How to paint a wooden boat

One of the great secrets of growing today & # 39; s modern shipbuilding is the amount of hi-tech gobble-de-gook that the average home boat builder is expected to wade through when the time comes to paint after the ship's terrible amount of sanding, fairing and hard work (mostly) over, and the fruits of their labor needs now shiny deep luster that the painting now promises to. This section provides that at least one of the best parts of my mind shipbuilding, to the finish line! (Well, at least the start of the finish!)

Painting a boat used to be a relatively simple task. All one needed was a fine dry day, a father & # 39; and paintbrushes, some turps, a roll of duct tape, a bit of pink primer left in the decorating and a half liters of shiny blue enamel paint from the local hardware store … they were under the sun!

Not so today, my friends! The unsuspecting boat builder who toddles off best prepare the local general store or supermarket in the very worst, not only he (or she) will face a massive financial attack on the wallet, but the breathtaking array of hi-tech guru wow balderdash that the (generally ) uninformed shop assistant will proceed to throw in their direction in the faint hope that you give under the stress and buy several liters of the latest polurethanicalslitheryaminomolecular bumpkin that & # 39; s just keep coming. For example, if you & # 39; ll have to face the trade names such as & # 39; Interlux Interthane coating & # 39;. I mean, come on, it sounds like a new space invaders game! This is bloody paint! There are many others, but it & # 39; m sure the essence of what I & # 39; I say.

Another example of the kind of thing that drives me nuts is that you can expect to buy several liters of iso-cyanate two pack marine polyurethane paint only to be cheerfully told that it is illegal to spray if a business premises duly licensed to do so, burgundy maroon !! I suppose, is that new names to go with the new paint company policies of charging up to $ 150 per liter in some new-fangled paints! What the hell have discovered that & # 39; and so expensive that it's the stuff? I was under the impression that paint was a few liters of linseed oil, turps, some drying agents and a few ounces of pigments in color … I really so out of touch?

Back to Basics

So, why do we paint wooden boats? Or other boat for that matter? The first part of the question is simple. Boats look much smarter and better to shine and gleam a bit … it & # 39; and only after human nature. The second part of the question, I want to protect it. Okay, what? Well, wood rot if you do not paint it? – Wrong! Wood left to its own devices does not rot. Wood rots only as a result of the environment. There are multiple cases of how, plain untreated wood can last for centuries, until the right environment. There are basically only a few elements that start wood rotting. Biological attack from spores, fungi, temperature, high humidity or total absorption, physical attack from marine borers and crustaceans that allow ingress to all the other elements mentioned above.

Do not let & # 39; and forget that polluted waters, decomposes wood to the point where the rot …. we & # 39; ll add chemical attack to that list too. So, considering all these very compelling reasons we protect ships paintings that coat to fully counter these attacks.

Production of sawn timber

The actual preparation of timber cover a range of different requirements. If the boat is a new build it will not go through many of the preparatory stages that an older boat can go through. A form of shipbuilding, where the vessel was built by a different method such as strip planking or cold molding, we paint the boat as if a fiberglass boat, its due to the fact that both layers of fiberglass cover the timber or timber has epoxy that does not allow the traditional paint to adhere properly. However, if we are to protect the bare wood you use a different direction. Wood bare natural state millions of thin hollow tubes running through it, constructed of cellulose in its natural form. You have to seal these tubes to prevent water from entering them. Therefore, seal and coat the timber first.

The first thing you can do is to clean and remove any loose or damaged paint plus any dirt remains on the hull – sounds easy if you say it fast, but it must be done! If necessary (and most times it is) degrease the hull of a proprietary paint degreaser after removing all dust preferably with a vacuum cleaner. Do not forget that it is not necessary that all the hull back bare wood just dry, clean, grease and dust.

upload and shortcomings

Obviously, not many timber craft are perfect on the outside. In many spots, cracks, imperfections and splits both large and small to deal with filling and sanding them flush before priming the boat. It & # 39; and a bit of a chore but time spent here will reward you with a boat that is sure to get better, plus longer life. Some folks fill these holes and imperfections epoxy wood filler, but it is not a good idea. Some time later, for example when you need to put under the boat, the repair, the devil's job to remove the epoxy with a mounting hole. It & # 39; s best to use some kind of proper timber filler that dries hard and fast but is never that hard that can not be removed in the future. For example, painting & # 39; and glazing compound is a fairly hard setting soft paste that can be quickly applied and sanded and painted satisfactorily. Caravel ships usually at the seams filled fair special seam compound after the boat has been primed. If the vessel has been filled and faired smooth and all dust removed we are ready to make some real ink. Do not forget the difference between a professional and an amateur job polishing the product!

about the treatment of

wood preservative

There are two trends bare tree wood preservative. I & # 39; I heard stories that primers and paints do not adhere to many of them. In my case, I have never personally that to happen to me, I usually use them to advantage. However, I am convinced that in many cases where the paint refuses to stick to the tree because the tree does not dry out after application. There is a definite percentage of humidity that every timber has (and most of them differ slightly) where paint of any description simply will not stick. This can be up to fifteen percent in some beams. First of all, that the wood dry enough that any paint or filler to adhere to it. Remember too that salt deposits on timber will readily contain water and keep it damp …. when the vessel was in salty water wash it off before the start of fresh paint. When and only when, the wood preservative is dry, the next step


The first coat of primer to go onto your hull is metallic gray primer. It is good to use a primer, since it is made up of millions of microscopic flat metal (aluminum) plates that were on top of each other giving water is a very difficult to pass though … Pink primer as a circular molecule substances therefore allows water to enter much quicker … fact! Grey primers also contain certain oils and most anti-mold agent, which is within (biocides to you and I) do two coats of gray primer above the waterline and three, no less, below it.

some other observations Primers

There is a whole world of paint primers out there and confusion of the quality is very common. The basic dry timbers, the gray metallic primers are good as previously mentioned. Also many oil-based primers are well-known companies are also very good, and do the job perfectly. Hi-build primers however must be approached with caution and I must say that I have never personally very well with them. Most of them contain Titanium Dioxide (ie & # 39; s talcum powder to us lot) and even when fully cured can absorb copious amounts of moisture that can prevent really good paint adhesion. To only paint hi-build primers good clean, dry days and excessive humidity levels to avoid this. Then apply as soon as possible topcoats to seal them. Please note also that during the wear and tear resulting from the hi-build primers are a soft type of paint and suffer badly rocky or pebbly beaches and even when launching from boat trailers. When sanding these primers remember that huge clouds of white dust are released so aware of where you sand and wear appropriate safety masks.


Again, there are many types to choose from. Let & # 39; and that the two packets of the way first. Two-component Polyurethane should be used as a two-component epoxy primer first. We have a fantastic design, and & # 39; s fine, but you need to make absolutely sure that under the tree is not going to move because the paint cures so hard that it can and will crack (plankers strip cold molded boats are the best bet here … apart of course from glass boats). The primary reason is that the timber vessels built or are moving to & # 39; Work & # 39; As known. You can easily get away when the timber ship has a new glass …. not glassed over later as a preventative method to stop leaks. Rarely boats treated thus dry out properly and are still susceptible to movement as the timber inside the glass or rot because it was wet or dry out too much and shrinks. Also boats that chined properly, that is, strips of wood glued between the board, instead of sealing, there is a good chance that it is not moving.

Ok, what else? A pack or a pack polyurethane paints can be a good choice for a topcoat … they are almost as bright and enduring as the two packages, but not quite! These, however, is much cheaper and easier to apply than the two packages … there are many of them out there, it requires a bit of research plus our own personal choice … I & # 39; I'm not going to engage in a slanging match about which ones are the best! However, remember most major well-known paint manufacturer & # 39; s products are usually ok! It & # 39; s call!

So next on my list are marine enamels. Again, it's worth noting that before anything MARINE expensive … usually a good place to avoid this problem in the large hardware chain stores that sport one or two paints in this category, I & # 39; I ve had in my mind right now. It & # 39; s the name we are looking for!

Even decent quality marine enamels some whites have been known to yellow with age and the lake is to buy an off-white color like cream or buff. The final choice of Marine enamels proper, is a relatively new water-based enamel …. I personally have never used any but I have heard some good reports and there has to be some advantage to them, a quick cleaning and even drink the thinners!

There are a few types of paint systems other than those mentioned above, and as usual is likely to produce the same type of high-profile love writing from the editor for some reason or the other. Mainly I suspect because something is not up to the standard. Each of the following paints has their different uses and attributes.

house paint ENAMELS

Over the years the quality of house paint enamels has risen dramatically to the point where many yachties I know paint the boat with him. It & # 39; and a bit softer (and definitely cheaper) than most single pack polyurethanes and some colors, mostly the darker hues fade earlier than others. However, the fact is that it can be an excellent choice, especially if you own a small boat and do not mind repainting that every few years …. cheap to buy, easy to use!

Water based acrylic

a few years ago that the ship does not dream of painting with acrylic paint had peeled off …. big bands. This does not apply today however. My boat, Nicky J has been painted in Wattyl & # 39; and acrylic semi-gloss "CANE" and it's really amazing. In the past, the shiny gloss of the hull and the decks over white epoxy primer single pack and it's been very good. Not once had he looked more like detachment. Paint roller and ship it in less than a day once a year … and he & # 39; and forty-two feet long! This is yet another choice!

Well there & # 39; and the main paint choices but I urge you to remember one thing … preparation is King … it will save a lot of money in the long run, that's for sure.

how to apply the paint

There are, of course, three main methods of applying paint; Spraying, brushing and rollering. There & # 39; and another that many people use, a combination of the last two, rolling and tipping, we & # 39; ll deal with that one later.

Let & # 39; s look at spraying. There are several prerequisites for a decent spray job. They usually have a decent workshop complete with suction fans and half decent ventilation, good spray gear (cheapo underpowered stuff just does not cut the mustard) and most importantly, adequate and proper safety gear. There are always exceptions to the rule, and & # 39; and a guy who works for a living & # 39; s boatyard outside in the weather and he does a fantastic job … imagine how much better it could be if he worked indoors !! You also have to watch the weather, high humidity is not good and even if the overspray goes … not over anyone & # 39; s car, as so often happens! A great excess of paint is lost and wasted in the process. If you have a driving need for boats to look out of the car, then sprayings for you! Yeah, it's a quick (ish) too!

hand brushing yield incredible results when you are sick, and he knows what he's doing. I & # 39; I've seen boats that at first glance look like they have been sprayed only to find out that they were hand painted by brush ……. dust-free atmosphere and bloody good brushes (I mean expensive) are an absolute must here.

Last rollering especially & # 39; roll and peak & # 39; method. This requires two people working together as a team. One throws a thin layer of paint, the other follows closely with a decent brush and & # 39; tips & # 39; out the bubbles left by the roller – amazingly good surface can be obtained by this method.

A word of warning, no matter which method you use. Do not be tempted to retouch runs or sags in the paint or you will ruin the finish …. wait until the paint is completely dry, you can deal with it! It & # 39; s tempting but paint always seems to gel quicker than you think!


There are many facets to a successful painting of a boat. We can not be good at all of them and you have to choose the most suitable method for you own special abilities. Much depends on the options that you have available in your disposal. There are those who work in the garden, others are huge buildings, and even access to the warehouse! I will say that some of the basic rules for painting even the smallest vessels. Often, too much, too smart or too complicated, often discriminated what you are trying to achieve.

I saw ships that cost twenty thousand to paint, and they were just very average … why? Wrong choice for a painter to & # 39; s why. If you are going to choose a painting I & # 39; It s not a crime to ask him to show you some examples of his work. If you & # 39; and all the good you do not need a lot of … a lot of chancers and cowboys about, rest assured. All ships, each of them will need retouching or even repaint within a year. Just how long you get for your money is the trick. Unless you freshly painted boat in a museum or the garage, shut off and you can bet that from day one, you will collect nicks, dings, scratches and scars, then & # 39; s inevitable. Beware the painter who says & # 39; Yes, it will be ten large, but it & # 39; ll outlive you and I & # 39;. The need for repainting is directly proportional to how badly the ship handled over the years. The only way to keep the boat clean and never perfect, actually that dirty old water, you & # 39; and you're done! Be realistic in their abilities and expectations. Simple can be better in many cases.


needs a simple formula CALCULATING paint (ONE COAT)

This is interesting if not exactly exact! But there will be very close. This also applies to brushing and rolling almost sprayed. There & # 39; and another formula that I do not know!
ONE COAT = The boat & # 39; s full-length x beam x 0.85
divided by square feet covered per liter listed on the paint instructions.

If you do not work out the paint manufacturer will tell you if you ring the company hotline.

Over the years, wooden boats survived in spite of the elements are very rough and primitive forms of paint. Many of the early ships simply daubed in tar, bitumen, wax and turps. An early Thames barge survived more than a century, in perfect condition, as originally bitumen tank !! The dark brown glossy surface was the most perfect example of preserved wood I've ever seen. One of the most interesting boats I have ever seen was painted fence paint … the owner calculated that & # 39; d only ever painted once in thirty years! Another old boat builder I knew once said that the secret of painting wooden boat was painted many layers of paint to afford it!

Source by Terry Buddell

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