New (used) Chestnut Canoe: Paint Recommendation?


New Member
Yesterday I picked up a 17' wood/canvas Chestnut canoe (a birthday gift from the in-laws). It is a thing of beauty, and seems to be in pretty good shape. The ribs/planking all looks solid, and the canvas looks good (no rips or tears). The only real problem I can see is that the paint (a lightish green color, maybe original since there are Chestnut decals on both sides) is cracking and peeling in a number of places. The filler/canvas underneath looks OK, so I am thinking I just need to sand it down and put a fresh coat of paint or 2 on. I'm wondering what kind of paint to use. Any recommendations as to type of paint and brand? I'd appreciate any feedback. Also, will it damage the canoe to go out on a few short trips (couple hours) before I repaint? The chips are on the sides and bottom, and the filler is exposed under it.
Thanks for any input you all have. I'm looking forward to spending some quality time on the water in my new canoe. I was going to post a question about age/model, but I left all the measurements/serial number info at home, so maybe next week...

Waterbury, Vermont


I'll offer 2 cents worth here. I'm finishing up painting a 17 ft Chestnut right now. If the cracking doesn't go into the filler you are probably right and can give the canoe a good sanding and repainting. Use a good Marine enamel like interlux brightsides or Kirby's is popular. Mr. Kirby might be able to match the color on your canoe if you send him a chip. Google "Kirby paint" and I bet you'll find him, otherwise he's in New Bedford, MA. If the cracking extends into the filler you can probably repaint and get a season or so out of it before thinking about recanvassing. You can probably go for a paddle and try it out and look for leaks, without hurting anything.

Hey, wait a second here.....where do you get in-laws nice enough to give you a canoe???!!! :cool:

Have Fun!