can i paint my mast? - SailNet Community

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post #1 of 29 Old 02-18-2012 Thread Starter
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can i paint my mast?

i kinda wanted to fresheing up my boat a bit and add some style ya it's only a 16' racer kinda sailboat and i take my friends out on it and all that i was wondering can i add some style by painting it? With aluminum spray paint? i was thinking white to make it look fresh and match the rest of the boat. so the question is can it be done whats the cons and pros of this if any.
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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Certainly it can be done.. for the best job you'll need to get rid of the anodizing or old paint, whichever you have, and sand down to bare metal. Removing as many fittings as you can will help the final results.

Best results would be using a 2 part polyurethane, but that's costly and requires special equipment that probably would not be cost effective on a project that size. Not sure about the 'aluminum spray paint' you're referring to but either way I think it's a good idea to use a recommended primer. Also don't lay on a thick coat.. just enough to cover, esp if the mast is a bit flexible - this may avoid cracking paint down the road.

You may well get decent results with rolling and tipping a single part poly like Interlux Brightsides, but again consult them about a primer.

... or you could ignore most of this and just slap it on and see what it ends up like! - That's the beauty of a small, low value project like this! You wouldn't want to try a slap-dash method on a 50 foot mast and months later be looking at a flaky peeling coating...

Ron

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post #3 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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I painted mine last season. It is an 8m spar

As said before, all the fittings were removed, it was sanded down (though not to bare metal since the previous coat wasn't peeling) and then received two coats of two part polyurethane applied by roller...

You should stay away from most spray cans, since the paint in those is way too diluted to provide a decent coat to anything seaworthy...Chaces are that to build up a proper layer you'd end up spending more than on a liter or two of two part polyurethane...

Regarding the previous post, I don't know exactly what exactly is the "special equipment" Faster...but IMHO polyurethane finishing is pretty straight-forward if you have any experience using two component paints...

Just one more tip: Paints don't need to have a little yacht drawn on the labels and to be sold at marina stores to be good for marine use...Normally all that does, in fact, is increase the price to insane figures... My boat (and many other hera at the club) is painted with industrial grade polyurethane from the tip of the centerboard to the top of the mast with no issues to report so far... Search arround a bit at industrial paint suppliers and you'll be amazed with the variety of material they have, sometimes at half the price of the "marine" equivalent...

Good luck!

Pedro

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post #4 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedcab View Post
...Regarding the previous post, I don't know exactly what exactly is the "special equipment" Faster...but IMHO polyurethane finishing is pretty straight-forward if you have any experience using two component paints...
2 part poly is easy to apply as long as you pay careful attn to the prep and mixing... and since the coating shrinks a bit as it cures it can 'remove' some of the amateur results (minor runs or sags)... but it also contains some braincell killing solvents and so the PROPER respiratory protection should be worn.. not a paper dust mask, and not just run-of-the mill cartridge filters either.. they must be specific to those compounds.

Not everyone considers this.. and even in a well ventilated area they are well advised for the mixers and the painters..... On a small job this can be done solo, but painting a large hull, for example, mixers can be preparing at a rate that keeps up with those doing the application.. everyone needs protection.

Ron

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post #5 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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Considering your situation - small spar, first time etc. - I'd go with a one part poly. Strip the spar to the tube. Abrade it with "scrubber" disks for an angle grinder. These are available at auto body shops and tool stores. They look like resinated pot scrubber material and are specifically for stripping finishes. After you are done with them, scrub the spar with Scotchbrite pads and you should be ready to start putting on finish coats.

By the way, this is one instance where I disagree with Faster - I don't feel it is necessary to strip off all the old anodizing - that is not a "coating" in the usual sense and won't peel or anything like that.

Immediately after the final abrasive pass, wipe it down with solvent and spray on Zinc Chromate primer - this is a tie coat that sticks to aluminium - practically the only thing that does - and must be done right away as Aluminium oxidizes extremely quickly.

Continue coating per the manufacturers directions for whatever finish you choose. I prefer to use semi-gloss or satin finish in low glare colours - I used black for mine which gave a finish like "trim black" used on window mouldings on cars and such - it helps to reduce glare on sunny days.
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post #6 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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Sand, it it with aluminum primer, and then use some of Duplicolor's fancy paints. Metallic, candyflake, reflective...WTF at 16' have a good time with it.
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post #7 of 29 Old 02-18-2012 Thread Starter
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ok thanks hellosailor it is a 16' boat i wasn't plaining on putting 100-300 into just painting the mast to look a little better.

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post #8 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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If it was my 16' boat, I'd either do the mast right or not do it. I say that because it's aluminum, and painting aluminum is more difficult to paint properly as compared to wood, steel, or fiberglass. Paint doesn't like to stick to it unless the surface has been properly prepared. That means, as others have suggested, properly abrading it. Also a very good idea to use a chemical etcher for aluminum finishing, followed by the proper primer for the aluminum and the paint you're using. Once you've devoted all that time and money, it'd be a shame not to complete it with a two part part epoxy paint. It's not a quick, bang it out project.

I wouldn't want to be the guy that suggested you cut corners. When the paint starts coming off here and there, you'll end up worse off than when you started.
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-18-2012
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I think you could do a reasonable job with rustoleum as I was NOT gonna pop for a can of two part black for my small parts and it did fine on the boom fittings

You have to remember we are dealing with a 16 year olds boat Bucks

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post #10 of 29 Old 02-18-2012 Thread Starter
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i could do it nice but that means it won't get done till fall
rustolem project means it will get done before i start my sailing season
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