Clear Coat?


Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
In Memoriam
It looks like my younger brother and his family will inherit the 1943 Guide that I did over for Dad a few years back. My younger brother is, shall we say, "detail oriented". His truck is black and always detailed, shiny, and immaculately clean. Don't even think about putting a fingerprint on it!

Anyway, he wants to repaint the canoe with the goal of getting as shiny a black paint job as possible to match the highly detailed glossy black truck. He is a spray painter, or has the means to spray paint, and is thinking about the possibility of a clear coat over the black paint job.

I think it has been mentioned before on the forum that automotive paints and clear coats may not be flexible enough for a canoe. Yes - No?

Does anyone have any experience with clear coat and getting that glossy look he is after..What might we try?

(Personally, I keep trying to suggest that it ain't a piano, just paint it with some marine gloss and paddle it).

Oh yah, then there is the gold leaf stripe he wants to try....:rolleyes:
Maybe he can just let the enamel dry for a couple of months and then buff it out with various products like polishing compound and 3M's "Finess-it", and then a paste wax. Old cars were painted with alkyd paints and polished up nicely.

I know it works on spar varnish, never tried it on paint.
Good thing the truck isn't something wild like candy apple red metalflake......

First, make sure that the canoe is wet-sanded absolutely smooth using a sanding block. No canvas weave texture should remain anywhere on the hull. Then spray the black base coat in several thin layers. Sand that by hand until it's also absolutely smooth. Take it up to the 320 wet range. Next spray the clear-coat. Depending on what you use, it might take anywhere from as few as three to as many as 20 coats. Let that harden and shrink down for seven to ten days. Then start sanding by hand at about 320 grit (wet) followed by 400, 600, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000. You can continue if you don't own a good buffer all the way up to 12,000 grit. If you do own a good buffer, you can probably stop sanding in the 3500-4000 range and buff it out using something like 3M Finesse-it, folowed by several coats of wax (one of the best is "Zymol" - blue bottle $12 at Target auto dept.). You will have a breathtaking gloss black finish.

At least you will for a while, because you will have put all this time and effort into a coating that sits on a base that for all practical purposes is not stable enough to support it. Chances are very good that it will be cracking within a year from going through temperature and humidity changes and I don't believe there is anything you can do to stop this other than remove the canvas and replace it with fiberglass.

In reality, I think the best approach is to let the truck be a truck and the canoe be a canoe. Paint the canoe black using enamel. Let it harden up for a couple weeks and then go back in with a little very fine wetsanding paper and buffing compound and end up with a very good paint job on a wooden canoe.

Option #3 would be to re-canvas the truck so that it matches the canoe.:D
Isn't there some "voodoo thing" concerning black boats as a sure sail to the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle??

I think I'd question the black boat idea, especially if you like your brother;)

And let him know that if he doesn't like the result, in a few years he can replace the canvas and try again.

I think it's OK as long as you can prove that you're some sort of pirate.
"Away to the cheating world go you. Where pirates all are well to do, but I'll be true to the song that I sing and live and die a pirate king. For I am a pirate king! He is, hurrah for the pirate king etc. etc. etc."