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  #1  
Old 12-28-2009
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I want to paint my main sail

How the hell do I do it? What kind of paint? I was just thinking of laying it out, taping it off, and using an airless hvlp gun to spray (lightly) the one color logo I want on my sail. Any specific types of paint or any suggestions?
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Old 12-29-2009
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Most logos and sail numbers on sails nowadays are stick-on. Not too expensive these days and bound to turn out/last much better....
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Old 12-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Most logos and sail numbers on sails nowadays are stick-on. Not too expensive these days and bound to turn out/last much better....
Just vinyl lettering, Ron, or some different material?
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Last edited by Izzy1414; 12-29-2009 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 12-29-2009
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here's what i would like to do
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Old 12-29-2009
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given that you have the art, it probably can be re-created as an applique on some sort....just do some web searching; particularly with banner and sign companies.
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Old 12-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy1414 View Post
Just vinyl lettering, Ron, or some different material?
We bought a used J105 main a while back and took the logo and sail numbers off, they looked like regular vinyl, maybe a bit thinner than the average decal.

Any vinyl sign store could make that logo easily, then make sure the sail is really clean before you stick it on. Sailmakers will carry the 'right' stuff, if in fact there's really a difference.
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Old 12-29-2009
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The sail lofts use a sticki-back dacron material for logos that are CRC cut or else traced and cut with an exacto knife. The material in questions is called Insignia Cloth or is called Adhesive backed Insignia fabric. It is typically a light weight dacron that has been UV stabilized.

Here are a couple sources:
Insignia Cloth

Sail Numbers, Insignia and Logos

I would not try to paint a sail but if I were going to dye it, i would look for a waterproof silk screeneing paint, and silk screen it.

Jeff
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Old 12-29-2009
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Don't use paint on your sail unless you want to ruin it. Like everybody else said, get it done professionaly.

Last edited by canadianseamonkey; 12-30-2009 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-30-2009
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Yes! Give it a try!

You can certainly paint your sails.

Sailrite recommends acrylic from Dick Blick or similar. Read this post:
ASP TALK
"Q: Hi guys, does anyone have experience painting logo's on dacron sails. What type of paints did you use or suggest and how did you apply the paints.

A:Any artists acrylic paint should work. I use Grumbacher's "Hyplar" (check my spelling). We will have 18 inch adhesive backed stencil material in the next catalog (and on the net very soon). It is available now -- use part #1013 -- it is $4.25 per yard."

Also, sailboats aren't the only places you'll find Dacron.

People who make ultralights, hang gliders, kayaks, and Radio-Controlled model airplanes cover their wood and metal frames in Dacron, in weights similar to what we use for our mainsails. They then paint them. (Check out this replica P51 Mustang built from wood, covered in Dacron, then painted to look authentic!)

Some recommend a good oil-based paint, while others have had luck with exterior grade latex.

Granted, RC model airplanes and hang gliders aren't exposed to the elements as much as your mainsail may be, and also, the Dacron used in a hang glider isn't furled at the end of the day. I'm not sure how well a painted main would stand up to being furled and stretched repeatedly, nor am I sure how well a painted main would hold up to being exposed to the elements for hours at a time for years on end. While your main won't be up 24/7, it will be exposed a great deal more than a RC model plane or hang glider would be. While the paint probably wouldn't hurt the fabric any, the paint itself would be tough to maintain an keep looking good. It could turn into a big eyesore of bleeding, fading, chipping, or peeling paint by year 3!

Google "painting Dacron" and you'll find a metric buttload of useful advice.... mostly on websites where people build hang gliders, ultralights, dacron-covered kayaks, and the like.

For example:

Ultraviolet Absorption of Latex Paints by Kirk Huizenga
UV barrier Latex Paint, using Latex paint as a UV barrier on aircraft, latex paints as UV barrier for ultralight aircraft fabric.

Re: Painting Dacron
Re: Painting Dacron

From "Latex Paint for Boats by Dave Carnell":
"Platt Monfort recommends for waterproofing the Dacron® skins of his Geodesic Airolite boats “...the simplest method being a good quality
exterior latex house paint.” "

Latex Paint for Boats

Painting with Latex House Paint
One of our Fly Baby restorers is painting his aircraft with latex house paint.
He's been posting his progress to the Fly Baby mailing list, and is allowing me to repost his messages to my web page:

Painting with Latex House Paint - AviationBanter

A Pietenpol builder by the name of Kirk Huizenga did a series of
spectrometry tests on several colors of latex. Turns out that there's
nothing special about black, nothing at all. Paint it with whatever
color you want, they all protect from UV equally well. His report, the
transformed data and the analysis are available (pdf & xls files):
File Library Detail Kirk's Piet Files

Painting a Fly Baby with Latex House Paint
Painting a Fly Baby With Latex Paint - Fidoe

Hope any of that helps!

Best,
Ken
jameswilson29 and Seaduction like this.

Last edited by ChicagoNewport27; 12-30-2009 at 04:38 AM. Reason: Forgot the P-51 Mustang image! Doh!
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Old 12-30-2009
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One thing that old aircraft , replicas, and airolite watercraft have in common is that their cloth skins are stretched taut over a framework prior to painting and then stay that way. I would have to question whether the paint would crack on a surface that is repeatedly folded and creased.
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