Author Archives: BottomPaintStore

What is the best paint for my boat?

A lot of factors contribute to what paint is best for your boat:

Are you painting the entire boat, or just the bottom? Are you in fresh water or salt water? Is your boat trailered?

What is on the bottom of the boat now: bottom paint, paint or gelcoat? As once an antifouling bottom paint has been applied only bottom paint can go over it (unless you remove it). Gelcoat application is recommended over fiberglass, most resins and gelcoat. It can have difficulty adhering to other surfaces.

Supermarine Paint can be applied all over the boat but won’t prevent growth in water but is durable and available in over 80 colors.

For topside only the Duralux Marine Enamel is an economical choice with several colors to choose from and easy application.

Gelcoat is usually what is original to most boats; a bass boat will have  metal flake mixed in.

We sell metal flake that can be added to gelcoat or paint but we don’t sell any with it already mixed in.

Ablative bottom paint can help with the slime and will wear away slowly over time and is trailerable. Bottom paint is applied below the waterline only.

 

 

Do I Need Bottom Paint on My Boat?

 

Sea Hawk Cukote Bottom PaintTypically when people discuss bottom paint on a boat they are referring to Antifouling paint. Bottom paint prevents growth of organisms that attach to the hull and can affect a vessels speed, performance, and durability when boat is kept in the water for extended periods of time.  If you don’t have that problem, you may not need bottom paint. Antifouling bottom paint typically has a flat, dull finish that is used below the waterline.

If you don’t have a growth problem or would like a nice shine to your boat’s bottom look to our other items like gelcoat or SuperMarine paint, see easy paint application for the do it yourselfer.  Gelcoat adheres to most gelcoats or fiberglass/resins, see how to apply gelcoat.  A boat bottom with antifouling will need to have it removed via sanding, sandblasting or bottom paint remover before a different type of paint will adhere.

There are generally two types of bottom paint both of which have several variations that create a multitude of products in the market place. The two different types or categories of bottom paint include hard bottom paint and ablative bottom paint.

Hard Bottom Paint vs. Ablative Bottom Paint

Hard bottom paint is bottom paint that is a hard modified epoxy. After you apply hard bottom paint it is very durable and does not wear off. Hard bottom paints typically have a higher ratio of pesticides (usually copper) in them that are exposed in the outer surface of the bottom paint coating. As time goes by, the coating oxidizes and becomes less effective in combating marine growth. Hard bottom paint is generally used on boats when the boat sits for long periods of time without moving at all, or there is little movement of water (current/ tide) around the boat. You should not use a hard paint if you boat comes out of the water such as on a trailer or a lift. After 72 hours, the hard bottom paint will oxidize on the outer surface from the air and becomes ineffective. If you are trailering your boat, or keep it on a lift you should always use ablative bottom paint.

Ablative bottom paint, also known as self- polishing bottom paint, is softer and allows the coating to wear off at a controlled rate. Much like a bar of soap, once the boat moves in the water or there is a current and or tide, the outer layer slowly wears away. The wearing away of the self-polishing bottom paint allows for new, unoxidized paint to be exposed. Therefore, if you are trailering your boat, or it comes in and out of the water for any reason, the paint will oxidize within 72 hours. However, once placed back in service, that oxidized ablative paint wears away and exposes a new fresh outer coating with active protection. Ablative bottom paint is a newer technology then hard paint. It is the preferred bottom paint of most users since it typically lasts longer and continuously exposes a new active outer coating that protects against marine growth.

For more how to use details see How to apply bottom paint to bare fiberglass or How to apply bottom paint over existing bottom paint.

Applying Antifouling Paint to a Pontoon Boat

If you do not have any coatings at all on the bottom of the boat, we suggest to sand the pontoons with 80 grit and then apply Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy. It is a water tight barrier coat designed for use under the waterline and with aluminum hulls. Tuff Stuff will insure that you protect the aluminum from corrosion, and also aid in the adhesion of the antifouling paint. Use 2 coats. You can apply the 2nd coat within a couple of hours of the first coat. See detailed instructions at How to Apply Marine Epoxy Primer”.

TUFFSTUFFnewAfter you apply Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer on hull, be sure to use an aluminum safe antifouling paint. The bottom paint needs to be applied the same day as the Tuff Stuff marine epoxy primer. Antifoulants in general are designed to repel hard growth. For soft growth you should have an additional biocide that help with the algae. Smart Solution is an excellent antifoul for aluminum pontoons used in salt water as well as Mission Bay for fresh or salt water.

WARNING: You should only use an aluminum safe antifouling like Mission Bay or Smart Solution. Using any other type of copper based antifouling could severely damage your pontoons and will cause corrosion, pitting and eventually holes in your pontoon boat.

If you do not need antifouling paint and are in fresh water, we suggest using one of the products located in the “How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat article.

Links:

How to Video:

How to Apply Non-Skid Paints

Non-skid paints can be used for various different applications and circumstances. The most common use of non-skid is on boats, or for marine use. Although that is the most common, it is used in many more conditions. Here are some other examples of how non skid paint can be used outside of the nautical setting.

  • Industrial Buildings
  • Amusement Parks
  • Utility Vehicles
  • Ramps
  • Mechanic Shop
  • Walk-in Freezers
  • Ski Areas
  • Handicap Utilities
  • Residential Decks
  • Stairs
  • Restaurant kitchens
  • Stadiums
  • Restrooms
  • Warehouse floors
  • Wooden Decks
  • Food prep areas
  • Hospitals
  • Schools

Floor GripWhen it comes to non skid paints, there are two types of paint you can go with.  The first category are non-skid paints that come with the non skid formula pre mixed. 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.

After cleaning the surface, you will need to let it dry before applying any primer. The recommended primer for this job would be SM-664D etching primer by Supermarine. Note, the Floor Grip II when applied to wood needs no primer. This will give a good surface for your non-skid paint to grip on to.

Please note: You only need the etching primer for Glazed tile, fiberglass, aluminum and composite materials. Once the primer dries you are ready to mix your non-skid paint. You may start by scraping the containe, using a stir stick, down the sides to help loosen the aggregate.  This step may be difficult and the use of a high speed mixer will ease the process as well as some of the SM-605 thinner . Once mixed for a good two minutes you are ready to apply the paint. Floor Grip Non-Skid Paint may be brushed or rolled on to a wet film thickness of 25-30 mils. The first coat is able to be recoated in 12-48 hours depending on the temperature and humidity levels. Try to avoid heavy overlaps on your strokes and heavy build up in single areas.

This non-skid coating comes in over 90 colors to choose from. Keep in mind the supermarine non-skid paint maintains its color and gloss without chalking, yellowing or fading.

The next option is to add non-skid to paint or gelcoat. This process is when you take paint/gelcoat and add a non-skid additive such as Duralux non-skid additive , Seahawk non-skid additive for gelcoat, Griptex for Awlgrip and Pro Tex for Supermarine paints

The additive for gelcoat is extremely easy and adds just one extra step to the gelcoat application process. You simply mix the additive in with the gel coat before application and then apply. Alternative preferred application methods include using a flour sifter, powdered sugar shaker, or the punctured container itself, sprinkle the non skid into the gelcoat or paint. To use the container, first punch holes in the lid with a nail or ice pick overlappping the broadcasting stroke to provide a uniform pattern.

The amount you use is completely subjective and dependent on what your goal is; it is recommended to use no more than a quart of non-skid per gallon of paint.  The available sizes of additive are a quart and a gallon. The same goes for the Duralux non-skid additive when you add it to the paint.

How to Repair a Gelcoat Scratch or Hole

When looking at a scratch in the gelcoat, you need to determine whether it is a surface scratch or a deep scratch. The reason being is that surface scratches can easily be buffed with a rubbing compound as opposed to deep scratches which take a couple more steps. As long as the gelcoat around the deep scratch is in good condition, you will be able to use gelcoat paste or you can make one using gelcoat and an aerosil filler/thickener. Once the filler is applied, the service will be uneven so sanding and polishing will be necessary. Customers report wet sanding with 2000 grit worked well. Everything about the repair of the scratch is fairly easy to do.

For deeper gouges, you will need to purchase a gelcoat repair kit (see instructions here) or purchase gelcoat in various colors. Tints are available as well if custom matching larger quantities of gelcoat or paste. The kit will contain everything you need to do the job including some tints for matching. Some find the gouge needs to be scraped deeper with a screwdriver or Dremel tool to open it into a wide V to make sure the gelcoat has a place to settle and more permanent.  If you simply cover the cracks they may continue to spread. The  gelcoat that exists on the boat is already bonded with the laminates that are underneath. That being said, you will have to rough the surface up a bit with sand paper in order to give the paste something to stick to. Please note that you need to clean the surface with acetone after sanding to clean any contaminates off that may interfere with the filling process.

When the damage is a larger (like a screw hole) you made need 3M’s Preminum Marine Filler or 3M Marine High Strength Repair Filler. These are for bonding and filling repairs above or below the waterline and can be sanded. Some customers perfer to mix some thickener (cabosil) and gelcoat to a thick consistancy. Both of these products can be applied with a spreader. If coating over with gelcoat be sure to leave space (about 1/8 inch) for the gelcoat.

Once you have the gelcoat mixed, saving the hardener for last, begin to spread over the gouge with a plastic spreader. Since the paste will shrink slightly as it dries, make sure you put a little extra paste on the “wound”. A slight bulge will be ideal after the paste is applied. As the paste will not cure completely in the air, you will need to put a plastic film over it. If your kit does not have one, shrink wrap or wax paper will work. Tape the plastic/wax paper on all sides over the paste and let dry for 24 hours.

After the 24 hours are up, remove the plastic/wax paper. Take a piece of 400 grit sandpaper accompanied with a 3M sanding block and begin to level any areas that are raised and uneven. It will help if you have a bucket of water or water hose handy to wash away the excess material as you sand. Once you have completed the sanding with the 400 grit, you will need to now use a 600 grit sandpaper to go over the repair. The reason this is being done is to eliminate any scratches the 400 grit may have put in the repair and smooth it even more. You will continue this process moving up to a 800 grit and then a 1200 grit. Occasionally you will want to dry the repair area just to get an idea of the work you have done so far.  At this point you can wax and buff the repair.

For puncture holes through the gelcoat or several holes have been drilled through and need filling you can also consider using the Hawk Epoxy System. See information on how to choose the Hawk Epoxy kit.

Removing Stains from Gelcoat

A gelcoat surface is a very smooth, mirror-like finish when it is new. As gelcoat ages, it becomes porous which means the more easily it stains, the worse it looks and the harder it is to clean. Most all gelcoat can be restored, providing it is not completely worn through. Exhaust stains, like diesel, can develop on the surface of the Gel Coat. These stains can set in on the wax surface of the gel coat but the right cleaner can remove them. If the stain goes deeper, a bit of elbow grease will be needed.

Clean and inspect the surface with a wash with a mild cleaner like 3M’s boat soap or some alternative stronger cleaners if needed. After cleaning, dry and inspect surface for needs to be addressed: scratches, dings, cracking and crazing and to fix these flaws before rubbing out the gelcoat and restoring its shine. See the fiberglass/gelcoat repair section for options and the West System Video for “how to” instruction.

Apply a fiberglass stain remover, like 3M Fiberglass Restorer and Wax , Mothers Marine Black Streak Remover, or 3M Marine Cleaner and Wax to the stained gelcoat area with a clean rag. The black/gray stains are the result of soot being deposited on your hull. It can happen when wet exhaust systems mix the exhaust gases with seawater and discharge those gases or dry exhaust systems discharging the soot directly into the atmosphere and it lands on your boat.

These liquid one-step products that combine a polish or compound with a wax remove oxidation, and protect the gelcoat in one step.

Wait 10-15 minutes. If the stain is simply laying on the surface of the Gel Coat, the stain will begin to loosen; rinse and inspect the results.

If the stain is lifting, repeat. If not, then something stronger like a more abrasive compound with a polisher may be needed; in that case a wax will be needed to restore the shine. Each time compound products are used, some of the gelcoat is removed. Use caution to use the least aggressive product that will get the job done. Frequently all that may be needed is to apply a protective coating of wax, such as 3M Ultra Performance WaxScotchgard Marine Wax, or Mothers Marine Synthetic Wax to help keep that shine.

For more gelcoat restoration tips see our how to Maintain and Restore Gelcoat link.

Eco-Clad Bottom Paint Review

eco cladAfter further review on the performance of Eco-Clad as a bottom paint, we are NOT offering this product to our customer base. Eco Clad is engineered to support a natural beneficial biofilm (slime) on the coated area. However, we have heard several complaints about the products’ poor performance when it comes to keeping growth off the boat. The company has done a great job of marketing Eco Clad everywhere, and claims better fuel economy and faster speeds.    This might be true, but performs only for a few months at best. After that you will see substantial marine growth and even worse fuel ecomony and speed along with the added costs of a new bottom job.

Our opinion and recommendation is to stay away from Eco-Clad unless you plan on keeping your boat in fresh water. Your are much better off using a traditional high quality bottom paint.

Easy Boat Paint Application for the Do it Yourselfer

Revolution Marine Paint does a better job protecting and keeping fiberglass, aluminum, steel and wooden surfaces looking good longer than typical marine enamels. It lasts as long or longer than two-part urethanes and will not chalk like typical epoxy. While gel coat and many marine enamels are quick to chalk and fade, require regular cleaning, waxing and buffing to maintain their appearance Revolution boat paint maintains its color and gloss longer. It provides a bright, smooth “lively” protective finish years longer. When impacted or abraded it will not crack or spider-web like epoxy or gel coat. It stays clean longer and scuffs are easily buffed to a high gloss finish.

Revolution is the first boat paint of its kind recommended for use above and below the waterline on virtually any boat or vessel regardless of materials often eliminating the need for antifouling bottom paint in fresh water (it is not antifouling). It has been formulated to outperform both typical topside and antifouling bottom paints on trailered and boats in fresh water. Even better; it increases the speed of most vessels by as much as 10% saving money in fuel and time in transit! Independent test data confirms its spectacular performance, longevity and durability; achieving more than a 40 year lifespan in constant submersion accelerated durability testing.

The exceptionally beautiful finish of Revolution marine paint must be seen to appreciate. The cured film has a unique soft, smooth glossy appearance; considerably smoother than typical paint yet slip resistant in nature! It is easy to apply, lasts longer and saves money in maintenance and on fuel. It provides a high level of corrosion resistance topside or under the waterline.

REVOLUTION PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

Product type: Silicone Alkyd Epoxy-Ester Copolymer Coating.

Product benefits: High Solid content, low V.O.C., hard yet flexible film, high gloss with excellent gloss retention, self priming on many surfaces, self leveling film, excellent adhesion to prepared surfaces, resistant to many alkalis, highly water-resistant, resistant to chalking, fading & chipping, resists peeling & cracking, weather-resistant, resists the effects of high heat.

Physical Characteristics:

Viscosity: 85-90 k.u. Dry to touch: 2-4 hours Weight solids: 70-72%

Recoat: 12-48 hours Volume solids: 54-56% WT per gal: 10.1 (White)

V.O.C.: 337 grams per liter Flash point: 105° F. Maximum WFT: 2 mils

Recommended DFT: 3.4+

Coverage: 700-800 sq. ft. per gallon @ 1 mil dry; nice thin coats for this type of paint works best. If too thick the cure time can be very long.

Thinner: SM-101 Leveling Thinner is a must have with this product! Thin 15-25%.

SUNDRIES: Sandpaper-80 grit for repairs 120 grit for rough sanding-180 grit for finish sanding. Mohair or wool roller covers, roller frame, roller tray and natural bristle brushes. Rubber gloves, canister type air filter for spray applications.

Cleaner: Recommend SM-695 Etching Cleaner (popular item for preparation) for fiberglass, aluminum, concrete and prepared steel surfaces. Where rust is evident use SM-5679 Rust Converting Cleaner.

Primer:

Aluminum, galvanized and Stainless: Use SM-117 Pre-Wash Primer in combination with any other Supermarine primer including SM-664D Etching Primer, SM-7390 Formula 150 Polyamide Epoxy Primer or SM-787 Mono Epoxy Primer. The SM-117 Primer is a metal treatment including zinc chromate. Zinc chromate is very effective, very
hard to find, protective element. In addition to protecting, the 117 Primer
provides additional adhesion to aluminum, galvanized, anodized and stainless
steel surfaces. It is not needed on any other surface other than these. Painted aluminum is different from bare aluminum. All painted surfaces, if the paint is sound, can be scuffed, cleaned and Revolution applied to it without primer. Also the SM-7390 Formula 150 Epoxy Primer works very nicely over SM-117 Primer. The Formula 150 is a barrier coating, that said it is not easily sanded.

Fiberglass: Use SM-664D Etching Primer or SM-787 Mono Epoxy Primer.

Steel, iron & concrete: SM-7390 Formula 150 Epoxy Primer or SM-787 Mono Epoxy Primer.

Wood: See SM-664D Etching Primer.

Note:

SM-664D Etching primer is good because it is easy to use being single stage, is fast drying (only 2 hours to sand or paint), sands beautifully, and has phenolic acid in it for a tenacious bond. It literally adheres to everything, metal, wood, fiberglass, . Here’s a key point; it is porous. The porosity is intentional. The porosity of it causes the top coat, which is hopefully a barrier coat, to be sucked in creating a permanent bond between paint and primer. Its great stuff.  One problem that occasionally comes up is the porosity of it means it can pick up moisture over night. You can prime, go home, come back in the morning after a heavy dew, rain or high humidity, apply paint and find the whole thing is fouled. We always warn novice painters they must be sure the primer is dry before painting.

Slip Resistance: For added slip resistance add 8 ounces SM-630 Pro-Tex, 1 lb Tred-Tex or Gaco-Grip.

Clean up: Clean with Lacquer Thinner.

Accelerate/Harden: See SM-160 Accelerator/Hardener. Refer to Application Instructions Sheet, Product Data Sheet, label directions or contact us for additional information.

How To Apply Revolution: All applications should begin with the removal of hardware, ventilators, bang irons and decorative name plates. After that, the steps to prepare a boat for paint or a clear coating are only slightly different from those taken with wood, fiberglass, aluminum or steel. The difference between an amateur and professional application is often preparation. The smart painter puts most of his effort into preparing the boat for painting. The old saying is true that 99% of a good paint job lies in preparation and 99% of paint failures are due to poor preparation. This is a statistic you do not want applied to your project! Do not cut corners when preparing your boat for paint!

Previously painted boats: Best results will be achieved when most or all old boat paints have been completely *removed and primer applied to all surfaces, however, paint in good condition may be cleaned and de-waxed with SM-695 Etching Cleaner then sanded with 100 grit sandpaper in preparation for paint. An orbital palm sander or dual-action rotary sander will be less strenuous than hand sanding. Sanding will reveal areas that are blistered or flaking requiring removal. Such areas should be repaired if needed and properly primed. Hand sand to feather the repair to the level of the rest of the existing paint for best results. Scrapes, scratches and divots may be filled with painter’s glazing compound prior to painting. Trowel it into the blemish with a putty knife allowing it to set up before sanding smooth. All repairs and glazing compounds should be primed and sanded before proceeding with Revolution boat paint.

Preparation on Fiberglass & Aluminum: Loose scale, peeling or cracking paint, corrosion, dirt, grime, oil, grease and wax all must be thoroughly *removed. Always clean thoroughly before making any repairs or sanding. Wax removal is critical and should be done with SM-695 Etching Cleaner or a commercial wax remover. Where silicone polishes are present be sure to use a blended solvent polish remover to remove silicone. A second application of cleaner is helpful. Once cleaned, gouges and scrapes may be filled with epoxy putty. Build up the epoxy above the surrounding surface so that it can be sanded smooth. Epoxy filler is hard so power sanding is advised. A dual-action rotary sander achieves the best results however a good orbital palm sander is acceptable. Rough sand the patch with 80 grit then switch to 120 grit sandpaper to achieve the final contour. Once repairs have been completed sand the entire area to be refinished with 120 to 180 grit sandpaper then clean with a pre-paint cleaner or recommended solvent.

Preparing Raw Wood (Unpainted): Bare wood should be sanded with 80 grit paper before the application of Primer. Select SM-664D Primer to fill, build and create a smooth easy to adhere to surface. It has an unusually high amount of solid material, sands beautifully and locks our air and moisture. Recommend allowing primer to dry for 2-4 hours before sanding with 120 grit paper. Often repeated coats are applied to achieve a smooth finished surface. Repeated primer coats and sanding may be continued until the grain has been filled and the surface is completely smooth. Recommend 180 grit sandpaper for use in finish sanding. The use of other primers is acceptable.

Fasteners in wood hulls are always countersunk below the surface of the planks. It is necessary to fill these countersinks in order to achieve a completely smooth finish. Surfacing putties are preferred over epoxy or polyester putties because epoxy putties can be harder to remove should it ever become necessary to remove a plank for repair.

Carvel planked boats require a seam compound. Traditional seam compounds are never applied until after the hull has received a primer base coat. Traditional seam compounds should never be applied to bare wood, however, polysulfide seam compounds must be applied only to bare wood. Apply polysulfide seam compounds into the seam prior to applying primer.

Preparing Wood (Previously Painted): Paint in good condition should be sanded with 120 grit paper to knock off the gloss. Orbital palm sanders or dual action rotary sanders make *sanding large areas much easier. Sanding usually reveals paint that has blistered or flaked requiring scraping the hull and sanding to bare wood. Such areas should filled, primed and sanded smooth.

The inevitable sunken fastener holes, scratches and dings should be filled with painter’s glazing compound – not to be confused with glazing putty used to keep glass in home windows. Marine glazing compound is a fine putty intended for repairing small surface blemishes prior to painting. Apply to the blemish area with a putty knife, allow it to cure thoroughly then sand surface to a smooth finish.

Deteriorating Paint should be completely removed from the hull before repairs or primer is applied. Power sanding is preferred over paint remover. This process is referred to as “wooding down.” Once the old boat paint has been removed prepare the hull as if it were new bare wood.

Preparation on Steel: Proper surface *preparation is vital. Previously painted surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and free of residues, oily film, and loose paint chips. All rust, loose scale and contaminates must be thoroughly *removed prior to the application of primer. Preparation should include wire brushing by hand, mechanical grinding and or sand blasting of all surfaces. Rust should be treated with SM-5679 Phos-Pro Rust Converting Metal Conditioner. Rust free and galvanized metals should be treated with SM-695 Etching Cleaner. Once all surfaces have been carefully prepared, rust, oil, grease and contaminates removed, the application of recommended primer should be applied without delay to prevent new corrosion. Surfaces treated with SM-5679 Phos-Pro must be primed within 24 hours (See Performance Data Sheets and MSDS for SM-5679 Phos-Pro and SM-695 Etching Cleaner for further information).

Primer: Aluminum, fiberglass, existing epoxy and gel coat are “hard to paint” surfaces requiring an etching primer. SM-664D Etching Primer is recommended for use on all gel coat, epoxy, raw fiberglass and wooden surfaces. Aluminum: SM-117 Pre-Wash Primer must be used in combination with an intermediate primer including SM-664 or SM-7390. You will find the Etching Primer provides outstanding adhesion, build, sandability. Its use on aluminum and fiberglass result in better adhesion of the finish coat than can be obtained by any other process. It may applied with a brush, roller or sprayed. Using a roller speeds up the work and provides a higher film thickness than spraying. Apply a minimum of one evenly applied coat to all areas that will be painted. Film build is high making sanding surprisingly easy. Use Etching Primer as filler by simply building it up with a brush, allowing it to dry then sanding it smooth. When spraying Etching Primer it will likely need to be thinned with SM-605 Thinner. Do not substitute with other thinners. Galvanized steel, stainless steel and anodized surfaces must be treated with a fog coat of SM-117 Prewash Primer. We recommend using SM-664D, SM-5000 or SM-7390 Primer as an intermediate primer coat before the application of Revolution. Epoxy primers, which produce superior hardness are well liked on steel and fiberglass. Apply two or more coats of epoxy primer.

Finish Coats: Fiberglass, Aluminum & Steel: Professionally applied spray coat applications yield superior results, however Revolution levels exceptionally well in brush and roll applications. Unless you are experienced with spray equipment the best way for the do it yourselfer is to apply Revolution is by roller coat. When properly thinned in appropriate temperatures (SM-101 Thinner 15%-25%) Revolution levels exceptionally well. It had a good defoamer “bubble popping additive” so the need for tipping is eliminated. Aside from spraying, which offers the best film thickness control, rolling is often the best way to achieve the recommended wet film thickness, 2 mils WFT (Wet Film Thickness). The recommended DFT is 3.4 mils. Applications applied too thickly may not adhere or level properly, run, sag and take days, or even weeks to cure. Always adhere to the manufacturers recommended WFT and DFT (Dry Film Thickness)!

Revolution boat paint must always be stirred or shaken thoroughly before use. It may be brushed, rolled or sprayed utilizing conventional and HVLP spray equipment. The solid content is exceptionally high so thinning will be necessary in most applications. The amount of thinner required will vary depending on ambient temperature, type of equipment used, method of application, humidity, color and amount of control desired and tip size in spray applications. We suggest beginning with minimum dilution at first and increasing dilution as needed subject to your individual application requirements.

Revolution may be built up to achieve a higher DFT where desired. Two, three or more thin coats are acceptable to achieve the recommended DFT. Boot and bottom stripes should always be applied over top of the recommended DFT. For best results recoat within 24-48 hours or sand between applications. Allow top coat film to cure thoroughly before allowing it to enter full service duty. The recommended minimum cure time is 7 days under most conditions. DO NOT allow newly applied paint to get wet for a minimum of 48 hours. The dry cured film may be wet sanded and buffed to remove runs and blemishes.

What should I watch out for?

INCOMPATABILITY ISSUES: Revolution belongs to a classification of coatings referred to as “long-oils”. While long oils may be applied over virtually any surface or existing coating they may NOT be over coated with products that include high percentages of lacquer, xylene, toluol or similar “hot” solvents. Our guaranty is void unless applied at the recommended thickness and used only with recommended Supermarine cleaners, thinners, accelerator/hardener and primers. When painting over preexisting primer or paint be sure it has cured before proceeding.

SOFTNESS OR WRINKLING: Strictly adhere to manufacturers recommended minimum and maximum WFT and DFT. When Revolution has been applied too thickly the coating may not catalyze properly which may lead to extended dry and cure times, softness of the film or a failed application. Runs and sags: If you get runs or sagging it has most likely been applied to thick. This product may be different than what you may have used previously. Recommend doing a small test before committing to the entire project. Testing the product will give you a feel for the product resulting in fewer problems.

DRYING PROBLEMS /SLOW CURING: Revolution is catalyzed by oxygen rather than chemically. The full cure may take longer to achieve than expected. The curing process should be allowed to be completed naturally or with the addition of SM-160 Accelerator/Hardener before entering full service duty or film failure may occur. When you cannot mark it with your fingernail you know it has cured enough to enter full duty service. When the film remains soft after 48 hours it has likely been applied too heavily. Dark and MT colors are typically slower to dry and cure. Using SM-160 A/H forced drying (adding heat such as oven baking) or increasing air movement across the curing film are ways to speed dry and cure times. Allow more time (weeks if needed) until the film has cured. If after several weeks the film is still soft it will likely require removal and replacement. The use of SM-160 A/H is optional. It’s use increase hardness, chemical resistance and speeds cure times.

How to Use Metal Flake in Gel Coat

Gel coat is a resin that is pigmented with color. The consistency of gel coat is very thick and is best applied with a spray gun. Metal flake is commonly used in clear gel coat for that “bass boat” look; Although it appears that the metal flakes are mixed into the base coat, they are usually mixed into the clear gel coat.

This can be applied over the colored gel coat and the metal flake is usually coated with clear gelcoat for added UV protection and to smooth the surface. The larger the metalflake, the more coats of clear gel coat it will often take to cover.

Usually it is recommended to use around 16 oz of metal flake per gallon of gelcoat and personal preference plays a role as there us no magic ratio for adding flake. The typical bass boat will use 2-3 lbs of metal flake in the gelcoat. Mix the gelcoat inside a pail thoroughly with a paint stirrer to disperse the metal flakes. Stir the gel coat thoroughly and frequently during application to prevent the metal flakes from settling to the bottom.

Metal flake gelcoat is best applied using a gel coat spray gun to achieve an even coating and be sure to use an appropriate nozzle tip based on flake size.

You will need to disassemble the spray gun to clean it well as the flakes can lodge into small areas.

Related Articles: How to Apply Gel Coat

Gel Coat Color Match Chart

Use the color chart below to determine how to tint your gel coat. Use the base color shown above and then add the corresponding gel coat tint (gel coat coloring agent) . For smaller repairs you should consider a gelcoat repair kit (available in 1oz and 4 oz kits) that include a gelcoat paste and the tints for custom matching. For larger amounts of gelcoat, we also have over 12 premixed colors of gel coat to choose from (available in quart and gallons) . You can also use a neutral gelcoat which can be used with the coloring agents to make any custom gelcoat color.

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