View Full Version : Paint/putty questions

Bill Mercer
04-10-2007, 07:21 PM
So, if you had come into possession of a plywood boat that had been fiberglassed on the outside and painted on the inside, and the paint in the bilge was in bad shape, what would you paint the bilge with? I don't want to epoxy it, since I'm worried about water getting into the plywood and mahogany timbers through all the unsealed (ie, non-epoxied) joints. I've been thinking either a) just clean up all the paint so I don't have any flakes to trap water and clog the limbers, or b) do the above, then paint with red lead, probably just one coat so it doesn't flake off. And maybe stuff the bilge with rock salt, since it's gonna be mostly fresh water down there (Columbia river and rain).

And on the subject of red lead, I was thinking of ordering a few pounds of lead tetraoxide and mixing it up per Bob Smalser's recipe of 4-6 lbs lead/gallon BLO. Anybody know a good formula for making a paste out of the stuff that's suitable for, say, filling screw counterbores on a painted rubrail? I want something that I can easily pop out down the road. I've seen mention of glaziers' paste, but who knows if the modern stuff has the same composition as old-time glaziers' putty.

And finally--any advice on painting the plywood deck of this thing? It's completely innocent of epoxy and fiberglass, and I don't really want to get into that right now, when I just want to repaint and go sailing. I've been grinding the cracked (it's fir plywood, but the good stuff, from the '60s) paint off with a belt sander, and was planning to put outdoor alkyd floor paint on, but I'm open to suggestions.



04-10-2007, 07:33 PM
Well, I'd say your second option for the first question is best -- wood the bilge and paint with red lead. Several coats won't hurt.

On the second question, I'd use red lead to lubricate the screws, but use varnish and wood bungs to seal them -- easy to remove and will look a LOT better than red lead putty or whatever.

On the third question, I think you have to glass it -- the old fir ply checks badly and the ONLY way to control it is to glass it. Personally I'd wood it, use as much CPES as it will soak up, then epoxy and glass over that. See old threads here on how to texture the top coat with sugar and paint for non-slip.

But let's see what the more experienced folks say...