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Old 08-02-2018, 09:50 AM   #1
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Painting molded diamond pattern non-skid

Our Ocean Alexander 440 has raised diamond pattern molded into the decks. The white coating is beginning to erode in the low spots between the raised diamonds. I suspect this is caused by small droplets of water focusing the suns rays in the tiny depressions.

I taped off one of the non- skid sections (there are eight of them on the bow). The smooth deck area outlining the patches of non-skid are in excellent condition. I plan to paint only the raised diamond sections with Interlux Perfection.

Yesterday I wiped down the taped off section with wax remover and then vigorously abraded the surface with a brass wire brush (Itís virtually impossible to use sand paper). I will wash the surface to remove dust.

So, hereís the issue. How to best hand apply the paint (spraying is not an option). Interlux says to use their primer over bare fiberglass, but theyíre referring to new glass that has not been heavily abraded. My concern with two coats of primer is that all the paint layers will fill the depressions between the raised diamonds and the currently crisp pattern will look sloppy. Most of the old gel coat (or maybe itís paint) came off with the wire brush. Anyone with experience with recoatin these faceted surfaces? Anyone with experience with Interlux Perfection? I read the instructions and understand the safety issues during application. I donít care about smoothness or shine as this is in non-skid areas. Coverage, adhesion and UV durability are of primary interest. The bow on this boat gets very little foot traffic.

Thanks
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:46 AM   #2
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We repainted our forward and trunk cabin tops several years ago with polyurethane paint.
We applied as thin as we could. It looks great, but it is now fairly slippery.
Next time, if there is one, I will grind off all the diamond pattern and use gelcoat with non skid mixed in.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
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I paint with Interlux interdeck which has nonskid and flattening agent, looks good and holds up till the gel between the diamonds crack ever couple years.

......so I just sand again and each time it flattens the diamonds a bit and roll on another coat.
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Old 08-02-2018, 04:04 PM   #4
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Perfection will adhere fine to correctly prepped gelcoat without primer. Besides wire brushing you need to be sure you remove any wax or silicone, anything like that. I'd scrub the bejeezus out of it with abrasive cleanser and a stiff brush. Remember that your deck is going to end up really glossy. If it was me and I decided I wanted to put Perfection on my non-skid I'd start by thinning it about 10-15%, roll it on with a West Systems foam roller then brush it down into the non-skid using a pretty dry brush. You can cut the roller covers narrower if you want. You'll likely need 2 coats, 3 if it's a big color change. Or you could try the Wooster Candy Stripe roller covers, they have more nap so they'd get paint in the low spots, but they hold a lot of paint. You have to be careful that you don't end up with the paint too thick.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Sean. I did one of the eight sections a few hours ago with just a brush. Looks pretty good. Will thin the second coat a lot more and try to brush on in one direction, although itís difficult to get coverage on all four sides of those little pyramids without brushing in all four directions. Iím thinking a roll/tipped first coat followed by a sprayed final coat would net the most even appearance. That said, it already looks a lot better with just the brush application. (For the record it appears that the original finish coating was probably gel coat as there is no evidence of lifting by the new paint). Iím liking the Interlux Perfection a lot.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:28 AM   #6
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Perfection also has a flattening agent that can be added.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:31 PM   #7
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Thanks all. I applied a second coat and wish I’d left it alone. Some areas got a little more paint than others, so it’s a little uneven to the eye when viewing down from the fly bridge. OK from standing eye level. Good enough, and not much I can do except add even more paint. For the other seven sections I’ll thin even more...at least 25 percent, put a thin coat on the areas with very thin gel coat, and then recoat with another highly thinned coat.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:39 PM   #8
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For the record...

I just finished all eight sections of non-skid. Thinning the mix 30 percent with the recommended reducer for brush application worked very well. The instructions recommend 10 percent, but thatís for painting hull sides, I believe. ItWas about 80 degrees and very humid today. I let it cure for about four hours between first and second coats.Second coat flowed nicely and I ďpulledĒ the paint forward toward the bow. Looks quite good with no blotchy areas noted as for the first trial section. Definitely use the recommended Interlux reducer for brush application.

Like any painting project, the prep took four times longer than the actual paint application...about three days...wax removal masking, wire (brass) brushing, more washing/cleaning, more masking paint mixing, cleanup.
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