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Huck
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Discussion Starter #1
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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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...
 

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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!
 

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...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.
 

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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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██▓▓▒▒░&
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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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Huck
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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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Huck
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Discussion Starter #10
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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You really are funny!!
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I was gonna do mine (paint), but went with a thorough sanding and coats of Penatrol instead. It came out looking really good and bright again (it was really bad). Basically made it look new again.
 

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I was gonna do mine (paint), but went with a thorough sanding and coats of Penatrol instead. It came out looking really good and bright again (it was really bad). Basically made it look new again.
Sure you got the right name?
I looked up Penatrol and got a paint additive not a coating material.
 

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Penatrol was also often used to restore faded (esp dark coloured) gelcoat. It lasted a few months or so. It was a PITA to thoroughly remove prior to finally repainting.

I suppose it may have a similar effect on any solid surface..
 

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Sure you got the right name?
I looked up Penatrol and got a paint additive not a coating material.
Yea, it's labeled as a paint additive but works really well for treating raw metal (well, aluminum at least). It's not like any other stuff I've worked with, it's got a sort of "candy" like quality about it. It's not like a solvent at all. It's almost like varnish for metal.. ? It's the best way I can describe it.

I think on the can it mentions one of the uses being a metal conditioner - they sell it at Lowes so it's easy to check out..

It was recommended to me by a very skilled craftsman. Try it out sometime, it's neat stuff..

EDIT: Same craftsman said DON"T use it on gelcoat, ever..
 

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I should also mention it works great for making paint flow (it's not really a good "thinner" though). I did some pin-striping (not on the boat), really makes the paint flow off the brush nicely.
 

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EDIT: Same craftsman said DON"T use it on gelcoat, ever..
Yes, having used it years back and having to get it gone I'd agree. Like so many things there's no cheap quick fix...
 

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S/V Double Take
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its Penetrol. it is an additive that lets you keep a wet edge while painting. It was also developed to make paint flow easier through sprayers without clogging the gun nozzles. Also very effective for eliminating "holidays" (you know when you look at a wall painted in semi gloss, and you can see where the drywall seam sucked all the sheen out of the paint? ex: the paint has taken off on a "holiday"). Mostly this used with latex paint. Or do I have it confused with it's cousin, "flowtrol"? Well, one is for latex/acrylic paint, one is for oils.
But, Thanks to Chrisncate, I've learned another use for it.

Charlie
 

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Closet Powerboater
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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.
Question: Can I paint my mast with spray paint to make it look better and more fun?

Answer: Yes

If you do everything "the right way" on your boat, you'll become a slave to it and never actually go out sailing. Certain areas, where safety is an issue for example, are not good areas to cut corners. Painting the mast? Go for it!

I once had a guy at anchor who couldn't resist telling me about how he had his mast painted with "Awl Grip" (which is apparently the bees knees) to the tune of $10,000USD. I looked up at his mast and thought, "It looks white. Mine looks white. You paid $10,000? You're a moron." Out loud though, I complimented him on his mast. (Pssst... some people are really insecure about their mast, be careful what you say or you'll hurt their feelings)

What color(s) were you thinking of?

MedSailor
 

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You really are funny!!
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Question: Can I paint my mast with spray paint to make it look better and more fun?

Answer: Yes

If you do everything "the right way" on your boat, you'll become a slave to it and never actually go out sailing. Certain areas, where safety is an issue for example, are not good areas to cut corners. Painting the mast? Go for it!

I once had a guy at anchor who couldn't resist telling me about how he had his mast painted with "Awl Grip" (which is apparently the bees knees) to the tune of $10,000USD. I looked up at his mast and thought, "It looks white. Mine looks white. You paid $10,000? You're a moron." Out loud though, I complimented him on his mast. (Pssst... some people are really insecure about their mast, be careful what you say or you'll hurt their feelings)

What color(s) were you thinking of?

MedSailor
Your story hits home, where we did the refit I know a (poor) guy who spent 6 g's on a white "awl grip" (or whatever this marinas brand is) mast. The mast sat on horses next to his boat, then got moved around by the yard as needed (with all the scratches, grime and general sadness you can imagine). In the end, it looked no different than a $60 krylon job.

Once, long after he'd gotten it done, he told me he wished he'd just done what I'd done (sand, penetrol). I didn't bother to mention that a can of the stuff ran me something like 12 bucks.. I didn't have the heart to tell him.

Keep it simple, always. You can't go wrong that way.
 

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I would wager that a coat of white Rustoleum, Armor Coat, or Tremclad on your mast would look alright for the summer. In the fall if it needs it, sand the whole thing down and let it oxidize. Rust paints will stick to the oxidation like they do to regular rust.

For 12 bux you could do a different colour every year. :)

Enjoy you boat with your friends.
 
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