View Full Version : How to lay on an even coat of paint on canvas deck?
09-02-2001, 10:22 PM
Hi all -
Our wooden boat festival is a week off so I'm preening the Nais. A coat of fresh paint on her canvas deck was called for. I've only touched up before, never done her over all. I used a foam brush with a highly thinned coat and found that I couldn't keep a uniform fill over the previous paint. Same color, Hatteras White. It was a pretty warm day and there was a lot of area to cover plus many "thingies" to go around slowly (cleats, cowl vents, etc). As a result I wasn't able to keep overlaping a wet edge. The overlapping shows.
Do you all do all the edges first, then come back to fill in the expanse so as not to dry out the edge? Would rolling on help lay a more even coat quickly? Do you tip it after you roll it?
Any insight here would be much appreciated.
09-02-2001, 11:17 PM
I confess that I use a roller, despite having a collection of Badgers, even for varnish if it's a large area. I use the best short-nap cover I can buy for enamels and tip it off with a 4" foam brush. I try to keep the coverage thin and work fast with the foam to keep from snagging.
09-03-2001, 06:27 PM
Thanks, Rich. Think I'll try a roller on the rest of the deck.
09-05-2001, 01:42 PM
I wouldn't waste my time with a roller OR a foam brush on canvas or any other similar surface. A rough surface has about five times the area as a smooth one. If you reduce the nap to a schematic of tiny cubes laying on the deck, you have five sides to paint, not just the top one, see? So, it takes a LOT more paint. Also, a foam brush or a roller is likely to just skip over the top of the nap and the only penetration you will get down in the crevices is what might flow down. You can thin the paint really well and it will flow better, but then you just fill up the crevices with the paint that seeped down off the top of the surface. This is probably why you have noticeable coloration differences. You are putting the paint on too thin for openers. Canvas decks really require pretty thick paint, worked well into the surface. (Thinning is for the first coat to soak into the canvas, of course.) Use a fairly stiff BRISTLE brush for this job and work the paint well into the surface without allowing excess to fill the nap. Takes longer and uses more paint, but that's the way the job needs to be done.
09-05-2001, 11:35 PM
<You can thin the paint really well and it will flow better>
Well, this was the key. I still had it too thick the day before. Thinned way down (the existing canvas is already well sealed) and just used a foam brush. Trimming the edge is what takes the time. I don't use tape for the most part cause with paint this thinned it takes more time to repair the bleed-through than just doing it by hand in the first place. Took two and a half days to do the deck and cabin top! How do you guys ever manage with "real" sized boats?
09-06-2001, 10:59 AM
Just finished having our home painted.The siding is T1 11 and is very uneven,with lots of ridge lines and indentations.Our painter used wool rollers.When I asked him why,other than longevity,he described their ability to reach into all the nooks and crannys.
Can't see there would be any difference in the physics between the siding and a canvas deck.There is a technique with a roller,believe it or not.He rolled a crosshatch like pattern and then tipped it.
09-06-2001, 02:21 PM
Sure, a thick napped roller is just the ticket on a coarse house siding... and if you want your boat to look like your house, go for it! On the other hand, a stiff natural bristle brush will allow thicker paint to be worked into the rough canvas (or nonskid, or dynel) surface without undue build up in the crevices. Absent that, you will quickly fill the nap of the deck with old paint and have a smooth deck which will crack quickly and noticeably, not to mention become treacherous when wet. As for cutting in a sharp edge, well... pick your poison. You can do it by hand with experience and a good brush, or use tape. The trick to the tape is not expecting tape to seal a sharp edge on a rough surface. Put the tape on the edge where it is smooth. Also, use a quality tape. If you are good at it, 3M "Blue" will provide a clean edge with very minimal seeping, if well rubbed on the edge. You can also buy their "fine line" striping tape for masking, which will produce a razor sharp line on smooth surfaces, but it costs more. If you have seepage under the blue long mask tape, or any other kind, it can be repaired pretty easily, albeit tedious. You paint and wait until the paint is just dry to the touch (not tacky). Then carefully lift the tape (the "moment of truth!"). Quickly take a clean rag moistened with solvent and carefully wipe the seepage off. It takes a bit of practice, but the skill is easily acquired. Since the paint under the tape dries more slowly than the stuff exposed to the sun and air, you can wipe up the seep with the solvent wet rag and not wipe off the just-hardened finish paint. I'm not making this up, guys. I've been hanging around professional wooden boat yards for maybe forty years now and aside from an occasional bottom paint job, I've never seen a roller used in any of them. For damn sure not on a finish job or on a job where there was any cutting in to do. The rule as I've always heard it is, "If it is too big to brush, spray!"
09-06-2001, 05:50 PM
Dadgummit,I sure don't want my boat lookin like mt house.My house is green.
What that wool roller did was get paint into every nook and cranny...just like it has to with canvas.Seems to me the technique is to get the material down w/o holidays and tip it for leveling.
I know using house painting as an example for wooden boats is blasphemous,but I was caught in a weak moment. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/frown.gif
09-06-2001, 06:05 PM
To stop the bleed through under your tape, take a used piece of 220 grit sandpaper and sand lightly along the edge of the tape where it meets your work surface. This won't help if you're taping non-skid or some other irregular surface, but will make you go "geeze - why didn't I think of that" on most others.
09-06-2001, 09:44 PM
Hey Concordia that's a new one for me.Say more,hows that?
09-07-2001, 02:22 PM
The big differences between the roller on a house and on a deck are:
1. The surfaces of the house are vertical and the deck is horizontal.
So, if you lay it on thick on the house, filling the voids isn't a problem. On a deck, though, the excess paint sinks right down off the top of the surface (where it gets the most wear) and into the nooks and crannies, negating the non-skid qualities of the surface. Thick build ups of paint don't do much for preventing cracking, either.
2. The house paint doesn't have near the leveling qualities of the marine enamel.
This means that the marine enamel will flow downward into the crevices far more effectively than the housepaint will. Moreover, marine enamel is a whole lot more expensive than house paint, so working it into the nap of the canvas with a stiff natural bristle brush ensures you aren't wasting paint and are only using as much as needed to properly cover the surface.
Finally, I don't get this "rolling and tipping" fad. I find two big problems with it. First, why use one tool to put the paint on and another to spread it? It makes no sense when you can dip your brush into the paint and whack it on and spread it perfectly. A lot less to clean up, that's for sure. Second, to paint correctly you have to maintain a working wet edge. The roller produces a much greater wet edge than a brush does (unless you are using a 12" brush!) and the roller quickly gets ahead of the brusher, the wet edge starts to dry and the whole shebang goes into the ****ter. Then, too, you have to have a tray for the roller and a bucket for the brush, even if the roller puts most of the paint on. Even if you poured paint mixed in the same batch into the tray and the bucket, the surface area of the tray being so much greater than the bucket, you are going to find your tray paint thickening a lot faster than the paint in the bucket. This is a major problem if you are working with paint that is properly mixed. If it is hot enough to kick off properly when rolled, it is going to be past the point of being worked with the brush. If you cool off the stuff you are rolling so it waits long enough for you to tip it properly, it is going to be running all over the place. Guys seem to swear by "rolling and tipping," but I don't know any painters that ever used the technique.
09-07-2001, 03:18 PM
Gee, Bob, I only have one problem with rolling and tipping. LOL
I tried it once and it came out terrible--uneven, lumpy, brush marks AND roller stipple, and it used three times as much paint.
I don't get it either, but I suppose if someone's figured out a way to do it and get good results, who am I to argue?
09-07-2001, 04:35 PM
Ditto with my results: roller stipple and foam brush marks. I'll never do that again. A good brush cures a lot of ills.
09-07-2001, 05:59 PM
I think I'm gonna stand corrected.That part about overwhelming the nonskid properties of the canvas made a believer outta me.
I take it that to preserve the traction ,one must put the material on as with a stencil.
09-08-2001, 12:29 PM
Yea, Das, a stencil brush sorta describes it. I use one of my funkier brushes because the surface is hard on the bristles. You have to hold the bristles pretty much at a right angle to the surface and work it back and forth plenty. Use a fairly dry brush, or spread the paint well. The trick is not letting it build up and puddle. I often use a cheaper grade of paint, like Rustoleum, and put it on right out of the can. If you thin the paint, you end up with very little paint on the top of the non-skid "bumps" which is actually where you want the most of it for surface wear.
09-09-2001, 04:30 AM
It's not canvas and it's not a deck, but.... I have bought the boys a '145', the hull is/was a bit rough (paint cracked and a few dings) so I have sanded it back, filled and faired the crook spots and now I am about to start painting.... I have bought some marine enamel ('International' brand), and now I would like to know if there are any good tricks/hints/tips to getting a really nice finish. As it's a little boat which my guys will be racing in a few weeks I am naturally keen that it slips throught the briny with the greatest of ease, so all advice will be gratefully received.
Oh, and hope fully in week or so I will be revarnishing the top side so sanding/preparation/application of varnish will be requested then so please be prepared for more obtuse questions.....
09-09-2001, 01:07 PM
DON'T OPEN THAT CAN OF ENAMEL... YET!
Yes, there are very particular techniques for getting a good gloss finish. Check out the search engine on the forum and you will see several discussions that will be helpful.
First, make sure you have your surface very smooth. Then lay down sanding primer. Get the Interlux product, which is compatible with your gloss enamel. This stuff goes on thick and then you have to sand it smooth again to remove the brush strokes. This is a big pain. If you have a spray rig (highly recommended) or can rent one, use it. (Not one of those Wagner diaphram homeowner's gizmos, but a real honest to God spray rig.) Thin the undercoat with thinner and a bit of Penetrol and keep spraying it on until the whole boat is snow white. This is really important. Your gloss enamel will NOT cover dark spots. When you have the hull completely white, fill in any small dings with surfacing putty (glazing compound... Interlux makes this, too). Then sand the hull with at least 220 grit, making it "smooth as a baby's bottom." Dust and tack well.
Thin your gloss properly. This stuff isn't designed to be used out of the can. You will probably have to thin it 35% to 50% with thinner and Penetrol, which will promote leveling. Use a good brush, a qualitly foam one if your job is small enough, and lay on the enamel. You will probably want to put three coats of gloss down. Sand off LIGHTLY any defects along the way.
09-09-2001, 05:54 PM
Lid staying in the closed position for today..... primer being sought... spraying option being investigated... Bob Cleek being thanked!! http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
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