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Thread: How to paint a boat

  1. #1
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    Default How to paint a boat

    I friend asked to me to put this up for him because he doesn't have an account here yet.

    RC Fiberglass boat painting tutorial

    Intro
    I

    Do you have a remote controlled boat that you would like to paint? Well, you found the perfect tutorial. In this article I will show you step-by-step tutorial on how I paint my R/C boats. I am not a professional painter, just a hobbyist.

    Process
    II

    First, you need to know the procedure. It's actually pretty simple process, the hard part is perfecting it... Think of it as a formula. The formula is SP3. Simple right? Now we need to know what is really stands for... Here it is:

    Sand, Primer, Sand, Paint, Sand, Protect

    Now that you know the formula you can change it around to fit your needs, Like I did:

    Sand, Primer, Sand, Paint, Sand, Decals, Sparkles, Clear Coat

    The clear coat acts as protection that's why in the first original formula I wrote "Protect"

    Supplies
    III

    Second, you will need supplies... I will list out the supplies I use, but this does not mean you necessarily have to use what I use.
    Here's my list:
    Primer
    Paint (red)
    Sparkle Effex
    Lacquer
    Sand Paper (200, 400, 800, 1000 grits)

    Procedure
    IV

    Now that we've got the basics down it's time to get it going. Here's the procedure:
    1. Sand your boat with 200 grit sand paper
    2. Apply the primer (I use spray)
    3. Sand the primer with 400 grit sand paper
    4. Apply about five light coats of paint and the sixth should be the final heavier coat of paint
    5. Sand with 800 grit sand paper
    Note: Steps 6-7 are optional
    6. Apply on your vinyl decals
    7. Apply on your Sparkle Effex
    8. Use about 2 cans of clear coat (lacquer) on your hull for protection

    Your Done!
    Last edited by dddmx3; 01-28-2011 at 07:37 PM.
    After all is said and done, more is said than done.

  2. #2
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    How about an example of your work?
    Very well written. I' ve seen and have committed some pretty bad paint mistakes in the past.
    My last effort was BBY O.M. 26 painted with Krylon Fusion yellow. Did exactly as you. A little scuffing on ABS with 400 or 600 wet/dry helps too. I leveled the paint and used Fusion clear over top. Leveled and polished with auto clear coat polish and WOW! I didn't think it would come out this well.
    Just goes to show what a little time and effort can accomplish.

  3. #3
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    View my albums, I used my own painting guide for my own boats!
    After all is said and done, more is said than done.

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    Just wondering can you use createx waterbase paint and clear over it ?
    This is for FG hull that will be electric. Thanks

  5. #5
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    Sure you can...you almost have to to get a nice gloss.

    I use a gun...so much better finish to begin with.

  6. #6
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    You know, I think you'll be fine as long as you put enough clear coats on...

    But I'm not sure!
    After all is said and done, more is said than done.

  7. #7
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    Createx was made for textiles ... Autoair, Faskolor, or Wicked Colors would be a better choice.

    Just my .02

    Edit: Water based paints need to be heat set with a hair dryer or heat gun (careful with the heat gun).
    IMPBA 20481S D-12

  8. #8
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    Thanks for answering the question!
    After all is said and done, more is said than done.

  9. #9
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    If the clearcoat over the water based paint gets chipped, then the water base will probably start coming off. I wouldn't recommend using it.
    Mini Cat Racing USA
    www.minicatracingusa.com

  10. #10
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    screw primer i dont use it on boats unless its really rough. i spray waterbourne ppg paint and urethane clear. waterbase paint uses air to dry, NOT heat. simple air flow will dry it whether or not you use heat, a common misconception. most people prime everything.... when in fact some primers dont adhere well to certain substances, and actually become a weak point for the paint to fail. jmo but i paint 3 to 4 cars a day for the last 5 years.... ive screwed up more paint than all of you lol, and pushed the limits of what certain paints will do, what works and what doesnt. i find that if the finish on the boat is smooth.. no matter what it is, its best to just sand and go straight to paint. the more products you slap on there the more things to go wrong. K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid!
    Last edited by dana; 01-29-2011 at 10:29 AM.

  11. #11
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    Hmmm, I always thought primer gave the paint a better sub base for the finish coat to adhere to? No?
    Mini Cat Racing USA
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailr View Post
    Hmmm, I always thought primer gave the paint a better sub base for the finish coat to adhere to? No?
    not really. especially those spraycan primers... they're garbage, and dont always stick well to everything. primer is over-rated

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all of your imput, I will take all of this info and put it to good use. thanks again.

  14. #14
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    I used Krylon Fusion directly over the ABS hull of my BBY O.S. 26 without any problems. sanded it down with 400 and 600 wet/dry and then clear coated it. After the clear coat dried I wet sanded it and then used auto clear coat polish. Came out better than I expected.

  15. #15
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    I vote for Krylon Fusion as well. Quick and easy as long as you're not looking for a showroom finish. They have a decent color selection.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwells View Post
    I vote for Krylon Fusion as well. Quick and easy as long as you're not looking for a showroom finish. They have a decent color selection.
    I agree, but you will get a pleasing finish if a little time and effort is spent. I treated it as if I were using a more expensive paint. The results can be as good or as bad depending as to how much effort is put into the job. After all, using high quality paint does not guarantee perfect results either.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dana View Post
    screw primer i dont use it on boats unless its really rough. i spray waterbourne ppg paint and urethane clear. waterbase paint uses air to dry, NOT heat. simple air flow will dry it whether or not you use heat, a common misconception. most people prime everything.... when in fact some primers dont adhere well to certain substances, and actually become a weak point for the paint to fail. jmo but i paint 3 to 4 cars a day for the last 5 years.... ive screwed up more paint than all of you lol, and pushed the limits of what certain paints will do, what works and what doesnt. i find that if the finish on the boat is smooth.. no matter what it is, its best to just sand and go straight to paint. the more products you slap on there the more things to go wrong. K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid!
    I have to agree with you some times. It all depends on the brand of the paint. I have been painting since 1964 my first paint Job at 16 years old was a D9 tractor. Paints have changed over the years. With Dupont and HOC paints primer is not needed, with Dupla Color Paint Shop I would not do it with out. I rarely use rattle can paint so I am no expert with it and try to refer to others on that. I do paint about 1 or 2 boats a month.
    Randy
    For ABS, Fiberglass, Carbon hulls and Stainless hardware
    BBY Racing

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyatBBY View Post
    I have to agree with you some times. It all depends on the brand of the paint. I have been painting since 1964 my first paint Job at 16 years old was a D9 tractor. Paints have changed over the years. With Dupont and HOC paints primer is not needed, with Dupla Color Paint Shop I would not do it with out. I rarely use rattle can paint so I am no expert with it and try to refer to others on that. I do paint about 1 or 2 boats a month.
    How about an Oval master painted in John Deere green and yellow?
    I remember some of those old tractors that have gone by the wayside. I used to watch a farm show on Dish Network and every once in a while they would feature and antique tractor show. Talk about some real beasts!

  19. #19
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    I thought Dana was full of it but I went to buy some automotive paint from sherwin williams and talked to the guy he said nope not unless I am covering a glazing putty or bondo type filler. I am going to give it a go and see what happens.

  20. #20
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    I agree on that. Something else to add, when finish sanding I wash the boat well let dry-clean with aceton or alcohol then paint .When washing-cleaning the boat I do not touch the surface with bare fingers.
    Also the surface must have a uniform color before spraying the final color.
    Twin Cat 135, Sprintcat40 (single-twin), DF 35", Maritimo, Mean Machine, SV 27
    http://www.rcfastboats.com/

  21. #21
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    Absolutely. Any contaminate can only cause grief . I have had problems in the past with fisheyes appearing after applying the paint. That is a real PITA to get rid of. A lot easier to prevent them by solvent cleaning than having to sand the area to get rid of the fisheye. I mostly use denatured alcohol. I know some people like to use rubbing alcohol but that stuff contains water and other additives.
    The reason I use alky is because I was painting an ABS boat hull. Acetone and plastic do not get along with each other very well.

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    I read somewhere, I think it was in the now defunct RCMB magazine - that when working with rattle cans if you heat the cans the pressure in the can is raised and you get a finer spray!

    Now don't go and get a blow torch -- hair dryer, hot water, hot radiator the can shouldn't be to hot to handle!

    I have done this & it seems to work - the paint is sprayed out faster for sure! Put then I am an old fart with glasses and hearing aids!
    We did it with a Bang!

    Cats Are Where It's At!

  23. #23
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    I do this too. It also helps the paint to flow out better for a smoother finish. Dries a little faster too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISAR View Post
    do not touch the surface with bare fingers.
    before spraying the final color.

    This has messed me up a few times...
    Easier said than done....

    Harry

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    Put gloves on

  26. #26
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    put gloves on,get a tack cloth,or some wax remover or degreaser from a paint store. Like stated above,primer is for covering body work and bare metals(etching primer).Just get some red or gray scotchbright to scuff the surface,and you should be good.You could wet sand in between paint and clear if you want,or just nib sand after the clear.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eodman View Post
    I read somewhere, I think it was in the now defunct RCMB magazine - that when working with rattle cans if you heat the cans the pressure in the can is raised and you get a finer spray!

    Now don't go and get a blow torch -- hair dryer, hot water, hot radiator the can shouldn't be to hot to handle!

    I have done this & it seems to work - the paint is sprayed out faster for sure! Put then I am an old fart with glasses and hearing aids!
    great tip that I use all the time
    Jesus is King .......NAMBA20...Caterpillar UL-1, P-Spec OM29, P-Mono DF33, P-Spec JAE, Aussie 33" Hydro-LSH, Sprintcat CC2028 on 8s, PT SS45 Q Hydro, PS295 UL-1 power, OSE Brothers Outlaw QMono 4-sale, Rio 51z CC2028 on 8s

  28. #28
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    Actually when painting a gelcoated hull theres no need to use any primer,just sand the gelcoat with a very fine grade paper.Gelcoat is actually better than any primer so if the hull is sound and has a good surface finish simply scuff lightly just enough to dull the surface and paint.
    Mart

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by martno1fan View Post
    Actually when painting a gelcoated hull theres no need to use any primer,just sand the gelcoat with a very fine grade paper.Gelcoat is actually better than any primer so if the hull is sound and has a good surface finish simply scuff lightly just enough to dull the surface and paint.
    Mart
    Mart, that's good stuff to know!
    Jesus is King .......NAMBA20...Caterpillar UL-1, P-Spec OM29, P-Mono DF33, P-Spec JAE, Aussie 33" Hydro-LSH, Sprintcat CC2028 on 8s, PT SS45 Q Hydro, PS295 UL-1 power, OSE Brothers Outlaw QMono 4-sale, Rio 51z CC2028 on 8s

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eodman View Post
    I read somewhere, I think it was in the now defunct RCMB magazine - that when working with rattle cans if you heat the cans the pressure in the can is raised and you get a finer spray!

    Now don't go and get a blow torch -- hair dryer, hot water, hot radiator the can shouldn't be to hot to handle!

    I have done this & it seems to work - the paint is sprayed out faster for sure! Put then I am an old fart with glasses and hearing aids!
    This is true. We car guys do this trick to pint our clear bodies.

    Thank you all for your tips. You have got me through painting my first "free" hull. So far so good. Next is the clear coat.
    Last edited by SweetAccord; 03-29-2011 at 08:10 PM.

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