Removing paint from wooden boat

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by captcatch, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. captcatch
    Joined: Oct 2015
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    Location: Canandaigua, NY, USA

    captcatch New Member

    What suggestions do you'all have for a product to remove many layers of hull paint from a 2006 West Point 18. This would be in prior to scrapping and sanding in order to apply new paint?
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can use a chemical remover, a heat gun and scraper or sand it all down. I normally use a heat gun or propane torch and a scraper. It is the fastest way. Take care not to set your boat on fire.
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    heat gun is remarkably fast, safe and no toxic chemicals involved. Usually all of the layers peel right off together right down to the bare wood. First time I tried it was suprised how well it worked, I am done with chemical strippers (and sanding) to get old finish off after discovering how well a heat gun works.
  4. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    It may depend on the paint type. Mostly on 2k paints/varnishes I've preferred chemical stripers but after the Montreal protocol circa 2009/10 the really effective agent dichloromethane has been removed from the strippers. Most of the alternative ones are very poor but a couple work, there's one from Oz that is good but a lot slower than the old stuff.

    Really flaky stuff can be sanded fine, and heat used to, but a hard 2k finish can be a brute to remove. I've used 40 grit on a sander to strip down to the epoxy a couple of small hulls, but only on paint. Varnish needs much more care and work wih the grain if you intend to re varnish.

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

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed, it depends on the paint and I do about 50/50 chemical or heat gun stripping, as a result. How many layers of paint can be on a 10 year old boat?

    It's pretty easy to scorch wood with a heat gun, but if you're repainting, all can be hidden under putty and primer. It can be a fast method, with some practice, but I've also had several bring me their best efforts to fix, after taking a heat gun to the paint.

    Strippers are slower, if of the retail variety. They're also messy, but several "organic" products are now available and they work a lot better than the first generations of these, which was like watching a whale poop. The latest versions are much better and quicker, non-smelly - okay, but you'll smell like an orange or lemon, not a oil refinery fire. Commercial strippers are fast, caustic as hell and cut through many layers of paint with ease. Look for ones with a high percentage of methylene chloride. A popular retail stripper is CitriStrip.
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