Paint Finish Problem

Tim C

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I am very close to completing my first restoration project on a 1905 B.N.Morris. My problem is in the finish in the final (at least I thought it was going to be my final) coat of paint. It is the fourth coat and the bristle marks are very evident throughout the entire length of the canoe. I am using Kirby's Marine Enamel paint that was thinned with a small amount of Kirby's conditioner. I am using a good quality bristle brush. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I had a similar problem after 2 coats of straight paint. I used Penetrol on the 2 next coats to help level out the paint. After 4 coats and a fair bit of sanding it looks like I may get away with 5 coats for a reasonably level surface. Or maybe 6.

I diluted about 3 parts paint for 1 part Penetrol. Assuming Kirby's conditioner is a similar product, maybe you should use more ?

Hope this helps,


I just finished painting my 1915 Kennebec. I used 4 coats of Kirby's as well. At first, I rolled it on w/a foam-type roller, then tried to smooth the tiny air bubbles w/ a china bristle brush. I had the same problem of seeing brush strokes. The next 2 coats I tried just the roller, and it worked great (at least it looked good to me!) The bubbles went away on their own. Although it's not show-boat quality, it looks pretty darned good, and I've gotten some compliments. Kirby's paint bleeds/blends together pretty well. Definately do some light sanding (about 220 grit) in between coats.
don't forget

there is a really good three part article in the journal on painting/varnishing. The Roxinator has been studying, underlining and highlighting; and is taking over the paint/varnish operations. Very good article.