Boat painting help, please.

I have spent the last 5 months building a fiberglass over wood boat hull. I've been trying to paint it using roll and tip/backbrush techniques that I have learned on youtube, with bad results. I think I have sanded off a gallon of paint in my attempts!
I'm ready to go with spray painting but I have no skill or experience (obvious I don't brush painting either). If any of you who can spray point would be willing to come to my house and paint the hull it would be appreciated. I would furnish any needed equipment and paint, as well as compensate you for your time. We can do it inside the garage. I am retired so it can be at your convenience.


  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 445 Deckhand
    I spray painted some stuff with the harbor freight spray guns. Just practice on a cardboard box until you get it dialed in before you try it on your boat. Just be careful if you are using 2 part polyurethanes with the spray gun, it is bad stuff for your lungs.
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    I failed to mention that the boat is upside down, still on the roll around building jig. The boat is 7 x 20, so this is not a minor paint job.
  • RYAN1327RYAN1327 Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    I used a Harbor Freight sprayer, and Petit brand paint over raw fiberglass on my Gheenoe a few years ago. I was happy w/results. Just buy or borrow a big enough compressor. I had to stop every 20 seconds to build pressure back up.
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    I've already been looking at that. Lowe's has it and I get a 10% military discount. YouTube makes it look easy. I am very concerned at my ability to hold a steady spray pattern down the side of a 20 foot boat. One screw up and it's all over. Makes me nervous.
  • TUGTUG Posts: 824 Officer
    harbor freight has a great selection of hvlp guns and equipment...and for a "one time use" they cant be beat.
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    250 views and no volunteers to spray paint my boat. I understand, I don't want to do it either. After much hand wringing and internet research, I came up with a different approach. When it's done I'll post some pictures. Of course if it doesn't work out, I won't. :wink
  • ChillyChilly Posts: 471 Deckhand
    painting=no fun
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    Okay, the "different approach" came out pretty good. Using gloss exterior acrylic latex (as in expensive!) from Sherwin Williams, rolled on. I ended up with a smooth finish. Downside is a dull gloss, workboat look, but I kinda like it. I figure two months to do the interior, so maybe a launch in July. The boat is designed for one thing. Fishing the off-shore reefs within 20 miles. Power will be a 70-90 HP. Research indicates the paint should hold up well in the trailered marine environment. Guess we'll find out.
  • dixiedaddixiedad Posts: 301 Deckhand
    Looks good, post up pictures of the finished product when you get there.
  • JaxNative1JaxNative1 Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    That looks nice. I like the color. My wife is after me to paint ours. I was thinking of something similar. I wonder if there's anything you could do about the gloss, besides try another type of paint?
  • lonniejlonniej Posts: 150 Deckhand
    I have painted several hulls using Rustoleum oil based enamel, about nine dollars a quart at Home Depot, using a nine inch, 1/4 inch pile roller. Pre-sand of course. Mix about a 1/4 cup of quality mineral spirits per quart of paint and roll on, running your wet roller the full length of the hull when you finish a coat, being careful not to leave a build up from the edge of the roller. Three coats leave a good finish. Allow it to cure for a couple of weeks and hand polish. It should have all the gloss and smoothness you want. It is not as tuff as Gelcoat, but will stand up well with a little care and wax.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]"I fish, therefore I lie"
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    Turned the boat over this morning. Thought you might like to see how it's done.
  • Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,377 Captain
    That looks great! What plans did you build?
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    It is a Pacific Power Dory which I modified to a semi-v bottom (12 deg deadrise), reduced from 8' to 7' in beam, and added a motor bracket.
  • sydngoosesydngoose Posts: 537 Officer
    I saw my buddy, Lou D. in that video...which makes you Kenny. Hull looks super. Keep up the great work!
    Ortega River, Jacksonville, Fl
    One life, Live it.

  • suboptimalsuboptimal Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    I've painted several boats in my days, and would be happy to give you some advice.

    Prep work=90% of the results

    For any large areas that do not mandate spraying:
    Use a 2 part epoxy paint (perfection by interlux or awl grip or similar). Put on a couple of coats with a roller (+/- tipping it off)

    Once you have a thick enough base, start sanding with a random orbital sander using 1000 grit, then 2000 grit sand paper. Don't skimp on this step.

    Then, use a proper buffing/polishing tool with abrasive compounding material (3M for example.... they have it at west marine) and buff the surface until you achieve a mirror finish. not difficult, technically speaking, and guaranteed professional looking results, but a fair bit of work to be sure.

    PM me if you need any tips
  • model14model14 Posts: 847 Officer
    With the help of friends and neighbors, I moved the boat from its cradle to a trailer today. I hope to get the motor mounted and do a wet test by Friday. Here is a slideshow of the action.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file