View Full Version : Trouble with Toplac - maybe?

Ken V
02-09-2004, 01:17 AM
I have hired someone to help out painting my topside. He is a retired painter who lives on his 1895 Herrshoff, that he has owned since 1957 and he has kept it looking like new.

I instructed him to use Toplac paint I went down to the boat this weekend and notice he was having trouble applying the Toplac. On further discussion with him he told me that the had poured 4 qts. in a bucket and blended linseed oil with it to smooth out. Also he is not using Brightside primer but Bear Premium Primer.

This seams to me that mixing Toplac with linseed could be a real problem.

What is the groups thoughts – is this a problem or should I have him strip it off and start over. I hate to say anything to him if this not going to be a problem. Based on the apperance of his boat of 40 years he knows how to take care of wooden boats.

Thanks to all in advance for your advice.


Hugh Paterson
02-09-2004, 04:50 AM
Ken IMHO if u use international paint you should stick to using their primers, I have used Toplac a couple of times at the request of boat owners but must admit would not use it on my own boat. Bog standard enamel works for me. I sometimes purchase the International professional range of products and maybe its just me but it seems to go on easier, its a damn sight cheaper in bigger tins to.

02-09-2004, 03:18 PM
As far as I know Toplac is very hard and has good abrasion resistance. Also, the paint film becomes rather thick. I did use it on my topsides once, but will not do it again. It was not elastic enough to take the movements, so it cracked in the seams.

I could use it on plywood as an alternative to two part polyurethane.

Faintly, I can see some logic in mixing it with boiled linseed oil. Maybe you should ask him why exactly he´s doing it.

Dale Genther
02-09-2004, 06:56 PM
Toplac is a single part polyurathane (sp?). I don't think linseed oil should be mixed with it. Call Inter. Paints to find out for certain.

Ian Wright
02-10-2004, 01:43 AM
Sack your painter. Or dump the Toplac and give him normal Yacht Enamel. Either way spend a few days scraping off the Toplac/linseed mixture,,,,,,,

IanW :(

Hugh Paterson
02-10-2004, 12:47 PM
Ian, I suspect it will fall off cause of the linseed oil, methinks Im too polite, but didnt have the heart to say sack him :D

Scott Rosen
02-14-2004, 09:45 PM
Why would you tell a painter what kind of paint to use? If his boat looks good, you should've just hired him, told him the color and level of gloss you wanted, and then left it up to him. Every painter gets to know and feel comfortable working with specific products.

There are dozens of good brands of paint, which will all hold up very well if properly applied.

Ken V
02-23-2004, 02:21 AM
After a telephone call to Interlux Technical Support the bad news is in, DO NOT MIX TOPLAC WITH ANYTHING BUT SOLVENTS SPECIFIED. In my case 333 solvent for brushing application.
The tech’s description of what I may expect is that mixing linseed and Toplac is like mixing vinegar and oil. He would be surprised if it cured at all. Also if it did cure that the gloss would be poor and start to peel very soon. He recommended striping it off and prime and paint again. By the way the felt the Bear Primer would not be a problem, but qualified that by stating he did not know for sure.

The mixture has dried and appears to be adhering to the cabin top, the gloss is at least 40% less than I would expect. My plan now is to paint over with Toplac and wait until next season to strip. (Tired of staying at the dock want to go do some cruising.)

I have posted on both Gbwoodies and Woodenboat so my comments below apply to both postings.

I have been ask why on earth I would tell the painter what paint to use. Well being of an engineering background I find it not uncommon to specify the materials used on a job. Also I had used Toplac to paint the hull, which I did my self and was very pleased with the finished job.
My mistake and I take full responsibility for this blunder is assuming the painter was familiar with Toplac. I should have discussed this thoroughly with him.

Some of the gentlemen across the pond feel that I should fire the painter. I would point out that the painter is 79 and takes great pride in his work. He has volunteered to purchase replacement Toplac and paint again at his expense. I do believe that this is my problem as I did specify the materials to be used. I appreciated the offer of the painter to correct the problem however I did agree to supply all the materials and I believe that it is only fair not to allow him to pay for more Toplac.

It is my hope that by posting this information that I my help other wooden boat owners to avoid my mistakes.

Thanks to all for your comments

Ken Voight

[ 02-23-2004, 02:22 AM: Message edited by: Ken V ]

Art Read
02-23-2004, 03:50 AM
Well, Ken... I, for one, would do business with you any day. I honor your attitude towards this little "experience enhancement". And I'll wager your painter feels the same. I suspect he'll go "over the top" to give you the best results possible as you work together to put things right again.

(Besides, it's only yet another paint job. You know you would've been, and will be, doing it all again waaay too soon anyway, right? ;) )

Wild Wassa
02-23-2004, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
Why would you tell a painter what kind of paint to use?

Exactly. He should have told you?


04-10-2004, 01:07 PM
Toplac is not a polyureathane! I'm pretty sure it is a modified enamel with silicone. It is apparently similar to Epifanes Nautiforte, but Idon't think as good. I can't imagine a little linseed oil hurting it. Someone might tell you that kerosene might hurt it; but lo and behold right there on the can of Interlux 333 thinner, on the ingredients' list is: kerosene. You pretty much have to take what these company techs tell you with a grain of salt. First of all they're pretty much reading off information sheets just like you can do, and second of all they are trying to protect themselves from problems. So they want you to strictly adhere to their procedures and ingredients. And they like to sell their own ingredients too. I can't imagine your finish needing to be stripped off.