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Duncan1650 07-24-2009 01:21 PM

Deck Painting Help!
I am preparing to paint the deck of my 1974 Tanzer 22. I would like to use a 2 part polyurethane like Interlux Perfection, but I have read that 2 part paints should not be applied on top of anything other than 2 part paint.

I have 2 questions for any of you experienced deck painters out there.

1. How can I tell what type of deck paint (1 or 2 part) was origninally used on my boat?
2. Can I paint over the old paint without priming? (to save some money)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am new to the boat painting arena.

Thank you!

witzgall 07-24-2009 03:22 PM


I don't know of any way to reliably determine what type of paint you have on your boat. The use of 2-part paint is much more uncommon than 1 part paint. If I were to guess, I would say you have one-part on your Tanzer. So you really most likely need to remove ALL of the paint inderneath. Don't feel so bad - I had latex on our decks mixed with non-skid!!!

BTW, I opted for one-part, even thought the hull was painted by the previous owner with two-part. I did not trust my abilities to get it done right with the two-part. I think the one-part is more forgiving.


Duncan1650 07-24-2009 03:51 PM

Thank you for the advice. I would like to use 1 part paint but heard that it doesn't hold up as well as the 2 part paints. Have you had any problems with durability?

Does anyone know if the difference in durability is very noticeable?
Does anyone know if it is essential to use primer even if I rough up the gel coat first?
I talked to the Interlux people and they suggested priming. I'm sure they know their product well but I would love to hear some opinions.

Thank you!

mitiempo 07-24-2009 04:34 PM

If you're putting it on over gelcoat that's different than putting it on over paint. Manufacturers directions should cover this. Proper primer is important to key paint to existing surface. One part like Interlux Brightside would probably last 3-4 years on a deck - Perfection much longer.

GypsyHawk 07-31-2009 02:14 AM

I have recently done similar research before doing some minor repairs and touch up work with two pack polyurethane paint on my decks. All of the professional advice was that an appropriate primer was needed - not to just sand and overcoat the existing paint. To be safe, the right primer is the one recommended by the paint manufacturer.

Gary M 07-31-2009 05:03 AM

I have used both one part, Brightside or Pettit Easypox and a 2 part Awlgrip. I found the Awlgrip to be the nicest paint I have ever applied. I brushed it on and it finished up looking very much like a spray job. You need to go down to gel coat and definately need primer, probably two coats and at least two top coats.

Get the manufacturers directions and follow them carefully and you could end up with a finish that will last for many years.

slippery 08-01-2009 09:39 PM

Painting decks...
Hi there,

The proper way to test any "cured" paint coating is to use a :"solvent test".

Firstly clean the surface (a test area) with detergent and warm water and allow to dry.

Step 1. get a rag and saturate it with meths and hold onto the surface for 60 seconds.

If the coating softens and transfers to the cloth then it is a water based Acrylic or vinyl. (Highly unlikley, But possible). if it does'nt, it is either Enamel, Epoxy(doub't it as Epoxy's have no UV resistance but have been used on Steel boats for durability)?, Chlorinated rubber, Acrylic Lacquer (auto paint)or urethane.

Step 2. Obtain some tolulene or Xylol (some Antifouling thinner. ASee Date sheet or label for contents)and repeat the above. If the coating softens very easily then it is either Chlorinated Rubber, or Acrylic lacquer.If it softens just slightly then it is Enamel (1 pack) If it does'nt soften it is a polyurethane (acrylic Urethane, Aliphatic (linea) Urethane or urethane Enamel.

Step 3. Obtain some Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) (Urethane spraying thinners) and repaet the above test but hold on surface for 1-2 minutes. if there is any signs of softening then it may be a acrylic Urethane. if not it is either one of the other two urethanes ofr a epoxy.

Now for the bad news...

very basically...

If the coating is single pack Acrylic, or Chlorinated Rubber (which i doubt) and in stabe (non flakeing) condition then clean down and re coat with Acrylic / Chlorinated Rubber respectivley. (no sanding nor undercoat)

If the coating is Enamel (in stable condition) . then abrasion followed by a single pack enamel undecoat will be required before top coating.

if the coating is any type Urethane then sanding or (SS wire brushing if a non skid pattern) abrasion will be required prior to undercoating and top coating with 2 pack urethane products.


2 pack will give 2-3 times better durability for the same effort and a little more cost.

If you are a Brush and roller person then single pack is easiest. Thier are new 2 pack urethanes that brush and Roll easily.

OhioTom 08-02-2009 03:17 PM

If there is any one place NOT to cut corners, it is with paint.

2-part polys are so much more durable that they "pay for themselves" by lasting so much longer. They really aren't that much harder to work with and the prep is the same. A 1-part paint needs good surface prep just like a 2-part.

If I were you (and I will be next month as I re-paint my deck), I'd sand it down, coat it with Interlux primer, and then roll on 2-part Perfection. Interlux states that you can just roll on their white 2-part paints to give a satin finish. I've used the white 2-part before, using roll and tip, and I can attest that it self-levels very well. I'm planning on just rolling on white Perfection and not tipping it so that my decks will be semi-gloss/satin.

Any money you try to save today by not properly prepping the surface will be lost tomorrow when you have to repaint early.

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