Painting the Hull
After the keelsons had cured it was time to prime and paint the hull. I decided that
it would be better to paint the bottom of the boat while it was upside-down. The rest
of the boat would be painted at a later time. This would keep me from having to flip
the hull over again.
Painting epoxy can be disastrous if the proper paints are not used. It is possible
to paint over epoxy and have the paint never fully dry. Instead of experimenting on my
own with to determine what paint system would work I took Sam's Devlin's advice and went
with PPG's two-part epoxy based primer called Ditzler DP. Ditzler can be purchased at
most auto paint stores that carry PPG paint products. I used DP40/402 with DP40
indicating the color, green-gray, and 402 indicating the catalyst. The 402 catalyst is
a little faster acting than the alternative, 401, which requires a 30 minute activation
period after mixing before applying. DP is mixed in equal parts. That being one part
paint, one part catalyst.
DP can be applied two ways, spraying or rolling. Because I was working in a
garage with poor ventilation I decided to roll it on. Jeff Smith tells me that the DP
fumes created by spraying will make you silly.
Prior to painting I needed to mask-off certain parts of the hull. Because the sheer
clamps had not been installed four inches on the side panels was covered with masking
tape. Basically I painted everything below the water line and left the rest for when
the interior and decking was to be painted.
Two coats of DP were applied with a foam roller. After each coat the hull was
lightly sanded with a vibration sander using fine sandpaper.
After the primer coats were completed I painted the entire primed area with Parker's
Duck boat paint. The hunter green color was used. This too was rolled on. After
rolling an area with a foam roller I would go back and stroke the area with a foam
brush. This removed all the roller stipple and created a very smooth surface. Two
coats were applied with this technique. The end result was four layers of primer/paint
which is very smooth in appearance.