There are times when your Boat or Yacht painted accessories, which were once gleaming, are now fading, peeling or cracking showing the metal below. This could be your Railings, Helm area, Hatch moldings…just about anything that had a paint finish. Is it time for new ones? Well maybe or maybe not. Here is a way to make them look new again.
For years I would try to revitalize my accessories by hand painting them after they spent years in the saltwater environment. It never looked Real good. I ended up buying new accessories to replace the old ones which worked fine, but looked old because of the finish or my sad painting job. I’ve come a long way since then, so here’s a quick way to tune your-self up and get these jobs done easily and cost effective.
Now you might have larger jobs than what I am mentioning, but you can take the same principal and Spray paint a Boat mast or Helm console or even your Marine engine. So let’s get started.
First you have to get the peeling and cracking taken care of by scraping lightly and then sanding. You want to have a smooth finish without highs and lows from the cracking or peeling areas. Yes, it does mean a bit of sanding depending on the severity of the finish. Try to sand out the cracks and the highs and lows to try to get it to blend. You can use filler found in many Marine Supply stores to take out any gouges or inconsistencies. Sand it so you get one uniform look. You’ll know when you got it right. Wipe off your accessory, railing, etc and use a moistened cloth with thinner (read all instructions when using any product, including the cautions) to clean it up for the paint.
Now there are 2 Very important aspects to doing this…one is your spray technique. We use spray paint cans from Marine Supply stores or Auto stores which come with their own nozzles. Before using, the spray can itself has to be warm so the paint product inside is warm. If it is a warm sunny day out, let it warm that way by being outside (read the instructions) and shake the cans again and again till the ball inside moves very easily. When using a spray can, there is a technique. First there is a back and forth movement, passing the boat accessory by a few inches either way. Try it without spraying to get a rhythm. Now when you’re paint spraying, the spray starts just before the boat accessory and continue spraying till it passes the other end an inch or so. As you come back at it, start spraying again before the accessory and so on…back and forth, starting and stopping the spray on each stroke. Keep the spray can about 8 to 10 inches away while spraying. You just want to do light coats…you may do 5 passes and still see thru the paint, that’s great. Wait a few minutes, shake the spray can again and often, then do more passes…wait a little…then do more. You’ll get the hang of it, and will love the factory finish you get!
Now remember, I only gave you the 1 secret out of 2. The first was to have a warm can before starting which is a must…Sometimes when I do the spray painting, I can feel the spray can is really warm from the sun…that’s good. Now the other secret…the main one…the make it or break it one……. The Boat accessory, Railing, Helm Console, Boat mast Must be REAL WARM!! Close to hot. You know what I mean… like a deck of a boat in the sun and you step on it bare footed…Aucch! Yes, almost hot. The surface you are spray painting must be this way! On a very sunny warm day, just leave what you want to spray paint out in the sun for awhile so it heats up. The spray paint cans I use are the High Heat ones, like spray paint for engines. These paints take the heat and also have additives in them for a better bond. Some paints are good for steel, others for aluminum. You can tell by using a magnet. If it sticks it’s steel, if not it is aluminum. That’s the basics.
When painting something that is very warm to almost hot to the touch allows the paint to adhere much better and dry quicker as you add more coats. Don’t get impatient; go with the flow you started with and see it thru. It won’t take long. You may have to tape things off with paper for the overspray depending on what or where you’re spray painting. But you can do a 50′ Sailboat mast this way and it will look beautiful!
The paint will cover and the finishes will look great on your boat. Get your Boat or Yacht Bristol… and Why Knot!!!
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