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Thread: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Saint Louis, Missouri
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    Talking Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    Background: Hello there! I am new to the forum and super new to wooden boat building. This is my VERY first boat and it is a stitch and tape 15ft prospector canoe (plans from selway fisher). I varnished all hard wood and the bulkhead tops and inner boards but I plan to paint the outside hull as well as the inside since my inside chines were too messy for varnish. I want to paint my canoe a bright grass green (lime or avocado green) but I will settle for a light blue or possibly traffic cone orange. As of right now I have coated all outside planks with west marine epoxy as well as the inside bottom planks. I have begun sanding down the tape edges and all runs/high spots with both scotch brite pads and with an orbital sander. My canoe won't be in the water for long periods of time and I hope not to spend 500$ on paint and primer but am willing to spend what is needed so my canoe stays intact for years to come.

    The real Questions:
    What primer and topside paint can I use for a canoe that is not in the water for long periods, and can be a super fun color?
    What primers-paints are the best combination?
    Is oil-based deck paint worth the hassle of working with it over latex?
    What brand of topside paint is best?
    Is two part interlux epoxy primer worth the 150$?
    Will I ever find bright green paint?

    Thank you very much if you respond!

    PS: Here are some refrence photos

    IMG_2210.jpgIMG_2208.jpgIMG_2212.jpg
    Last edited by lilly11702; 05-22-2021 at 11:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2015
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    Nice job Lilly11702!

    Forget oil-based paints, as good as they are. Forget primer too, more work and $$ that you don't need for this project.

    Pretty much any decent hardware / big box store'll carry latex alkyd exterior house paint that can be tinted to match pretty nearly any color that strikes a nerve for you! Look around you might even find a fluorescent ("DayGlo") for that Cone Orange.

    Just be sure to remove any remaining amine blush with warm water and maybe a ScotchBrite scrubber (helps to de-glaze epoxy) before you roll-and-tip your chosen colors.

    Enjoy that canoe! It may have been your first build but likely as not it won't be your last!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2000
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    Actually, you should wash for amine blush before you even sand the epoxy smooth. Otherwise you are just grinding blush down into the sanded texture. There is no better primer for paint than epoxy resin, so unless you have some sort of flaws to fix (which you shouldn't once you have properly sanded the epoxy) there is no need for primer and it is not going to be of any help. I still use oil-based enamels, mostly urethanes applied by rolling and tipping using WEST System yellow foam rollers and tipping with cheap chip brushes (some folks like foam brushes better, but I don't).

    For paint I have had excellent luck using Interlux Brightside marine enamel on several boats. It tends to be pretty pricey though. The green on this one is Brightside, rolled and tipped out in my driveway.

    nordica 4.jpg

    I have also had good luck rolling and tipping polyurethane floor enamels from the hardware or big box stores in custom mixed colors. The yellow canoe has Ace Hardware polyurethane floor enamel, and the big canoe has been painted with custom mixed shades of Home Depot "Epoxy Concrete and Garage Floor paint". I don't think it probably contains enough epoxy to do much of anything, but it's good paint. Base layers were rolled and tipped, shading variations were sprayed and the small bark grain lines were applied with a home-made roller. Polyurethane floor enamel is drastically less expensive than marine enamels are and wears quite well. The brick red interior of the big canoe is True Value polyurethane floor enamel and I painted it 45 years ago.

    pu-paint.jpg

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    I flip back and forth between the hardware store paints and Petit EZPoxy. The Petit is better, but not by the multiple the price would suggest. For topsides, I've had good results with Rustoleum. So Rustoleum has a lime green that may or may not ring your bell. Petit has a seafoam green. If you go with a porch and floor enamel -- I'd suggest Sherwin Williams -- they can mix up any color you want.
    -Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Sound Beach, NY
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    Rustoleum makes a reasonably priced marine paint and sells it by the quart. Benjamin Moore makes urethane and oil paints that your local dealer will mix to any color you like, but might only be available in gallons.
    Welcome aboard!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    With the epoxy, you have a good primer coat. Just, as mentioned, be sure you wash off any blush before you start with topcoat. Without it, I'd be urging you to choose a painting SYSTEM... not just a topcoat and make up the rest as you go along. A system designed to work with the substrate, and a primer and topcoat designed to work together... make a huge difference.


    Choosing the finishing system involves a whole matrix of factors. Start with some preferences --

    Is 'inexpensive' the primary factor, or price no object, or somewhere in the middle?

    Do you prefer a high gloss and high gloss retention, or you don't care? (Remember that more gloss highlights any substrate imperfections)

    Prefer something that will last as long as possible, or you might change the color next year anyway... and besides, you like to freshen things up yearly.

    Do you mind working with solvent-based products... or prefer water cleanup? I had sterling low-budget results with a local brand (Miller) of oil-based porch & deck paints. Unfortunately, they no longer make it. I have no personal experience with the water-based versions. Except to watch a number of friends use it. Some with excellent results, and some with miserable outcomes. If someone is touting it... I'd be sure to ask what brand, what substrate, what prep work, and what primer.

    Good luck. Nice looking canoe.

    ETA: I forgot to mention the next step. Once you've answered those questions, and any others that might occur, then prioritize your choices. What aspects are the most important?
    Last edited by David G; 05-23-2021 at 02:07 PM.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    I've had water based exterior house paint on my stitch and glue boat for 23 years and it holds up very well although the gloss is not nearly as good as an oil based paint.
    I've also used good quality marine oil based paint on other boats and love it.
    On one boat, I used Rustoleum marine paint with good success.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    @sp_clark Thank you! I hope you don't mind a follow up.... for the amine blush removal do you suggest wiping the surface down with a simple rag and warm water or a full surface shower w/ a hose or sprayer? Ive seen both done and cant seem to discover which is better.
    Last edited by lilly11702; 05-24-2021 at 01:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Plywood Canoe Paint Sugestions

    Wash it off however is best. I use a bucket of warm water with a small splash of household amonia and a scrubbie, followed by a good rinse. When the water sheets off, rather than making beads, you are good.
    Steve Martinsen

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default

    Painting your canoe isn't going to take more than a quart of so of primer and topcoat.

    Epifanes Yacht Enamel is finest kind. And it comes in great shades of green.

    https://www.epifanes.com/page/yacht-enamel



    The colors are actually brighter than they seem on that card.

    Interlux Brightsides is likewise finest kind.

    https://www.interlux.com/en/us/boat-...e-polyurethane

    But doesn't have any great greens.

    Marshall' Cove Marine Paints are nice, too. Lots of colors.

    http://www.marshallscovemarinepaint.com



    And George Kirby Marine Paint is great stuff. Lots of wonderful greens.

    https://kirbypaint.com/collections/topside-marine-paint

    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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