Color coat lap marks

patrick corry

LOVES Wooden Canoes
I'm restoring a Chestnut Chum of undetermined age. New canvas and subsequent Kirby's filler on 6-10-22, primed 7-24-22 with Kirby's gray primer (3 coats, with the third coat tinted slightly green with a bit of Kirby's #3 gray/green). Sanded carefully with 100 between the first two coats, with 150 after final primer coat.

First coat of color went on today (custom mix by Kirby's- my interpretation of Chestnut Gray; semi-gloss). I'm getting obvious lap marks on the color coat. Any suggestions for avoiding this in subsequent coats? I'm rolling with a 6" foam roller, and tipping with a 3" foam brush.

Thanks all! Pat


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Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
I am not familiar with their semi-gloss, so your mileage may vary, but I like a healthy dose (an once or so per quart, and keep an eye on the flow especially if it is really warm outside) of Penetrol in the mix.


I used a custom blended Kirby semi-gloss once. George was super helpful matching a paint sample from an old canvas. I never quite got the color I was after, but it was still a decent color.
Painting with it was an experience that was way beyond frustrating. Initially I was getting tiny bubbles as I rolled it. It was a real race to try and follow with a tipping brush. I thinned, rolled, tipped, swore, thinned some more, rolled, tip, swore a whole lot more. I called Kirby for help and they suggested thinning it even more. I absolutely fought to get a decent finish on the canoe. In the end, I abandoned the roller and applied it with a brush. That worked reasonably well and gave a finish that I was satisfied with. I've returned to using Epifanes as my go to paint.

Dan Lindberg

Ex Wood Hoarder
You didn't give details of your process, but, I'd shed the foam and use a good bristle brush for tipping. (I use foam with varnish on flat smooth surfaces.)
Also, be anal about keeping a wet edge, (this is for both a brush and roller) only put on 12 to 18 inch at a time, depending on how wet your edge is. If the edge is starting to take a set, you will have brush marks.

Also, there is a book on finishing boats by Rebecca Wittman (sp), it worth getting and studying.
patrick corry

patrick corry

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Thank you for comments so far.

Dan, your suggestion to work 12"-18"at a time may be the key. I was working in 3' sections although this worked out perfectly well for primer. None of my natural bristle brushes I tried were working well for tipping, so perhaps a trip to the paint store is in order. And, as Fitz suggested a brushing liquid may be called for.

MGC, I've used Kirby's semi before but it was perfect October painting conditions so maybe that influenced my result.... no bubbles and perfect flow.


LOVES Wooden Canoes
I've painted several with Kirby's semi-gloss. Thinning is necessary, and as per Fitz's recommendation, Penetrol is a must. I've found that adding more Penetrol as you go is necessary. When the brush starts to drag a little, add some more.

Dave Wermuth

Who hid my paddle?
Im finishing up with kirby blue semi.. the overlap . 4" foam roller and tip with 2" foam brush. The overlap was obvious for the early coats. I did not add thinner. It only happens the first few coats. Once enought paint was on it was good.
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David Satter

Wooden Canoe Maniac
Just finished a 1940s Peterbourough. Kirby's 324 red semi gloss. Yes I add a good dose of his conditioner. I bet 5
IMG_1021.JPG oz. or more to a quart. 4 inch foam roller and tip with a good brush, and yes only about 12 to 18 inches at a time.
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David Satter

Wooden Canoe Maniac
IMG_1041.JPG It was Red week. So it's next to a 1939 Old Town HW Epifanes 16 IMG_1046.JPG red about the same as Brightside Fire red. With a black hairline stripe.
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David Satter

Wooden Canoe Maniac
I also did a rowboat with Kirby semi gloss last month. I really liked it. I did only use a brush for that. lapstrake. I have had some difficulties with Kirby paint. But lately it's been working out pretty well. I'm thinking it's because I'm adding a lot of his conditioner. also, you need to move along pretty quickly as you paint.


Todd Bradshaw

In general, it seems to me that a lot of folks who are trying to roll and tip are putting too much paint on per coat and instead of then tipping, they are brushing it out. The original roll and tip technique was to use a very fine-grained, thin foam roller and really spread the paint out in the thinnest layer possible. The roller leaves lots of small bubbles when you do this. By not rolling too fast, you can reduce the number of them, which then immediately get tipped out - and I really mean tipped. You use very light strokes with just the tip of the bristles and all you are doing is removing the bubbles - not moving paint around. I always use cheap bristle "chip" brushes for this, after combing them a bit to remove any loose bristles. I tip epoxy resin with foam "brushes" cut from pieces of foam rollers, hot-glued to sticks, but tip with real brushes on paint. If you put the paint on thin enough, the first coat should look rather splotchy and pretty awful because it is so thin. If it doesn't, then there is a really good chance that you applied too much paint.

Between coats, I rub it down with green Scotchbrite pads, which seem to conform to the shapes involved better than sandpaper and plug up a lot less. Second or third coats made equally thin will start to look drastically better and you can start to approach that "so smooth that it looks sprayed" look, but if you are applying so much paint that you are doing more than just bubble removal with the tipping process, then you might as well just brush-paint the boat from the start.

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Dave Osborn

I roll and tip with a 4” foam roller and 4” foam brush. This subject has been discussed in several other posts. I find that Kirby paint does not flow as well as other marine paints. Penetrol will help with that, however I once used Epifanes Clear Gloss Varnish as an additive to Kirby paint when I ran out of Penetrol.
Most will agree that nothing flows as well as Epifanes, so I now add that to Kirby paint to help eliminate brush marks and brush hopping.