View Full Version : brush or roll?

01-26-2003, 10:20 AM
Painting another coat of Kirby's on the bottom and was wondering how many of you use a roller instead of a brush for painting? Does the roller get it on thicker or is a brush better?


Chris Coose
01-26-2003, 10:35 AM
Lots of variables.
The only thing I put on with a roller on the boat is anti-foul paint and then only because of the amount of surface area and I don't care too much about the quality.

If I had a large surface area for regular paint I might consider a roller with me or somebody else behind, tipping out with a large brush. The advantage of a roller is that you can get enough paint on quickly enough to keep a nice wetted surface to brush into. The disadvantage is that you get varying amounts of paint on the surface, therefore, the brush to smooth and feather.
I'd use a roller cover surface that I was 100% sure would leave no knap in the paint.

landlocked sailor
01-26-2003, 10:43 AM
I use the roll & tip method. This works best if you have two people but I have done it alone plenty of times. Rick

Don Maurer
01-26-2003, 11:35 AM
I am finishing a lapstrake plywood boat with 8 strakes per side. Some of the strakes are a little narrow even for a 3" roller, so I think I am going to be stuck brushing, especially on the inside. I have been using a badger hair brush with Kirby's undercoater on my test panels , but it seems to be leaving noticable brush strokes. I am wondering if I need to add some penetrol, or go to a softer bristle brush, like polyester. Also, what is the proper brushing technique? I tried brushing the paint in one direction, then tipping it in a perpendicular direction as I do with varnish, but I ended up with a distressed look. I got better results loading the brush up with paint and painting long strokes with the grain only. So what techniques do you all use?

Rogue Sailor
01-26-2003, 11:57 AM
Here's another alternative:

Fuji HVLP Spray Systems (http://www.fujispray.com)

I bought a Fuji sprayer from Woodworker's Warehouse for the sole purpose of painting my 26' sailboat hull.

Paint Job Photos (http://community.webshots.com/album/16457195hmfpRMOLMn)

I couldn't have been more pleased with this system. I now use it in my shop for varnishing cabinet work.



Todd Bradshaw
01-26-2003, 12:45 PM
I use a Gougeon yellow foam roller, followed by tipping it out with a brush all the time for enamel and big areas of varnish (like entire hulls). It puts on a thinner coat that is much more uniform in thickness that I can get with a brush and less prone to runs and drips. I'm not a great boat painter, but my finished products improved dramatically when I switched from brushing to rolling.

01-26-2003, 04:12 PM
RS- that's an amazing job- "looks like a glass boat"!! :D

I used to sell T-26's- a well built, stout little ship!

Dan McCosh
01-27-2003, 10:18 AM
I use a roller for bottom paint--gets a more even coat, and a brush would be way too much work anyway. Roll and tip for everything else: topside enamel and varnish, wherever the roller fits. The latter sometimes seems to work better than a spray gun, at worst, it lays down an even coat. Lately, I've been partial to the rounded-end foam rollers that even get into corners reasonably well.

Frank Wentzel
01-27-2003, 10:45 AM

What kind of paint were you spraying. I've been thinking of using an HVLP system (Wagner 2600) for a two part polyurethane. I've never sprayed paint before.

/// Frank ///

Dale R. Hamilton
01-27-2003, 10:51 AM
The only way to get a quality finish is spray- and HVLP does it best. I probabable would use the roller for bottom paint where you want it nice and thick. Get yourself a spray outfit for the rest.

Todd Bradshaw
01-27-2003, 11:56 AM
I suppose it depends on your definition of "quality" but I don't personally believe that that's a true statement.

Frank, better call the Russians and see if you can buy a used spacesuit. Most of the two-part paints are extremely toxic when sprayed and without the proper gear it could be your last boat.

gary porter
01-27-2003, 12:39 PM
Frank & all, I've used both roller & tip method and hvlp spraying. I find that rolling with a yellow foam cover and tipping with a foam brush will give a very good finish. Spraying is better if you do a very good job but if not then your better off rolling. I use System IIIs crosslinked polyurethane paint which is water reduceble and they're epoxy primer as well. I most always spray the primer.

Chris Coose
01-27-2003, 01:12 PM
I have been using a badger hair brush with Kirby's undercoater on my test panels , but it seems to be leaving noticable brush strokes. Undercoater is courser so to fill tiny voids.
Sand out brush marks with 150 or finer. Your finish should flow without brush marks.
Thin the finish paint just a tad so that the tip brush barely (just barely) pulls. Lots depends on the temperature of the surface, the paint and the room. It would be nice if everything was 65-70.