round on the top-side, eh??

    Most 2-part auto paints - in top quality shops - are water reactive & then baked in an oven. Darn hard to bake you '*****-cat' in an oven - might have to sit on it - so it doesn't escape. 'HEAVY DUTY - 2 PACK POLYURETHANES are very - very 'hard' & hard to beat (especially if you know how to mix them properly - very few people know how though) & you can do touch-ups & beff-outs with ease - if you've got the skills. Only took me 3/4 of a life-time to get it right. I wish you well with your eventual choice but do remember the KISS principle. Ciao, james
  4. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Look into industrial 2 pot urethanes !

    There are industrial grades of 2 pot urethans to !! these are made for maximum protection and long lasting in all kinds of conditions with little to no maintanance .
    I used it on my glass boat and even after 6 years looks as good as the day it was first done . Just gets a wash with fresh water after a days outing and thats it !!, no waxes now special care just a wash . hasnt changed colour in the sun hasnt lost any shine that is noticeable !!hasnt got any signs of wear and tear and im pleased with it and im sure it was cheaper than any of the marine and automotice product .
    I had a paint manufacture just a couple of kilometers away from where i lived and went to see there chemist and he recomended it . I have over the years used there products at most of the boat companies ive worked at , they have a whole range of products and are always helpful in every way :) !
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

  6. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Herman Senior Member

    Remember the car paints very likely are acrylics, not pu.

    Make sure your fairing is absolutely class A, before you splash on some paint. Most DIY boats can easily be recognised by their sloppy fairing, even if the paint applied looks nice and glossy.
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Sorry, when I say "car paint", I'm only talking about 2 part, aliphatic, linear polyurethanes.

    We will be sure to get the fairing as perfect as possible. Although I have seen plenty (most) of the "professional" boats around the yard do not look perfect either. I saw a Leopard catamaran where I could make out the individual balsa sheets! Yikes!

    Like everything else we are doing, it will be perfect. It has to be.

    That makes 2 suggestions for Sterling, so I am looking into that first. I have seen a Sterling roll and tip job and it looked great (despite poor initial surface prep).

    I guess I'll look at spraying Sterling. Thanks for the input and advice.
  8. mastcolin
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    mastcolin Senior Member

    I understand your question but really there are more factors for you to consider. The best paint doesn't exist.

    You need
    1) paint that you can apply (you doing it yourself or getting a quality applicator in? He will have his favorite to apply. No painter likes being told to use a paint he isn't familiar with. Brush or spray? You clear coating on top (or 50/50mix?)
    2) are you going to polish it (due to dust/dodgey painting:))
    3) what colour?
    4) budget?
    5) you willing to take risk on mixed scheme?
    6) Who's choosing paint system? You or owner? He probably knows of Awlgrip, he will feel comfortable with this. If you want to go down route of something else he may not be so comfortable...justified or not.

    So your question is probably answered if you answer all the above.

    Awlgrip (G-Line, linear polyester)is industry standard. It's good, not brilliant. Can brush and spray. Difficult to polish. (awlgrip say not recommended. It is possible, just difficult.)Easy sell to customer.
    Alexseal is good. Not great to brush. Plenty of happy customers in US. They can't all be wrong. The clear in Alexseal is fantastic. Easy to polish. Fantastic durability - much better than Awlgrip. In fact all the colours are more durable than awlgrip ie gloss loss/colour change over time.
    Sterling is good to spray and brush. Polishes better than Awlgrip. Durability good. Possibly a little more scratch prone ie not so tough.
    International Perfection (is this name in US). Good to spray. Have heard mixed comments brushed. Difficult to polish but personally never tried.
    Automotive. Not so tough. Not brushable (well). Easier to spray. If you use a basecoat/clear system you will get much better gloss and colour retention than the yacht systems with exception from alexseal...but these systems, especially awlgrip don't recommend clear over whites (due to colour change in clear). Polished easy. Even in solid colours you can polish.
    We use automotive basecoat/clears for metallics. We then apply alexseal clear over the top. This gives tougher clear over over the metallic.

    Imron from DuPont was good. Fanatastic durability. Not brushable.

    Me? I'd probably roll/tip. Your freeboard won't be high. You will get a brush texture which will hide any fairing issues but look good. Build up colour, flat back then use clear mixed in final coat. You'll get better flow and gloss. Sand p400 3M 255 gold paper for last coat. You can use rougher for the 1st coats (280 for 1st. 320 for 2nd). Note the paper code. Black waterproof paper 400 grit is much rougher cutting than the gold. Awlgrip have a list of paper grade comparisons in their handbook. If you roll/brush. Let the paint dry for 2-3 between coats. Let 2nd last coat cure for as long as possbile before sanding/finishing. The previous coats whilst "hard"are not fully cured and will suck up the solvent giving less flow. You'll need 3 coats on white. perhaps more on colour. If you roll/brush make sure you get correct tcuring agent/thinners. Do not mix curing agents/thinners from other brands. Buy the system for the topcoat.

    It's expensive whatever option you choose. If you roll/brush make sure you get good brushes (these cost lots also) and rollers (you'll need dozens) (reasonably solvent resist closed cell foam and good brush 3inch is probably as big as I'd go unless you are experienced. You'll have more luck painting with 2 people with roller and brush.
  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I'll at least start by answering these questions, to the best of my ability. Wow, Colin. You sure know finishes. I'm in awe.

    I had thought about getting an applicator in, but then got a large compressor (for running the fairing board from the other thread). Since I already have the compressor and hoses and such, I plan to pick up an HVLP gun to spray the hull. I was considering farming it out, but the quotes are outrageous when compared to doing it myself (with employees). I had planned to use a color, then clear coat because I want to achieve special metallic or other effects. I'm a fairly good painter, using rollers and brushes. I hear the gun is pretty simple after some practice. That's the rumor, anyway.

    No. I want to be able to buff out and easily repair damage over the years. I am building a catamaran, but I am in the charter industry. My profession is chartering. This is a new charter boat (crewed, term charter). As it will see heavy use, I would like to find a finish I can easily fix if chipped or otherwise scratched. Yet, the boat must look perfect at all times, due to the nature of my business.

    I am not there yet. Possibly white (with special paint effects) or some bright color for topsides. Deck of course, white.

    No limit for, for materials. Very tight for labor.

    I don't know what you mean. Aren't all paints a mix? You put in paint, accelerator, etc? That's what we do with epoxy all day long, so I would imagine paint won't be an issue, right? Or... do you mean mixing paints and clear coats? We do want to use some effects, so some bit of mixing will surely be involved. Any ideas about that?

    I am choosing the paint system. I am also the owner (charter boat operator). I'm hoping to have a system that is easily and quickly applied with HVLP gun, has a high build primer to get that extra edge of fairing perfection, can be used easily and in various temperatures and humidity.

    I am also looking for a system that works well over the years and is easily repairable when scratched.

    Would you suggest a particular paint for those requirements?

    Ah, my freeboard is 9' off the ground. It's a bit high.
  10. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    CatBuilder, save yourself a lot of time and money and just laminate a 1/16" layer of stainless steel over the whole hull. Now that is good advise. Stan
  11. pauloman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    you are mixing apples and oranges. The original top line awlgrip is a polyester polyurethane (LPU) while auto LPU i is an acrylic polyurethane.

    I've heard that Emron (spelling??) is a mix of the two...

    Google LPU coatings to learn more about the differences....

    one other option is a standard enamel topcoated with a clear LPU.....

  12. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    More confused than ever... I have heard about those things, Paul, but now I'm more confused. Which paints are which types?

    I understand what you are saying, but cannot classify all the brands discussed here into the various pure or blended LPU's. Can you?
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Not all automotive two packs are WR-LPU's, only were required by law, such as California. Eventually, everyone will be required to switch, but I wasn't aware that the acrylics had taken over yet, in the automotive industry. This certainly isn't the case in other industries (yet).

    The solvent based LPU's (polyurethane) are harder and more durable, though the acrylic base LPU's can be cheaper, if slightly less durable and have slightly less gloss retention,. etc.
  14. pauloman
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    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    the laws on VOC levels vary. In most states I can sell you an LPU for use on your boat, car, aircraft, but it is illegal for you to use it on a stationary object in your backyard.

  15. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Now I am confused...
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