Author Archives: BottomPaintStore

How to Apply Propspeed


Propspeed ReviewPropspeed is a coating system designed and proven to increase vessels’ speed and fuel efficiency and greatly reduce marine growth from bonding to metal surfaces below the waterline. Propspeed works because it’s slick, not because it’s toxic.

The Propspeed system can be applied to any metal surface below the waterline, including propellers, shafts, bow thrusters, rudders, trim tabs, struts, stabilizers, sea chests, sea strainers, keel coolers and through hull fittings. The Clear Top Coat without the use of the etching primer can be used on plastic based items such as underwater lights, composite propellers and plastic bow thrusters.

Propspeed System Limitations

The Propspeed  system has been developed over many years of trial and error and has been refined to give exceptional performance throughout the world.

• The preparation and application instructions should be followed to ensure you get a satisfactory result. Taking shortcuts will reduce the durability and longevity of the system.

• Propspeed should only be applied by a qualified applicator.

• As with any coating systems, environmental influences will vary the cure rate of the coatings and this needs to be taken into account by the applicator.

• We recommend a minimum application temperature of 5°C or 40°F with recommended humidity not exceeding 85%.

• Electrolysis of a vessel or even a vessel moored nearby can adversely affect the coating system of the running gear. Marinas with 400 volt supply to vessels are more prone to neighbors’ vessels being affected.

• Propspeed clear coat is a soft coating and is easily damaged by mechanical abrasion, fi shing tackle or ropes around the running gear. Vessels used in shallow, sandy areas are also prone to mechanical abrasion of the clear coat.

• Vessel owners using a dive service should inform their diver that Propspeed has been applied to the running gear, and any other areas, so that the diver can use proper cleaning methods to avoid damaging the Prospeed system.

• The Propspeed system is not recommended nor approved for use in aquaculture or contact with food products.

Propspeed Application Process

The Propspeed  application is a simple process, involving surface preparation, metal conditioning and a catalyzed etching primer, followed by a silicone based topcoat.

The process to apply Propspeed to your running gear isn’t difficult, but the process must be strictly adhered to in order to get a superior result. For this reason we strongly recommend using a Propspeed approved applicator, or an experienced marine painter.

Propspeed doesn’t require any special equipment in its application. All you need is: a dual action sander, some 80 grit sandpaper, both wet and dry, plenty of rags, plastic mixing containers, disposable brushes, disposable foam rollers, disposable plastic paint trays, mixing sticks, paper paint suits, disposable gloves, eye protection and dust sanding mask.

The application of Propspeed  can be broken down into five separate stages:

1. Metal surface preparation – sanding the surface or using Propstrip

2. Initial clean – using Propclean

3. Metal conditioning – using Propprep

4. Metal etching primer

5. Clear coat top coat


1. Metal surface preparation – sanding the surface or using Propstrip

As is the case with all surface coatings the preparation of the surface to be coated for the application of Propspeed is key. The old Propspeed coating needs to be removed completely before the new system can be applied.

Any previously applied Propspeed on propellers, rudders and drive shafts should be high pressure cleaned, removing all marine foul from surfaces, then be allowed sufficient time to thoroughly dry.

Propspeed can be removed by sanding using 80-grit sandpaper. A dual action or air driven sander can be used and difficult areas wet sanded by hand.

Propstrip Option

New to our range is the revolutionary Propstrip. This is a safe, low toxicity remover that is totally water neutralized. The product can reduce the labour cost to remove Propspeed by up to 70%, as well as reducing dust and noise in the boat yard, and cutting the expense of abrasives.

For yards without a water catchment process, this system also enables all of the waste and removed product to be captured and processed to a waste container. For this process we recommend the use of hessian or burlap sacking placed under the area, so the removed product washes off onto the sacking. The water will drain through the hessian sacking, capturing the old Propspeed, and the hessian sacking can be rolled up and all waste placed in the waste container.

Good work practice is always recommended with the wearing of protective hand and eyewear.

Mask off any surface of the vessel that the Propstrip could splash or drip onto.

Propstrip does the hard work for you. It’s easy to apply and easy to remove following these simple instructions:

• Make sure the area you are working with is totally dry: Propstrip DOES NOT like any moisture. Water de-activates the Propstrip completely.

• Ensure any areas that are not being treated are adequately protected from Propstrip.

• Dependent on the remaining wear layer of the silicone topcoat the Propspeed may first need to be abraded with 80 grit sandpaper. This enables the Propstrip to work more effectively by penetrating the silicone faster.

• Apply Propstrip liberally with a brush ensuring there is a thick coating on 100% of the surface being treated allowing for complete saturation of the part.

• In cold conditions, 10-15°C or 50-60°F, it could take up to 3 hours to release the old Propspeed or if colder, it may take longer than 3 hours.

• In hot conditions above 35°C or 95°F it may be necessary to ensure the treated area is in shade to prevent the application from drying out while performing its action. The product works faster in hot conditons, so within 1 to 3 hours you should begin to visually observe the discoloration of the old Propspeed.

• When the product has started to bubble and change colour, this is a good sign that it is doing its job. Test a small area with a scraper to see if it will freely release from the substrate. Once ready, wash with a hose or a bucket of water and a Scotch-Brite pad.

• Any remaining product is removed using a wet Scotch-Brite pad or wet/dry sandpaper.

2. Initial clean – using Propclean

Once the surface to be coated has had the old Propspeed chemically or mechanically removed its now time to clean the surface with the Propclean solution.

From this stage of the application forward there should be no direct hand contact with the areas that are to be coated with Propspeed. The reason for this is that the oils on your fingers and hands will be transferred to the surface that is to be coated and this may cause the coating to fail. Plastic or latex gloves should be worn at all times. If you need to change  gloves frequently then do so. Make sure you have an abundance of rags on hand for the next two steps.

Clean the surface with Propclean. Immediately wipe the surface with a clean dry rag. Repeat until there is no residue left.

3. Metal conditioning – using Propprep

Apply Propprep solution liberally with a clean rag or use the Propprep wipes. Immediately wipe the surface with a clean dry rag to ensure no residue is left.

Propprep is essential in the chemical preparation of the metal substrate to be coated with Propspeed. It contains ingredients that react with the metal creating a surface porous layer. This porous layer is key to ensuring penetration and completion of the self etching reaction of the primer to the metal substrate. Propprep also ensures that no free alkalinity, as a result of various soap/detergent washing, is present to interfere with the self etching primer reaction and adhesion to the metal substrate.

4. Metal Etching Primer

Ambient temperature has an effect on the application of Propspeed and the drying times of the Metal Etching Primer and the Clear Top Coat. We recommend a minimum temperature of 5°C or 40°F.

It is recommended to avoid applying the product in direct sunlight or humidity above 85%.

Open the can of etching primer. The yellow pigment in the bottom of the can must be thoroughly

mixed before adding the etching primer hardener. This can be done quite easily using a mixing stick or Propspeed Paint Stir Wheels. This usually takes no more than two or three minutes.

Note: Failure to thoroughly mix the etching primer base, as described above, may lead to premature hardening, inconsistencies and short life expectancy of the final coating system.

Once the etching primer base has been thoroughly stirred and there are no solids left in the bottom of the can you can now add the etching primer hardener to the etching primer base. The mixing ratio of etching primer base to etching primer hardener is four parts base to one part hardener. However we recommend that you mix the etching primer hardener right into the etching primer base container thereby ensuring an accurate measurement. Once mixed together, use immediately. Any product not being used immediately can be left in the sealed can in the shade for up to six hours. You can apply your primer with brushes and or foam rollers. For spray applications, please consult your Propspeed Technical Representative regarding specialized projects such as keel coolers and sea strainers.

The application process must be well planned due to times in between coats and may require two applicators. The timing of each coat is essential to enable the required chemical bond between coats.

The Propspeed system requires two generous coats of etching primer. To access all parts of the propeller and shaft we recommend turning the prop using a brush, wooden stick, or gloved hands. Once you have applied the first coat of etching primer wait approximately 3 to 5 minutes before applying the next coat.

To test if it is ready use the dry-to-touch test method.

If you take your index finger in a glove and touch the wet etching primer and it leaves a small print on the primed surface but no etching primer transfers to your fingertip of your glove, then you can begin applying the next coat. The wait between coats of etching primer is very important and must be adhered to. Make sure you have some idea of how time is progressing.

Using 27°C or 80°F as a benchmark you have 3 to 5 minutes from the start of applying the fi rst coat of etching primer to the start of applying the second.

Cooler temperatures will slow down the recoat time between the two coats, as will warmer temperatures and windy conditions speed-up the recoat time between the two.

5. Clear Top Coat

Before applying the clear coat take another paint stick and stir the clear coat so you have a smooth, homogeneous mixture in the can. The 3 to 5 minute wait between coats applies here too – use the dry to touch test to check if the etching primer has dried suffi ciently before applying the clear coat. Apply the clear coat with a brush only, NO foam roller application is to be used here. The clear coat is applied and brushed much like conventional varnish. As with the etching primer to access all parts of the propeller and shaft we recommend turning the prop using a brush, wooden stick or gloved hands.

Make sure there are no heavy runs or sags in the clear coat. You’ll have anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to touch these up. Any drips that harden on the edges of the propeller blades can be carefully cut off the following day.

Make sure the surface is completely coated with clear coat. Any missed areas will appear dull in luster.

When you have fi nished coating the entire propeller with clear coat, give the propeller one more visual inspection just to make sure there are no areas that you might have missed and to check again that there are no runs in the clear coat.

Once the running gear has been coated clean up the contaminated waste products and dispose of as required by your local council or marine laws.

Propspeed requires a minimum of eight hours to dry before launching. In cold conditions, 5-13°C / 40-60°F, we recommend at least 24 hours drying before launching. Unlike traditional bottom paints Propspeed’s effectiveness is not adversely affected by sitting out of the water for extended periods of time in warm or cold climates. Any coated areas will need to be protected from damage.

Propspeed Tips

• Application of Propspeed requires planning so make sure you have all of the required application equipment and thoroughly understand the process.

• Wear protective respiratory, eye and skin protection.

• Remember to remove all of the solids at the bottom of the primer container and stir it into a homogeneous mixture before applying the primer hardener.

• Be sure to keep track of time between etching primer coats and the clear coat. The 3 to 5 minute re-coat windows are critical and subject to your ambient application temperature.

• Be sure and brush out sags or drips in the etching primer before applying the clear coat.

• Install all zincs or tape off areas where zinc anodes will be placed before applying Propspeed. Be sure to carefully remove any tape that has been applied before the Prospeed is fully cured.

• When coating the blades of the propeller remember to start in the hub area and work your way out to the end of the blade.

• The Propprep solution does not contain corrosive inhibitors so the treated surface should be primed and coated with the clear coat as soon as possible after being treated, and defi nitely within 4 hours.

• When applying the clear coat be sure to stretch the material out just as you would on the last coat of varnish on any bright work.

• We highly recommend two people work together on each application.

• After completing the application of the clear coat, visually observe all areas, ensuring there are no misses or gaps. The clear coat will dry to a glossy fi nish, helping the applicator fi nd any uncoated areas.

• During cleaning of your hull only use a soft cloth on the Propspeed. If the wiping cloth collects shells remove them before proceeding with the wipe down so as not to damage the Propspeed. Avoid any abrasive cleaning materials or direct high-pressure water.

• When hauling your vessel assess the Propspeed condition and reapply if necessary. Most owners reapply Propspeed at the same time as antifoul.

Propspeed Frequently Asked Questions

How does Propspeed work? Propspeed’s unique “foul release” formulation produces a surface that does not allow marine growth to permanently attach.

• What are the benefi ts of Propspeed? Propspeed will keep your running gear free from marine growth and will increase your vessel’s speed and reduce your fuel consumption.

• Is Propspeed environmentally friendly? Yes. Propspeed contains no tin, copper, biocides or pesticides.

• Is Propspeed good value? Absolutely! For years boaters have asked for a coating to keep their running gear free of marine growth. Propspeed not only delivers a coating that answers this call, but will deliver higher speeds and fuel savings, when compared with unprotected running gear.

• How long should Propspeed last on my vessel? Propspeed should last at least one year but many customers report up to two years of service.

• Do I need anything to maintain my Propspeed application? Propspeed’s unique “foul release” formulation is self-cleaning. However, it is acceptable if your diver gently wipes Propspeed with a non-abrasive cloth, rinsing frequently to avoid collecting shells.

• Can I haul my vessel multiple times without having to re-apply Propspeed? Yes. Propspeed can be hauled and launched multiple times without affecting its performance.

• Who should apply Propspeed to my vessel? We recommend that you have a certified applicator apply Propspeed to your vessel.

• Can I use Propspeed on my Kiwi Props? Yes you can. Preparation is similar to any other Propspeed application, except you do not need to apply the etching primer, just apply the Clear Coat after normal preparation.

• Can I spray Propspeed? We do not recommend the spraying of the clear top coat as it is a silicone based product which can easily contaminate other vessels in the yard if not handled correctly.

• Where can I fi nd the Safety Data Sheets and the Technical Data Sheets on Propspeed products?see links below

The above information was obtained via the Propspeed Application Manual and updated 8/29/2016. For the most up-to-date information please review the Propspeed OceanMax website.

Helpful Links:

Propspeed Application Guidelines

Propspeed Coverate Rates

Propspeed Technical Data:

Propspeed Etching Primer Techincal Data Sheet

Propspeed Clear Coat Techincal Data Sheet

Propspeed Safety Data

Propspeed Etching Primer SDS (MSDS)

Propspeed Clear Coat SDS (MSDS)

How to Prevent Growth on Boat Propellers and Running Gear

So you have gone to the expense of applying bottom paint to your boat, and now you have to ask the question “what about propeller paint and running gear paint? Just like the rest of the bottom of the boat, marine growth will cover the props and running gear if left unprotected. This will lead to loss of power and speed. With severe growth, you can even lose the ability to get the boat on plane.

There are a few options for keeping growth off your propellers and running gear and we will explore advantages and disadvantages for applying various coatings to your propellers and running gear. Keep in mind that when you paint props and running gear they are under extreme conditions with speed, cavitation, electrolysis and environmental conditions ( like running through sand or hitting ground or objects). These can cause the same result as sandblasting your running gear – something you will want to avoid after you choose a coating!

1. Propspeed Foul Release Coating | The Best Solution for Preventing Growth on Props and Running Gear

Propspeed ReviewAdvantages: Best adhesion, best performance, actual increase in speed, lowest risk of electrolysis issues, non-toxic
Disadvantages: Higher Cost, Environmental Variables (sand, running aground), Detailed application

Propspeed is a foul release system that is applied to underwater metals including props and running gears. Propspeed is sold in kits ranging from 200ML, 500ML, and 1000ML Kits. You can view the Propspeed Coverage Rates to determine which kit size if right for you.

Foul Release Systems provide the best solution to keeping growth of your props and running gear. While these are not antifouling prop paints, they do keep the growth off buy creating a super slippery surface that the marine growth cannot stick to. Propspeed recommends that their kits by applied by a professional Propspeed applicator. If you want to apply this yourself, be sure to follow the details Propspeed Application Manual. You can find these on any of the Propspeed Kit sizes listed on our website.

2. Paint the Props and Running Gear with Bottom Paint

Advantages: Lower cost option
Disadvantages: Trouble staying on, electrolysis concerns, Environmental Variables (sand, running aground)

Applying bottom paint to your underwater gear is a little tricky because there are additional steps that must be taken before applying the bottom paint. Especially if you have a fiberglass boat. Most bottom paints contain copper that act as a biocide and prevent growth. However, when applying bottom paint (with copper) to metal, you create a battery effect with the metal on metal. This leads to electrolysis and pitting of your props and running gear. Follow these basic steps before going with this option

Basic Steps

  1. Prep: Make sure to remove all prior coatings and contaminants prior to applying any coatings. The should be done by a sandblasting, soda blasting, or a good ole fashioned sanding. The recommended grit and profile should be 80 grit. This will provide a efficient surface for the new coating to adhere.
  2. Tuff Stuff Marine Epoxy PrimerPrimer: Apply a two part high build epoxy primer that id designed to prevent corrosion and enhance adhesion. The best we have found is Sea Hawk Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy Primer. It is easy to use and works extremely well. Apply two coats!
  3. Bottom Paint: Apply a hard modified epoxy bottom paint with not too high a load of copper. Sea Hawk Sharkskin and Blue Water Copper Shield 35 Hard are among the best choices. The epoxy primer will insulate the copper bottom paint from the metal of the props and Sea Hawk Smart Solution Outdrive Paintrunning gear (remember the battery effect!) If you are concerned about electrolysis or already have some issues, then you should use a copper free bottom paint. The only true metal free bottom paint that we found and that still is effective in preventing growth is Sea Hawk Smart Solution. Either way, be sure to apply the first coat of bottom paint the same day as the 2nd coat of epoxy primer. If you don’t, it will not stick!

3. Aerosol Sprays

Advantages: Lowest cost option
Disadvantages: Trouble staying on, ineffective antifouling performance. electrolysis concerns, Environmental Variables (sand, running aground)

There are a few aerosol spray systems that can be used, but these are generally ineffective for props and running gear, and are reserved for outdrive applications. These include Interlux Trilux 33 and Primocon, Pettit Alumaspray and Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier, and the Sea Hawk Premium Outdrive Kit that contains Smart Solution (brush on Pint) and Barnacle Blocker. Our advise is to save your money before applying these to props and running gear.

Which Type of Pool Paint to Use

There are three different types or styles of pool paint that can be used. Epoxy Pool PaintsChlorinated Rubber Pool Paints, and Acrylic Swimming Pool Paints  Each of these have their respective advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you determine the best type of pool paint to use for your situation.

Epoxy Swimming Pool Paints


  • Epoxy Swimming Pool Paint  is the longest lasting of all of the pool paints, with an averagePool Guard EHB service life of 6-8 years or more.
  • It is the thickest of the paints so if you have an old or rough service, it will do the best at smoothing it out.
  • Epoxy Swimming Pool Paint does the best of filling in hairline cracks and small pots in the surface.
  • Epoxy Swimming Pool Paint gives you the smoothest surface once cured.
  • Epoxy Swimming Pool Paint yields 500 square feet/gallon (on painted surfaces and second coats).
  • Epoxy Pool Paint is the ONLY paint recommended for Fiberglass Pools & Spas.
  • For commerical pools, the Commercial Type Epoxy (such as the Pool Guard Epoxy) can be used at a lower price. Service life is lower than the Pool Guard EHB pool paint.
  • The 1-Part LifeGuard Mono-Epoxy is a 1-part paint – no mixing required! and is the best choice for fiberglass slides!
  • Epoxy Pool Paints come in many different colors to suit your preference.
  • Ideal for those who want the paint with the longest service life (lower maintenance), have an older, rougher concrete surface and you need to fill in hairline cracks and pots, already have epoxy paint on your pool or have a fiberglass pool or spa/hot tub.


  • The Epoxy Pool Paints is a two-part paint, which needs to be mixed before applying. Although this makes it a more durable paint, it also requires a bit more work to prepare it and has a pot life (2-3 hours before it starts to harden). Use the Mono Epoxy if you want a 1 part paint.
  • Requires a longer curing time than some other paints. Pool should not be filled for 7 days after painting to allow for full curing.
  • Pool Surface needs to be completely dry before painting – harder to apply on pools in high humidity environments.
  • Price is generally higher than other paints.
  • Painting indoor pools requires extra ventilation and respirators due to fumes.

Chlorinated Rubber Pool Paints


  • PoolShieldCRXChlorinated Rubber Pool Paints have traditionally been the preferred type of pool paint.
  • One part paint – no mixing!
  • Cures to a smooth tile finish.
  • Pool Shield CRX Chlorinated Rubber Extra (Extended Life) has a service life of 5 years or more.
  • Price is on medium tier (less than epoxy, more than acrylic).
  • Ideal for those who want ease of use (no mixing required), have a medium budget and those who already have chlorinated rubber paint on their pool.


  • Pool surface needs to be completely dry before painting.
  • Requires a longer curing time than acrylic paints. Pool should not be filled for 7 days after painting to allow for full curing.
  • Price is higher than Acrylic paints (but service life is longer).
  • Painting indoor pools requires extra ventilation and respirators due to fumes.
  • Cannot be used on fiberglass pools and spas.

Acrylic Swimming Pool Paints 


  • Acrylic Swimming Pool Paints  is a 1-part water based paint that is easy to mix and apply.
  • Cleans up with soap and water.
  • Acrylic Swimming Pool Paints   has the shortest curing time of all paints – 3 days
  • Lowest Price
  • No Fumes
  • Surface can be damp when it is painted – great for pools in high humidity or rainy environments where it is hard to keep pool dry.
  • Acrylic Swimming Pool Paints can overcoat most any other type of paint (great for situations where you do not know what type of paint is currently on the pool).
  • Comes in many different colors to suit your preference.
  • Ideal for those in high humidity or rainy environments where it is hard to get pool dry enough to paint with solvent based paints, those on a lower budget, those who do not need extended service life (selling a house for example) or those who do not know what type of paint is on their pool and don’t want to prime first.


  • Acrylic Swimming Pool Paints has the shortest service life of all of the pool paints – 2 to 3 years – much shorter than the epoxy paints, which means more frequent maintenance.
  • Not as thick as epoxy or rubber paints – doesn’t fill in rough or damaged surfaces as well.
  • Cannot be used on fiberglass pools and spas.

Related Article: Which Pool Paint To Use?

How to Paint a Boot Stripe

What is a Boot Stripe?

The Boot Stripe is a narrow stripe that runs the length of the boat and is usually positioned a few inches above the waterline. The stripe provides an aesthetic touch and creates an optical illusion that makes the boat appear to be longer. It also gives the boat a nice “finished” appearance that many boaters take pride in. Boot stripes also define the separation between anti-fouling paint (below) and the topside paint (above). Vinyl boot stripe tape is available in different widths, colors, and designs, but unless the boat has a flat, slab side this will make the boat appear to sag or squat in the water. Painting the boot stripe on the hull allows the width to change with the geometry of the boat and give the finished stripe a uniform look. Repainting an existing Boot Stripe will be easier than starting from scratch since you won’t have to mark and score the stripe.

Find and mark the Boot Stripe. The boot stripes of many fiberglass hulls are cast into the hull from the mold by the manufacturer. They can only be removed if you sand down to the fiberglass.

If there is no stripe on your hull you will need to mark the waterline on your boat and transcribe it up to the desired height of your stripe. This can be done by applying successive layers of masking tape along the waterline curve. There are other numerous methods worth investigating online. Also, consult a professional and ask them questions about your specific boat.

Mask off the stripe with tape and get within 1/32nd in. to the edges of the old stripe. This will allow you to sand to the very edge of the old stripe, and avoid damaging the surrounding gel coat.

bootstripeinstallDe-wax the stripe area using a de-waxing solution and a rag.

Sand only the stripe area with 220 grit sandpaper. Once sanding is complete, remove the masking tape and wipe the area with acetone. This will remove any remaining adhesive and sanding remnants. Sacrificing the first mask will contribute to a sharper finish. It is possible that the first application of tape can transfer sanding residue to the paint and result in a poor finish. Mask twice and you will only have to paint once! Be sure to take your time with the second masking. Remember: If the stripe doesn’t look good in tape, it will look even worse once painted. Now you’re ready to paint!

What type of paint should I use?

There are many different varieties of topside paint suitable for painting a boot stripe, but we have narrowed it down to just a few options for you.

Good: Duralux Marine Enamel – Easy to use, economically viable, with a nice color selection. When applying this marine enamel to fiberglass, no primer is needed. Simply wipe the surface with acetone before and after sanding, then apply your paint. For aluminum, prime with one coat of Duralux Zinc Chromate and apply 2 coats of paint. This high gloss enamel will create a bright and colorful boot stripe on any vessel.

interlux-brightside-polyurethane-28238-500x539Better: Interlux Brightside – One part Polyurethane with a crisp, high gloss appearance. It is more durable than regular enamels, but just as easy to apply! If you are applying Brightside to fiberglass, make sure the surface is clean and in good condition. Remove wax and other contaminants using Fiberglass Solvent Wash 202 and then sand with 220-320 grit paper. Apply Pre-Kote. Brightside offers excellent flow and gloss retention especially for painting a boot stripe.

pettit-easypoxy-off-white-3108-quart-31128-500x539OR Pettit Easypoxy – Another single-stage Polyurethane that provides a nice sheen of gloss and durability for painting a boot stripe. However, the color selection is more limited than Interlux Brightside. Easypoxy is only available in black, white, and off-white. Both products produce a high quality finish and are easy to use.


Revolution-1000x1078Best: Supermarine Revolution – Exceptionally beautiful paint that can be applied above or below the waterline. Revolution produces a bright and smooth finish, self levels like a dream, and will last longer than other topside paints. Awlgrip is often renowned for being the best topside paint money can buy, but Supermarine Revolution outperforms Awlgrip for a cheaper price! An Etching Primer is recommended for most surfaces. Revolution will keep your boot stripe (and your boat) looking like new.

Search Our How To Articles….

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Problems with Paint Application Q & A

Insufficient Adhesion

Symptoms: The coating adheres insufficiently to the substrate or previous coats.

Cause: Unsuitable primer applied Wrong product Damp substrate during painting Contaminated substrate (not cleaned or degreased) Weathered timber not removed before coating Previous Coating Unstable Solution

Coating layers that are not sound should be removed. Substrate problem should be addressed (cleaning, degreasing, sanding etc.). Apply a new, suitable coating system.

Insufficient Flexibility

Symptoms: A crackle effect or cracking appears.

Cause: Different paint systems intermixed Too brittle paint system caused by ageing Applied product cannot follow the movements of the substrate and/or underlying paint layers Solution

Remove all coating and apply a new, suitable coating system.

Peeling of Coating

Symptoms: Total/local loss of adhesion of paint system.

Cause: Internal tension in paint films Deformation of substrate Humidity or gas formation Wrong paint sytem Several layers are applied which are not compatible with each other Insufficient flexibility of applied paint Cracking originating from substrate Paint system applied to damp substrate or one with a high moisture content. Solution

Paint layers that are not sound should be removed. After the appropriate pretreatment, a new system should be applied. Touch up bare spots with primer/undercoat and finish with topcoat.


Symptoms: The coating is not resistant to alkali. Blisters appear, paint softens and flakes off.

Cause: Incorrect use of product Application of alkyd based topcoat to alkaline material (e.g. concrete or cement) Humidity problems Caustic stripped surface not neutralised Solution

Remove all paint layers and apply a new alkali resistent system. Prevent water penetration. Apply an alkali resistent system.

Soft Paint Film

Symptoms: The dry film has a soft and weak character.

Cause: Paint applied too thickly Painted during impossible working conditions With two-component products the wrong mixing ratio is used Solution

Paint layers that are not sound should be completely removed. Apply a suitable protection system and allow a longer drying time to improve the conditions under which it is painted.

Floating / Flooding

Symptoms: Multi colored effect.

Cause: One of the pigments used floats to the surface causing a multi colored effect (happens mostly with blue, green and violet pigments) Solution

Sand after drying. Apply a further top coat which doesn’t ‘float’.

Salt Efflorescence

Symptoms: A white salt deposit appears, usually on plywood or brickwork.

Cause: Occurs with some plywoods Excess salts migrate to surface through coating Solution

Clean down. May re-occur. Apply freshen up coats if necessary.

Haziness (Blooming)

Symptoms: At the surface a greyish haze appears which gives the paint a dull glow.

Cause: Fog and/or humidity during drying Insufficient ventilation Coating over-thinned Solution

Sand and apply a new top coat.


Symptoms: The applied pale color turns yellow.

Cause: With an alkyd based topcoat this is intrinsic to the binder.

Solution: Sand and clean. Often solved by altering the chosen color to a grayish option, which makes the problem less visible. Apply waterbased paints, which are less prone to yellowing.


Symptoms: A wrinkling effect immediately after painting.

Cause: The applied coat contains aggressive components which will dissolve the undercoat Softening, swelling or separation from the substrate of a dry coat as the result of the application of a subsequent coat Solution

Apply another type of paint as topcoat or remove old paint layers and apply a new paint system. Use compatible paint products.

Algae Growth

Symptoms: The coating surface shows a green growth, usually on north facing timbers.

Cause: Plants, bushes and trees in close proximity to coating system. High humidity of surroundings and/or moisture content of substrate Solution

Remove / kill algae/mold and clean substrate. Treat with a fungicidal (or diluted bleach) solution. Scrub dead spores loose, rinse clean and allow to dry fully. Where necessary, redecorate with suitable coating.


Symptoms: Localized “drips” and “tears” appear.

Cause: Paint not applied evenly over the surface Coats applied too heavily Paint doesn’t have the right consistency (incorrect thinning) Solution

Remove by sanding after thorough drying is completed. Apply the coatings thoroughly and and evenly. Apply at the proper viscosity and the recommended wet film thickness.


Symptoms: Large or small blisters, possibly only in topcoats of the system.

Generally only local loss of adhesion of paint system.

Cause: Application over localized contamination (e.g. grease, oil, resin) Humidity or gas vapour formation from the substrate Solvent could be trapped between coats of the paint system if the primer or mid coat has not been allowed to dry fully. Incorrect coating system, e.g. quick drying top coat, at which the contained organic solvent causes blisters. Solution

Coating layers that are not sound should be removed. After the right pre-treatment against moisture penetration, a new system should be applied. Touch up bare spots with primer and finish with finish topcoat.


Symptoms: The bleeding through of contents of the substrate through existing paint layers or systems.

Cause: Certain timbers such as Western Red Cedar, Oak, Meranti or Idigbo are prone to bleeding Chemicals within timbers prone to bleeding (i.e. timbers with a high natural extractive content) are mobilized by water Colors from previous coatings such as bitumen or creosote can bleed through Problem more prevalent with water-borne coatings. Solution

Clean the coating surface to make sure that the bleeding components have been removed and apply a fresh coating system. Apply sufficient layer thickness to prevent water from dissolving the bleeding wood content. Apply a full primer. Finish with one or two coats of finish.


Symptoms: The paint system shows a powdery surface.

Cause: Normal ageing effect Insufficient outdoor durability of product Product property (high extender content/pigment content/based on epoxy resin) Solution

Remove powder at the surface. Clean and sand substrate. Touch up bare spots. Finish with one or two coats.


Symptoms: Contamination of the substrate (e.g. silicone, grease, wax) causes surface defects . This results in areas where the coating does not form a complete film over the substrate.

Cause: Often a silicone or wax contamination Surface not cleaned sufficiently before application When spray-applied: poor film formation Open pored timber Solution

Clean surface with a suitable emulsion cleaner or silicone remover where appropriate. It may be necessary to remove affected coatings. Primer or base stain should be worked/brushed well into open pored timbers.

Fish Eyes

Symptoms: Contamination of the substrate (e.g. silicone, grease, wax) causes surface defects This results in areas where the coating does not form a complete film over the substrate.

Cause: Usually a (silicone) contamination Insufficiently cleaned substrate When spray-applied: poor film formation solution.

Sand thoroughly. Clean surface thoroughly with a suitable emulsion cleaner or silicone remover. Finish with one or more topcoats.


Brush marks, orange peel poor leveling etc.

Cause: The open time of the product is too short Incorrect dilution Unsuitable brush or roller Application conditions too hot or too cold Solution

Sand thoroughly and apply a further coat to a better standard. Use a good quality brush (synthetic for water-borne coatings


Symptoms: When humidity is trapped in wood stains or varnishes, white spots/patches may appear.

Cause: Damp substrate or humid atmosphere when coating was applied or during drying Porous varnish/stain type Water getting in (moisture ingress) Insufficient coats applied, or coats applied too thinly Solution

Remove old varnish/stain layers; if necessary treat with wood bleach, which will restore the original wood color. Consequently treat with a new system.


Symptoms: The coating system shows localized cracking, which results in loss of adhesion and flaking.

Cause: Internal stresses of coating system Deformation or breakdown of the substrate e.g. joints opening, splits in the timber Unsuitable coating system Several layers are applied which are not compatible Insufficient flexibility of applied paint Cracking originating from substrate Moisture on substrate at application Solution

Coating layers that are not sound should be removed. After the right pretreatment, a new system should be applied. Touch up bare spots with primer and finish.

Crackle Formation

Symptoms: A crackle effect appears, random cracks all over the surface

Cause: Coating system too brittle for the substrate Layers applied too thickly Coatings applied at too low temperature and/or too high relative humidity Applied product cannot follow the movements of the substrate Contamination between layers Solution

Coating layers that are not sound should be removed. After the right pre-treatment, a new system should be applied.


Symptoms: Loss of adhesion of coating system on substrate or loss of intercoat adhesion.

Cause: Insufficient cleaning / degreasing Unsuitable system Insufficiently sanded Damp substrate or high moisture content Condensation on substrate at application Solution Coating layers that are not sound shall be removed. After the correct pretreatment, a new system should be applied. Apply suitable primer/base stain and top coat(s).

Paint Problem Solver


blisteringBubbles may be seen resulting from localized loss of adhesion, and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Applying solvent-based paint over a damp or wet surface. Moisture seeping into the substrate from the outside (less likely with water-based paint). Exposure to high to high humidity or moisture during application or shortly after paint has dried, especially if there was inadequate surface preparation. Entrapment of air in the pores of the substrate being painted. Entrapment of solvents which is commonly caused when paint is over coated before the solvents have sufficiently released.
SOLUTION: If blisters do not go all the way down to the substrate: Remove blisters by scraping, and sanding, and repaint. Be sure to apply when humidity is below 75% and with good ventilation. If blisters go down to the substrate: Remove the source of moisture. Repair loose coatings; install vents or exhaust fans where possible. Remove blisters as above, remembering to prime before applying the top coat. Seal porous substrates  before priming or painting. This will prevent air from being trapped under the paint causing blisters or moisture intrusion.
NOTE: Always test for moisture and humidity to confirm the substrate is ready to prime or paint. Never overcoat paint that is still releasing solvents.

blockingUndesirable sticking together of two painted surfaces when pressed together (e.g., a door sticking to the jamb).
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Not allowing sufficient dry time for the coating before closing doors or windows. Use of low quality satin or gloss paints.
SOLUTION: Use top quality satin or gloss acrylic water-based paint. Low quality water-based paints can have poor block resistance, especially in warm, damp conditions. Follow paint label instructions regarding dry times. Acrylic water-based paints generally have better early block resistance than vinyl acetate co-polymer based paints or solvent-based paints; however, solvent-based paints develop superior block resistance over time. Application of talcum powder can relieve persistent blocking.

burnishIncrease in gloss or sheen of paint film when subjected to rubbing, scrubbing or having an object brush up against it.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of matte paint in high traffic areas, where a higher sheen level would be desirable. Frequent washing and spot cleaning. Objects (furniture, for example) rubbing against the walls. Use of lower grades of paint with poor stain and scrub resistance (see Poor Stain Resistance and Poor Scrub Resistance).
SOLUTION: Paint heavy wear areas that require regular cleaning (e.g., doors, window sills and trim) with a top quality water-based paint, because this type of paint offers both durability and easier cleaning capability. In high traffic areas, choose a satin or gloss rather than a matt sheen level. Clean painted surfaces with a soft cloth or sponge and non-abrasive cleansers; rinse with clean water.

chalkingFormation of fine powder on the surface of the paint film during weathering which can cause color fading. Although some degree of chalking is a normal, desirable way for a paint film to wear, excessive film erosion can result from heavy chalking.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of a low-grade, highly pigmented paint. Use of an interior paint for an outdoor application.
SOLUTION: First, remove as much of the chalk residue as possible, scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush (or wire brush on masonry) and then rinse thoroughly; or use power washing equipment. Check for any remaining chalk by running a hand over the surface after it dries. If noticeable chalk is still present, apply a quality oil-based or acrylic latex primer (or comparable sealer for masonry), then repaint with a quality exterior coating; if little or no chalk remains and the old paint is sound, no priming is necessary.

cracking_flakingThe splitting of a dry paint film through at least one coat as a result of aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint. In its early stages, the problem appears as hairline cracks; in its later stages, flaking occurs.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of lower quality paint that has inadequate adhesion and flexibility. Over thinning or overspreading the paint. Inadequate surface preparation, or applying the paint to bare wood without first applying a primer. Excessive hardening of solvent-based paint as the paint job ages.
SOLUTION: Remove loose and flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush, sanding the surface and feathering the edges. If the flaking occurs in multiple layers of paint, use of a face filler may be necessary. Prime bare wood areas before repainting. Use of a top quality primer and top coat should prevent a recurrence of the problem.

dirtpickupAccumulation of dirt, dust particles and/or other debris on the paint film; may resemble mildew.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of a low quality paint, especially lower grades of satin or semi-gloss. Soil splashing onto siding. Air pollution, car exhaust and flying dust collecting on house body and horizontal trim.
SOLUTION: Wash off all surface dirt before priming and painting, using a scrub brush and detergent solution, followed by a thorough rinsing with a garden hose. Heavier dirt accumulations may require the use of a power washer. While dirt pickup can’t be eliminated entirely, top quality exterior latex paints typically offer superior dirt pickup resistance and wash-ability. Also, higher gloss paints are more resistant to dirt pickup than flat paints, which are more porous and can more easily entrap dirt.

foamingFormation of bubbles (foaming) and resulting small, round concave depressions (cratering) when bubbles break in a paint film, during paint application and drying.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Shaking a partially filled can of paint. Use of low quality paint or very old water based paints. Applying (especially rolling) paint too rapidly. Use of a roller cover with wrong nap length. Excessive rolling or brushing of the paint. Applying a gloss or satin paint over a porous surface.
SOLUTION: All paints will foam to some degree during application; however, higher quality paints are formulated so the bubbles break while the paint is still wet, allowing for good flow and appearance. Avoid excessive rolling or brushing of the paint or using paint that is more than a year old. Apply gloss and satin paints with a short nap roller, and apply an appropriate sealer or primer before using such paint over a porous surface. Problem areas should be sanded before repainting.

frostingA white, salt-like substance on the paint surface. Frosting can occur on any paint color, but it is less noticeable on white paint or lighter tints. On masonry, it can be mistaken for efflorescence (see Efflorescence and Mottling).
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Forms mostly in protected areas (such as under eaves and on porch ceilings) that do not receive the cleansing action of rain, dew and other moisture. Use of dark-colored paints that have been formulated with calcium carbonate extender.
Application of a dark-colored paint over a paint or primer containing calcium carbonate extender.
SOLUTION: Frosting can be a stubborn problem. It often cannot be washed off readily. Moreover, the condition can recur even as a bleed-through when a new top coat is applied. In extreme cases, it can interfere with adhesion. The best remedy is to remove the frosting by wire brushing masonry or sanding wood surfaces; rinse, then apply an alkyd-based primer before adding a coat of high quality exterior paint.

incompatibilityLoss of adhesion where many old coats of alkyd or oil-based paint receive a latex top coat.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of water-based latex paint over more than three or four coats of old alkyd or oil-based paint may cause the old paint to “lift off” the substrate.
SOLUTION: Repaint using another coat of alkyd or oil-based paint. Or completely remove the existing paint and prepare the surface – cleaning, sanding and spot-priming where necessary – before repainting with a top quality latex exterior paint.

InteriorLapping_thumbAppearance of a denser color or increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Failure to maintain a “wet edge” when painting. Use of a low solids “economy” paint.
SOLUTION: Maintain a wet edge when painting by applying paint toward the unpainted area and then back into the just painted surface. This technique (brushing or rolling from “wet to dry” rather than vice versa) will produce a smooth uniform appearance. It is also wise to work in manageable size areas; plan for interruptions at a natural break, such as a window, door or corner. Using a top quality acrylic water based paint makes it easier to avoid lapping problems because higher solids (pigments and binder) content makes lapped areas less noticeable. If substrate is very porous, it may need a primer/sealer to
prevent paint form drying too quickly and reducing wet edge time. Solvent-based paints generally have superior wet edge properties.

Black, grey or brown spots or areas on the surface of paint or sealant.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Forms most often on areas that tend to be damp, or receive little or no direct sunlight (e.g., bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms). Use of a solvent-based paint, or lower quality water-based paint. Failure to prime bare wood surface before applying the paint. Painting over a substrate or coating on which fungal contamination has not been removed.
SOLUTION: Test for fungus by applying a few drops of household bleach to the area; if it is bleached away, the dis-colorant is probably fungus. Remove all fungus from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water) or a fungicidal wash, while wearing rubber gloves and eye protection. Rinse thoroughly. To protect against fungal contamination, use a top quality water-based paint, and clean when necessary with bleach/detergent solution. Consider installing an exhaust fan (which is connected to a light switch) in high moisture areas. Some products, with fungicidal claims are available, which you may consider.

mildewinBlack, gray or brown spots or areas on the surface of paint or caulk.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Forms most often on areas that tend to be damp, or receive little or no direct sunlight (e.g., bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms). Use of an alkyd or oil-based paint, or lower quality latex paint. Failure to prime bare wood surface before applying the paint. Painting over a substrate or coating on which mildew has not been removed.
SOLUTION: Test for mildew by applying a few drops of household bleach to the area; if it is bleached away, the dis-colorant is probably mildew. Remove all mildew from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water), while wearing rubber gloves and eye protection. Rinse thoroughly. To protect against mildew, use a top quality latex paint, and clean when necessary with bleach/detergent solution. Consider installing an exhaust fan in high moisture areas.

mud_crackDeep, irregular cracks resembling dried mud in dry paint film.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Paint applied too thickly, usually over a porous surface. Paint applied too thickly, to improve inherent poor hiding (coverage) of a lower quality paint. Paint is allowed to build up in corners upon application.
SOLUTION: Remove coating by scraping and sanding. Prime and repaint, using a top quality water-based paint. Mud-cracked areas can also be repaired by sanding the surface smooth before repainting with a top quality water-based paint. This type of paint is likely to prevent recurrence of mud cracking, because it is relatively more flexible than solvent-based paint, and ordinary water-based paint. Quality paints have a higher solids content, which reduces the tendency to mud crack. They also have very good application and hiding properties, which minimize the tendency to apply too thick a coat of paint.

peelingLoss of paint due to poor adhesion. Where there is a primer and top coat, or multiple coats of paint, peeling may involve some or all coats.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Seepage of moisture through un-caulked joints, worn caulk or leaks in roof or walls. Moisture in the form of water, rain, dew or high humidity allowed on surface before it has fully cured. Excess moisture escaping through exterior walls (more likely if paint is oil-based). Inadequate surface preparation. Applying paint over a wet or contaminated surface. Improper application techniques. Earlier blistering of paint (see Blistering).
SOLUTION: Always make moisture assessment and planning part of paint preparation and application. Carefully schedule interior and exterior paint work during an acceptable weather window. Identify and eliminate moisture sources in advance. Prepare surface by removing all loose paint, contaminates and moisture. Strictly adhere to manufacturers application guidelines. Use paint and primer according to application instructions and standard industry practices. Thoroughly remove corrupted peeling paint, repaint with a top quality paint products.

picture_framingAn effect of non uniform color that can appear when a wall is painted with a roller, but is brushed at the corners, architraves and cornices. The brushed areas generally appear darker, resembling the “frame” of a “picture”. Also, sprayed areas may be darker than neighboring sections that are brushed or rolled. Picture framing can also refer to sheen effects.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Usually a hiding (coverage) effect. Brushing will generally result in lower spread rates than rolling, producing a thicker film and more hiding. Adding colorant to a non-tintable paint or using the wrong type or level of colorant, resulting in variation in color, depending on method of application.
SOLUTION: Make sure that spread rates with brushes and rollers are similar. Don’t cut in the entire room before roller coating. Work in smaller sections of the room to maintain a “wet edge.” With tinted paints, be sure the correct colorant-base combinations are used.

poor flowFailure of paint to dry to a smooth film, resulting in unsightly brush and roller marks after the paint dries.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of lower quality paint. Application of additional paint to “touch up” partially dried painted areas. Re-brushing or re-rolling partially dried painted areas. Use of the wrong type of roller cover or poor quality brush.
SOLUTION: Use top quality water-based paints, which are generally formulated with ingredients that enhance paint flow. Brush and roller marks thus tend to “flow out” and form a smooth film. When using a roller, be sure to use a cover with the recommended nap length for the type of paint being used. Use of a high quality brush is important; a poor brush can result in bad flow and leveling with any paint.

poor_hidingFailure of dried paint to obscure or “hide” the surface to which it is applied.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of low quality paint. Use of low quality tools/wrong roller cover. Use of an improper combination of tinting base and tinting color. Poor flow and leveling (see Poor Flow/Leveling). Use of a paint that is much lighter in color than the substrate, or that primarily contains low-hiding organic pigments such as yellows, reds and blues. Application of paint at a higher spread rate than recommended.                                                                                             SOLUTION: If the substrate is significantly darker or is a patterned wallpaper, it should be primed before applying a top coat. Use a top quality paint for better hiding and flow. Use quality tools; use the recommended roller nap, if rolling. Follow manufacturer’s recommendation on spread rate; if using tinted paint, use the correct tinting base. Where a low-hiding organic color must be used, apply a primer first.

poor_printThe tendency of paint film to take on the imprint of an object that is placed on it (e.g., a shelf, table, window sill or counter-top with books, dishes and other objects on them).
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of low quality satin or gloss paint. Putting a painted surface back into use before paint has fully dried.
SOLUTION: Use top quality acrylic satin or gloss water-based paint. Low quality water-based satin and gloss paints can have poor print resistance, especially in warm, damp conditions. Acrylic water-based paints generally have better print resistance than vinyl acetate co polymer type paints. Fully cured solvent-based paints also have excellent print resistance. Make sure the recommended “cure” time is allowed for the paint before it is put into service. Cool or humid conditions require more curing time.

poor_scrubWearing away or removal of the paint film when scrubbed with a brush, sponge, or cloth.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Choosing the wrong sheen for the area. Use of a lower quality paint. Use of an overly aggressive scrub medium (see Burnishing). Inadequate dry time allowed after application of the paint before washing it.
SOLUTION: Areas that need frequent cleaning require a high quality paint formulated to provide such performance. High traffic areas may require a satin or gloss paint rather than a matte paint to provide good scrub resistance. Allow adequate dry time, as scrub resistance will not fully develop until the paint is thoroughly cured. Typically, this will be one week. Try washing the painted surface with the least abrasive material and mildest detergent first.

poor_sheenShiny spots or dull spots on a painted surface; uneven gloss.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Uneven spread rate. Failure to properly prime a porous surface, or surface with varying degrees of porosity. Poor application resulting in lapping (see Lapping).
SOLUTION: New substrates should be primed/sealed before applying the top coat to ensure a uniformly porous surface. Without the use of a primer or sealer, a second coat of paint will more likely be needed. Make sure to apply paint from “wet to dry” to prevent lapping. Often, applying an additional coat will even out sheen irregularities.

poor_stainFailure of the paint to resist absorption of dirt and stains.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of lower quality paint that is porous in nature. Application of paint to unprimed substrate.
SOLUTION: Higher quality water-based paints contain more binder, which helps prevent stains from penetrating the painted surface, allowing for easy removal. Priming new surfaces provides maximum film thickness of a premium top coat, providing very good stain removability.

roller_marksUnintentional textured pattern left in the paint by the roller.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of incorrect roller cover. Use of lower grades of paint. Use of low quality roller. Use of incorrect rolling technique.
SOLUTION: Use the proper roller cover; avoid too long a nap for the paint and the substrate. Use quality roller to ensure adequate film thickness and uniformity. High quality paints tend to roll on more evenly due to their higher solids content and leveling properties. Pre-dampen roller covers used with water-based paint; shake out excess water. Don’t let paint build up at roller ends. Begin rolling at a corner near the ceiling and work down the wall in sections. Spread the paint in a zigzag “M” or “W” pattern, beginning with an upward stroke to minimize spatter; then, without lifting the roller from the surface, fill in the zigzag pattern with even, parallel strokes. On doors, if rolled, lay off with a brush.

Interior_Roller_Spattering_thumbTendency of a roller to throw off small droplets of paint during application.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of exterior paint on an interior surface. Use of lower grades of water-based paints.
SOLUTION: Higher quality paints are formulated to minimize splattering. Using high quality rollers which have proper resiliency further reduce splattering. In some cases, a quality wall paint may be preferred for ceiling work, for maximum splatter resistance. Overloading the roller with paint will result in excess splatter, as will overworking the paint once it is applied to a substrate. Working in sections, applying the paint in a zigzag “M” or “W” pattern and then filling in the pattern will also lessen the likelihood of splattering.

saggingDownward “drooping” movement of the paint film immediately after application, resulting in an uneven coating.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Application of a heavy coat of paint. Application in excessively humid and/or cool conditions. Application of over thinned paint. Airless spraying with the gun too close to the substrate being painted.
SOLUTION: If the paint is still wet, immediately brush out or re-roll to redistribute the excess evenly. If the paint has dried, sand, and reapply a new coat of top quality paint. Correct any unfavorable conditions: Do not thin the paint; avoid cool or humid conditions; sand glossy surfaces. Paint should be applied at its recommended spread rate; avoid “heaping on” the paint. Two coats of paint at the recommended spread rate are better than one heavy coat, which can also lead to sagging. Consider removing doors to paint them supported horizontally.

caulk_failLoss of sealant’s initial adhesion and flexibility, causing it to crack and/or pull away from the surfaces to which it has been applied.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Use of lower quality sealant. Use of wrong type of sealant for a particular application. Substrate not dry.
SOLUTION: Use a top quality water-based pure acrylic or silicon acrylic sealant if prolonged contact with water is not anticipated. These sealants are flexible enough to adapt to minor fluctuations in the substrate, stretching in gaps that widen slightly over time. They also adhere to a wide range of interior and exterior building materials, including wood, ceramic tile, concrete, plaster, bare aluminum, brick and
plastic. With glass as the substrate silicon sealants are most suitable.
NOTE: Silicone sealant should not be painted.

surfactantConcentration of water-soluble ingredients on the surface of a water-based paint, typically on a ceiling surface in rooms that have high humidity (e.g., shower, bathroom, kitchen); may be evident as tan or  brown spots or areas, and can sometimes be glossy, soapy or sticky.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: All water-based paint formulas will exhibit this tendency to some extent if applied in areas that become humid (bathrooms, for example), especially in ceiling areas.
SOLUTION: Wash the affected area with soap and water, and rinse. Problem may occur once or twice again before leaching material is completely removed. When paint is applied in a bathroom, it is helpful to have it dry thoroughly before using the shower. Remove all staining before repainting.

tannin stainingBrownish or tan discoloration on the paint surface due to migration of tannins from the substrate through the paint film. Typically occurs on “staining woods,” such as redwood, cedar and mahogany, or over painted knots in certain other wood species.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Failure to adequately prime and seal the surface before applying the paint. Use of a primer that is not sufficiently stain-resistant. Excess moisture escaping through the exterior walls, which can carry the stain to the paint surface.
SOLUTION: Correct any possible sources of excess moisture (see Efflorescence and Mottling). After thoroughly cleaning the surface, apply a high quality stain- resistant oil-based or acrylic latex primer. Oil based stain-resistant primers are the best type to use on severely staining boards. In extreme cases, a second coat of primer can be applied after the first has dried thoroughly. Finish with a top quality latex paint.

wrinklingA rough, crinkled paint surface, which occurs when uncured paint forms a “skin”.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Paint applied too thickly (more likely when using solvent-based paints). Painting during extremely hot weather or cool damp weather, which causes the paint film to dry faster on top than on the bottom. Exposing uncured paint to high humidity levels. Painting over a contaminated surface (e.g., dirt or wax).
SOLUTION: Scrape or sand substrate to remove wrinkled coating. If using a primer, allow it to dry completely before applying top coat. Repaint (avoiding temperature/humidity extremes), applying an even coat of top quality interior paint.

yellowingDevelopment of a yellow cast in aging paint; most noticeable in the dried films of white paints or clear varnishes.
POSSIBLE CAUSES: Oxidation of solvent-based paint or varnish. Heat from ovens, radiators and heating ducts. Lack of light (e.g., behind pictures or appliances, inside cupboards, etc.).
SOLUTION: Top quality water-based paints do not tend to yellow, nor does non-yellowing varnish. Solvent-based paints, because of their curing mechanism, do tend to yellow, particularly in areas that are protected from sunlight.

How Do I Choose the Correct Supermarine Paint?

In the vast market of marine paint there are so many differing products to choose from that it is easy to be overwhelmed! We at the Bottom Paint Store want to make this part of the painting process as easy for you as possible. In this How To Article, we will briefly consider a few popular Supermarine Paints and when one product might be used in place of another.

Note: None of the Supermarine Products mentioned are Bottom Paints or Antifouling. For more information about which antifouling paint to select for your boat, please click this link. The products here are designed for application both above and below the waterline. Just because a paint product is not “bottom paint” or an antifouling coating does not mean that it can’t be used on the bottom of a boat.  Click the links to go directly to the product page. Read over the Description, Specifications, and How to Use tabs for more detailed information.

Supermarine Revolution Paint

  • Supermarine RevolutionBest choice if applying by roller or brush – self levels very well
  • Single stage formula is easy to work with
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • Prime most surfaces with SM-664D Etching Primer


Supermarine Mono Epoxy Paint

  • Mono EpoxyBest choice if applying with spray gun – spraying yields better results than brush or rolling
  • Single stage epoxy formula – less hassle than a 2 part epoxy
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • Prime most surfaces with SM-664D Etching Primer


Supermarine Aqueous Epoxy Paint 

  • SM-3000Supermarine’s Water-based Epoxy coating – thin and clean up with tap water
  • May be applied to existing paint in sound condition without primer
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • Prime most new surfaces with SM-664D Etching Primer


Supermarine 2 Part Epoxy Paint

  • sm-2020Best choice if you need a super durable coating – 2 part epoxy is the Supermarine workhorse product
  • Can be used on many surfaces and in many applications – very versatile
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • Non-toxic to humans and pets when fully cured
  • For Primer recommendation see Product Specifications Tab


Supermarine Ironside Urethane Paint

  • Supermarine IronsideBest choice for “Top of the Line” durability – The Ultimate rough and tough coating
  • Withstands temperatures up to 500° F and corrosive chemicals
  • Two Component Acrylic Polyurethane finish
  • Choice of sheen and wide color variety
  • For Primer recommendation see the Product Specifications Tab


How Much Pool Paint Do I Need for My Pool?

There are a couple of factors to consider when determining how much pool paint that you need to paint your pool.

1. Is the surface porous, rough, or bare? If so, you may need about 25% more product then what is stated in the formula below. This will allow for the absorbtion of the 1st coat of swimming pool paint to properly cover bare, rough, or a sandblasted surface.

2. They type of pool paint you use also factors in to how much you will need.

Here are some good guidelines and estimates for calculating how much pool paint you will need for your size swimming pool.

Estimate Chart: Pools Not Previously Painted
Pool Size / Sq.Ft. High Build Epoxy Pool Paint Chlorinated Rubber Pool Paint Acrylic Swimming Pool Paint
12×24/ 800 8 gal (4 kits) 5 gallons 5 gallons
14×28/ 900 10 gallons (5 kits) 6 gallons 6 gallons
15×30/ 1000 10 gallons (5 kits) 7 gallons 7 gallons
16×32/ 1200 12 gallons (6 kits) 8 gallons 8 gallons
18×36/ 1320 14 gallons (7 kits) 9 gallons 9 gallons
18×38/ 1400 14 gallons (7 kits) 10 gallons 10 gallons
20×40/ 1600 16 gallons (8 kits) 11 gallons 11 gallons
Based on 2 coats at manufacturers recommended converages
Estimate Chart: Previouly Painted Pools and Fiberglass Pools
Pool Size / Sq.Ft. High Build Epoxy Pool Paint Chlorinated Rubber Pool Paint Acrylic Swimming Pool Paint
12×24 / 800 4 gallons (2 kits) 2-3 gallons 2-3 gallons
14×28 / 900 6 gallons (3 kits) 4 gallons 4 gallons
15×30 /1000 6 gallons (3 kits) 5 gallons 5 gallons
16×32 /1200 8 gallons (4 kits) 6 gallons 6 gallons
18×36 /1320 10 gallons (5 kits) 7 gallons 7 gallons
18×38 /1400 10 gallons (5 kits) 7 gallons 7 gallons
20×40 /1600 12 gallons (6 kits) 8 gallons 8 gallons

Pool Paint Coverage Calculation

1. First you need to determine the square footage of your pool. To do this use this formula: (Length of the Pool) x (Width of the Pool) x (1.7) = Estimated square footage of your pool

Example:  If you pool is 35ft long and 15 ft wide, then you would use this formula:

Example: 35 x 15 x 1.7 = 892.50 square feet

2. Next, you need determine the total pool paint coverage with two coats of pool paint. Since you need 2 coats when applying any pool paint, you need double this amount:

Example: 892.50 x 2 = 1785 total square feet of coverage needed

3. If the type of paint you are using is a 2 gallon epoxy kit such as:

Then divide the above amount by 500. This number will give you the total number of 2 gallon kits needed. (Remember to always round up!)

Example: 1785 / 500 = 3.57 or 4 –  2 gallon kits ( add 25% for bare, rough, or a sandblasted surface which would be 4.66 or  rounding up to 5 –  2 gallon kits!)

If you are using any other gallon of pool paint such as:

Then divide the number by 300. This number will give your the total number of gallons needed. (Remember to always round up!)

Example: 1785 / 300 = 5.95 or 6 gallons ( add 25% for bare, rough, or a sandblasted surface which would be 7.44 or  rounding up to 8 gallons!)

pool paint calculator




Pool Guard EHBWhat Pool Paint Is Best Suited For A Fiberglass Pool Application? The only product we recommend for a fiberglass pool our the epoxy pool paints. The best performing epoxy pool paint is the  Pool Guard EHB high build epoxy pool paint.

Will the finish of my pool paint dull over time? Typically, pool paint does dull slightly over time, due to the effects of chlorine & UV sun. However, the pool coatings we sell are loaded with UV stabilizers to slow down this effect.

What Pool Paint Is Best Suited For A Spa, Hot Tub Or Jacuzzi? Due to high temperature of the water in a spa, Pool Guard EHB is the only coating we recommend.

Which Pool Paint should I used for  pool slide? Whether you have a fiberglass slide or a lg-LG-750concrete pool slide, we would recommend the LifeGuard LG-730 Mono Epoxy 1-part Swimming Pool Paint to paint it. This paint is a 1 part paint that comes in a 1 gallon size, which is usually enough to paint 2 coats on the slide. The mono epoxy will give your slide the smoothest finish, which is exactly what you will need for the slide surface.

If your concrete slide is already painted and you do not know what paint is on there now, you can first prime it with the Pool Grip Primer and then go over it with the Epoxy.

To prepare the slide, you will want to sand the surface of the slide thoroughly, or use an LifeGuard LG-695 Etching Cleaner to etch the surface. This will prepare the surface for painting. You will then want to thoroughly rinse the surface and allow it to dry before applying primer (if necessary) and two coats of the LifeGuard LG-730 Mono Epoxy 1-part Swimming Pool Paint.

How Can I Upgrade My Pool From A Chlorinated Rubber Finish To An Epoxy Finish? You can prime your chlorinated rubber coated pool with our 2 Part water based Epoxy Primer  – Pool Grip, and then topcoat with either Pool Guard EHB or Pool Guard. You can also apply Pool Shield and Pool Shield CRX without the water based epoxy Primer.

Is There A Non-Slip Product That I Can Use For My Deck Or Around My Pool? Deck Kote is what we recommend, & you can add 1 lb. of nonskid to make the deck less slippery, especially when wet.

Pool Guard EHBWhat Type Of Finish Will I Get With Pool Guard EHBYou will get a beautiful tile-like finish. Pool Guard EHB formulation fills in hairline cracks if needed to give you a beautiful finish.

What Are The Primary Reasons For Unsatisfactory Product Performance? The three main reasons for unsatisfactory product performance is the improper preparation of the pool, not following label directions correctly, & weather / moisture which effects proper curing of the paint.

What are the proper storage guidelines for Pool Paint? Store in temperature of 50-90 degrees is ideal. What can we do to make our pool like it’s plastered? We recommend using Pool Guard EHB, which will give a tile like finish at a significantly less cost than plastering.

How many coats of paint do you recommend? 2 coats of paint are required and no primer (self-priming) is needed for a perfect paint job.

Can I use Deck Kote on my concrete driveway? Yes, you can use Deck Kote on concrete driveways but definitely not on blacktops.

Are Dark Colors Such As Royal Blue and Black Recommended For Application Over The Entire Pool Surface? No. For safety of children and for cleanliness, dark colors are not recommended for general use of swimming pools, only for striping.

What Causes Paint To Chalk Or Fade? Chlorine Shock or UV Sun causes paint to chalk or fade. National uses UV stabilizers to slow down the effects of UV sun & chlorine shock.

How much square footage would I expect on 1st & 2nd coat? The square footage is typically 300 square feet per gallon, with up to 50% less on the first coat to the second coat. This depends on how much the product is soaks into the surface, & how much paint is applied as well on the first coat.

How long does paint take to dry-to touch? Typically a paint will dry in 4-6 hours, but can dry quicker depending on film thickness, temperature and humidity.

Are Custom Colors Available? Yes, 140 custom colors are available for pool paint your coating needs. Look for the color chart under each product or give us a call.

Are Pool Paint Products Available In Size Other Than Gallons? All products are packaged in gallons which is the perfect size for refinishing your recreational swimming pool. 5 gallon cans are available for Commercial Pools.

Related Article: Which Type of Pool Paint to Use




Pool Guard EHBCan National Pool Finishes Products Be Used In Pools Using Salt Generation Systems? Yes, Pool Guard EHB because it’s the only product that stands up to salt water generators.

Our your National Pool Paints Safe For Fish Ponds, such as a Koi Ponds? Yes. All of the pool paints that we carry are non toxic to fish as long as the are fully cured prior to introducing the fish. We recommend  Pool Guard EHB since it is the most durable and has a 10 year warranty.

Can I Use Pool Paint products For Potable Water Tanks? No. The products are made for strictly swimming pools.

How do I repair my surface before painting? If it’s a hairline crack, Pool Guard EHB will fill it in. If it’s a bigger job then use a caulking agent Polyurethane Sealant, & if it’s a larger repair, a concrete repair is needed.

What is the proper surface preparation for the pool? Surface must always be clean, dry and properly prepared prior to painting. Failure to do so will lead to eventually blistering and/or peeling. Previously painted surfaces should be Power Washed to remove loose paint or excessive chalking. Scrub the entire pool with a TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) solution to remove all dirt, oils, loose or peeling paint, and chalk. All surfaces should then be acid etched with a 15-20% solution of Muriatic Acid to achieve a medium grade sandpaper finish on bare or plaster and to remove mineral deposits on previously painted chlorinated rubber surfaces. Neutralize/rinse with TSP. Before applying the paint, the pool must be completely dry.

How can I be sure the pool surface is dry prior to painting with a solvent
base pool paint? We recommend that you tape clear plastic on the vertical wall and if no condensation shows, then the pool is dry & ready for overcoating.

What pool paint can I put on bare gunite or an existing oil based pool paint? You should use the Pool Shield CRX Chlorinated Rubber Xtra. Just make sure the surface is free of any contaminants – no primer needed.



Are Pool Paint Epoxy Catalysts Interchangeable? Mixing incompatible products or wrong catalysts with wrong bases will cause product failure.

Are National Pool Finishes Products Tintable? Yes, as long as you use universal oil-based tints.

Do I have to use the product as soon as it is mixed? Yes, the product must be applied once Part A & Part B are mixed together.

Do I have to mix the entire kit of material at one time? No, you must mix a 1:1 ratio. Whatever you mix you must use at that time.

What Type Of Thinner Should I Use For The Pool Epoxy Coatings? Xylene or High Flash Naptha, which can be purchased at any local paint store or Home Depot/ Lowes, etc. Thin with 5-10% as necessary for proper flow out of the rolling process.

Pool Paint | Preparation and Applications



How can I be sure the pool surface is dry prior to painting my pool with a solvent base paint? We recommend that you tape clear plastic on the vertical wall and if no condensation shows, then the pool is dry and ready for overcoating.

Pool Guard EHBHow do I repair my surface before painting my pool? If it’s a hairline crack, Pool Guard EHB will fill it in. If it’s a bigger job then use a caulking agent Polyurethane Sealant & if it’s a larger repair, a concrete repair is needed.

What is the proper surface preparation for the pool? The pool surface must always be clean, dry and properly prepared prior to painting. Failure to do so will lead to eventually blistering and/or peeling. Previously painted pool surfaces should be Power Washed to remove loose paint or excessive chalking. Scrub the entire pool with a TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) solution to remove all dirt, oils, loose or peeling paint, and chalk. All surfaces should then be acid etched with a 15-20% solution of Muriatic Acid to achieve a medium grade sandpaper finish on bare or plaster and to remove mineral deposits on previously painted chlorinated rubber surfaces. Neutralize/rinse with TSP. Before applying the pool paint, the pool must be completely dry.



Can I apply epoxy paint over chlorinated rubber paint or chlorinated rubber paint over epoxy paint? Different technologies are not compatible, so we recommend chlorinated rubber over chlorinated rubber, epoxy over epoxy. However, if you put our epoxy primer on first, then the different paint can be used with no issues.

PoolShieldCRXCan I apply any pool paint over another type of pool paint? Aqua Pool Grip PrimerKote can be applied over anything, Pool Shield CRX over any chlorinated rubber paint, Pool Guard EHB over any epoxy paint. If you want to switch, you must use an pool epoxy primer first, such as, Pool Grip.

How long can I recoat the pool with no sanding requirements for your Pool Guard EHBYou can recoat a pool up to 72 hours without sanding. If window is missed then sanding and/or a Muriatic acid wash must be done to “open” up the pool paint film for recoating.

Pool Guard EHBCan you apply Pool Guard EHB over Pool Shield or Aqua Kote? You cannot apply Pool Guard EHB  over Pool Shield or Aqua Kote unless you put a primer on before.

Can I apply epoxy paint over chlorinated rubber paint or chlorinated rubber paint over epoxy paint? Aqua Kote can be applied over anything, Pool Shield CRX over any chlorinated rubber paint, Pool Guard EHB  over any epoxy paint. If you want to switch, you must use an epoxy primer first.

How long can I recoat the pool with no sanding requirements for your Pool Guard EHB? You can recoat a pool up to 72 hours without sanding. If window is missed then sanding and/ or a Muriatic acid wash must be done to “open” up the paint film for recoating.

Pool Guard EHBCan I apply National products to a stainless steel or metal surfaced pool? Yes. Only if you sand properly, as steel is a tough surface for adhesion for pool paints, then apply Pool Guard EHB.

How do I determine what type of paint is currently on my pool or spa? Take a paint chip and dip it in a strong solvent (Xylene), and if it dissolves, it’s a chlorinated rubber paint, then use Pool Shield CRX to overcoat it. If the paint chip doesn’t melt, then it’s an epoxy paint, then use Pool Guard EHB.

Can the pool be shocked with chlorine immediately after refilling? No. We don’t recommend chlorine shock at all to clean pools, but we do recommend chlorine-free shock.

Pool Guard EHBCan I paint a Fiberglass diving board? Yes. We recommend our Pool Guard EHB with 1 can of Non Skid additive (1 pound per gallon).

Can I apply National Pool Finishes products over tile? No. National Pool Finishes pool paints are not recommended over tile.

Can I coat over Sealers or Concrete Treated with Curing agents? Clear sealers can be painted over if proper steps of washing with TSP & etching with Muriatic acid are adhered to.

Can I Apply National Products To Wood? Yes, Deck Kote products can be applied to concrete, fiberglass & wood.

How Long Do I Have To Wait To Fill The Pool After I Paint? When Does The Pool Paint Cure? You need to wait 5 days to fill the pool after painting to make sure the paint cures properly, & add 1 additional day for every day of rain.

Can I Use A Spray Gun To Apply National Pool Finishes Products? Yes, and details are on the label, buy a roller application is what is recommended (3/8’ nap roller), a good roller with a phenolic type core (not a card board interior).

What happens if it rains after I coat my pool? Wait one extra day for every day of rain before refilling.




Apply Paint Over Polyethylene, Polypropylene, ABS, and PET/PBT Blends

You can apply paint over Polyethylene, Polypropylene, ABS, and PET/PBT Blends with proper surface preparation and primer.

1. First wipes down the surface with a 50/50 Isopropyl Alcohol such as Denatured Alcohol to remove any contaminants prior to sanding.

2. Sand the surface with 60-80 grit sandpaper.

3. Wipe down the surface again with 50/50 Isopropyl Alcohol ( Denatured Alcohol ) to remove all sanding residue.

4. Apply 3M Tape Primer over a small section.M23929

5. Apply a small test section of the desired Topcoat paint. Since there are so many type of paints, it is recommended to perform an adhesion test on the small area painted. Once the paint has dried perform a hatch test. Use a razor blade to cut into the paint and the primer and draw a 2-3 inch line. You should follow this at least 3 more parallel lines about 1cm apart. Then cut 4 more perpendicular line again about 1cm apart. It should like a large tic-tac-toe game. Finally, apply duct tape firmly and then pull the tape off quickly. If you have any paint or primer on the tape the adhesion is poor. If there is no paint or primer on the tape then it is safe to apply the primer and paint over the entire surface.

This application and test can be used for topside paints and bottom paints.

Filling a Hole in Fiberglass

When you are trying to repair a small hole in fiberglass, the best type of product to use is a premium epoxy. This will insure a proper repair and will not allow for shrinking of the material and create a water tight seal.

We recommend the Hawk Epoxy Kit. It contains the epoxy resin, catalyst and filler for the job. Watch the video below to see the steps needed to perform a small hole repair.



medical kit

Build an ‘Abandon Ship’ Ditch Bag

Any boat cruising off shore needs an emergency ditch bag for unplanned situations. Being prepared means never assuming that rescue will come before you would need things in a bag, one can never predict circumstances or weather. Having a life raft or kit that comes with your vessel may not have everything you want or need as minimal gear is all that is included so building your own insures your needs are met.

The bag should be water resistant to insure it doesn’t fill immediately with water and sink. Purchase one that is yellow or international orange and you can attach reflector strips for added visibility with a flashlight. A throw bag can be back up as needed.

Clearly label the bag so everyone on board knows what it is keep it in a handy place.

Rescue items can include:

Survival Items can include:

Other items depending on space:

Check your bag every season and before a long voyage for charged items and batteries needed. For added information on boat safety, please see the available DVD’s.


How to Apply Awlgrip Topcoat to an Aluminum Hull

Awlgip Marine PaintsFirst Identify the paint that is there. Is it compatible?

If yes – Sand, Primer, Paint

If no – the previous coating needs to be taken down. Sand with 80 grit paper until the coating is gone. Sand blasting is not recommended because it takes away the aluminum itself.

How do you know if previous paint is compatible with Awlgrip? Perform this test:

  1. Need a rag and some Lacquer thinner
  2. Sand the surface with 80 grit sand paper
  3. Apply lacquer thinner to the rag and hold it on the sanded area.
  4. Put a piece of plastic on to to hold the rag so the Lacquer thinner doesn’t evaporate.
  5. Hold rag for 35-45 min.
  6. Remove rag slowly. Is surface bubbling or lifting? If no, scrape surface with the blade of a knife. If the paint comes off with the blade or the paint feels rubbery you have identified an acrylic based paint. Awlgrip may be applied on top of it. If the surface was bubbling or lifting, the paint is not compatible and must be removed.

D6600 CF WashII. Apply Awl-Wash Primer CF (Mix Part A and Part B) within 4 hours of cleaning the surface. This provides excellent adhesion to the aluminum surface. Awl-Wash CF can be overcoated with primers after 1 hour of application. Maximum recoat time without sanding is 6 months.

III. Apply a Primer to the Awl-Wash Primer CF. There are 2 main choices.

  1. 545 Epoxy Primer – Thin, building primer. Usually applied when there is no need to fill scrapes or gouges.
  2. Awlquick – a medium build, primer/surfacer. Applied to a surface that needs to be filled where there are scrapes or gouges. Awlquick Base + Converter.

IV.  Apply a topcoat.

  1. Awlgrip – may be brush rolled or sprayed – usually lasts 7-10 years.
  2. Awlcraft – must be sprayed only – usually lasts 4-6 years.

For more information on Awlgrip vs. Awlcraft, click this link.

Painting an Aluminum Hull with Non Antifouling Paint

When painting a boat used for hunting/fishing, such as a jon boat, typically a flat finish is desired so you’ll want to use one of our camouflage paints. A primer coat is used to help the paint adhere to the aluminum surface and provides an extra layer of protection from corrosion. Or use or Aluma Hawk that is a paint and primer in one.

Duralux Aerosol Camouflage KitWhen using the Camouflage Paint Spray Kit or Duralux Camouflage Paint on bare aluminum apply two coats of Duralux Zinc Chromate after sanding. If using the Aluminum Boat Paint Green or Aluma Hawk (available in Black, Jon Boat Green or Aluminum Grey), these serve as paint and primer in one. For more application details see our ‘how to paint an aluminum jon boat’ article. This should be used when you desire a dull flat finish.

Duralux Marine EnamelIf you desire a gloss finish, look to the Duralux Marine Enamel or Super Marine paints for other options. Duralux High Gloss Marine Enamel is affordable and easy to apply and only recommended for above the waterline or moderate use on the bottom (a day or so in the water, not extended periods). This topside paint works best in very thin coats; see the prep recommendations found on product page on “how to use” tab. For aluminum application apply one coat of Duralux Zinc Chromate M739, Top with two full coats of Duralux Marine Enamel. The enamel works well thinned with M650 by Duralux.

RevolutionYou also have a choice from Super Marine Paints that can be used above or below the waterline and come in a few different styles.  The Revolution  (great option if rolling/brushing)  or Mono Epoxy (durable and looks best sprayed) are the easiest to use and usually customers choose the Super Marine Etching Primer (SM 664D) for the primer. They are also available in your choice of sheen (satin or gloss). Click on “view more” for the paint and use the specification/how to use tabs for detailed instructions, coverage and preparation on any of the product pages. The “work horse” is the Two Part Epoxy, most durable of the Super Marine choices with the top of the line selection is Ironside. The previous two paints are available in flat and semi-gloss as well as satin and gloss. For aluminum application see details on each product page but it is a two-step primer process:

Aluminum, galvanized and Stainless: Use SM-117 Pre-Wash Primer in combination with any other Super Marine primer such as SM-664D Etching Primer.

You have many options when painting aluminum. Your use of boat, budget, and amount of time you want to spend on the project determine the right paint for you. For more information see our ‘topside boat paint options’.

West System to Hawk Epoxy Cross Reference Guide

Hawk EpoxyBelow shows the comparison of the West System products to the Hawk Epoxy products. Hawk Epoxy is comparable to the West System with how it works and its uses. West System is known for A/B/C/D selection system size (Size A resin with Size A hardener) the Hawk Epoxy uses 1/2/3/4 (Size 1 resin with Size 1 catalyst). The pumps are sold separate with West System and Hawk Epoxy, this works where 1 pump of resin is mixed with 1 pump of catalyst, or more depending on instructions. West SystemThis is just to make it easier and less chance for error for the customer and it doesn’t mean a 1 to 1 ratio because the pumps are calibrated differently and each pump size can distribute different amounts.

Please Note: This chart simply shows the likely equivalent product by brand. It is not recommended to mix the products brands.

CLICK HERE: West System to Hawk Epoxy Cross Reference Guide.

West System and Hawk Epoxy are trade marks of Gougeon Brothers, and New Nautical Coatings, respectively.

Paint Options for Pool Decks

Many people choose to paint a pool deck to customize the decor and revive a dated look and renew a concrete deck aged by weather and wear. Unpainted concrete can become slippery and may need to be sealed.

The most popular pool deck coating we offer is Deck Kote.  Deck Kote a one-part acrylic water-based pool deck coating designed as an effective weapon against UV rays and weathering in a coating that is easy to apply and clean up. Longest lasting protection against fade on painted or unpainted concrete surfaces. Dries quickly, durable, and resists fading, chemicals, and abrasion. For non-skid surfaces, add sand or pumice stone or Polymetric Non-Skid as desired. Cleans up with soap and water. Designed for maximum protection against algae, UV rays and chlorine.

The Supreme Acrylic Urethane is a super-duty commercial quality two-component acrylic polyurethane pool paint that performs well. Will not pick up to hot tires when applied to pool decks and covers up to 300 square feet per gallon while available in 100 colors.

Seal It  (Deep Penetrating Sealer) treats concrete, plaster, gunnite, marcite, tile and masonry three ways; it permanently seals out water, densifies and hardens it all at once.

For a non skid pool deck area, Pro-Tex texture additive can be added to the Supreme Acrylic Urethane. Use it to improve slip resistance or simply to add decorative texture to any finish. Stays suspended better than aggregates, resulting in a more even finish and improves safety.

Paints are available with non skid aggregate pre mixed in the paint for ease. An example of this is the Supermarine non-skid paint  called Floor Grip, or Floor Grip II for wood. The supermarine paint is an easy paint to apply, especially for the “do it yourselfer”. For best results you will want to remove any of the existing paint on the surface with sand paper followed by a good pressure washing. This removes any grit or oil that may interfere with the adhesion of coats of non-skid paint you will be applying.

* Be sure to check if a primer, sealer or other products are suggested for your surface preparation in our ‘how to use’ information located on each product page.

Hawk Epoxy System

How do I choose Hawk Epoxy Catalyst and Fillers?

R1 Epoxy Resin – a smooth, low-viscosity liquid epoxy resin. With a variety of Hawk Epoxy Catalysts, it can be cured under a wide range of temperatures and environmental conditions to form a high strength plastic with superior moisture barrier characteristics. Hawk Epoxy is available in four system sizes color coded on each label. Note: Mix ratios vary by catalyst. For optimal product utilization, be sure to choose the same Size for both the resin and catalyst. I.e Size 1 Resin with Size 1 Catalyst.


C1 ULTRA SLOW CURE CATALYST: Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for construction and repairs with superior adhesion, strength, bonding, filling, and moisture barrier qualities at higher temperatures and for an ultra slow cure. Do not use under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.

C2 SLOW CURE CATALYST: Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for construction and repairs with superior adhesion, strength, bonding, filling, and moisture barrier qualities at higher temperatures and for a slow cure. Do not use under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.

C3 FAST CURE CATALYST: Designed for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for construction and repairs with superior adhesion, strength, bonding, filling, and moisture barrier qualities at cooler temperatures and for a fast cure. Do not use under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.

C5 CLEAR FINISH CATALYST: Designed  for use with HAWK EPOXY R1 Resin for very clear fiberglass cloth and coating applications with exceptional moisture barrier characteristics. Perfect for natural wood and carbon fiber clear coats with no blush. Longer working times in very warm temperatures. May be used under Sea Hawk marine wood varnish.

TIP* For easy accurate measuring be sure to use the Hawk Epoxy Pumps that are calibrated to dispense the correct amount of resin and catalyst. This is much easier and leave little room for mistakes.

Next choose the best Hawk Epoxy Filler depending on the application:

Choose Hawk Epoxy FIller

F1 High Load Adhesive Fiber Filler – Thickens to a light grey color creating an easy to use adhesive designed for bonding hardware and other applications with dissimilar materials. This mixture will maximize bond strength for anticipated high loads.

F2 Structural Adhesive Filler – Thickens to an off white color, creating a general purpose thickening additive for bonding, gap filling and filleting. Mix to a workable consistency allowing sag-free and easy flow properties for vertical and overhead applications.

F-3 Light Density Adhesive Micro Fiber Filler – Thickens to an off white color. Great for bonding many substrates, especially wood. The mixture also creates a multipurpose adhesive for many other substrates in addition to providing excellent substrate wetting and penetrating characteristics. Increases impact and abrasion resistance.

F4 Bridging Adhesive Filler – Thickens to a brown color, creating an easy to use adhesive with excellent gap filling and filleting qualities. This mixture blends with many different types of wood to allow for a natural looking fillet or gap fill.

F5 Light Density Fairing Filler – Thickens to a reddish brown color, achieving an easy to sand and carve fairing compound while still remaining strong and light weight.

F6 MicroSphere Fairing Filler – Thickens to a white color, creating a lightweight fairing compound for small to large areas. This product holds a feathered edge very well and is suitable for nearly every substrate. This closed celled structure can also be used for increased acoustic and thermal insulation.

For the easiest way to choose your system, view our Hawk Epoxy Size 1 Kit

Aluminum Hull Repairs and More

jonboatHow to Fix a Leaking Seam or Rivet on Aluminum Boat

As aluminum boats age they show various signs of wear and tear. One of these signs may be a leaking seam or rivet. Over time, rivets can stretched and loosen, causing a gap in the hull integrity and this results in a leak. The solution to this problem is fairly simple and may be fixed at home using just a few tools and know-how. So, how should this problem be addressed?

Locate the Leaking Rivet or Seam

The first step is to find the exact seam or rivet that needs repair. To do this, put the boat in water and observe carefully. You could also put water inside the boat and see where it allows the water to escape from.

Assess the Damage

The second step is assessing the extent of damage to the rivet or seam. If the seam is too wide to be filled or caulked, it will need additional rivets in combination with a sealant product. If the damage is easily visible a sealant or caulk will be sufficient.

Choose a Sealant or Epoxy Product

There are hundreds of products out there that claim to fix leaks and seal cracks. How do you know which to choose? The Bottom Paint Store has done most of the hard work for you and can confidently recommend 3 products that really work.

Hawk Epoxy KitHawk Epoxy is an excellent product to repair aluminum hulls. We recommend getting one of the Hawk Epoxy Kits that will contain everything you need for filling in the aluminum. Hawk Epoxy is a versatile product that can be used for many other application too. Everyone should own this kit!

The second is BoatLife’s LifeCalk Sealant. This sealant may take a long time to cure (1 to 3 days), but it results in a waterproof, rubber seal that will adhere to almost anything. It can also be applied underwater for emergency repairs!

The third option is G/Flex 650 Epoxy made by West System. This liquid epoxy is more flexible and versatile than regular epoxies and will adhere to almost any surface. The bond that it creates can absorb shock, vibration, expansions and contractions. It will fully cure in 24 hours. Also, West System has created a detailed and comprehensive set of instructions for a wide variety of applications. They can be found at this link and below:

G Flex Epoxy by West SystemFix leaking seams and rivets

Patch holes in aluminum hulls

Repair pitted or pin holed surfaces

If your hull is bare aluminum you can cover the entire surface with a high build epoxy primer to help seal and protect it such as Tuff Stuff. For application details see our link for application of a marine epoxy.

Now that your leaky rivets and seams have been repaired, you are ready to paint! Check out this How To Article for more information on how to paint your aluminum vessel.


How to Select a Spray Gun Nozzle Tip Size

What Size Spray Tip Should I Use with my Spray Gun?

There are many different things to consider when selecting the appropriate size spray tip for each job. The amount of information on the subject can be overwhelming, so we at the Bottom Paint Store have done our best to make this step easier for you.

There are three main factors to consider when determining the size tip that will produce the best results.

  1. First, examine the coating that will be sprayed. Put simply, heavier coatings will require a larger orifice size than lighter ones. For example, primers are usually thicker than the accompanying paint so you should use a 1.7 or 1.8 mm tip to prime most surfaces. Most painters will stay in the range of 1.2 to 2.0 mm unless the paint being applied is specialized. (See chart below.)
  2. The next thing to consider is your project surface area. This determines the appropriate fan width that your sprayer will produce, that is, the shape in which the product will leave the gun nozzle. Airless spray guns have more control over the fan width than conventional spray guns because the coating is forced through the tip without being atomized by air. This causes the tip to have a large impact on the fan width and shape. Most boat projects consist of large surfaces and so a wide fan will increase the spray coverage and also provide the ability to spray close to the surface without too much build up. Smaller surfaces will require a small fan width to reduce overspray. This also makes it possible to spray further away from the surface without too much falloff because the fan is more focused.
  3. Lastly, consider the spray gun that is being used. Make sure that the spray tip you plan on using will be supported by the gun. Most spray gun manufacturers will provide this information in their product overview. The Bottom Paint Store distributes ES Manufacturing Spray Guns. The ES G830 gun will support a range of 0.8 – 2.0 mm. The ES G100 and G200 gelcoat spray guns support a range of 0.8 – 7.1 mm tips. If you aren’t sure about your gun’s supported sizes, check with the gun manufacturer.
Common Spray Tip Sizes and Their Uses
Tip size (mm) Commonly Used for
0.8 Parting Films – PVA – very fine mist
1.2 Clear Coats – super fine finishes
1.4 All Around Tip – clears, base coat, single stage paints
1.6 General Purpose – light to heavy viscosity materials
1.8 Primers – will apply primer quickly
2.2 -2.5 Gel Coats and Resins – for thick resins and not paints





Clear Coat My Bass Boat

how to apply gelcoatTypically the clear coat on a bass boat is meant to protect the metalflake. You can choose a clear paint or clear gelcoat.

Clear gelcoat is typically what bass boats use at the factory for UV protection over metalflake but gelcoat isn’t as easy to use as paint. Gelcoat typically covers 48 sq feet applied at 18 mils thick per gallon.

Ironside Urethane

Ironside Urethane

The paints available in clear for spray application are the Supermarine Mono Epoxy, Two Part Epoxy, and Ironside Urethane. Paints typically cover 200-400 sq feet per gallon.

So paint vs. gelcoat, the thicker the coating the longer it takes for the sun to burn through. Time in the sun/elements is what will determine how long the clear coat lasts.

Use each product link for more information on price, application and  coverage (tabs under picture for specs/how to use).

How to Apply Gelcoat 

Topside Boat Paint Options: What are your choices?




Boat Blister Repair

Has your boat developed a blister or two? Don’t worry too much! A blister is not a serious issue. Blisters very rarely get so bad that they cannot be repaired. You can even repair them yourself!

Needed materials: Acetone, sanding block, Hawk Epoxy, acid safe disposable brushes.

Hawk Epoxy KitMake sure the blisters are thoroughly drained and grind them deep enough to remove any damaged material beneath the gelcoat. Increase size of ground area as needed until all the laminate around the blister is sound. Clean the entire area and allow it time to dry.

f6-filler-large-may-2014The filler recommended for blister repair is F6 MicroSphere Fairing Filler. F6 MicroSphere Fairing Filler thickens to a white lightweight fairing compound for small to large areas.This creates an easy to sand putty that will help fill in transitions and hull imperfections.  Apply using a putty knife, spatula or trowel. Spread smoothly on the surface in a 1/8″ – 1/4″ layer using heavy hand pressure to displace air bubbles/voids. Try to force the material into holes or joints and smooth to the thickness needed.

Before applying the Hawk Epoxy, the hull must be very dry. Make sure the hull moisture is under 15% by using a moisture meter. Wipe down the entire area with clean rags and acetone. This will remove any remaining contaminants on the hull.

Hawk Epoxy is a low viscosity epoxy system that makes fiberglass repair easy for everyone! Equipped with a wide variety of Catalysts and fillers, you can mix up the exact epoxy batch needed for almost any job. For more information on how to mix Hawk Epoxy, click this link. Mix only enough Hawk Epoxy to use in 5-10 minutes. Apply the Hawk Epoxy to the hull using the Roll and Tip method. Use a roller to apply the epoxy and then use the tip of a high quality brush to smooth the epoxy evenly. The roller should be lint free and non-wicking. Any fibers that get in to the epoxy could compromise the integrity of the seal.

Apply the second coat when the first coat is tacky to the touch. Your finger should leave an imprint but not lift any of the epoxy coating. Allow the second coat to dry fully. Once it is completely cured, wash the repaired area with soap and water. The repair is now ready to be sanded and painted with Sea Hawk bottom paint. If redoing the hull apply Tuff Stuff primer, followed by bottom paint.

If the blister has damaged the fiberglass, that will need to be repaired with fiberglass cloth cut to match damaged area. There will be an upcoming How To Article that discusses that topic.

The video below is from Sea Hawk Paints and demonstrates how to seal a fiberglass hull using the Hawk Epoxy System.

Choosing Anodes: Zinc or Aluminum

The main water types: salt, fresh and brackish call for different protection needs for your boat. Zinc and aluminum anodes protect in salt and brackish waters and never mix zinc and aluminum on the same vessel.

Zinc= Salt Water only

Aluminum= Salt or Brackish Water

Zinc and aluminum sacrificial anodes are for use on hulls, propeller shafts, rudders, trim tabs, outboard engines, stern drives and in the cooling system of most inboard engines to protect metal parts from galvanic corrosion. Check your manual for recommended size needed and  check them on a regular basis as environmental conditions can accelerate deterioration.