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Paint questions

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by JimT, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have a few paint questions now about my new-to-me cartopper. I've studied the threads that Greg Nolan has linked to in other places, and mindful of his advice not to try painting over peeling paint, want to figure out how to address the chips and dings in this boat to get it out onto the water this season with an eye to doing longer term painting/repairs later.

    here's some pics. first question is simply about the shiny silver appearance of the canvas undercoating. Does that reflect a particular kind of filler or base coat that was used at some point in the past? or something else? The boat was repainted in the past, possibly even re-canvassed. Does the silver appearance suggest original canvas or re-canvassing?

    Second question has to do with the possibility of spot priming and touching up the chipped spots in order to test the boat this season and ruminate on the long range plan. For the most part the paint seems to have adhered fairly well, but the flexing of the boat in the pickup bed and peeling off the old registration numbers exposed some of the canvas.

    Really appreciate any and all advice or feedback people have. thanks in advance.
    Jim

    boat on grass.jpg chipped large area.jpg chipped area peeling paint.jpg chipped area with silver showing.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  2. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    The silver looks to be the traditional filler. It also looks like it's failing at that layer. I don't think the weave should be that prominent once filled.

    It looks like there was a quickie paint job applied to the boat. You can see it where the green was applied to what looks like older chips in the paint. Who knows what the prep was before it went on. Possibly even applied over paint that had a fair amount of wax on it. Regardless, If you want to enjoy it this summer with the understanding that you were going to replace the canvas pretty soon, I'd just slap another coat of paint on and see what happens. Don't go overboard trying to get everything smoothed out. It's kind of a lost cause at this point.
     
  3. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    The silver stuff looks like aircraft dope that Penn Yan used for filler. I don't have any experience painting it.
     
  4. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    It has been painted over the original color. The silver is aluminum in the final coat of airplane dope which was the filler used by PY. Sand and paint it. Use the boat. don't worry about the covering until it leaks substantially, or pulls so far away from the gunwales that the covering falls off. The covering on cartoppers was grade "A" aircraft cotton which was extremely lightweight. My attorney says that I should always tell people to WEAR THEIR LIFE JACKETS!
     
  5. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thanks everyone for the quick responses! I like the idea of sanding and painting and seeing what happens. I'll do some light scraping to get any other loose stuff off as well. I'll study the other threads as well, but thoughts on priming those spots? and paint recommendations would be helpful.

    The only other repair down the line is a divot in one of the planks, I'll attach a pic here. Clearly went all the way through the canvas whenever that happened, the hole in the canvas was then patched and painted over. Okay to leave that alone for the time being? should I fill the divot? attempt a patch to the plank?

    gouge in boat plank.jpg canvas patch.jpg
     
  6. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yes, that aircraft cotton and dope has that silver look . It's different when you pull it off , very thin. Total Fair or any fairing filler from Jamestown distributors to fill dents and holes after sanding. Then a couple of coats of Interlux brightside. It's easy to use. Use a 4 inch foam roller and tip it with a good brush. it will look great. As long as you like gloss, If you want semi gloss or satin get your paint from Kirby Paints
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  7. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    perfect, thanks David! will take photos when I get that far. I appreciate it.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    So now that I've had time to really study the Total Fair and other filling compounds' information, I'm thinking that applying the epoxy filler over the sanded, existing paint may not work. The Total Fair info specifically says not to apply over old paint. I don't know @David Satter if you've used it on old work? I know sometimes they just don't want to guarantee a product in circumstances where the product actually works well.

    I also studied the paint threads @Greg Nolan linked to, and I picked up some of the Bondo one part glazing putty to try in the short term. Specifically says it can be applied on paint, and if it goes well maybe I'll try to smooth the hull a bit with that before repainting.

    Also got in touch with TJ at Penn Yan Parts, someone mentioned him in another thread. He said the hull # of my boat was from 1950/51, not 1955-ish which was the seller's guess. He also carries paint in the Penn Yan original colors, in case we go that route color-wise. So slowly making progress with a game plan for the initial cosmetic cleanup.

    if anyone has any other thoughts or advice, I'm eager to hear it. thanks again.
    Jim
     
  9. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Planning on only a season or two of use? You have a sow’s ear there -- don’t waste your time and money trying to create a silk purse now, first, because you likely won’t succeed, and second, the attempt will be too much work, especially if you intend to replace the canvas in a year or two. It is very difficult to truly fair a hull in the condition yours is now in.

    I would not spend the money on Interlux Brightside or any other premium marine paint. Ordinary porch and deck paints will do the job quite nicely, at quite a bit less cost. Expensive marine paints well may hold up longer than ordinary paints, and provide a nice, shiny gloss, but their longevity is not needed for painting a canvas that will be removed in a year or two.

    Gloss paint will only exaggerate existing defects. Use a satin or low sheen paint over the old paint. The existing paint on your canoe is quite rough, and patches are difficult to fair enough to be invisible. I would simply scrape away the loose stuff, maybe do a small bit of fairing with a spot putty, sand all over, and brush on a coat or two of paint. And I would use a water-based paint, which will dry/cure faster than an oil paint, making touch up easier -- something that well may be desired if the old paint continues to chip away a bit. You can have a serviceable first coat of paint on after a morning’s work, with a second coat put on the same evening, which will look quite presentable from 10 feet away.

    If you are going to put in the work and money to create a silk purse, you might as well instead put a new canvas on right now and save yourself the excessive amount of work (sanding, scraping, filling, fairing) needed to produce a top-class finish on the existing rough canvas.

    My 2¢.

    Greg
     
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  10. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Jim I would only recommend total fair or fairing compounds on small areas that are scuffed up well , not to fair the whole boat. though it does stick well on old paint scuffed up well. But Greg is right if your only getting by for a season or two , putty and some good house paint can look great.
     
    JimT likes this.
  11. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    If that really is aluminum powder in the coating I wouldn't waste my time and money trying to paint over it with anything more than maybe a quick and dirty temporary paint job. Aluminum powders or flake compounds in resins and coatings tend to oxidize very quickly any place where the particles can get exposed to air (including from being sanded/scuffed). If you try to paint over this it's not unusual for the surface to be covered with tiny pinholes in your paint job because the paint would not stick to, or bridge over, the oxidation. If the boat will ever be wearing a really nice paint job it will most likely have to be recanvased first.
     
    JimT likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    okay, at the risk of pleasing some of the people some of the time but nobody all of the time :D . . . my current thinking is to try sanding the whole thing down, scrape away the chipping paint, etc., then prime/sand the entire hull (gonna try the basic Rustoleum marine primer from Home Depot). Spot fill the low spots and any glaring problem areas with the Bondo putty and reprime over that. (Having skim-coated the plaster walls throughout TWO Italianate Victorian houses over the past 30 years I figure skim-coating a 14 ft boat can't be much worse--even though I'm not really planning to skim/fair the entire hull.)

    Then topcoat with some original color paint from TJ Amato at Penn Yan Parts, he's been pretty helpful with advice as well. Maybe even include the red striping and side decals if the boat looks good (we'll see how it goes after the top coat goes on). Not looking for museum quality results, not expecting it either; but hopefully the boat will look nice from 20 feet away, and with any luck I'm hoping the paint job with slightly better paint will last another 4-5 years until we commit to re-canvassing and doing a complete overhaul.

    Planning also to scrape/sand the gunnels to clean the paint off of them and re-varnish them.

    I know most everyone here thinks it's a waste to spend much time fussing over the old paint, but my wife kind of likes the idea of painting the original colors, and since to do that I've got to prep the whole boat, figure I might as well see what kind of a surface I can get doing it this way.

    Still welcome any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions/modifications that folks might have. will post some pictures when we get started. And thanks again for all the comments so far!
    Jim
     
  13. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Jim, I think it's a good idea:) If you overthink it . It might never get done. go for it and have fun.
     
    JimT likes this.
  14. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thanks David. Got a start on the sanding this afternoon. I realize I won't be able to paint the boat in the pole barn because of the carpenter bees, going to have to reclaim my work shop back from my daughter's woodworking. :D

    boat in pole barn.jpg boat pole barn one third sanded.jpg boat pole barn half sanded.jpg
     
  15. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    a little more progress

    boat sanded.jpg boat sanded 2.jpg
     
  16. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    I think you should not have too much trouble getting a "20 foot" finish -- just keep your fingers crossed about future chipping/peeling. Having read the links I posted elsewhere, you know that I would encourage adding the red striping: I like playing with decorative paint, any in cases like your hull and my old yellow canoe, decoration draws the eye to itself and away from flaws in the finish.

    I look forward to pictures of the finished boat, and more, a report a year or three down the line about how the paint job stood up. We all have someting to learn from what you are doing.

    Greg.
     
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  17. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thanks for the encouragement, Greg. finished the sanding for the most part yesterday except for the transom which will take some hand sanding. Big goal today is to transfer the boat from the dirt-floored pole barn I've been working on to the wood-floored workshop across the street which should help a little to keep the dust down for painting. Need to do a bit more hand sanding of the gunnels and may try taking the paint off the stem band while leaving it in place, we'll see how that goes.

    transom angled.jpg
     
  18. OP
    OP
    JimT

    JimT Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I didn't think to ask earlier, but I did some searches here and elsewhere online, and I understand there's two options for refinishing the gunnels, oil or varnish. Do folks here have a strong opinion either way for a boat of this type? thanks.
     
  19. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Varnish is the only way to go on gunwales.
    Oil will turn black and be a constant maintenance issue.
     
    JimT likes this.
  20. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    It depends on the oil used. For nearly 30 years Mad River Canoe used Watco oil on the ash gunwales of their canoes. It does not turn black like plain linseed oils often do. It is, however, a fairly slow process to create a smooth and well sealed finish by frequently adding additional coats. It can take a couple of years and many coats to really get a good seal. Their claims stated that it was much easier to repair scratches or other damage (by just scuffing and re-oiling those spots) than it is to neatly fix chipped or flaking varnish. There is some truth to this. On the other hand, the gunwales often look rather raw and unfinished during the build-up time. For boat stuff which tends to get wet, which often raises the grain (again) I usually eventually get tired of the raw wood feel and varnish over attempted oiled finishes on paddles, gunwales, etc. It just seems to get the job done better and faster.
     
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