Category Archives: Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Saponification

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.

Yellowing

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.

Lifting

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.

Sagging

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.

Blistering

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.

Bleeding

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.

Chalking

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.

Craters

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.

Brushmarks

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

Blushing

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.

Cracking

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.

Flaking

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).

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.

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.

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.

 

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

Just because a blister or two develops on your boat it is not a serious issue and only a small number of boats develop a big problem with blisters.

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

HawkFillerQuartCansMake sure blisters are drained and grind blister deep enough to remove damaged material beneath the gelcoat. Increase area as needed until all laminate around is sound. Clean area and allow to dry.

Hawk Filler goes on like putty to fill, patch, seal or rebuild aluminum, wood, concrete, fiberglass and steel. Hawk Filler can be drilled, tapped, or machined.

Mixing
Mix on a non-porous surface. Do not mix on cardboard, paper-based and/or porous surface. Wear tight-fitting rubber gloves. Using equal parts of Part A and Part B, mix thoroughly to even uniform color. Mix using a putty knife, trowel or spatula. Apply immediately after mixing.

Application
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. If applying multiple coats, begin spreading away from the previously applied film so as not to trap air bubbles or leave an uncoated surface area. When using as a patch or grout, force material into hole or joint and smooth to the thickness needed.

CLEAN-UP
Wear chemical resistant gloves. Mix leftover Part A and Part B, allow curing before disposing. Scrape up spilled material with a putty knife or cover material with an absorbent material and sweep into a container for disposal. For product already mixed, use acetone.

After repairs paint with Sea Hawk bottom paint or 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.

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.

Awlgrip vs. Awlcraft 2000 – What are the differences?

Awlgrip and Awlcraft 2000 – Which is better?

Awlgrip and Awlcraft 2000 are two different types of urethane topcoats manufactured by Awlgrip. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages and when trying to decide which to apply, it is important to know the differences between them.

Awlgip Marine PaintsAwlgrip is based on a polyester urethane resin and Awlcraft 2000 is based on an Acrylic Urethane resin. At the surface they seem very similar, but at the molecular level they are vastly different. Polyester molecules are much smaller than acrylic molecules. This means that at any given volume, there can be more polyester molecules than acrylic and this allows polyester films to be more dense and tough. Awlgrip has more abrasion and chemical resistance than Awlcraft and is usually more rigid.

Awlcraft, on the other hand is not without its own advantages.  It is generally easier to apply. The larger molecules and less dense film of the acrylic allows for faster drying and therefore less dust entrapment in the finish.  Both urethane topcoats will resist staining and provide a long lasting gloss. It is best to consider cure times, reparability, application methods, chemical resistance, as well as abrasion resistance when deciding which topcoat to choose.

Which is more suited for buffing?

Both Awlgrip and Awlcraft 2000 urethane topcoats have a protective resin layer. This layer is the first line of defense against UV light and abrasive damage. Underneath this resin is a layer of rich pigment particles that give the paint its bright shine and color. Awlgrip has a thicker protective resin layer and when the polyester is scratched, it is necessary to cut deeply into the resin to repair it. Buffing the surface leaves the pigment exposed and compromises the performance of the paint in the long run.

Awlcraft has a softer finish, due to the less dense molecular structure, and thus has a lower melting point. When this acrylic urethane is buffed, the resin is able to flow together and does not require cutting the surface as deeply. So, Awlcraft 2000 is more suited for buffing and Awlgrip will require a Fairing Compound.

Awlgrip vs Awlcraft 2000 – Fast Facts

Awlgrip Polyester Urethane Topcoat

  • Can be applied by spray or brush/roll.
  • Excellent color retention and chemical resistance.
  • More dense molecular structure.

Awlcraft 2000 – Acrylic Urethane Topcoat

  • For spray application only.
  • Superior flow-out and high gloss.
  • Fast drying to reduce dust entrapment.
  • More user friendly in application. Easy to repair.

 

 

Choosing a Bilge Pump

What are Bilge Pumps?

Bilge pumps are devices used in boats to remove unwanted water from the bilge compartment of a boat. (The bilge is the lowest compartment of the inside hull of a ship.) Whether you have a sailboat or powerboat, they are as important as lifejackets in an emergency. If there happened to be a collision that caused a leak, having a bilge pump actively removing water from the boat’s compartments could buy you precious time. However, as many experience boaters know, you cannot rely on a pump to keep your boat afloat indefinitely.

Main Types of Bilge Pumps

Non Automatic:

Non Automatic pumps are controlled by means of a float switch and/or a manual panel switch. The panel switch allows you to control the pump remotely. Using the float switch is beneficial because the pump only runs when the water reaches a certain level. After the water is pumped out and the level goes back down, the pump can shut off. The most common type of non-automatic pump is the Electrical Submersible Bilge Pump. They are easy to install, very effective, and have low amp draw. Also, the motor cartridge can be easily removed to clean out debris and other obstructions.

Automatic:

Automatic Bilge Pumps function without the use of a float switch. It uses the principle of impeller resistance to sense if any water is present. Depending on the brand, the pump will automatically turn on every 2.5 minutes to check for water. If water is present, the pump will know about it from the slight pressure on the impeller as it spins. It will continue to run until all the water has been pumped out. The voltage needed for both automatic and non-automatic pumps will vary from 12V – 32V, depending on the size and capacity of each pump.

Manual:

If the boat’s electrical system goes out, a manual bilge pump would be invaluable. They are able to move lots of water effectively, but can be tiring to use. Water is heavy, and that weight is compounded when moving it some distance. When installing these sorts of pumps, take into consideration the ease of access, and imagine how it will be used. Putting a manual pump in a tight, cramped space may hinder your use of it when it is needed.

Which Pump is best for your boat?

The first thing to consider is the size of your boat. Smaller boats will need a good size pump because the bilge compartment is smaller and will fill up with water quicker than larger boats. Some boats have separate bilge compartments. If that is the case, it would be a good idea to have a pump for each section.

Most electric pumps are rated for the number of gallons that they can pump in an hour. (G.P.H.) It is recommended to select a pump the largest model that is still practical for your boat.  Also consider the size of your existing output hose and the capacity of your boat’s wiring and battery. Don’t hesitate to ask an expert when making these decisions. You can talk to a pump manufacturer and get their informed opinion.

Suggested Pump Capacity:

Boat Size

Number of Pumps

Pump Output in GPH

16’ – 20’

2

2500

21’ – 26’

2

3000 – 3500

27’ – 35’

3

3500 – 4500

36’ – 42’

3

6000

43’ – 49’

3

8000

50’ – 59’

4

9000 – 10,000

Where to place Your Bilge Pump(s)?

It is always a good idea to have more than one bilge pump onboard. Many boaters have a backup pump installed in the same bilge compartment. The first pump may be smaller and positioned where the majority of water will pool inside. The secondary pump may be a bit higher inside the hull. This pump should be bigger than the first, because if the boat has collected that much water the main goal is to get it out as fast as possible.

When deciding where to place your pumps, observe where the water accumulates in the hull when the boat is at rest as well as in motion. For powerboats the water tends to flow toward the aft when the boat is moving. Sailboats tend to accumulate bilge water in the middle.

Bilge Pump Installation Reminders:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s specifications – especially on wires sizes
  • Use a vented loop – if the thru-hull discharge can be submerged, a siphoning effect can fill your hull instead of empty it.
  • Keep discharge hoses short – long hoses make the pump work harder than it has to.
  • Use waterproof connectors – any connections in the bilge area should be protected.
  • Use smooth bore hoses – corrugated hoses are cheaper but not effective for pumps.

Bilge Pumps Available from the Bottom Paint Store