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mike jupiter

painting a fiberglass boat?!?

15 posts in this topic

i just inherited a fiberglass fishing boat... it's been painted before, but could use a new coat. does anyone have any inexpensive ideas as far as painting it?

thanks for the help!

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Hi,

I repainted a 1956 Shell Lake 14'fiberglass boat this summer. I just used 120grit to scuff the old paint, then cleaned it with air, & wiped it down with a tacky cloth. For paint, I purchase 1 gallon of Epoxy paint from Albert Lea Paint and Glass. I had 3/4 of it tinted light blue, the other 1/4 I left white. cost $43.00 I used a brush and roller for application. Two coats later,It turned out very nice. The key is that paint will not hide any imperfection so spent the extra time with the prep sanding.

Regards,

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thanks a lot... that sounds like a pretty good idea.

you used an electric sander i take it?

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Yes, just take your time.

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anybody else on this forum ever paint a fiberglass boat? i like the epoxy paint idea, i'm leaning towards that method (seeing as i don't really have many other good options), but just figured i'd ask once more.

thanks.

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I am in the exact same scenario as you and plan on painting my boat this bring. I was going to ask the same question and then I saw yours.

thanks for all the info. Let us know how it turns out.

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I have yet to see a paint job applied with a brush and roller that comes anywhere close to a sprayed finish,would love to see it! I'd start by using a good cleaning solvent then sand with 240 180 if your good with an air sander.If you don't have one get one way too much work to properly prep a whole boat.Small chips can be repaired with regular body filler and primed then sanded again.Don't get stressed over the stress cracks just sand over them like they weren't there,anything you do they will just re-appear anyways. Use a good paint prep cleaner and definetly a tack rag,fiberglass get a static charge to it when you wipe over it a few times and so the dust goes out of it's way to cling to it.I'd for sure lay down a good two part sealer before the topcoat especialy on a pourus surface like glass.Your wallet will dictate the type of paint you decide to use but after going through all this work I would at least put an acrylic enamel on it and don't skip the hardener/catalyst.Catalyst is spendy but it'll hold the paints shine much longer especially on something that's exposed to sunlight on the water.Use the right paint reducer for the temperature,you want it slow enough that you don't have to dodge around like a tennis player laying down coats before it starts flashing on ya but not too slow so it doesn't end up on the floor.Make sure and have good ventilation and a good mask or you'll be painting the town before too long! Good luck,you'll need it if it's your paint job grin.gif

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I would go to a marine store and buy a gel coat finish. Not enamel or epoxy but polystyrene, Which is what fiberglass is anyways. Epoxy and fiberglass are not compatible and will lead to premature failure (peeling) once the mechanical bond is broken. When you use a gel coat there is and actual chemical bond which takes place and that new coat essentially fuses to the rest of the boat. It is going to cost you a bit more and you only have a limited time to apply as polystyrene only has a 10-30 minute pot life before it begins to tack up, but it will last as long as the original finish of the boat did. Plus if you are gonna spend all of that time preping it you will come to realize that you won't want to do that again in the near future. On a side note, use a polystyrene based body filler also to assure that you have a good bond to the filler as well. Almost forgot with this method you will get a very smooth and shiny finish even with a brush and roller as long as you cut down your hardener so the finish has time to self level. Feel free to ask anymore questions if you have them. I have done a lot of work with epoxies, acrylics, and polystyrene (fiberglass).

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I've had no problems using the method that I mentioned above on snowmobile hoods when they use to be glass (ya I've been around for awhile)my own bass boats and even a few vettes.One thing I forgot to mention is a fisheye additive in the paint,it's hard to lift all the contaminants out of the cracks and this will help the paint bridge over the gaps at least temporarily rather than swelling around them. I'd still love to see a paint job applied with a roller that comes anywheres near the quality of a spray job.

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thanks a lot for all the feedback guys... looks like i've got a few decisions to make, as well as a lot of work ahead of me.

jig n' jerk, what local (twin cities area) marine stores would you recommend for picking up such products?

thanks again.

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Gallon of duck boat paint, new Yar-Craft decals, and a case of beer and I had myself a darn nice new-lookin' 17' Yar-craft duckboat. Sure, you need to skuff up the surface and clean the hull really good, but it sticks well, and you can always keep the leftover for touch-ups, as they come along.

Not really rocket science you know...

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I have painted vehicles for 28+ years and Cast and Blast is on track. it will still cost and does take time your out come will be good. wink.gif

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another thing to consider is the moisture content in the hull. You will want to make sure it is good and dry or you could have issues with the gel coat popping out prematurely. the only real good way to tell if it is dry is with a moisture meter. I am not quite sure at what percent is adequate, but if you need to know, I can ask my buddy who has been doing glass work at King's Cove for a couple of decades and report back (if I remember to keep an eye on the open water forum!)

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sorry if i'm beginning to become a thorn in anyone's side, but i'm wondering if any of you could recommend a good local (metro) boat shop where i could talk to someone regarding painting/sanding, etc... ???

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Bakken Boat Shop would be your choice, but it's south of metro

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