14 REFIT STAGE 5 – Spray Painting

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Finish after spray No2. Chief Inspector TBear graded Lee's work as A+

How have we done on the 6P’s?

This is where we find out whether all of the sanding, filling, fairing and priming was good enough. As Nick kindly pointed out, it isn’t until it is shiny that you see all the defects….

Main consumables:

  • AWLGrip Topcoat in Stars & Stripes Blue and Silver White
  • Associated curing agents and flattening agent etc.
  • 3M Contour Sanding Pad
  • Crown Paints masking plastic and tape roll
  • 3M Fine Line tape 1cm width
  • Blue Masking Tape
  • Lee our sprayer and his collection of toys

We decided to use the big work tent at HYS in Hamble, plenty of room and relatively calm area to work in.

In order to avoid making a mess we erected a marquee around the boat and sealed the walls and added a waterproof floor to the marquee. Of course the primary sealing agent was Duck Tape. 🙂

Tent in a Tent
Boat in a tent within a tent ready to be sprayed.

Preparing the hull was relatively simple. We did a final inspection of the hull to make sure that there was no damage to the hull in transit. The next step is to ‘key’ the hull, using a fine 3M contour sanding pad, these are rectangular pads which look a bit like a large Brillo pad. Using the same sanding action as before, we use the pads to give a bonding surface for the paint. Clean the dust off, using a damp cloth, compressed air and finally a tac rag.

The hull and decked to be masked off so that we could get a good separation of the Blue hull paint and the White deck paint. To do this reused 3M Fine Line tape, which is a rubberised tape which provides an air tight seal onto the paint, which we can then tape the masking take and plastic to. This enables us to create a very fair and clear distinction between the two colours.

We decided to do two sessions of spraying for the hull, multiple coats in each spray. After the first spray the hull was sanded back using 800 Grit wet and dry. As AWLGrip Topcoat is a paint which you don’t polish, doing a second spray meant we should get a good depth of colour and finish to the top coat. After the second spray the boat was left in the heated tent for a full week, to make sure the paint was cured before we flipped the boat to do the deck.

Finish after spray No2. Chief Inspector TBear graded Lee's work as A+
Finish after spray No2. Chief Inspector TBear graded Lee’s work as A+

For the deck the preparation process was the same, but we had decided to do a Matt finish. AWLGrip have a Flattening Agent which can be added to their Topcoat, this takes the shine off the paint, and depending on how much is added can be a egg shell finish all the way to full Matt.

While not a formal non-slip the matt surface is not as slippery as a full gloss finish, another benefit is that as it is a chemical finish as opposed to sanding etc. it retains an easy to clean surface. Which is nice from a cosmetic point of view. 🙂

The wrapping of the newly sprayed hull
The wrapping of the newly sprayed hull

The key for this stage was preparation, the majority of the time was taken up with masking the hull, and in the preparation of the primed surfaces.

As can be seen from the photo, there was a lot of times spent making sure there was a clearly defined demarkation between the blue and white.

At this stage the time invested in preparation shows itself. Don’t rush the preparation!

The end result…

The finished article
The finished article

The down side of the high quality finish was it rather highlighted that the carbon work on the racks wasn’t that great. Which is another story…

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