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Old 10-24-2015, 01:56 AM   #1
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Painting over glass

I've been reading up on painted hulls and like everything else online information is all over the place. At least on here, if I put a question to 10 people, I only get 11 different answers.

Ted (O C Diver), I didn't want to hijack your short haul thread with a paint question so it's here.

Your boat looks fantastic, did you consider anything other than Awlgrip and what was the process other than prep, prep and more prep? Did you look at Alexseal or Imron as options?

Anyone else with boat painting tales, please add them.

A retired body man friend used to paint trailerable boats up to about 30 feet. If I remember he did it with some form of epoxy base, a couple coats automotive and clear coat. Looked like new for a long time.
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:15 AM   #2
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Many people use different types of paints. Several things go into choosing the paint that is right for you. Without a doubt, Awlgrip is one of the, if not the hardest paint to use in terms of prep work and spraying. It is primer process specific and tedious. If sprayed requires multiple coats within an hour or two of the previous one. It is exceedingly thin compared to everything else, which means it's like spraying water. There is a very fine line between a dry spot (not enough paint to make it shine) and a sag (not a run, more of a little droop). Most paints are toxic to spray; Awlgrip is at or near the top of the list. A gallon which makes 2 gallons of spraying paint cost me $340 not counting the reducer, catalyst, and accelerator. How thin is the paint? Two gallons of paint ( before reducer etc.), $680 painted the hull (below the cap rail) twice. There is a lot of hull on my boat. Awlgrip isn't supposed to be wet sandable (Awlcraft [made by the same company] is sand and compoundable) as the shine is only on the surface. So you need to maintain the surface to make it shiny. If you compound Awlgrip, it will be nice again, but not like the original shine. So why go to all that trouble?

Awlgrip once cured, is super durable (hard). If you wax it once a year minimum and rinse the salt off it, it will easily last 15+ years out in the weather and sun (no cover from the elements all year). This stuff is the benchmark for paint. The best you can use; the worst as far as cost, preparation and application. If it was easy to use and priced comparable to others, nobody would use anything else!

Cost of paint to me wasn't an issue. Compared to labor cost, the paint is free. If you're doing it yourself, it's expensive. If you plan to own the boat 10+ years and care what it looks like, labor isn't an issue as you will only paint it once. If someone else is doing the painting, you're pretty much tied to what they use. Paints are very different to spray. Awlcraft is thicker and easier to spray. Someone who sprays Awlcraft will have a learning curve on Awlgrip.

Awlgrip is for the person who plans to keep the boat a long time and doesn't want to paint it twice. I hate to do things twice because I skimped the first time on materials. My boat is about 10' gorgeous. Closer than 10' there are a few paint imperfections a couple of sags and a few painting seams (you can't wet sand and compound Awlgrip like an automotive finish). I couldn't be happier with the results!

Below is my charter boat. Top sides were painted in the Spring of 2003 (13 seasons) and the hull in 2010. Hasn't been waxed in ten months and been sitting on the hard all winter. Hull still shines and she looks great!

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Old 10-24-2015, 09:19 AM   #3
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I have a paint question also. The white paint in my bilge is peeling off for some reason.

Is there a special bilge paint and primer I need to use? Special cleaning process?
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
Anyone else with boat painting tales, please add them.
I had to do some spot repair on my 2008 Mainship hull last spring and did some research to find what it was painted with and how to repair. Per everything I could find( file attached) Mainship used Awlcraft on their hulls
I'll include some of the resources I found useful understanding the differences between Awlgrip & Awlcraft.
Bottom line I agree with everything Ted had to say and he certainly has the experience to back it up!

Here's a good explanation of the differences between Awlgrip & Awlcraft - Repairing Topcoat, Awlgrip vs. Awlcraft

I used Awlcraft and had a friend that does some auto / truck body work spray my Awlcraft topcoat for me.
This was his first experience w/ it and he said it worked very easy and required little / no learning curve.
I was very pleased w/ results and I plan to help him prep & spray his faded burgundy hull accent stripe next spring.

I believe Awlcraft is easier to use than Awlgrip and being wet sandable and compoundable lends itself to spot repair if / when necessary. I can't speak to toughness of the two but can say my 7 yr old hull shines nicely when washed & sealed w/ the recommended polish / sealer.

I'd add that Awlgrip recommends specific Awlgrip / Awlcraft Care Instructions that are different that the traditional wash / wax approach used on gelcoat - and I have followed their advice since learning about Awlgrip and have been pleased w/ the ease of sealing and the results obtained.

I used to think a painted hull was inferior to gelcoat but have reversed that thinking after a few yrs experience w/ my Mainship.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Mainship Hull Paint Info.pdf (317.6 KB, 15 views)
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
. My boat is about 10' gorgeous. Closer than 10' there are a few paint imperfections a couple of sags and a few painting seams (you can't wet sand and compound Awlgrip like an automotive finish). I couldn't be happier with the results! -Ted
10 ft. Gorgeous! Now that's a term I had to think about. I looked at my own boat this morning and, based on your methodology, have proclaimed it 1500 ft. acceptable!
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Many people use different types of paints. Several things go into choosing the paint that is right for you. Without a doubt, Awlgrip is one of the, if not the hardest paint to use in terms of prep work and spraying. It is primer process specific and tedious. If sprayed requires multiple coats within an hour or two of the previous one. It is exceedingly thin compared to everything else, which means it's like spraying water.

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Nice summary of your paint experience - Thanks

I (and several others in my marina) have discussed the desire to "clear coat" our gelcoated hardtops. For the most part these are seldom, if ever accessed and are currently smooth gelcoat that makes washing w/ soap a little scary / dangerous proposition.

I was wondering if you or Sean have any experience or opinions with using Awlcraft or Awlgrip clear over gelcoat to provide a lower maintenance surface than the gelcoat?
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:58 AM   #7
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Ted - Nice looking charter boat - You Go!

Also - TY for detailed/comprehensive info on Awlgrip and Awlcraft paints.

Luckily for us our Tolly's original FRP gel coat surface still can look like new penny... when we decide to shine her that is. She hasn't been compounded/buffed-back-up for 9 years and still looks reasonable with just a hose off and extension-handle soft brush rub.

Tolly built amazing boats in the 60's 70's 80's. The cream color hull and super structure/bridge areas come up really nice upon a compound-strip/wax/buff. BUT! The stripes for color-accent are pretty much wasted now and will need to be sanded/taped off and repainted upon our next major pretty-up project. We just never seem to find time to make her just too pretty again. I plan to use multi coats of top quality automotive paint for repainting the color-accent strips… anyone had long term marine-use results with auto paint?

Hope to get chance to haul this year and spend couple weeks fully addressing her (our) needs. Till then and after then she is always a great Play-Toy!

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Old 10-24-2015, 11:13 AM   #8
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I have a paint question also. The white paint in my bilge is peeling off for some reason.

Is there a special bilge paint and primer I need to use? Special cleaning process?

I have the same problem on a small area on the SB side. Mine is gelcoat, I've thought about getting some bilge paint to make a fix but not sure how that would work out.


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Old 10-24-2015, 01:06 PM   #9
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Ted;
Thanks for taking the time to be so detailed. You obviously are happy and proud of the work.

I have three follow ups, for now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver
Two gallons of paint, painted the hull twice.

My boat is about 10' gorgeous. Closer than 10' there are a few paint imperfections a couple of sags and a few painting seams...
Two coats total?
You also did the topsides I believe; was that more challenging?
Walking beside a clean, shiny boat, is there an easy way to tell if it is paint or gel?
Besides the Hatteras plaque, that is.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:54 PM   #10
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I have a paint question also. The white paint in my bilge is peeling off for some reason.

Is there a special bilge paint and primer I need to use? Special cleaning process?

The paint was not applied to a properly prepared surface. If done by a PO the bilge was probably oily. Nothing to do but scrape off all that will come off.
In a bilge I use a mineral spirits clean up paint, never water based, because the mineral spirits is somewhat compatible with a little oil that may be left in nooks and crannies. Bligecoat brand paint works for me but I think rustolium oil based paint would work fine as well.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:26 PM   #11
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I plan to use multi coats of top quality automotive paint for repainting the color-accent strips on our Tolly… anyone had long term marine-use results with auto paint?
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:48 PM   #12
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Awlcraft spray job planned for mine in the next month or so....
Going with a blue and white boot...Probably Aristo Blue for the hull color....

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Old 10-24-2015, 06:05 PM   #13
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Sonbody told me Awlgrip was $1000 per foot on a 30' vessel. Can it really be that much? And is it really considered "paint"? Other than "coating" what else could it be?


How smart or dumb is painting a FG boat w automotive paint. I like the color options. Thinking of my 19' OB.

Heron your boat looks "just right" some boats just look perfect.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:32 PM   #14
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I have the same problem on a small area on the SB side. Mine is gelcoat, I've thought about getting some bilge paint to make a fix but not sure how that would work out.


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The reason the paint is coming off is due to poor prep by the builder. Which is pretty common.

Two part polys make the best bilge paints. Almost nothing effects them, easy to clean and they make a bilge nice and bright.

But any bilge paint or good brand of epoxy paint will work. Just remove the old paint, degrease and sand/scuff down the bilge surface real well before applying the new paint.

Personally I like bright white for my bilges.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:36 PM   #15
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Awlcraft spray job planned for mine in the next month or so....
Going with a blue and white boot...Probably Aristo Blue for the hull color....

Dark hulls are very pretty. But fair warning, they show every flaw in the surface and subsurface, can crack over time if not prepped and applied correctly and they are harder to keep looking clean.
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:02 PM   #16
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Dark hulls are very pretty. But fair warning, they show every flaw in the surface and subsurface, can crack over time if not prepped and applied correctly and they are harder to keep looking clean.
Which is why I'm going with Awlcraft.....Easily repaired and buffed (as opposd to Awlgrip). Between the bugs and the Brown water, the blue will be much easier to keep clean looking in my area..

My last boat was Aristo blue awlgrip and looked great for years with minimal upkeep..
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #17
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Sonbody told me Awlgrip was $1000 per foot on a 30' vessel. Can it really be that much? And is it really considered "paint"? Other than "coating" what else could it be?

Thanks Manyboats!

Nah..My quote is working out to $160/foot...Plus they're throwing in 4 months of winter storage on the hard..

Painting the topsides is MUCH more expensive though..
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:40 PM   #18
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Painting over glass

I've used Alex seal and awl grip on boats and even Sherwin Williams on surf boards all with good results. Prep is the key.


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Old 10-24-2015, 09:02 PM   #19
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10 ft. Gorgeous! Now that's a term I had to think about. I looked at my own boat this morning and, based on your methodology, have proclaimed it 1500 ft. acceptable!
Have seen Bucky a number of times. Well below 100', maybe 50'.

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Old 10-24-2015, 09:32 PM   #20
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Ted

I was wondering if you or Sean have any experience or opinions with using Awlcraft or Awlgrip clear over gelcoat to provide a lower maintenance surface than the gelcoat?
There is likely a chemistry problem. You can paint Awlgrip or Awlcraft over gelcoat, provided you sand and clean de-wax the surface and use the primer for that particular paint. The primers prepare the surface for a particular paint family. But you have to stay in the family. You can't use Awlcraft clear over Awlgrip and vise versa. So my guess would be no you can't use Awlcraft clear over gelcoat.

I actually like gelcoat for many applications. That would be my choice in the engine room. Obviously it sticks well to fiberglass. Simple to prep and roll. Sand the surface down to bare fiberglass. Wipe down with acetone. Then roll on as many layers as you want. The last layer either has wax or it doesn't (always get that part backwards). The base layers dry tacky; the final layer dries tack free. Want to refresh the gelcoat? Lightly sand till you remove the surface of the gelcoat, wipe down with acetone, then add two or three new coats. Here are before and after pictures of the fiberglass pan and stringers during the repower. Pretty simple to do and makes a big difference.

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