you've bought a boat and you want it painting. Whether its new or
secondhand, you know what your requirements are. Most people's first
priority is that IT MUST LOOK GOOD, really good, with a deep shining
finish. Fair enough, but that's the easy bit, but remember, paint like
beauty, is only skin-deep. So how deep is that skin going to be? We've
got the cart in front of the horse, so lets start at the beginning.
New steel, if it hasn't been de-scaled
is best grit blasted. If that's not on the cards then it should be
thoroughly linished off. (if the steel is allowed to rust first, which
is sometimes possible, then that rust will help to loosen the mill scale
on the steel).
make sure it is suitably prepared. It should be properly primed. A high
build zinc phosphate is excellent, and there are modern two-pack
materials that are better still. (we use zinc phosphate - a good one is
more than up to the job). Two coats! The inside of the shell needs
priming too. Then remember none of the materials are weather proof, so
if the boats going to be outside in the rain at this early stage be sure
it is painted with a holding primer or a gloss finish over the zinc
phosphate however rough! It can always be flattened down later.
be sure of the quality and quantity of the paints to be used. Avoid cheap paint. Once the boat is primed
you will need a MINIMUM of two coats of undercoat and two coats of
gloss. Make sure that there are at least two undercoats and one (dry)
gloss coat on any areas that may be sanded BEFORE sand is sprinkled onto
wet gloss. It will then need at least one more coat over the top once
its dry and been cleaned.
So what else? Well it would help if
boats were painted under window frames, portholes, vents etc. All you'll
usually find under there is primer. And rust. Edges, lines borders etc
should be clean and sharp and sign-writing should be thoughtful and
intelligent. Fill the panel. Oh Yes! The INSIDE of the shell needs a
finish on it as well!
If your boat is in serious need of a
re-paint and you are paying to have it done make
sure the preparation is up to the mark. Windows, vents, portholes,
navigation lights etc etc MUST be removed. Rust should be GOT RID OF,
(as should rotten wood - but wooden boats and cabins are another matter
entirely) any sanded areas should be stripped to bare metal, and if you
really want to be confident of the work the WHOLE BOAT above the middle
of the hull should be taken to bare-metal as well. Remember, a couple
of coats of paint can look like four times that much if you can't read
the signs. Never mistake cheap for good.