What paint for composite?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Skywoolf, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Skywoolf
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Lantau, Hong Kong and Davao Philippines

    Skywoolf Junior Member

    I have almost finished making a T-top with hard deck for my center console which is marine play covered in fiberglass but I am in the southern Philippines and cannot find the paints I would normally use.

    I prefer to use one part polyurethane but that does not exist around here except as a clear varnish. I found epoxy 2 part but only in pretty colors and I need white.

    They have acrylic, latex, etc but I really don't know what to get. I want a hard wearing gloss white finish.

    Can anyone please advise what would be OK as an alternative.
     
  2. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    I use automotive paint and found it works quite well, it's called 2k here.
     
  3. Skywoolf
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    Skywoolf Junior Member

  4. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    It's a 2 part paint you mix, so if I have to guess I's say it's more an epoxy type thing.

    Go to any auto repair shop and ask the guys to spray some of the access paint on a junk piece of fiberglass. Skould give you a good idea if it's suitable or not and shouldn't cost you anything.
     
  5. Skywoolf
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    Skywoolf Junior Member

    I am more concerned about it being hard wearing and able to stand up to salt water, tropical sun, stuff like an inflatable or towable being put on it and dragged off, etc. I guess any good automotive paint would be OK. I just have to find out what paint they use here in the boondocks of the Philippines.
     
  6. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Well, once you have a sample piece you can bugger it up to see what it would stand up to, and how easy and cost effective it would be to repair afterwards.
     
  7. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    Most 2K automotive paints are acrylics, some are polyurethanes. Both should do the job, unless continuously immersed. Do not expect a 15 year lifespan though.
     
  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    There you have it ;) Thanks Herman.

    It seems it depends where you are. That paint lasts for 50 years plus in SA, well, that's how long it has to last on our vehicles here with our currency being what it is :D Cannot afford more paint ;)

    At the least, every ten years you get to respray the boat a new color if it hasn't lasted :D A lot probably depends how you treat the boat.

    What better paints are there to use ?
     
  9. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    you can use the one part polyurethane by adding pigment to it. It is easy and inexpensive to do, and gives you more color options. I have done this, as have others I know, and it works fine. The best pigment to use would be the powdered artists pigment, you just mix it in to the color density you want. I have also heard of people using artist's acrylic paint (the ones that come in little tubes like tooth paste), it mixes fine and makes a nice finish, though I suspect the acrylic is a softer than the polyurethane and the mixture many be not quite as durable as the pure polyurethane. This would cost far less I suspect than using 2-part automotive paint.

    There is both oil and water based polyurethane available. The oil based is more durable, but either will work. If there are any places where you can get house paint mixed to your color this same pigment will also work with the polyurethane as long as it has the same base. If the pigment is for water based latex paint, than it should work fine with the water based polyurethane. If you use oil based polyurethane, than you want pigments compatible with oil based paints. Pure powered pigment will work with both of course, and will not add any base to the mix, which is why I think it is best.

    Also note that unless you put a lot of pigment in it you will likely end up with a translucent color since your base is clear (not white). This works okay but you will need more layers if your intent is to cover the "natural" color, and it will likely be somewhat darker than pigment mixed in with a white base.

    I would also advise you mix the whole batch together at once, because if you run out you will not likely easily match the color hue when you are halfway done.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    And when using powder pigments: Whenever possible, use a power mixer (hand drill) to mix it in. Then leave to settle for at elast a day, then mix vigorously again, then run the paint through a sieve (for gelcoats, we use nylons...)
    This will eliminate the possibility of small lumps of pigment undissolved, and breaking open when painting.
     

  11. Skywoolf
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Skywoolf Junior Member

    Thanks guys, I eventually found a guy who could do the spray painting and get Anzahl polyurethane paint which is apparently recommended for commercial passenger ships.

    He did a great job.

    Attached pic shows the new deck off and on the boat.
     

    Attached Files:

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