nice color combinations....

chris pearson

Michigan Canoe Nut
Hi guys, anyone have some pics they can post of canoes that you would consider having a nice color, colors, or paint schemes? Looking for ideas.



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How does one go about producing one of those more intricate designs? It seems many adorn canoes of the "charles river" type (i.e. long recurved stems etc.). Something like "design E" in the above thumbnail.
dumbquestionsguy said:
How does one go about producing one of those more intricate designs? It seems many adorn canoes of the "charles river" type (i.e. long recurved stems etc.). Something like "design E" in the above thumbnail.

I am starting an Old Town design number four on a sponson canoe and my plan is to use a stencils to help get the triangles consistently sized and spaced. One stencil will have two big trianlges and one small one in between to pencil in the bulk of the design along the rails. Then there will be a lot of taping and painting to finish it.

Many of the older designs were probably done free hand by people with better skills and a much more steady hand than I possess. George Robinson ran the wood shop at the Old Town Canoe Company for many years and was an amazing painter. He said that in his younger days he could paint a pin stripe along an entire canoe by just extending his little finger to use as a guide along the outside rail.

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Really, that's it? Be good at free handing it? Well, crap. Hoping there was some kind of trick. In that case, I'm straight up s.o.l. Ha!

If you have several good-sized car dealerships in your area, you probably can find someone who paints pinstripes by hand. They will typically use masking tape as a straightedge and work freehand from there. Most can also do monograms, signal flags, etc, and probably a good deal more if asked. Very capable people. Just call a car dealer for a recommendation.

Good luck!
dcp740i said:
you probably can find someone who paints pinstripes by hand

Another option is to contact you local fire department and see who paints the names on their vehicles. This will usually get you a recommendation to one of the best free hand sign painters in the area who usually also has experience with gold leaf. This can be helpful if you want some really fancy designs on your canoe. (Most ordinary gold paint has enough copper to turn green if you use it in the ocean. Don't ask me how I learned this.)

You might try these. I plan for a full day to lay out and tape off for the O.T. design.
the other canoe is just a dark blue but the reflection of leaves amost made the hull disappear!
I'll try again on poating the pictures!


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I bought my bronze stripes as a roll of adhesive vinyl tape special ordered from a car detailing place in town here called Final Finish. Made easy work of it. Looks incredibly great. My canoe isn't fabulously historic or anything so who cares if it isn't painted, just a restored wreck but it makes a 400 dollar wreck look like a 4000 dream!
Hi Rollin; Always a pleasure to see your work. We should be coming down soon to re-up on some supplies. I would take the ride down tomorrow just to see those two if you still had them. Stopped by Ray Reitzes place yesterday in Caanan for a drum awakening and saw a form he made from a homemade canoe he got in Vermont. Cut the original every 12" and made templates and then made a replica form and is building them...Quite a gentleman!
Custom stripes

I had the pin stripe on my canoe added by a motorcycle chopper shop. They also do the local firetrucks in addition to motorcycles. My canoe was the first one that they had "pimped." He had it done so fast it wasn't even worth me trying to do it myself. Good luck.

Jim C.

I'm thinking about painting my next canoe black. OK, so..... it's probably not the best color for a canoe sitting on a car on a hot summer day, and dark colors show off more of the "less than perfect" areas of the hull. So, what are others thoughts? Classy color? Easier or harder to care for? What else?
Here’s another black beauty… coincidentally, a 1916 Otca in AA grade. The old black and red “Varekai” has traveled a large part of the U.S. and despite being seen alongside a few other somewhat interesting canoes (second photo at rear), Varekai has been wildly popular with folks wherever she goes. And that black cuts through the water like a knife, and through the night like a ghost!



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The Old Town design with lucky number 13 was a basicly black design that was popular in the 1920s as shown in the catalog image below. The design numbers 3, 21, 27 (from 1929), 36, and 49 as shown at were also primarily black. My suggestion is always to paint your canoe a color you like so go for it!



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