Painting the Hull

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.

Eric Patterson
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