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Old 06-21-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
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Bilge Paint

Decided painting the bilge/engine room would make inspection and maintenance more pleasurable. My engine room is generous considering the size of boat but increasing light would make life easier and the first step in my mind is fresh paint.

I've done some initial research and it seems Interlux and Rustoleum are both popular choices for paint brands. Prep recommendations however seem all over the place with the only consistent recommendation being to start with a scraper brush and vacuum. Beyond that its everything from soup to nuts so it seems.

I would like to hear what prep/paint materials and techniques have produced the best results for you?
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:03 AM   #2
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I can offer nothing here except to say come do mine when you're done!
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:03 AM   #3
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I'm partial to following the manufactures directions.
Here is how Interlux would like you to apply their Bilgekote.


BARE FIBERGLASS
In Good Condition Begin by scrubbing well using soap and water and a stiff brush. Rinse with fresh water and allow to dry. Degrease by wiping with a rag soaked in Fiberglass Solvent Wash 202. Sand with 180 grade (grit) paper. Remove sanding residue. In Poor Condition Clean as above. Sand with 80 grade (grit) paper. Apply White Undercoater 279.

Apply 2-3 coats of Bilgekote following the proper dry times. Sand between coats using 220-320 grade (grit) paper.


Remove sanding residue with a rag dampened with Brushing Liquid 333. Bilgekote may be applied by roller and brush using the roll and tip method.

Hints Thinner


Brush - Brushing Liquid 333. Spray - Special Thinner 216.

Thinning
Thin if necessary with Brushing Liquid 333 to improve brushing characteristics. For spray application use
Special Thinner 216. Thin no more than 10%.

Cleaner
Bare Fiberglass - Fiberglass Solvent Wash 202. Epoxy - Fiberglass Solvent Wash 202.

Ventilation and Humidity Control
It is best to paint on warm, dry mornings. Cold weather retards the drying and humidity can spoil the gloss.




Interlux makes Bilgekote in two colors, Too White and Too Grey. If you mix them half and half you get Just Right Grey.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:25 AM   #4
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would make inspection and maintenance more pleasurable.

The inspection after a hard grounding will reveal lots less if the hull is covered with paint.

Paint is quire flexible and will stretch , so cracking in the GRP structure will not be seen till total failure.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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I am trying this...someone else here recommended it...used it in my badly peeling chain locker and seemed great...

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer/Sealer
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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Great question Craig.....& Hopcar, thanks for the chuckle, I just about choked on my morning coffee re the interlux colour availability.

You did however miss the fine print which is printed in ancient sanskrit on the bottom of the can. It reads: "We at Interlux know that it is a virtual impossibility to sand the rough fiberglass in an entire bilge once, let alone a total of 4 times and we are pretty confident no one is energetic or dumb enough to try, therefore when the paint fails as it surely will, please do not call us since we know you did not follow instructions.

All 50ft X 17ft of my bilge was painted with Interlux Bilgecoat by the previous owner but it is peeling off in numerous places. I find I can remove great swaths of it with nothing more than a garden hose with a spray nozzle. There must be a serious, purpose made product out there that bonds well to clean but unsanded fibreglass. This certainly isn't one of them. I hope others who have tried various paints will chime in on this thread.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Did my fiberglass bilge many years ago and started with a coat of "no sand" primer from Petit or International. It is normally used on new bottoms b/4 the first coat of bottom paint. It's strong solvents etch into the resin & desolve oil which remains after washings.
Fans and good resperator required.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FF View Post
The inspection after a hard grounding will reveal lots less if the hull is covered with paint.
Point taken and conceded Fred. However the only hard grounding opportunities in the Delta are levees and launch ramps, both easily avoided.

Thanks for the sealing primer link as that sounds like the obvious first step I and perhaps others haven't thought of.

Anyone have any words of wisdom in regards to cleaning after the initial scraper brush? Mine is mostly clean and am leaning toward spot cleaning with a degreaser then maybe washing with mild dish soap solution.

Not sure I have the intestinal fortitude for a white bilge and engine room, but traditionally gray has been an equipment and piping color for me so white it is. After all, I did say lighting was the reason
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CPseudonym View Post
Point taken and conceded Fred. However the only hard grounding opportunities in the Delta are levees and launch ramps, both easily avoided.

Thanks for the sealing primer link as that sounds like the obvious first step I and perhaps others haven't thought of.

Anyone have any words of wisdom in regards to cleaning after the initial scraper brush? Mine is mostly clean and am leaning toward spot cleaning with a degreaser then maybe washing with mild dish soap solution.

Not sure I have the intestinal fortitude for a white bilge and engine room, but traditionally gray has been an equipment and piping color for me so white it is. After all, I did say lighting was the reason

Why not just added more/better lighting, if the reason is for LIGHT?

I installed to shop 4 ft floresent over the 671 and 2 fts on each side of the gen set. The engine room is the brights area on the boat.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Craig, I cleaned my bilge after a fire. It had about 6" of burnt boat all throughout and everything was smoke damaged. I'll try to attach some before and after. I clean in the following order:
1. Hire cheep labor.
2. Bags for trash, scrapers, heavy bristled brushes and purple industrial degreaser.
3. Vacume
4. Pressure washer with the degreaser.
5. Vacume again and again
6. Remove any unwated old, non used wire, pipe, hoses, tanks.
Before the paint, after tons of scrubbing and cleaning.

Now the following picture was taken after about two days of hand painting with a brush and roller.

The following picture is when I got tired of busting my ars and decided to get a few guys to help and we sprayed the entire bilge. Took 3 guys two days and lots of paint.


......I started with the $100 per gallon industrial/marine paint. I ended up and got the best results using the bullseye stuff.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I am trying this...someone else here recommended it...used it in my badly peeling chain locker and seemed great...

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer/Sealer
This^^^^. I used it and it has endured well.

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Old 06-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #12
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The end results



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Old 06-21-2013, 01:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Capt Kangeroo View Post
...my bilge was painted with Interlux Bilgecoat by the previous owner but it is peeling off in numerous places. I find I can remove great swaths of it with nothing more than a garden hose with a spray nozzle. ...
This was our experience in the forward bilge.

In the aft bilge/engine room we rolled/brushed on white gel-coat. The prep's about the same as with paint but we felt the gel-coat would be more durable and impervious to any chemicals we'd be using. It sure cleans up easily if I make a mess changing oil.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #14
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I painted my bilge years ago and have had no peeling at all.

All I did was clean it with TSP Trisodium phosphate. Painted it with a common Alkyd oil based enamel from home depot

I first thought it would be a big job. Not

For cleaning oil & grease TSP is your friend.

Costic stuff use gloves.

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Old 06-21-2013, 01:39 PM   #15
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Great stuff guys!

Blue Heron, what did you top coat with? Or is that the primer in your photographs?

Larry, I briefly considered gelcoat but think it would be a bit of a pain considering the bumpiness(is that a word?) of the surface. Agree with what you wrote about it though.

Skipperdude, I'm honored to be in your presence Did the TSP damage anything? I heard war stories about it damaging wiring and such. The folks with experience with it eating wiring are probably the same folks who'd have trouble walking and chewing bubble gum for all I know?
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #16
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I can't respond to the wiring thing as I was replacing all that when I did the bilge.

Perhaps someone else could respond to that.

I did not use it full strength just a box recommended solution or close to it.

That's a lie. I just poured some in a bucket added water and scrubbed away with a brush and rags. let it dry rinsed it and painted

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #17
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Great stuff guys!

Blue Heron, what did you top coat with? Or is that the primer in your photographs?

Larry, I briefly considered gelcoat but think it would be a bit of a pain considering the bumpiness(is that a word?) of the surface. Agree with what you wrote about it though.

Skipperdude, I'm honored to be in your presence Did the TSP damage anything? I heard war stories about it damaging wiring and such. The folks with experience with it eating wiring are probably the same folks who'd have trouble walking and chewing bubble gum for all I know?
CP,
I cleaned with Marine Cleaner from POR15 systems. Then I used the primer 1-2-3 direct with two coats. It works well enough that I didn't use a top coat.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:06 PM   #18
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Well, as prep and priming IS the logical first step and I'm cheap by nature anyhow. TSP(box in the garage) and some 1-2-3 primer it is then. If unhappy with the finish achieved it'll definitely be ready for a top coat so far from a wasted effort equals a win-win in my book. Thanks guys!
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #19
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The bilges in my trawler were painted once and were peeling. I power washed and De-greased and went back with epoxy. I literally mixed easy poxy hardener and resin and added white pigment. I could paint about 2 square feet before it kicked. Left my bilges clean fairly smooth and very resistant to drips and crud. I got a nice white finish that I wanted but most of all I do not think it is ever going to peel even a little bit.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:21 PM   #20
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Well, as prep and priming IS the logical first step and I'm cheap by nature anyhow. TSP(box in the garage) and some 1-2-3 primer it is then. If unhappy with the finish achieved it'll definitely be ready for a top coat so far from a wasted effort equals a win-win in my book. Thanks guys!
I got the idea from Chuck from Trawler Beach House. He used it. I followed his example and have been thoroughly pleased. You will be also.
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