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Old 10-12-2010
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Hand Painting Fiberglass

I have some painted hull stripes on our boat just under the wood cap rail (about 4" wide), and I've wanted to change the color of these stripes for a long time...along with a cove strip. My wife thinks we can prep and hand paint these stripes, but I don't think they'll come out looking to good because we'll have to use brushes. The stripes would be Awlgrip Arista Blue or a Sterling equivalent, and the cove stripe would be a two part gold paint. I'm interested in hearing some opinions on this.
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Old 10-12-2010
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For a stripe like that it won't be too hard to get a decent looking job. I painted a whole Catalina 22 with two part Interlux urethane and everyone who saw it was amazed at how good it looked. I wasted lots of paint and sanding before I got the technique right, and that happened by accident. It turned out that the paint self levels the brush marks if it is thinned properly. The biggie was realizing just how thin that is! I didn't get it right until I dropped the brush, and had to clean it. When I started again the brush still contained thinner, and the area where I started looked fabulous! So I bit the bullet and kept adding thinner until I got the same results out of the container. I was shocked by how much thinner it had to be, and just a touch too much is bad too. I found you actually had to get it thinned right to start, and then thin as you go because the paint tends to thicken up a you paint.

I found that the small foam rollers apply the paint the best, then you tip it off real lightly with a brush behind the roller. Works best with two people, one rolling, one brushing. You need to maintain a wet edge. If the paint has started to dry at the edge you will get a bad start for more paint. Going around the coachroof on the deck is a bitch, two wet edges to do at the same time! Same for the inside of the cockpit. A stripe is no problem though.

Hope this helps.

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 10-12-2010
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We did just this a couple of years ago.. used a product called "Aquastrip" to remove old, chalking fading stripes then remasked and painted strips with plain old Interlux Brightsides.

Foam rollers followed by tipping with a brush, we ended up doing 3 coats and it looks pretty good. We treat the topsides with PoliGlow and that seems to protect the stripe paint too.. we do avoid hanging fenders over the paint as often as we can to prevent abrasion.

Still looks OK


1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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