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Old 05-26-2016, 07:23 AM   #1
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Prepping and Painting advice please?

So our new (OLD) boat looks like an old wrinkled hag. She needs a face lift.

I've read tons of threads here and elsewhere on the topic to try and figure it out myself but the amount of information is quite overwhelming. Please go easy on me and pretend you're talking to a 5 yr old. Lol

We got a estimate of $11k from a professional on having the whole topside repainted. I'm not ready to spend that much money for that and besides I need stuff to do while hubby fools with mechanical and electrical stuff. And I figure the worst case is I screw it up or do a really bad job and will end up having to spend the money to get it done professionally in the end anyway.

So here's what we've got. Someone at some point did a really bad halfa$$ job of painting the boat in places and apparently used house paint. I mean really sloppy work. For example on the front of the flybridge, they didn't remove the canvas on the front windows when they painted. They painted up to the bottom of the canvas. Lolks so bad when the canvas is off. On the transom door they painted like half the door but apparently didn't want to bother with trying to paint neatly around the hinges so they just stopped before getting close to the hinges.
It's peeling off in several places. There's also a couple of really bad patch jobs where I guess they tried to fix dings or something in the fiberglass.

So my questions are:

1. what is the best way to remove the old paint? I assume I will need to sand it all off? Can I use a little palm sander to do this or is that too rough?

2. Can I work in small sections with natural break points like the front of the flybridge or one side of the flybridge when I actually get to the painting part or do I really need to get the whole boat prepped and then paint all at one time?

3. Those few sloppy patches...can I just sand those down smooth?

4. I want to remove the black vinyl stripe around the flybridge because it's ugly and faded. Is a heat gun the easiest way to remove that?

Thanks in advance for any tips or advice you can offer!
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:41 AM   #2
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wood or fiber glass??


Many paints will melt old paint similarly to paint remover. Sanding works but paint remover is a good way to start depending on base material.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:43 AM   #3
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New shiny paint will exaggerate any surface imperfections so perfect preparation is the key to a good topcoat.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:44 AM   #4
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It's all fiberglass.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:12 AM   #5
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If that black stripe is a vinyl decal then just a razor blade to start and you might be able to pull it off like tape ( depending on how well done it was to begin with).
A little Goop should remove any residue.
I would say small sections at a time would be the way to go.
Good Luck.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:21 AM   #6
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From your description "topsides" seems to mean the deck and cabin house. In boat speak, topsides is the hull above the waterline. Actually, for a repaint of the deck and house $11K is a very good price for a 47' boat.

As far as painting it yourself goes the job will have three parts.

1. Remove the old paint. The easiest way is to use a fiberglass safe chemical stripper. There are a number of products. For most of them you apply the stripper, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it for a few hours. Then you remove the plastic and scrape the softened paint off. If you don't get it all, you can reapply stripper or sand off the residue with a random orbital sander (the kind that uses round pieces of sand paper - don't forget to hook a vacuum up to your sander).

2. Once the paint is all off your next step is to repair imperfections in the surface. If the flaws are cosmetic only then you can use an epoxy based fairing compound (system 3, Petit and Awl-Fair) make good products. If the flaws require fiberglass work, you should find someone to either do the work or help you. Once you have spot faired the entire surface you plan to paint, sand the fairing compound to a smooth finish (220 grit) with your random orbital sander.

3. The final stage is painting. IF there is a chance that the boat will be professionally painted while you own it, I strongly suggest that you use a two-part urethane paint (Awl-Grip, Epiphanes, Petit, Sterling, etc.) to provide a base that a future painter won't have to remove. The actual painting starts by applying primer. Use the primer specified by the paint you are using. I would roll and tip the primer using a foam roller. Once the area to be painted is primed, let it cure than sand it smooth with your random orbital sander. Apply and sand out a second coat of primer. Sand this coat to the grit size suggested by the paint you are using. During this final sanding it is a good idea to wear nitrile gloves so you won't touch the surface and leave skin oils on it. Clean the surface up and apply top coat. With a two-part urethane paint you will need to apply at least two coats. Apply the paint by rolling with a foam roller and then tipping. After the paint cures, sand the first coat as directed on the paint you are using then recoat. By the time you get to the second coat you should be fairly good at rolling and tipping paint and should get a reasonably nice finish.

You can certainly work on small areas with natural breaks. I would suggest that you start with the smallest areas you can since your first attempts at DIY painting will be a lot less than perfect compared to your later results and you may want to redo them when you have finished the project and developed your skills (or not).

I hope this helps.

Addendum - It makes painting a lot easier if you remove all hardware on the area to be painted although you can simply mask around it. Removing it will give a more "professional" result, but it can take a lot of time.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:24 AM   #7
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You could do one section where there is a good visual break, preferably a small one. What ever you do to remove the previous finish, you'll still need to sand the surface in preparation of applying the primer and then again to prep the primer to accept the top coat.

By doing a small area you can practice and see if you like the finish and also are you cut out to be a boat boat painter.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:27 AM   #8
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I use an orbital sander with 60 grit. Change the sand paper often as they are cheap and easy to change, Velcro. Then final sand with 120 grit. You do not have to sand to bare, just rough update and smooth. For deep gouges groove scratchs fill with a finishing epoxy. I use west system epoxy with different additives for the spplication. Main thing is a smooth surface.

I would try sanding and heat gun on black stripe to see what works. Don't worry how ugly it looks as you are going to paint over

I recommend working small areas as you can blend feather. However best to break at natural points. Again you don't have to sand completly bare, but only rough and smooth. My project this year is repaint Portuguese bridge and pilot house. 90 of work is prep and prime.

The secret to marine paint is prep and primer to make the surface a flat constant surface, and lightly sand before applying a thin gloss top coat. I use 1 part Brightside sold at most marine stores. So the coverage protection is the primer not the gloss top coat, which is to make pudy. Sorta like foundation to cover and flat surface to the apply powder, blush to make purdy. Oh, the top gloss coat should be the same thickness as nail polish, just enough to cover, and blend feather for that slick wet look.

Painting a boat is the same principle as paint you face.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquafarm View Post
If that black stripe is a vinyl decal then just a razor blade to start and you might be able to pull it off like tape ( depending on how well done it was to begin with).
A little Goop should remove any residue.
I would say small sections at a time would be the way to go.
Good Luck.
Thank you! I'll give it a shot.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:32 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. S. Boy, you don't have anything to do if you're worrying about paint. IMO paint would be the last thing I would worry about BUT I can understand that you want your new baby to look her best.

$11K doesn't sound all that bad IF it's a good job. Ask for references and examples of past work. Get EVERYTHING in writing, down to the smallest piece of trim...

OK. THAT ain't gonna happen so...
1. Yes, a palm sander will work for the broad expanses but you'll have to hand sand all the nooks and crannies. Usually the paint manufacturers will suggest a grit to do a final sanding for the best "tooth" for the paint to stick well. Go with that recommendation. Personally, I would not use chemical strippers. Too many chances for an "oopsie" but that's just me...

2. I would say, yes, you can work in sections between natural breaks but you may find it easiest to do your prep in sections THEN paint the whole works at once (minimizes masking and re-masking).

3. As Mr. bay suggests, new paint may dissolve old so you'll probably want to sand all the old stuff off first.

4. Yes, GENTLE use of a heat gun should soften the tape adhesive. Use only if necessary.

As a final note...Preparation, preparation and more preparation.

What paint are you planning on using?
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:36 AM   #11
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You guys are so awesome!! Thank you so much!
Ive got my work cut out for me that's for sure...but it can't hurt to give it a try!

And thanks TDunn for explaining "topsides"
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:49 AM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. S. Boy, you don't have anything to do if you're worrying about paint. IMO paint would be the last thing I would worry about BUT I can understand that you want your new baby to look her best.

$11K doesn't sound all that bad IF it's a good job. Ask for references and examples of past work. Get EVERYTHING in writing, down to the smallest piece of trim...

OK. THAT ain't gonna happen so...
1. Yes, a palm sander will work for the broad expanses but you'll have to hand sand all the nooks and crannies. Usually the paint manufacturers will suggest a grit to do a final sanding for the best "tooth" for the paint to stick well. Go with that recommendation. Personally, I would not use chemical strippers. Too many chances for an "oopsie" but that's just me...

2. I would say, yes, you can work in sections between natural breaks but you may find it easiest to do your prep in sections THEN paint the whole works at once (minimizes masking and re-masking).

3. As Mr. bay suggests, new paint may dissolve old so you'll probably want to sand all the old stuff off first.

4. Yes, GENTLE use of a heat gun should soften the tape adhesive. Use only if necessary.

As a final note...Preparation, preparation and more preparation.

What paint are you planning on using?
Hey...I'm a Mrs.

And you're right..."I" don't have anything to do. Hubby's got lots to do and I don't want to just sit there twiddling my thumbs looking like a hood ornament. I want to be useful and get something of my own accomplished.

Arvin, the guy who gave us the estimate, does really good work. He goes back and forth between here and Honduras (he's from Roatan sp?). He just finished redoing a boat in our marina and we hired him to do redo our cockpit hatches and to do a few small fiberglass repairs. He's currently working on my Windows. He's leaving to go back home when he's done for about 4 months. He said if I didn't get it done or just decided I can't do it by the time he gets back he'll pick up wherever I leave off.

As for what paint I'm planning to use, I haven't gotten that far yet. I was going to go with what Arvin recommends. But I've got plenty plenty prep work to do before then!

I'm heading to the marina shortly and I'll ask him.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:29 AM   #13
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Star...

First I'll say - you are ambitious for even considering tackling this job!!!

You've already gotten some great info - I'll add a few comments but agree with what has already been said.... especially prep is everything!!!
I just got finished w/ a small area patch / repaint on our MS 34 and helped a friend (my spray painter) w/ prep & paint of his faded stripe below the rub-rail.

TDunn mentioned Awlgrip - I'd suggest you explore / read up on Awlgrip vs Awlcraft before making your finish decision
See Awlgrip vs Awlcraft for a good "primer" (pun intended - couldn't resist - a good "intro")
We used Awlcraft for both of our projects and I recommend it but don't have experience w/ others. Awlgrip / Awlcraft website - lots of info here - need to explore

Awlcraft / Awlgrip use the same primer (545 Epoxy) and it is available in white - you might consider doing the prep & priming but have the pro do the topcoat whan it's all ready - re ask the question and I'll bet the $cost would be very different. That way you can work on small areas for prep & priming and get the advantage of a pro for the topcoat.

Some fo these finishes can be "rolled & tipped" - do a quick search and you'll find lots of info / examples & likiely some videos. I haven't done this but have seen some finished product photos. It is possible to get a good finish but it does take some practice.

I did my preping & priming so my small area was ready to go and found I could do a reasonable job - after some practice - using a PreVal sprayer. You can use custom / multi-part mixed paint w/ these and it applies similar to an aerosol spray can... generally good enough for priming as you fine sand afterwards.

We removed my buddy's vinyl stripe - heat gun & razor blade worked very well - actually better than either of us expected - you have to experiment to get the pre-heat just right. The key here is to have a long handled razor blade holder to stay away from the heat.

Hope that helps - good luck w/ the project(s)
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star0210 View Post
Hey...I'm a Mrs.

And you're right..."I" don't have anything to do. Hubby's got lots to do and I don't want to just sit there twiddling my thumbs looking like a hood ornament. I want to be useful and get something of my own accomplished.
My advise is don't do too good of a job or you may get "shanghaied" to paint another boat. I have one on mind. LOL

Seriously please post pics when finished!!
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:22 AM   #15
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So I'm at the marina chatting with Arvin. He's funny. We're negotiating. I said what's the worst that can happen...I screw it up and you get to fix it when you come back? He laughed and in his cute Carribean accent said....I wasn't gonna say it but that's exactly what's gonna happen. Haha.

Oh and this whole time I thought the black stripe was vinyl...it's raised on the edges like a vinyl stripe would be but Arvin said nope it's paint. He has decided to go ahead and paint that for me because he thinks that will make me more able to live with the rest until he gets back.
He said with the windows painted and looking good the stripe needs to pop too.

So I'm liking the idea of trying to do the bulk of the prepwork and priming and then let him finish it when he comes back.

I'm gonna go take a few pictures to show ya'll just how stupid and crappy it looks right now.

I did ask him what paint he uses and he said Awlgrip.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:39 AM   #16
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$11k is an absolute bargain. If you want to bring it down even further AND have a 'project' of your own, why not see if the pro will let you work alongside him while doing the prep? Then stand back and let him apply the finish coats over work that he's signed off is 'good to go'.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:43 AM   #17
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"So I'm liking the idea of trying to do the bulk of the prep-work and priming and then let him finish it when he comes back."

So, in the time remaining after prepping (no finishing) hubby should have things running well...pace yourself so he does. Then, use the boat!
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:43 AM   #18
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I can't seem to post photos from my phone and no wifi on the boat so pictures on my phone aren't yet available on my iPad. But I had a few on my iPad of the Windows Arvin is fixing and one shows how whoever halfa$$ painted. And how crappy the Windows looked.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:44 AM   #19
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Stupid picture is sideways but if you see that kind of line...that's just where they stopped painting.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:42 AM   #20
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The first time we were on the hard close to a boat being painted, so with his guidance and help I did the prep and then helped Jim apply the top coat. We did the whole hull in two hours and 3 quarts. I use bright side as it applies easy, flatten and feathers well and easy to re apply and blends matches well. Many do not match blend feather well.
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