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Old 07-23-2019, 06:37 PM   #1
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Repainting black window frames

The anodized aluminum window frames on our 440 have become dull over the years, so I'm in the process of repainting them. When I started sanding, I encountered a clear coat of some sort over the anodized metal. That's what was deteriorating and giving the cloudy, chalky appearance. Comes off with a lot of elbow grease and wet sanding. I'm planning to spray them with catalyzed black satin urethane while anchored in a quiet inlet....compressor in the V-berth, hose through the forward deck hatch, power from the genset. Massive masking effort, but a whole less costly than having the bozos in the yard mess it up. I'm going to use two compact HVLP touch up guns from Harbor Freight. Very little overspray when I used them on my pick up respray. Thought about PREVAL, but it would take forever.

Any suggestions, other than don't try it...

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Old 07-23-2019, 07:47 PM   #2
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Totally doable but doing proper prep without taking off the frames will be a challenge. Also pick a product with a quick flash time. Wind or dampness may cause issues
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:58 AM   #3
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I did mine (all by hand, groan ) a few years back. I was advised to use an aluminum primer as a tie coat, which I did. So far, so good.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:34 AM   #4
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Thanks, Gents. I'm off to purchase a quart of the fastest urethane reducer I can find. I brought slow reducer left over from my truck re-spray project in the Texas heat. I'm using a drier on the paint gun/hose, but will still have to wait for a low humidity day on Lake Michigan.

I'll look into aluminum primer as well, although my concern is that the fairly aggressive catalyzed urethane finish coat might lift it. The black anodizing on the metal is still in very good shape except for a few edges where I broke through with 400 grit sand paper. Ideally I should probably prime it with hardened urethane primer, but that would mean finding two days in a row with good ambient conditions or sanding the primer (the recoat window is short). No way I will sand those frames again. Maybe just touch up the bare metal edges.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:39 AM   #5
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dwhatty - by hand did you mean with a brush? If so would you mind elaborating on the prep, process, and paint choice? I see this project in my future...
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:24 AM   #6
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Repainting black window frames

If itís anodised, topcoat wonít stick to it and youíll be in the same situation you are in today mate. You will need to use an epoxy primer first then your urethane top coat. Iíd shoot on some primer with a 1.8mm top. Then I recommend a 1.2mm tip to shoot on the topcoats. Thin the first coat out to 30% then once itís flashed thin the second coat out to 40% so itís burns in to a flow coat finish with minimal op.

You can shoot the primer and topcoats wet on wet. They will chemically bond and you can avoid the two day scenario you mentioned. Just keep an eye on the flash times
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:32 AM   #7
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Perhaps consider airbrush application, a little more time consuming but much less over spray plus more ability to fine tune.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:49 AM   #8
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Don't forget an air dryer for the guns. The compressor will push moister through to the spray guns and make a mess.


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Old 07-24-2019, 01:34 PM   #9
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Sounds like you already started, but if not, here is a write up on the process that Diamond Seaglaze recommends. It comes from the Southeast Nordic Tug Owners Association: https://www.sentoa.org/maintenance_t...epainting.html

Several other interesting project write-ups on the site, as well (most of which are applicable beyond Nordic Tugs). Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:38 PM   #10
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Sorry, meant to actually post this link, which is specific to anodized windows (though the other one also has good information for refinishing aluminum): https://www.sentoa.org/maintenance_t..._painting.html
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:33 PM   #11
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I just got back from the paint store (45 miles away) where the "expert" said I should use etching primer on the black anodized frames, and then apply the finish coat of urethane. When I got back to the boat I was reading the instructions on the can and it specifically says don't apply color over the (SEM) self etching primer. So much for the paint store expert, I guess.

So, I think I'll go with Hendo78's epoxy primer/urethane top coat procedure. I've had good results with epoxy base coat (with a middle layer of urethane primer for sanding purposes) on a couple of vehicles. I'm still screwing around with making masking cutouts for the window panes, etc, so I can wait for an Amazon delivery for the epoxy. Supposed to rain the next few days anyway. By the way the tight confines around the windows forced me to buy very compact touch-up spray guns (throw aways). One has a 0.8 tip and the other a 0.6. There will be some serious thinning going on.

Thanks everyone for the advice. Saved me from a major mistake of shooting color directly on the anodized surface.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:26 PM   #12
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Follow up: The manufacturer of the urethane top coat (Eastwood) says their urethane top coat will be compatible with a properly cured etch primer. So that's the route I'm going to take as it's simplest....the etch primer comes in a rattle can. Should be able to apply the primer and top coat in a single morning including specified drying times.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:22 AM   #13
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Some years back, previous boat, I sanded anodized alum. frames and used a brush to apply single pack epoxy (that`s what the can said it was) as a primer. Followed by a silver gloss single pack epoxy. Primer was difficult to get smooth, I think I sanded and maybe recoated it before the top coats. It was a good result.
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:09 PM   #14
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I just tested a small section with the SEM etching primer. Three thin coats, five minutes between. Goes on perfectly (nice spray nozzle on the can), lays down perfectly flat. If the urethane sticks it should be a very nice finish. The masking panels for the glass are cut. Waiting on a couple of low humidity days to mask it and then head for an anchorage. The photos show in-process wet sanding on the frames. The white smeary stuff is the clear coat coming off during the wet sanding. I started with Scotchbrite, then tried 400 grit wet sandpaper, and settled on 320 wet sand paper. It comes off fairly easily with 320 and there are no visible scratches in the frames. I'll have to do a two stage masking arrangement to first spray the metal frames (and not the surrounding fiberglass), then peel off the masking over the fiberglass areas for the final spray with urethane.

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Old 08-01-2019, 02:26 PM   #15
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Finished. Three days of sanding, three days of masking. Primed and painted this morning while at anchor on a small lake off Lake Michigan. cleanup this afternoon. Temperature was in the low 50s last night, so no bugs. Massive condensation on the boat, however. Took about an hour for the surfaces to dry once the sun came up. Light breeze, but no overspray problems with Harbor Freight touch up gun. Used a small pancake compressor rated at 4.0 cfm @ 40 psi. Genset carried it no problem. Worth the effort, but it's a killer job. Anyway, it turned out quite nice....certainly light years better than where it started. I did a two stage masking job, so that only the aluminum was hit with etch primer. Then pulled off that top layer of masking to expose the entire surface including fiberglass structure (cleaned off tape adhesive residue). The catalyzed urethane seems to be sticking just fine but will know for sure after a little time. A few in-process photos...

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Old 08-01-2019, 04:23 PM   #16
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It looks beautiful. Let us know how well it holds up.
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:57 PM   #17
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Looks great.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:07 PM   #18
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Wow great job!

Looks like a professional paint job.

Eastwood sells great products. For autos. Never thought about using their products on the boat.

Great tip!

I have one of their home powder coating kits. I should try powder coating small items on Sandpiper.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:45 AM   #19
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Wow great job!

Eastwood sells great products. For autos. Never thought about using their products on the boat.
As I mentioned, I just used Eastwood's Hot Rod (satin) black on my street rod pickup. Since I never cared for the more reflective gloss trim paint on the boat, it seemed a good fit. Didn't see any low gloss paint in the Interlux site, so thought I'd give Eastwood a try. The important thing is that it's catalyzed like the marine products, so it's formulated to withstand the high UV environment. I will say that black satin is not easy to get a consistent sheen, even with a big gun. The cheap little gun from Harbor Freight didn't help. It's not as even as I'd like in that regard. Also, if there's a screw up, a repair will not blend well, so the panel would need to be repainted to get it to blend perfectly. Not much of an issue with these thin trim pieces. One last pointer on these satin paints...they can't be buffed, and they shouldn't be waxed, as it messes with the reflective quality. So wash it and forget it. Works for me...
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:17 AM   #20
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Looks like a professional job. Time will tell but the great thing is at this point you have it down. So if you have to go back to the drawing board (lets hope not) your ready to tackle it. Lots of these boats with black accents need the same job. I am sure you'll get asked.

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