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View Full Version : kirby's paint: low luster vs. semi-gloss, vs. gloss



runswithsizzers
10-28-2018, 10:58 AM
I am ready to order paint for my new construction of Steve Redmond's 15-1/2 ft sharpie skiff - Whisp.

My build is a cut above quick-and-dirty, but falls short of Bristol fashion. It's nice, but not precious. I plan to use it without worring too much about whatever normal scuffs, scratches and dings may result.

All the hull planking will be painted inside and out - but the seats, deck, and transom (all cherry), and the gunnels (sassafras) wil be varnished. I will be using CEPS for primer over bare wood.

My first thought was low luster paint for the interior and semi-gloss for the exterior, but maybe it would be better to go will semi-gloss interior and full gloss for the exterior?

I have never used any George Kirby's paint before, so I don't know what to expect. Does anyone know if the paint chips on his "Vintage Colors" chart are semi-gloss or gloss? Is his low luster dead flat, chalkboard dull? Will gloss paint accentuate every flaw and blemish?

https://photos.smugmug.com/Whats-New/Building-Whisp-spring-2018/i-z9cg952/0/6c38ee9b/XL/whisp_inwales-4360-XL.jpg

To see more photos <click here (https://garywright.smugmug.com/Whats-New/Building-Whisp-spring-2018/)> to view my building log.

Pitsligo
10-28-2018, 11:57 AM
I use Kirby's semi-gloss on both topsides and inside for all the family boats: my 19' gaff-rigged sloop Bucephalus; her big tender, Toggle, a 9' "punt" of similar ilk to your boat; Nike, a 100-year-old punt similar to Toggle; and the interior paint of Foal, B's folding tender.

I don't know if the chips on the Kirby's card are semi-gloss, gloss, or matte.

Full gloss will definitely pop out any imperfections. That's part of why I don't use it: my boats have never been longboarded, and if painted gloss white would come out looking like golf balls. Kirby's semi-gloss is a good compromise that gives them a nice elegant sheen but doesn't leave the surface imperfections glaring. Semi-gloss is also easier to keep looking good --i.e. easier to wipe any skudge off of-- than matte.

I was concerned for a while about using semi-gloss on the interior because I didn't want it to be slick, but it turns out to not really be slippery at all, and I think it may wear a little better than matte. However, the time I used matte was before I changed to Kirby's, which wears like iron, so for all I know the Kirby's matte would be just as durable as their semi-gloss.

I also like the way semi-gloss works with varnished accents; it seems to tie everything together better, rather than providing a bit too much contrast between yacht and workboat. My boats may be blue-collar in origin, but they clean up nice and they're wearing their going-to-town clothes. :)

Alex

rbgarr
10-28-2018, 12:18 PM
For a small boat that's kept on a trailer/out of the sun the flat or semi-gloss will be fine. We've used Kirby's semi on our topsides but over a season afloat it turns chalky and needs repainting by the end of summer. I'm going to try thier full gloss next season.

runswithsizzers
10-28-2018, 07:13 PM
Thanks, I just ordered semi-gloss for inside and out.

signalcharlie
10-28-2018, 08:01 PM
You can call and let them know what sheen you want. They can also lighten colors or custom mix. I think you'll like the semi gloss, we just put some on a Sunfish deck, Orange and Maynard Bray Off White (compared to Rustoleun Gloss white on the hull).


https://youtu.be/oTl3su-4ZzI

In other news, there is a little skiff for sale down rhe road, is it a Whisp?

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wWCSwR1AoWQ/W9Zaw_lukDI/AAAAAAAAcsM/1nm45xfHKxcA4BiCjnVO3lulsOfwmwdigCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_7306.JPG

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B4NXSWnB_nc/W9ZaxlgDdII/AAAAAAAAcsQ/UMh7Xzay6OoQ7e1RlgIOCF1Bh86_H8ZQwCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_7309.JPG

runswithsizzers
10-28-2018, 09:20 PM
[...]

In other news, there is a little skiff for sale down rhe road, is it a Whisp?

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wWCSwR1AoWQ/W9Zaw_lukDI/AAAAAAAAcsM/1nm45xfHKxcA4BiCjnVO3lulsOfwmwdigCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_7306.JPG

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B4NXSWnB_nc/W9ZaxlgDdII/AAAAAAAAcsQ/UMh7Xzay6OoQ7e1RlgIOCF1Bh86_H8ZQwCLcBGAs/s400/IMG_7309.JPG
Yes, that sure looks like a Whisp to me.

earling2
11-20-2018, 12:54 PM
I used a fair bit of Kirby's, normally semi-gloss. I did feel the need to slightly de-gloss something I was painting with the stuff and added talcum powder. Works great. Supposedly can degrade the paint somewhat but I haven't noticed anything.

Paul G.
11-20-2018, 02:28 PM
Pretty simple, full gloss lasts longest. If its a “workboat” style then longevity is favoured over appearance.

stromborg
11-20-2018, 02:44 PM
Interlux makes a "Flattening Agent" you can mix into your paint so you get get just the right amount of sheen. I did this and it worked great!

Wait for it...

Until I had to do some touch-up, the paint I saved for this had dried up and I had to try to re-create my custom mix. Never did get quite the same look.


I have become fond of semi-gloss for most things with maybe splash of gloss to highlight some feature. For instance Marianita's hull is semi-gloss white up to the glossy sheerstrake then back to semi-gloss for the deck.

David Satter
11-20-2018, 04:32 PM
Kirby's is great stuff, you can usually get George on the phone if you have questions. If you decide not to use gloss varnish, I've been using a lot of epifanes matte, it's a satin sheen varnish it's beautiful stuff.

earling2
11-21-2018, 08:48 PM
Interlux makes a "Flattening Agent" you can mix into your paint so you get get just the right amount of sheen. I did this and it worked great!
.

Did it say it was for a specific type of paint? Brightsides is a very hard, glossy, super fast setting polyurethane, but they also sell basic enamel, Interthane I think it's called

David G
11-21-2018, 10:44 PM
Interlux makes a "Flattening Agent" you can mix into your paint so you get get just the right amount of sheen. I did this and it worked great!

Wait for it...

Until I had to do some touch-up, the paint I saved for this had dried up and I had to try to re-create my custom mix. Never did get quite the same look.


I have become fond of semi-gloss for most things with maybe splash of gloss to highlight some feature. For instance Marianita's hull is semi-gloss white up to the glossy sheerstrake then back to semi-gloss for the deck.

In the trade... that goop is called 'flatting paste'. Yes, that's spelled correctly. I always use the same brand, and I keep a Finishing Journal with precise measurement of anything I mix custom. Yes, that means you need to measure - not just pour. Always a good idea to be able to replicate what you have done.


Did it say it was for a specific type of paint? Brightsides is a very hard, glossy, super fast setting polyurethane, but they also sell basic enamel, Interthane I think it's called

That's correct - 'Brightsides' is a not a traditional enamel. Neither is is a polyurethane. It is a type called a 'monourethane' - which in opaque finishes implies that it is not catalyzed - like polyurethanes are. I've never tried flatting paste in a monourethane... but suspect it'd be fine. However, I'd NEVER try it without checking with the tech support for Interlux.

stromborg
11-22-2018, 10:11 AM
I use Marshall's Cove paint. They are local, I like the colors and the stuff wears like iron, even when I mixed in the Interlux. You are right David, I should have made better notes, my 2:1 comment on top of the can wasn't close enough for touch-up work.

earling2
11-22-2018, 11:21 AM
That's correct - 'Brightsides' is a not a traditional enamel. Neither is is a polyurethane. It is a type called a 'monourethane' - which in opaque finishes implies that it is not catalyzed - like polyurethanes are. I've never tried flatting paste in a monourethane... but suspect it'd be fine. However, I'd NEVER try it without checking with the tech support for Interlux.

Interesting that you say polyurethanes are catalyzed, given that I've used stuff called "polyurethane" (and so has everybody else, I'm sure) for years and years, single part stuff you paint right out of the can. So is it mislabeled?

Just out of curiosity, I just looked up "varnish" and discovered that, contrary to what I thought, it doesn't apply strictly to traditional organic stuff, but can be almost anything shiny applied to wood. So some of these definitions can be pretty generic. But "poly" and "mono" are obviously categorically different.

Bob Cleek
11-24-2018, 03:52 PM
Gloss paint lasts longer and is always easier to clean. It's simply a harder finish. Over time, all gloss finishes will begin to degrade slightly and become less "glossy." It will, however, take much longer for a gloss finish to "chalk" than a semi-gloss or matt finish, which is already half way to chalking when it comes out of the can. If you can live with that "just painted" gloss for six months or so, your gloss finish will end up being a bit less glossy and stay that way for a long time more than a non-glossy finish. A good gloss paint job mellows like fine wine.

BTW, that's a very nice job you've done on that skiff. Anything with caned seats isn't a "workboat." Every boat that is used will pick up its share of skuffs and dings. That's what routine maintenance is for. I'm bothered by the fact that you would chose a paint gloss level based on "hiding" imperfections in the surface preparation. You've done a great job on the boat and it really doesn't take much to prep the surface of a new boat for a perfect finish. "A pretty girl deserves a pretty dress."

runswithsizzers
11-24-2018, 06:27 PM
Gloss paint lasts longer and is always easier to clean. It's simply a harder finish. Over time, all gloss finishes will begin to degrade slightly and become less "glossy." It will, however, take much longer for a gloss finish to "chalk" than a semi-gloss or matt finish, which is already half way to chalking when it comes out of the can. If you can live with that "just painted" gloss for six months or so, your gloss finish will end up being a bit less glossy and stay that way for a long time more than a non-glossy finish. A good gloss paint job mellows like fine wine.

BTW, that's a very nice job you've done on that skiff. Anything with caned seats isn't a "workboat." Every boat that is used will pick up its share of skuffs and dings. That's what routine maintenance is for. I'm bothered by the fact that you would chose a paint gloss level based on "hiding" imperfections in the surface preparation. You've done a great job on the boat and it really doesn't take much to prep the surface of a new boat for a perfect finish. "A pretty girl deserves a pretty dress."
Thanks for your kind comments about my Whisp build. Yes, I was aiming for higher than 'work boat' but I was hoping to stop this side of fancy boat.

There is more logic behind the caned seats than style - I am trying to keep the boat light enough to load and haul on the roof of my car. With a target design weight of 70 lbs. it's doable - but if I go even 10 pounds over, it will be a struggle. The designer (Steve Redmond) claims the cane seats save several pounds over plank thwarts.

I have faired and sanded inside and out, and I am satisfied that it is good enough, but it's hard for me to anticipate what the surface would look like if glossy. Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions, but I have already purchsed semi-gloss paint from Kirby.

Sadly, I did not get it painted before the winter weather set in. I am afraid to use the Smith's CPES primer and oil based paints in the basement. There is a gas furnace down there, and if the fumes don't blow up the house, I have a wife upstairs to complain about the odor. I am afraid I wont see a good span of outside painting weather until mid April.

spirit
11-24-2018, 07:26 PM
I have a question about paint hardness.
I used a water-based 2-part polyurethane paint on my skiff, over a well prepared epoxy/glass surface.
The paint is still in excellent shape after 7 years.
I spoke to one of the Wooden Boat School teachers about it, who said it was too hard.
Why should hardness be a problem for a marine paint?

Garret
11-24-2018, 07:35 PM
I have a question about paint hardness.
I used a water-based 2-part polyurethane paint on my skiff, over a well prepared epoxy/glass surface.
The paint is still in excellent shape after 7 years.
I spoke to one of the Wooden Boat School teachers about it, who said it was too hard.
Why should hardness be a problem for a marine paint?

On a carvel planked boat - or most any boat not covered in glass & epoxy, the wood will move & the paint will crack if it's too hard.

Bob Cleek
11-26-2018, 05:58 PM
It's best to do that much CPES-ing outdoors. Small jobs are no problem, but if you are doing a lot, the fumes can get pretty overpowering. I happen to enjoy the smell of most all solvents, but there's a limit to a good thing! CPES dries to the touch pretty quickly, though. If you've got a bit of a window on the wet weather, you can always roll her out and then roll her back in again. I'd check the instructions or call Steve Smith and find out if low temperatures may be a problem. (Cold usually slows epoxy cures.) I'm in "sunny" California. I have to remember it's colder than a witch's tit in other parts of the counry.

runswithsizzers
06-05-2019, 10:16 AM
Update, RE: CPES fumes
Finally, I got Whisp primered inside and out with Smith's CPES. I had read the warnings about the fumes, which must be taken seriously! I put a 20" window box fan in one basement window on the east side, and opened a second basement window on the west side for cross ventilation. Fortunately those two windows have screens to keep the bugs out. Running the window fan on high speed was sufficient to prevent the fumes from being noticeable upstairs, but in the basement, the fumes were significant, and stayed that way for the next 24 hours. Even though I wore an organic vapor respirator the whole time, I could still get a faint whiff of fumes occasionally. Without the respirator, the job would have been somewhere between miserable and impossible, not to mention foolhardy.

Suggestions to "roll her outside" are good advice - do that if you can. But for me, it would have been a considerable struggle to carry the boat up a narrow staircase. Plus, our weather has been stuck for weeks in a pattern of frequent rain showers. With weather protection and no bugs, the basement was the more attractive option for me - except for the fumes!

Ready to start with Epifanes Clear Varnish and the George Kirby paints - hopefully, those fumes will be much less powerful than the Smith's CPES.