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deryk 05-15-2008 07:51 PM

Painting the ugly fake woodgrain interior
Hello All,

Sunday Im closing on a beautifal 1969 Morgan 34. I love her shape, lines, layout, hard wood floor... hate the fake woodgrain interior. Ive noticed on yachtworld and that some of the morgan 34's insides are painted... Im guessing I know why lol.

So my question is ... is their any special prep work that needs to be done? Do I need to sand first or will the paint stick on its own. Im thinking a semi gloss interior paint.... any comments/suggestions? Although the white paint Ive seen looks nice Im debating a warmer colour. Btw Im a liveaboard, so its got to be like home lol.

Advice appreciated...thanks


TrueBlue 05-15-2008 08:07 PM

I would be reluctant to sand the shinyl-vinyl faux, woodgrained bulkheads and paneling, since the resulting texture would be rough and inconsistent. But where preparation takes up 75% of painting prep on normal projects (wood base), I'd say your painting prep requires 90%. Applying the final coat of paint is the easy part.

First remove all detachable hardware, fixtures, devices and fittings and clean the vertical surfaces very well with a degreaser solution. Dry the surface well and then apply a shellac base primer - such as Zar or B-I-N, using a fine bristle, compatible brush.

After drying - typically fairly quickly, I would lightly sand the surface with 240 grit to remove any surface particles which may have been suspended in the primer, followed by dust removal.

Lastly, apply at least 2 coats of a good quality enamel paint - preferably no glossier than eggshell, or satin finish. You should avoid reflective finishes on older, irregular surfaces - all defects will be amplified. I would also avoid white, instead choosing a soft, neutral and warmer hue of buff, or tan. Hope this helps.

TrueBlue 05-15-2008 08:11 PM

BTW, Congraulations on your new boat and best wishes with the living aboard choice.

deryk 05-16-2008 01:26 PM

Thanks TrueBlue... She is a beautifal boat just needs some work to bring her back to where she should be. I need to take a lot of pictures and keep looking on yachtworld to get ideas. Updateing a boat will be alot of work but worth it.

thanks again

CLucas 05-16-2008 01:57 PM

I wouldn't paint...
I can't imagaine being happy with how it would likely turn out. I have a `77 Pearson 30 with the same/similar faux woodgrain bulkheads. Here's a link to a site where someone covered with mahogany strips -- really classylooking, IMO.

More involved than painting, but not that difficult to do, won't add a lot of weight (if that's a concern -- guessing not for a liveaboard). I'm thinking about this as a project for next winter -- not ready to think too hard about that though -- just splashed this week :)

Link to the site: Spartina - Pearson 30 - Hull No 168

chucklesR 05-16-2008 03:49 PM

Those Mahogany strips look great but get difficult if the liveaboard doesn't have a table saw to cut them on. Getting them cut to 1/8 inch would make the flexible and easy to cut to the curve of the cabin top (a simple box cutter would do it). I think I'd try a horizontal pattern to break up the flow (you could lapstrake it for interest), or even a checkerboard if I was bored.

deryk 05-16-2008 08:14 PM

I was thinking about something like that too actually... took my parents out to Red Lobster for the 4pm dinner special (sigh) and was looking at the woodcovered walls and gave me some ideas. If its cheap enough harbour freight sells table saws pretty cheap.

CLucas 05-17-2008 07:36 AM

Another idea would be to use beadboard paneling (wood, not MDF) -- still need a saw and some skill creating templates but the finished project would look nice.

sleeper41 07-16-2008 11:52 AM

Before you try anything drastic, try putting a coat of varnish on the fake wood and you might be surprised. I saw it done and it looked pretty nice to me.

J. Ali

deryk 08-05-2008 05:43 PM


Well I went with oak, saw it at Home Depot was a little on the expensive side about 500.00 to do the salon, it looks alot brighter and much nicer inside (yeah I know I need to take photos lol) not totally finished , sadly not enough hours in the day to do it all. I roughed up the laminate and used an adhesive and nails to hold it. Ive got to redo the cushions over the winter, and havent decided if Im oiling the wood or varnishing it... but she looks so much nicer then the fake wood.

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