View Full Version : Paint suggestions

01-29-2015, 01:17 PM
I have been refurbishing a FG Davidson 9'6" rowing dinghy and am now to the point of throwing some paint at it. This is an old dinghy. The inside is just FG with the fibers showing through the old paint, most any paint will stick. The outside is very old gel-coat again with a rough surface. Again any paint will stick, but what would be the best performing paint. I am not trying to make it look like the proverbial silk purse, but having done a fair amount of work, I am not inclined to be too casual either. I know what I have done in the past with similar situations, but what are others doing for paint on old fiber-glass?

When its done, I'll post a photo or 2 here.....

01-29-2015, 02:56 PM
My preference is still for oil-based paint. The Rustoleum non-marine stuff is the only non-marine product I've tried, and it has worked well over regular epoxy and fiberglass. Haven't tried it over gelcoat, but suspect it would work well.

01-29-2015, 03:09 PM
I've used oil based house paint before with reasonable results. Just wet sand the gel coat using 80 or 120 grit first. Internally I've heard of people using garage floor paint but can't speak for it myself.


David G
01-29-2015, 03:13 PM
Sand that gel-coated surface well. Once it begins to fail, it can become the weak link in terms of adhesion. If I have any doubt, I tend to sand the bejeesus out of it, then do a quick coat of neat epoxy and another sanding.

Then paint with the topcoat of your choice. All else being equal, I still prefer the oil-based products.

Given the substrate... this is a reasonable candidate for a 2-part polyurethane. They're easy to brush on, flow out well, dry to a high gloss, are very durable - esp. against abrasion, and are expensive. Are you interested in something like that?

At the other end of the budget spectrum, I've had very good results from oil-based Porch & Deck paints.

For a traditional formula marine oil enamel - there's Marshall's Cove (W. Coast) and Kirby's (E. Coast).

Or... there are 1-part polyurethanes like Brightsides or EasyPoxy (my preference).

There are lots of options, but you'd have to say more about your situation/desires before we could narrow it down...

01-29-2015, 04:54 PM
I have applied Easy Poxy by Pettit to a variety of used boats with great success following a simple dewax, 100 grit sand and apply prep regime.


01-29-2015, 04:57 PM
Like you all I have used oil based paints. A lot of years ago a paint guy told me porch and floor paint was essentially the same ( hard and wear resistant) as the better grade marine paints. Not having "marine " in the product name cut about 25% off the price. I was sort of considering a 2 part polyurethane but as you say it is expensive (we are not talking about a lot of boat), but its a dinghy that will be dragged up on beaches and receive moderate abuse. I am not sure the expensive paint will actually perform that much better in that sort of rough service, though it would probably look a little better a little longer.
I did have a chance to compare paint systems on steel ships. The expensive 2 part paint definitely out performed the cheapest alkyd available ( same brand).
I was just wondering if there were some real advance that I was not aware of.
FYI I have given a real good sanding to the bottom and topsides gel coat.
Thanks all.....

Bob Cleek
01-29-2015, 05:44 PM
It's not a "Steinway." I'd say two-part urethane is overkill, and it can be tricky to apply in some cases. For all around cost/benefit analysis, you probably can't do better than Rustoleum. It has the added benefit of coming in a variety of colors and most ordinary paint stores can mix whatever color you want "while you wait," if need be. Thin with turpentine and a bit of Penetrol to retard drying and give the brush strokes time to level out. Keep your coats thin (not "straight out of the can" but rather about the consistency of somewhere around whipping cream and half and half.) Three or even four thin coats are better than one thick one.

01-29-2015, 09:42 PM
That is pretty much where I am now Bob. It was worth asking around, just in case. I will be using old oil based paints I have here at home. A very light yellow, mixing two leftovers, mostly rust paint for the inside and white for the outside and a terracotta red for rub-rails and seats.

02-04-2015, 02:49 PM
Agree with Thorne and others on the Rustoleum. I built David Beede's Summerbreeze 7 years ago and painted it with a few coats of safety orange and safety blue interior and exterior and the thing has been outdoors on a beach for the whole 7 years and has been used a ton and very little paint has come off. This boat gets dragged on rocky beaches all the time. It has made me a believer and as a backyard boatbuilder I don't believe in spending 5 times as much for "marine" paint.