Painting, Roto-Molded Yak

Any luck, tips at Painting some kool graphics on a Roto-Molded Poly Yak ?

Surface Prep ?

Paint Types ?

No I don’t want the expense of decals…

probably nothing will stick
polyetheyne is a low surface energy plastic. Pretty much nothing sticks to it.

There are various witch’s brews of acids and other nasty things that can be used activate the surface for painting or bonding, but it’s really not a do-it-yourself project.

Have you heard that
the turtle only makes progress by sticking his neck out?

Why not just give it a try on a surface where it will not show if it goes wrong. I have had excellent success in sticking stickers and even adhesive backed vinyl to my Pungo 120. They have held up well for two seasons. All I did to prep the surface was to clean the area with alcohol.

In 1993, I spray-painted several
decorative flashes on the deck of a linear poly Perception Corsica. First I masked off the areas around those to be painted. Then I carefully sanded with 220 sandpaper. Then I cleaned carefully with alcohol, and re-checked the masking. Finally, I used Krylon spray paint, and I sprayed the flashes with light strokes, using about three layers for good coverage and to avoid thick, orange-peeled paint which might peel.

These decorative flashes have lasted just fine. They have not peeled or faded, and have resisted occasional paddle contact well. If I were doing this again, I might use Krylon’s new Fusion paint, which they claim adheres better to plastic. Or, I might not, because their regular spray paint stuck just fine.

Testors model paint
I painted shamrocks on the deck of my america 4 seasons ago and sprayed a clear coat over them. The boat (till mid way thru last season when I got the J racks)rode on padded racks deck side down and…the shamrocks are still there none the worse for wear.

Painting a kayak
I’ve had two kayaks painted. The first one a friend did, the second one I did.

Think of the type of design you want, then cover up the areas you don’t wanted painted. I recommend using contact paper, which can be bought for a few bucks at any Wal-Mart or wherever. You can trace on it, it’s easy to cut, then you peel it and it sticks to the kayak and removes without leaving any stickiness.

Then, after you have contact paper covering the areas you don’t want painted, now it’s time to do the painting. I highly recommend Rust-o-leum Painter’s Touch. It’s what I used on mine both times. It’s not runny and doesn’t dissolve in water. It will chip off if you scrap the bottom on a rock or something, but the bottom’s not important since it’s in the water and no one will see it.

Apply the spray paint, let it dry overnight (preferably on a low humidity day), then carefully peel off the contact paper and your design is left behind.

If you need to see some before and after photos, here are a few links to my Dagger Blackwater 11.5 that I painted:

Original Yellow Kayak


Finished Product