Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Painting Deck and Cockpit....DIY or Pay?
I am working my way through painting my decks doing 1/3 at a time. But I had to paint since my decks had been painted previously and the gelcoat was now exposed and looked dryed out with superficial micro cracking. (By that I mean shallow grooves visible under a magnifying glass which do not go all the way through the gelcoat and which are not stress cracks.) I also wanted to rebed all of the hardware. Doing it the way that I am doing it is a big job.
I have been doing it in thirds at a time. A year ago in the fall I did the cockpit. The following spring I did the teak trim and painted the cabin top and sides. I still need to do the flat part of the decks.
The process started by taking off all 40 something pieces of hardware in the cockpit for the first part of the work. I took off a similar number on the cabin, when the portlights and hatches were added in.
Then I sanded the living daylights out of everything starting with 100 grit then 120, then 150. I used a bronze brush on the non-skid. The goal in my case was to get rid of any remnant of the old paint and any oxidized gelcoat.
Because of the micro cracking, I chose to prime with an epoxy barrier coat. That made the job harder, but I felt that the better adhesion and barrier to moisture was worth the extra effort. I should note that most modern polyurethane paints will adhere to gelcoat without primer.
I chose to use Petit Protect rather than Interprotect because Petit Protect is a higher build product and I wanted to have thickness so I could sand out any telegraphed micro cracking.
I have used both Petit Protect and Interprotect. Interprotect goes on smoother but needs more coats. I slightly thinned the Petit Protect which helped a little.
After sanding I used Petit EZ Poxy. I chose that rather than Interlux Brightsides since there is much higher build on the Petit EZ Poxy than Brightsides requiring way fewer coats. Brightsides will lay out flatter showing fewer brush marks, but I have not found it to hold up as well and again the sheer number of coats of paint was not an option.
I did use Petit's EZ Poxy Enhancer. This is an additive which increases hardness, UV resistance, shine and ease if leveling.
I was only trying for a six foot job, meaning that it looks good from 6 feet away. My near vision has deteriorated to the point that I can't see any defects when I am closer than 6 feet without my glasses and I don't wear those on deck since my distance vision is still very good.
I will also say that I have not used Interlux Perfection. I have heard good things about about that product, but when I was researching which paint to use the Interlux rep was pushing Brightsides so I didn't consider the Perfection. In hindsight, after talking with pros, at least some speak very highly of Perfection.
I rolled and tipped the paint on. The best results were achieved applying the paint when the air temperature was coolest.
I would agree with others that you should first at least try to polish out the smooth gelcoat to see whether it can be restored to an acceptable sheen. There is not much you can do to restore non-skid.
But if you end up painting, then just plan the job carefully and be methodical. I put each piece of hardware and fasteners into a numbered baggie and kept a log of each part as it came off. As I went along, I kept a separate list of replacement parts and fasteners that I needed to buy.
I am pleased with the results of the job. Good luck with whatever you elect to do.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 05-19-2019 at 09:29 AM.