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  #11  
Old 12-30-2009
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I built a lot of RC airplanes, but we used some stuff called Monokote, which is a shrink wrap plastic kind of stuff. The old canvas-and-dope airplane coverings are kinda vintage, if you know what I mean.

I would agree that any kind of paint you use would likely flake off and crack at the stress points. Lets face it, paint is not designed to be that flexible. If it were me, I would experiment with some small pieces of sail material and dyes. See if I could get crisp edges, not fade out, etc.

Are sails coated to prevent them from absorbing water and getting heavy?

I have also been using iron on patch material made to fix canvas tents and bimini's to repair a kite board sail lately, and it's working pretty well. Its a sticky light woven material with heat activated adhesive.
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Old 12-30-2009
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A sail is just way too expensive to be messing around with. Get it done by a professional. That way you have somebody to blame besides yourself if he messes up the job. If you do paint it, please post some feedback.
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Old 12-30-2009
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Paint my main sail

DON'T paint it. Your sail is constantly in motion, stretching, flexing, folding, and ANY paint will crack. Got any old tee shirts? How long does it take before they look like crap? Use the vinyl or dacron applique method for something that is repairable for the future. Unless there is a way to accurately DYE the fabric?
A sail loft is still your best bet for accurate advice.
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Old 02-06-2012
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Two and a half years later: Did you ever complete your mainsail image?
View my three painted V-15 mains at sailset.com
The red, white, and blue one was the first one done in 2003 and still looks good - it has outlasted the sail. The other two with faces were done probably in 2007 and 2010.
I used acrylic in a method that does not crack off.
Find my email address on that site if you want specifics.
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Old 02-06-2012
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I wouldn't use "paint" on cloth.

Get the silk-screening inks that are used to apply silk screen art to shirts and jackets. Maybe some of them are called "paint" but look for something designed to be applied to CLOTH by silk-screening. You should be able to spray that as well, but I'd expect a stencil and silk screen squeegee to be the simplest way to do it, and ensure the right coating thickness. Too much is usually as bad as too little.
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Old 02-06-2012
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Friends have had good results with water based acrylic . Hangs in there well, for years. Keep it well thinned, or it will make your main stiff, but it wont hurt anything.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Just met my first painted mainsail the other day (furled). It looked goofy and felt real heavy, like storm trysail cloth rather than everyday working-sails dacron. And it was making dandruff where paint edges used to be.

I can see doing it for "art", but not for actual sailing.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Dark acrylic keeps the UV out.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Try a spray bottle of rusty water, rust stains stick to dacron very well
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Old 02-10-2012
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wow nice image

for a sail design....I have done my own sail painting for a friend and I liked the results. The hard part was finding a place for the sail. The image I painted was of a cool cat. This was a one color image (black). This was about 7 years ago and my friend is still happy with it. I used speedball fabic paint and airbrushed most of it. The only hard part is getting the image on the sail....good luck.
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