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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Which is the best paint to use for deck of sailboat

    I have a 25 year old sailboat with a horrible light blue deck. I would like to paint it white, but am unsure if I should just use a plain fibreglass paint or if I should use some sort of gel coat. I suspect the original blue is a gel coat.
    Also there are some small spider web-like cracks in the surface. What is the best way to fill these in before I paint?
    How should I prepare the surface?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001

    The easiest way to refinish a fiberglass deck is paint, preferably with a two part polyurethane. This is a major undertaking however; the results will provide a finish that will look as good as and last at least as long as the original Gelcoat.


    Start by removing all the deck hardware. Remove wax and grease by cleaning with Epifanes Fiberglass Prep Cleaner and lots of clean rags, next, sand the entire deck including the non skid, start with 80 grit, and finish 180. If you are going this far it would be advisable to check the deck for wet Balsa Core by tapping or preferably using a moisture meter. It would be best to test for any moisture at this time rather than having to tear up your new deck in a couple of years.

    Use an epoxy putty to fill any nicks or large cracks in the gelcoat, do not try to fill hairline cracks at this time, these will be filled during the epoxy priming process . Sand the putty fills smooth with 80 and 180 grit. Apply one coat of Epifanes Epoxy Primer thinned with 10 % Epifanes D 601 Epoxy brushing thinner, using a low pile solvent resistant foam roller (Noah?s R195). As you are applying the primer with the roller, use a 1? foam or bristle brush to fill the hairline cracks and pinholes. Wait approximately 2 hours, until the first coat of primer is dry to the touch, at this time apply a second coat. When the primer has hardened (about 12 hrs) sand with 80, 180,and 280 grit. It is not necessary to prime the non skid areas if the surface is in reasonably good shape. Use clean water and cotton rags to remove dust, allow to dry, wipe entire surface with Fiberglass Prep Cleaner. Wipe lightly with a tack cloth just before painting.


    There are three ways to replace the non skid.
    1: The easiest is to not sand out the original non skid gelcoat pattern if it is in good shape. Scrub with a Scotch Brite pad and acetone then paint with Epifanes two part Polyurethane (PU 800 series). This will result in the loss of some of the non skid as the paint will tend to fill the valleys, but this can be rectified by adding Polymeric Non Skid Beads (NSG) to the paint.
    2: If the non skid pattern is damaged or has stress cracks sand flat and paint with Epifanes two part Polyurethane and Non Skid Beads as above.
    3: Epifanes Non Skid Deck Coating is a one part flat (no gloss) paint with a non skid additive. This is the best paint for keeping you on your feet as it works even when wet. This paint will require a little more maintenance as the flat finish will pick up dirt easier and wear faster, but it is scrubable and easy to recoat. Apply one coat of Epifanes Interm Coat to the sanded gelcoat and cover with two coats Epifanes Non Skid paint at a rate of one coat per day. Do not sand either the primer or paint between coats. Thin the Interm Coat with about 20% D601 thinner for a smother finish and about 5% Epifanes Paint and Varnish thinner (EVBT) for the Non Skid paint.


    If you are going to paint over the existing non skid areas mask off and use a foam roller to apply a coat of Epifanes Polyurethane with non skid additive, wait about 3 hours until it is touch dry, apply your second coat. Remove the tape after the paint is touch dry. Do not leave the tape on overnight. Mask the rest of the deck and apply 2 coats to the smooth areas. If you have to paint the deck in sections try to stop and start where you can blend the joints.
    If you opt to replace the non skid pattern do not mask off these areas, just mark with a pencil so you know where they are. Mask the remainder of the deck and apply 2 or 3 coats to the smooth areas only, painting slightly over the lines where you are going to replace the non skid. Allow the paint to dry hard for at least 24 hrs. Mask the perimeter of the areas where you intend to replace the non skid, Scotchbrite any new paint that is within this area. Apply the new non skid as per options 2 or 3 above.


    A two part polyurethane paint available in 19 colors, designed for roller/brush application. High gloss extremely tough, buffable with excellent UV resistance.

    Coverage 1202 ft per 750 ml can
    Mixing Ratio 2:1 by volume
    Induction time 30 min
    Pot Life 3 hr
    @ 65F/20C Tack Free 3 hr Hard Dry 8 hr
    Thinner: Epifanes Polyurethane Brush or Spray
    Application Temperature 50F to 85F 15C to 25C

    Epifanes Polyurethane may be applied directly to clean degreased and sanded (to 320 grit) gelcoat, epoxy and surfaces previously painted with two part polyurethanes, but better results are usually obtained when two coats of Epifanes Epoxy Primer are used.
    Pour the hardener into the paint stir well; allow the mixed paint to sit for 30 minutes. Add about 5% thinner and pour into a solvent resistant paint tray. Start at an edge or corner and using a soft foam (European) roller, roll out well. Cross roll for even coverage, ( roll horizontally then vertically) do not try to cover in one coat. Use only one roller load of paint at a time immediately drag over the fresh paint with a 4? foam brush, use only the high density ones with the wooden handle. Do not try to brush the paint out, streaks from tipping will flow out on in a few minutes. If the brush drags or squeaks add more thinner to the mixed paint, the brush should move over the paint easily. Keep moving around the boat and try not to stop until you are finished or reach a corner. If the first coat goes on satisfactory you may apply a second coat without sanding when the paint is touch dry, about 3 hours. If necessary you can sand after 24 hours and apply the next coat.

    Repairs can be made by sanding the damaged area plus about a 6? border with 320 grit dry or 600 wet. Only take the gloss off the surface of the paint in the border areas. Apply 2 or 3 coats of paint feathering the edge toward but not into the un sanded surface. You can mask the area, but do not paint over the tape. Allow the paint to dry for two days, then wet sand by hand using a soft rubber pad with 400, 800, and 1200. Blend the new paint into the old, be careful not to sand through. Finish by buffing with rubbing and finishing compounds designed for two part paints.

    PREPERATION: Finish and durability is only as good as the prep work. Attention to detail, use of proper techniques and materials will produce superior results. If you can see flaws in priming and filling you will see them in the finish.

    WEATHER AND WORK SITE: Optimum application temperature for these products is 20 C or 70 F , avoid painting below 12 C and above 30 C. At low temperatures condensation can cause adhesion problems as well as loss of gloss. To check dew point, wet a small area with water, if it dries in 15 min it is OK to paint. At high temperatures the paint will not flow properly. Do not paint in direct sunlight, when it is windy or when it is raining, even if you are in an unheated shop. A covered area is best, but working outside will is OK you can pick the weather or erect a cover.

    BEFORE YOU PAINT: Remove sanding dust with hose and a cotton cloth, the water should sheet off. Let dry and wipe down with Epifanes Fiberglass Prep Cleaner. Just before painting wipe lightly with a tack cloth. About 2 hours before you paint wet down the surrounding area and keep it wet. If you are in a dusty shop it helps to hang a new sheet of polyethylene plastic about 7? over the deck. Wear a new paper suit with a hood and elastic cuffs. Have a pair of tweezers handy to pick out bugs etc.

    TAPING: Use Fine Line tape for a sharp no bleed line, double mask with low tack tape. Remove tape when the paint is tack free or within 12 hrs. When removing pull away from the paint at a 450 angle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    COMMING MARCH 2011: 400 custom colors in Epifanes Polyurethane including matches for Awlgrip and Interlux Perfection.
    Check http://www.noahsmarine.com/items.asp...%5FVarnish&Bc=
    For updates.


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