Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Painting Deck and Cockpit....DIY or Pay?
It is a LOT of detailed work to get the job done right. On the other hand, to get a shop to do it properly, that means an enclosed climate controlled EPA-sanctioned paint booth, and that's gonna cost. Anyone who says they can do the job outside without that? Yeah, good from 50 feet, good from 25 feet, any closer and you'll see the bugs and fluff that came in the wind while they were working.
The materials aren't cheap, no matter how you do it. If you try to mask off hardware, plain masking tapes become iron after a couple of days in the sun. The green or blue ones may remain pliable for a week. One guy working on one deck? You need the 3M silver masking tape, about 4x the price, but it can be removed after 30 days without fighting. And you won't find that at the big box stores.
The paints (excuse me, "coatings") tend to be sensitive to temperature and humidity, so you need to practice under the same conditions that you'll be working under. It can be a very satisfying job--but you will need some practice, a LOT of sandpaper and prep fluids, and a good respirator and eye protection and other things. Plus, a place to work. Many yards won't allow the painting and sanding.
But if you've got the time and place, and are willing to practice the skills, you can spend a lot less than what a proper climate-controlled paint shop is going to charge. Having a reliable helper, who can roll and tip along with you, or help un/blot deck hardware from the other side, is really important too.
FWIW I think the extra time and effort to remove all hardware and rebed it, is worth more than any savings to be had masking things off.