How are canoes painted?

Has anyone ever repainted their canoes? are boat colors normally added to the gelcoats? or are the boats actually painted with some kinda marine/polyurethane based paint?

Submitted by jf808 on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:43pm

The guy that built your canoe would know for certain. I would try Email the company first.There is several ways to paint or gel coat canoes. gel coat is thicker and chunky, and paint is thin and flakier and there's epoxy but I'm not to sure about that.Piece

#1 Thu, 02/23/2012 - 8:11am

Boats from molds are often gelcoated (coloured polyester resins) and they take their shine from the mold ,its a decent amount of thickness/weight that is added and the surface is tough , If you want to refinish a boat 2 part polyurethane paint is a better option , the paint is thinner and lighter but more toxic usually  it is very labor intensive to fair/sand and paint canoes so its ofen only done in Asia.

#2 Tue, 02/28/2012 - 3:32am

I repainted a waveblade once. I spent a really long time sanding all the original gel coat off and sanded a bunch of holes into the canoe. This wasn't all bad though because it taught me how to repair and do nice glass patches. I ended up putting a priming layer of light grey gel coat over that. This however was a mistake because my patches were epoxy and the gel coat didn't bond in some places because of the amine blush (waxy stuff). So I sanded the whole thing again but didn't sand through the priming coat. I also re-primed the parts where the amine blush gave me trouble. I learned to wash those epoxy patches with soapy water and doing a really good job of sanding to get rid of blush problems. After the priming was finished I made sure the whole thing was sanded with 150 grit then sprayed ama and all with gel coat. I didn't wet sand or polish the gel coat and it had a great finish although maybe not to smooth. It was my first OC-1 so I didn't care. I just wanted to go paddle it and be proud of my work. On a side note there are many different ways to bond polyester based coatings to epoxy surfaces. One way is to mist a layer of gelcoat mixed with Duratec high gloss additive (careful on the mixing ratio) before applying gelcoat. Also keep in mid that gelcoat will not cure in the presence of oxygen so you can seal it with PVA or you can mix in a parafin wax surfacing agent.

Good Luck!

#3 Tue, 02/28/2012 - 9:00am

I too have my first OC1, it's a older tiger makia that has seen better days. No real major repairs needed, hairline cosemetic cracks in the gel coat probably from the paddle hitting the boat on the catch and recovery. was going to fix all that but also wanted to repaint the deck. (the boat is all white) and was curious as to what people use to repaint/refinish. refinishing with a new gelcoat is not viable. Was planning on taking down some of the gel coat through sanding, and refinishing with a two part poly urethane paint as this is what rambo did with his hurricane, or a one part polyurethane for cost reasons because this is my first boat, i'll probably be banging this thing up. The canoe also has a miss matched ama, that I would like to repaint to match the rest of the canoe.

sanding the paintable surface, is it necessary to take the existing gelcoat down to the matting/fibers?

what type of primer is best to use for repainting canoes?

#4 Wed, 02/29/2012 - 7:22am

no , you only need to wetsand it dull , it needs enough to make small scratches the paint can grip on ie 400 or 600 If you are going to use a primer (more weight and sanding) get one recommended for the paint you are going to use , you should be able to get away with 500g or so of paint, i think the current gelcoat sanded will suffice without primer needed . 2 pack paint is the toughest you can use compared to single part types ,it needs to go on THIN so it does not RUN .

ps those hairline cracks may be where the laminate has flexed and covering them with paint will only temporarily hide them probably .

#5 Thu, 03/01/2012 - 2:02am

I'm not too worried really, as this was an older boat and I realize gel coats back then were layed on way to thick and had the tendency to crack, along with other reasons. This is a starter boat for me, and so I dont plan on putting too much money into the repairs, otherwise I could have just bought a brand new boat. 2pack is the best, but its also costly and difficult to spray. I can spray paint, no problems. However I dont have experience with 2 pack, and dont want to waste the paint learning. single stage polyurethane is the next best thing and more cost effective for this project. seeing as I got this boat for a super good price, i probably plan on selling this boat to another 1st timer for a super good price when i'm ready to upgrade

#6 Thu, 03/01/2012 - 10:33pm

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