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lapkanash 03-16-2002 01:15 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
I''m getting ready to paint my topsides and deck with 2-part polyurethance (Interlux Interthane Plus). Does anyone have any suggestions for problems to watch out for? On the one hand Don Casey and the manufacturer say that it is not that difficult, but I''ve also heard a couple of horror stories from folks at my marina about how hard it is to apply. I''m looking for a good finish--not a mirror, like new job.

thomasstone 03-16-2002 06:50 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
two part looks alot better if it is sprayed, and is mostly used by the professional,although I have seen some ok awl-grip jobs done by roll and tipping.Have you thought about using a one part poly (brightside). This is a little easier than the two part and is usally recommended for the joe-sailor.

paulk 03-17-2002 04:23 AM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
We used Interthane Plus for our deck (soon to be four seasons ago). Interlux was very helpful with printed instructions and "hand-holding" over the phone. Cannot agree with Tom about brightsides. We tested a patch on deck and found that it did not stand up well to use and needed repainting in less than a season. Repainting an entire boat is a BIG job, and you want a paint that will last a LONG time so you don''t ever have to do it again. Take the time to do it right. I took an entire day just to mask off the deck fittngs on our J/36. Sanding before and between coats took only a little less long. Waiting for the right weather/temperature/ wind is also crucial - and can add time. I was amazed at how well the primer filled and leveled gelcoat crazing, and how good the finished deck looks. The only change I''d make if doing it again would be to use the maximum amount of nonskid in both coats on deck, instead of 3/4 in the first. Using a 6" foam roller (Home Depot sells them in contractor''s packets of six or so) worked very well -- tipping after rolling was not necessary on the deck.
We did not do the topsides -- they''re due next. Sags and runs are obviously more of a problem on the vertical surfaces. Other owners in our harbor have done their own boats, with good results. Preparing the surface seems to be the prime ingredient. A good paint job will make cracks and dings stand out even more, while a poor paint job won''t hide them either, and will look bad all over.
Happy sailing! (and painting?)

thomasstone 03-17-2002 11:31 AM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
I think no matter what you use , I agree priming and sanding is key. If I would have known how well it fills in I could haved saved alot of time sanding.Brightside poly is a very good product when I bought my boat there was a can of it on thier already and I just slapped it on and it still looks okay.Paulk, I think no matter what you would have used on a test patch it would have worn off. I am on the hard right now and alot of people are re-painting thier boats with different ideas of "doing it right."The commercial fishing boats slapp on what ever is on sale, usually a pre-mixed poly.The thinking is no matter what they use it is going to need to be re-done every couple of years anyways regardless if they use a two part or a pre mix. The guy on the side of me his idea of doing it right is a zillion coats of primer followed by endless sanding in between coats, then letting the yard spray a two part poly in thier climate controlled ware house.This time for me my idea of doing it right is removing all of my deck fittings sanding priming then using a two part poly( awl- grip) on my decks and cabin top I will use a pre mix poly (brightside) on my hull since the other guy on the otherside of me his Idea of doing it right was spraying brightside poly and he gave me an extra gallon.

mikehoyt 03-18-2002 09:49 AM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
My deck and coachroof was just painted using Interthane Plus in the fall. It looks very good.

From my personal experience I would suggest that you either Roll/Tip or do the prep work yourself and have it professionally sprayed.

I attempted spraying myself and found that the 2 Part Polyurethane requires some knowledge of spraying. I had great success with the primer but found that Interthane Plus went on with a gritty texture if sprayed thinly and was prone to sags, runs and an extended cure time if sprayed more thickly. With all of the elbow grease involved in prep work it is a good idea to have someone else spray.

The reason for the grittier texture was apparently the fast curing solvent that is necessary for spraying. I also attempted roll/tip method on several hatch covers and was pleased with the result.

The end result of spraying myself was an affirmation of the benefit of a professional and a lot more sanding for myself! After a significant effort to re-sand the entire deck I hired a professional to apply the spray and the deck looks great!

Check out articles for an excellent discussion of repainting your topsides.

One final comment.
Although I am very very pleased with the Interthane Plus product the Builder that I hired uses Awlgrip. In retrospect it would have been smarter to use the product that the boat yard is most familiar with to achieve the best results.

Good luck with your project. The results will be amazing!


mikehoyt 03-18-2002 09:53 AM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
Another comment about potential problems.

Be very attentive to temperatures and weather forecasts. According to the manufacturer it is OK to apply a bit below the 10 degree celsius (50 F) recommended (maybe 8 deg C) but the dewpoint is a very important factor. Stay at least 4 deg celsius above dewpoint. Biggest problem with lower temps is lessening of gloss and increased cure time.

Temperatures should remain at or above minimum temp for 8 hours after application. If you do all the work and then it rains you could have "fisheyes" (more likely on a horizontal surface) or other problems.


lapkanash 03-18-2002 04:18 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
Thanks for your tips. I''ll especially keep you temp/humidity advice in mind. I''ve been doing everything I can to prepare the surface--removing fittings, filling bad patches in the deck with epoxy, etc. I want to get it ready and then wait for the weather to hit just right in May.

yellow moon 06-04-2002 09:07 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
If it is not too late, I''m in the middle of a similar project on my 28'' sloop. After reading all of the Awlgrip data and Interlux product data, as well as 2 part or single part deliberations, I chose "Interlux TOPLAC" their single part "Silicon resin copolymer" material but superior to brightside with longevity closer to Interthane plus. Talk to Interlux about it. I did my transom last weekend (roll and tip)and was impressed with the high gloss and excellent flow charcteristics. Easy to apply, or at least so far so good in my case.It applies over the single part primer.

toplacsucks 06-05-2002 01:57 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
Tried Toplac from interlux....IT WAS A TOTAL NIGHTMARE. Interlux tech never answers the phone and if you do get through the will tell you it''s your fault. Paint run very easily. It is VERY VERY Hard to work with and, most stores seem to have stopped stocking it. I would suggest calling Pettit. They were very interested in helping and their easy poxy is much easier to work with. Once again Beware of Toplac; you will not be happy and painting a 36 foot boat is not something you want to do twice;and then have the company tell you it''s your fault.

toplacsucks 06-05-2002 02:17 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
Tried toplac.....Total night mare. Paint runs very very easy and found tech support no help...Sanded off as
much as possible and recoated with Petit. Much easier to use and the tech people we great. Interlux was NO help, and even the old yard guys could not keep the Toplac from running. Everyone is making nice comments about the Pettit.....They laughedat the boat with the Toplac....good luck.

INTERLUX 06-06-2002 07:15 AM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
Hello. My name is Scott Himowitz and I am in the Marketing Dept at Interlux Yacht Finishes. For some time, Interlux has been monitoring these boards and we would like to thank all those who have given kind words about our products and product support. Both, we take much pride in providing the best we can. While we usually don''t comment about our products on these boards, we thought we should make note of a recent posting.

The posting above was posted by a Mr Lynch of Rock Hall, MD. Mr Lynch originally e-mailed us on the issues he was having with Toplac, claiming what he wrote in the posting above. We offered to help him in anyway possible to explore and resolve the issue. Myself, another member of our Marketing Dept and our Maryland Sales Rep. all spoke to Mr Lynch to try to resolve the problem. Mr Lynch, has refused all help from us, has not fully explained his problem to anyone here at Interlux.

TOPLAC has been successfully used in Europe for over 10 years and 2 more years here in North America. We have found excellent results with this product. While we are sorry Mr. Lynch has not achieved those results, he also has not let us examine his final outcome to determine if anything has gone wrong on the products part.

I won''t comment on his remarks about our Technical Service. Those who have experienced it first hand, know we provide the utmost professional and complete service of anyone in the coatings industry. We appreciate your calls and look foward to serving you even better in the future.

If anyone has any questions on any of our products please feel free to call our Tech Line at 1800-468-7589. The Tech Line is open Monday 9:00AM-4:30PM, Tuesday-Thursday 8:30AM-4:30PM, Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM Eastern Time. You can also e-mail your questions to us at We are always happy to help.

SailorMitch 06-06-2002 09:51 AM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane

Thanks for the email. I think it''s great (and smart) that your company monitors these boards. As for the complaint about your product, hopefully all readers of these messages know that there''s always more than meets the eye to a situation, especially if someone goes to the trouble of creating an identity called "Toplacsucks" or whatever it was. That alone made that post suspect to me. People should know to get more opinions than just one. It''s too easy to be anonymous, raise a stink, and then be gone.

lecomte38 06-06-2002 12:27 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
I used Interthane Pluss with the flattening agent to cut the gloss. It still looks good after 4 years. It flashes VERY quickly. I had some problems with the overlap until I got the hang of it. Cure time isn''t a factor when applying, but temp and humidity are important.

I had extensive crazing and used interlux 4000(?)barier coat before the primer.


(Scott- thanks for your reply, It is always refreshing to hear from the mfgr when there is a problem posted on a bb. It shows that you care.)

MaryBeth 06-10-2002 10:09 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane


I believe you. Having used Interlux products for about 15 years on boats on which I worked and now selling Interlux products at the retail establishment where I currently work, I feel that I can give customers a decent idea of what to expect from your products. While I have never had a problem with your products, I have worked for one owner who had one of your representatives right there with us to describe the preparation and application of your product. While it was not needed (I will not give the name of the owner)I know firsthand that your technical support is not lacking in any way.

Let''s face it, there are those who want something to do what it is not intended to do, or those who do not want to follow the directions. In my years of applying bottom paint (my shoulders hurt just thinking of it) and topcoats on those little boats that required it, and the use of your varnishes, I have never, ever had a problem. That is what I go on. And I let my customers know that you provide excellent customer service (in my experience) and stand behind your products, as long as the directions are followed - meaning that they use the correct thinner or spraying thinner, etc., not to mention doing the correct preparation. In the mere 2 years I have worked for this retail store, I have never had a customer return with a complaint.

Thank you so much for popping your head up on this board, Scott. Gives me more confidence in your product.

There are always people who want to get out the cheap way (no primer), or not follow directions, (''I have acetone at home'') and then want to blame someone else when the product fails and then try to get their money back or blame the product.

Best Wishes,

lapkanash 06-11-2002 03:50 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
Getting back to where this all started (these message threads do go off on strange tangents), I am in the midst of my painting project. I have found that the most difficult part of the application is trying to get the primer on smoothly. The stuff is really tough--and therefore tough to sand smooth when the applicaiton is less thasn perfect. The paint itself is not that hard to apply. Yes, you have to be vogilant about tipping so as to avoid sags and runs, but a thin coat does not tend to run. I''ve even found that you can "cheat" and fix areas that have run even 10 minutes later by re-rolling the area with fresh paint. Yeah, Don Casey and the company say it''s not suppose to work that way, but it does. In summary, so far, not so bad. (Besides, as I said in my first posting, I''m looking for good enough, not perfect.

Sailmale 06-12-2002 12:43 PM

Painting with 2-part polyurethane
I just completed painting the topsides of my 30 footer with Awlgrip and it''s family of products...and I could not be more pleased with the results. And I''ve gotten many, many compliments from other boat owners in the yard, as well as from the marina''s owners.

I consider myself to be fairly handy in certain areas of boat maintainance, but I''m no Don Casey nor an old salt whose spent my entire life around boats.

It did, however, take somewhat longer than I anticipated. But I was going to do the job right, so I took my time, much of which was spent in the prep work...lots of sanding and re-sanding to get the job looking great. The final tally was two coats of primer and three coats of finish paint.

I used Awlgrip''s two-part poly, their primer and thinner, and the only thing I didn''t like about them was their price. It wasn''t cheap, but I''ve got a paint job of which I''m very proud and which will last 10 years or more.

And next year, I have no hesitation about tackling the deck itself with the same products.

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