Finish Coatings: for the builders...

I need to do some finish coating on the deck of my boat.

I tested a one-part polyurathanes paint, and I did not like the results. After several days, it does not hold properly, and I might take out with my fingernails. Maybe due to luck of compatibility with West System Epoxy.

I may use gelcoat (which I have used in the past with nice result), but a lot of poeple (in this forum) prefer paint to gelcoat, so I may follow the advice of someone that knows more than me in this matter, also the gelcoat won’t give me a finish as glosy as I am looking for.

Because I only need to paint less than 5 or 6 square feet, I don’t like the idea of paying $70 for a can of two-part linear polyurathane which I won’t use again. However, I hate the most an sloppy job!!!

What would you use?

Thanks in Advance,


Try asking over here…

Good Luck…

Try Interlux Britesides
It’s more or less the standard for use on home-built kayaks. It’s easy to apply with the “roll and tip” method and produces a nice, smooth finish.

I do a fair amount of gelcoat repair, but I would never use it as a substitute for paint, as it doesn’t self level and therefore requires lots of sanding. It CAN produce an incredible glass-like gloss, but it takes lots of sanding, buffing and polishing to get there.

Amine Blush
West System can blush pretty hard depending on the type used and how humid it is by you.

Amine blush is a wax-like film that can form on the surface of cured epoxy. If it happens, not much will stick to it.

To avoid it, use slow curing resins or cover the cured epoxy within 24 hours with paint or varnish. These steps are not always practical.

To remove it, a light sanding over the enitre surface usually does the trick for me. Some builders will scrub it with a brush, soap, and water.

I recommend the scrubbing…
in fact, I also quick wipe with a lint free acetone cloth. Sanding may leave small amounts of amine on the surface.

Interlux Britesides & Amine Blush

– Last Updated: Aug-24-05 6:32 PM EST –

I used Interlux Britesides (one-part polyurathane)when I tested it, and it didn't work. Thanks, I tested on a pice of material I cut to put a hatch.

In reality, I did not sand/wash the epoxy and/or pay much attention to the amine blush, so I should test it again. However, I did not expect the paint was going to come out sooo easily.

Anyway, now, I am kind of afraid of using it on the boat becuase WestSystem tells that this might happen.

By the way, I am using 207 hardener, which supposedly, produces the least amine blush and, it is more compatible with one-part polyurathane


PS: Grayhawk thanks for the link, I'll check it out

I 3rd the “scrub”

On top I think you can get away with
water-based PU. I did a whole boat in it - had to buff a lot.

Iceman, even if you or the overnight
moisture took off the blush, any paint will come right off it it does not have a good surface to ‘key’ into … did you lightly sand or scuff the epoxy first ??? A smooth, cured, prepped epoxy surface is just about the ultimate primer for topcoating with paints … gelcoat is a different story … call me if you want.

another vote for Brightsides
I’ve used Interlux Brightsides over epoxy with excellent results more than once. As others have mentioned, it’s really important to sand first to give it something to hold onto. Not just a scuff, but sand. Then a thin coat, wait recommended drying time, sand again, another thin coat, etc. I think 3 coats would do it up on the deck.

Thanks for the inputs to you and all
I think as so many fellows has already said surface preparation is the key!

Always, before coating with epoxy, I wash, wet-sand, wash, and wipe with a bit of thinner, doing so, I have had good result. I did not follow the same procedure while I was trying the paint.

As I have seen, there is good quorum to use Brighside polyrethane, so I’ll try it again after a pretty good surface preparation.

Pat, hope everything is going to be all right if it doesn’t, I’ll be calling you :smiley: :smiley:

By the way, I saw the wing paddle you made for Hex. Amazing Work. The lightest paddle I have ever seem!!!



Iceman , you might think about

– Last Updated: Aug-26-05 4:11 AM EST –

wetsanding, checking the area for sufficient sanding, then once you get everything you the way you like it ( no shine or glossy patches anywhere from any angle viewed) just wetsand lightly thinking you are now washing off all the sanding scum. Next use a ton of water and simply go over every square inch with the hose and your hand. Flush the entire surface feeling for any grit or imperfections.

Keep the whole surface continually wet until you are down with the hand part .... then one last flush .... NOT spray ..... let water flow smoothly over entire surface. Let water run off and make one or two MAX passes over the surface with a new ( update part; washed one time) 100% cotton white t-shirt. No towels or rags. Put the t-shirt on one end .... walk bow to stern then bow to stern again ..... thats it.

Let dry completely.
Forget about the solvent wipe, tack rag etc.... this will only mess up you nice prep work on several levels.

Next step toward perfection is not to be found in books or generic prep charts from paint manufacturers.... probably because it is too hard but I am not giving away an age old trade secret to just anyone with a computer.

You DO wipe it one more time though.

Then just paint away from there.

don’t care for Brightsides
I normally find myself going against the crowd, so I may as well continue the trend. I’ve only used Brightsides once, and doubt I’ll use it again. The finish was superb, but chips and scratches quite easily. I’ve also used Toplac, but it isn’t any tougher than Brightsides, and in fact may be less so. I don’t know what I would recommend since I haven’t found anything I’m happy with yet. I’m going with gelcoat on my current project boat, then may try a two-part paint after that.

any paint
I think any paint is going to be chipping and scratching a lot compared to any gelcoat. So I agree with you, c2g. But then again, the guy wanted to use paint.

it takes a couple weeks
for Brightsides to cure well,in a couple days it’s still soft.