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Boat painting - simple but best tips

by Andrew Keays, Island Cruising Association on 12 Mar 2014
The mast before .. .
Andrew Keays from Artful Dodger, contributing member of the Island Cruising Association, here suggests some simple but best techniques for painting your boat, in this case using International Brand paint, but the advice is good for any brand.

Introductory Notes:
- Perfection is a 2-pack paint designed for application by brush or roller (as opposed to spraying).
- Perfection is not recommended for timber surfaces, which like to flex and move – use a good single pack.
- Do NOT put 2-pack over single pack – if you already have single pack, sand back to the original material (eg Glass).



Surface Preparation:
- Whenever you prepare a surface for painting, clean it with wax and grease remover before you sand. This way you don’t embed grease into the prepared surface.
- Sand with 240 paper (not 400) to give your surface enough grip on the paint.
- Clean again with wax and grease remover, and before painting use a tack cloth to get rid of all the dust you can.



Paint Preparation:
- Use International Thinners no 6 (not #9). The can is marked for use with single pack paints only, but the suggestion comes from International Paints at Coomera and it lets the paint hold a wet edge for a lot longer.

- Open and stir Part A, but do not open Part B. Instead use a Phillips head screwdriver to poke holes in the lid either side far enough away from the edge to give you a smooth surface to tape over after use. When you have poured the required amount of Part B apply masking tape to the holes and invert the can once to form a seal over the holes. Then it will be usable again next time rather than completely mangled (as the lids are apparently designed not to come off in one piece!)

- Use 10% thinners #6 (for the reasons previously described).



Paint Application
- Do not paint in the wind, direct sun or on a moist morning. Wait until around 10am when the dew has gone. Paint in the shade – rig up tarps as best you can.

- Use yellow 10' Haydn rollers. Other rollers slowly dissolve.

- We suggest using a flat surface to roll paint onto the roller – corflute or something similar – so the roller has an even covering of paint, not too much. Trial and error will show you the way.



- Use Perfection undercoat. Do not put too much paint on, it will run.

- Paint about 600 mm at a time maintaining a wet edge. Get an even coverage then go back and 'tip off' with the roller, just rolling over lightly to blend the new 600mm into the last 600. Do not go back and try to correct earlier areas painted as you will wreck the finish. The paint will gradually settle into a perfect finish as a bit of time passes.1



- The undercoat is important. It will probably take at least 2 coats to get even coverage. If not, do it again until you have coverage. The Perfection top coat is quite transparent and any areas of dubious coverage will show through 2 coats of gloss.

- When the paint is dry, sand it (with 240) and apply the top coats, sanding between all coats.

About the Island Cruising Association:
The Island Cruising Association (ICA) offers an ever growing knowledge-base of cruising resources and information specific to Extended Coastal in New Zealand and Australia and Offshore, with an emphasis on the South West Pacific. They run a wide range of fun events, training, practical demonstrations, on the water preparation and back up to assist cruisers to get out there, and a growing range of rallies, just for cruising sailors. Of note is the NZ2OZ rally for International, New Zealand and Australian cruisers from Opua in NZ up to Vanuatu and across to Darwin in time to join Sail Indonesia out of Darwin. For more information go to the ICA website.

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