Monday, May 17, 2010

Painting the Bottom

The day of painting the bottom finally arrived! The night before, I masked off the sides and transom with 12" paper mask and 2" blue tape about an inch below where I wanted the paint line. Then I used 2" wide green FROG tape and masked the line I wanted for the paint line and overlapped the blue tape.

Sunday morning, I stirred up the Top Secret Coatings primer and poured out about 20 ounces into a quart mixing cup and added a couple of oz. of thinner and stirred some more. Then I poured half of it into a roller pan reusing one of the the same plastic liners I had used for epoxy. Using an ultra smooth foam roller, I rolled on the primer.

Then I stuck the roller in a plastic bag and wrapped it up tight.

After 2 hours, I poured the remainder of the thinned primer into another roller pan liner and put on another coat of primer. After another 2 hours, there were some thin spots, so I mixed another 12 oz. of primer and put on a third coat. By this time the whole house smelled pretty bad even though I had all the vent windows open in the basement and windows opened on the first floor as well. The paint is an oil based paint so it has a strong smell of paint thinner. So I spent some time outside putting down mulch.

I came back after another 2 hours and hand sanded the primer with 220 grit paper. It sanded very easily and the vacuum had to be used simultaneously to keep the dust from accumulating. The sanding flattened any orange peel or bumps. A thorough vacuuming and wipe down and it was color coat time.

I stirred the Tom Secret Coatings paint, Surf City Blue (#475), and poured out about 12 oz. and thinned with 2 oz. of thinner. Then I rolled away. Note the selection of old blue painting shirt to minimize the appearance of paint on the shirt! All went well with the painting. It seemed to go on best with a fairly slow roll to minimize the creation of bubbles on the surface. After fiddling with a few thin areas it seemed to be time to leave before I messed it up. I came back after about an hour and removed the FROG tape before things were dry to ensure it would remove cleanly. It may not be the best choice of tape as it was beginning to raise in spots after primer so I had to rub it back down. When removed, it left the adhesive on the epoxy surface, but not on the blue tape surface. The next morning, I was able to roll up the adhesive off of the epoxy surface, but its a rather slow process. Paint brings out imperfections, so I was pleased to see that the surfaces and lines of the boat still look good. Some of the radii along the chine are inconsistent, but overall, not bad for a first timer, if I say so myself.

After three coats of paint and a week of cure time, I sanded the bottom with an orbital sander using 220 grit. After cleaning, I rolled on another coat of paint and used a section of foam roller (see picture) to "tip it" off like I did on the epoxy and help level out the orange peel texture. This tip-off provided a smoother looking finish than just leaving the rolled on paint. After a day of cure, one more coat, but this time I rolled half the boat, did the tip-off with the roller section and then did the other half so the paint was wetter. The next day I declared it done. It is not glass smooth as there are "brush marks" and some orange peel look in areas where the tip-off was too light, but no sags. But most of it will never be seen anyway. The pictures here are after the first three coats. Later pictures in the Flip It blog are final finish.

Tip off tool.


  1. Looks great Art! I really like that color.

  2. Art, I really like the paint line you have there. I’m building a squirt myself and curious as to how many inches above the chine line you painted the bottom paint.