Want to paint Royalux hull red and apply some type of abrasive protection to bottom. Have access to painting shop (Auto Body Students at a Technical College) Need paint and etc. info…
consider spray paints
If you are going for a really nice cosmetic finish marine polyurethane paints will probably be slightly more durable but any spray paint will work.
Some paints are claimed by their manufacturers to be specially formulated to bond better to plastics (such as the vinyl of Royalex). One such is Krylon Fusion. I believe that the Fusion formulation bonds to Royalex a little better than their other paints, but others don't think so.
Daggermat has had trouble with the red Krylon Fusion spray paint clogging before the can was empty. I have used it, and not had that problem, but I have never sprayed on an entire can at once and frequently shake the cans during use, and always invert the can and spray to clear the nozzle after use.
Be aware that any paint, even 2 part marine polyurethanes such as Interlux Perfection, are subject to scratching. If I was in your position I would consider painting the hull above the waterline with a one part marine polyurethane like Interlux Brightsides. This is easily applied with a foam roller and "tipped out" with a disposable foam brush and gives a very nice finish that looks as if it was sprayed on.
Since the hull bottom will inevitably get scratched, I would paint the bottom with a readily available spray paint like Krylon Fusion. A light color would probably look nice. Put the boat on a perfectly flat surface and cut a stick 4" in length to use to go around the perimeter of the hull and mark a 4" waterline. Mask that off and spray it. You would probably need a couple of cans for the bottom.
When the bottom becomes scratched up more than you would like, it is a very simple matter to mask off the hull at the waterline and respray the bottom.
Be aware that painting will add a few pounds to the boat.
I think your goal may not be appropriate
If you use a canoe, you will scratch the surface. For a Royalex boat, that means you will scratch the vinyl top layer.
So what? That’s why the vinyl layer is there. You want to put a possibly less durable top layer over the vinyl, like auto paint? Why?
I don’t see why this is relevant. Paddling is relevant. Protecting the boat against ordinary abrasion is not relevant, not unless or until you wear through the vinyl and expose the ABS structural layer to sunlight, which over time can damage it.
My Mad River Synergy, a ww tandem that I paddle solo, was bought around 1998. I have used in on rivers all over the lower 48 states. It has been my main paddle craft as I extended the number of states in which I have paddled to about 41.
Of course there has been a lot of scratching of the vinyl topcoat. There have been a few dents. So what?
About four years ago, the vinyl topcoat wore through in a few spots. This happened right under my solo pedestal position. At first, I just spray painted over the damage, to protect the ABS. Not that any sun damage was going to happen quickly.
No paint I could applied would have made a difference for long. Paint is not hard enough, and is not thick enough. Eventually, I removed the vinyl from the damaged area (using a low angle chisel, NOT by sanding) and then I put on a two layer S-glass patch using epoxy resin. That patch has resisted all damage since then.
S-glass is the hardest boat cloth that can be used for such purposes, and E glass is the next hardest.
Paddle the boat, and don’t have fantasies about protecting the surface from abrasion. Most such damage is not worth worrying about, and when it becomes consequential, you’ll need some boat cloth and epoxy for a functional repair.
yes to all the above
I use krylon Fusion to cover wear spots, and as a poler in granite infested rivers, that means the whole bottom. I also use it to cover patches from when I launch into water colored rocks. As Pete said, the Red clogged on me every can (I had a case of 6), while the Evergreen (case of 6) sprayed good throughout the can. Several of my canoes are now very festively colored; thinking of trying silver and see if I can get Festivus into the picture.
I painted the bottom of one of my poling boats with “Hatteras off white” colored Brightside polyurethane; left over from a sailboat, and noticed today, loaning the boat to a friend to try poling that, 9 years later, that paint is still marking rocks.
Not worth it, imo
As g2d states, Royalex has a pretty tough outside layer of vinyl, which slips nicely and quietly over river rocks. It’s not going to wear through except under extreme whitewater usage. Putting something over the vinyl to resist abrasion would probably lessen the slipperiness.
I’ve painted a Royalex hull with high quality marine paint, and it began scratching off almost immediately on whitewater runs. The scratched mess of paint now looks much worse than the scratched vinyl ever did.
Daggermat may fall into the category of extreme usage, given that he is a whitwater poler who also suffers collisions from inattentive canoeists in a Hemlock SRT. However, that SRT, in turn, got a lot of paint on it from Matt’s hull by just rubbing against it on roof rack for 10 miles.
Methinks paint doesn’t stick well or long on Royalex in abrasive or collisive environments.
I know! Store it along an ocean dock,
and eventually you’ll have a nice, protective layer of barnacles!
Painting Royalex Hull
Although I have never painted a complete Royalex canoe, I have done repairs and spot painting to many. I use acrylic lacquer (getting hard to find) with a flex additive. The lacquer is solvent based and will bite into the vinyl layer. A light coat of adhesion promotor will also help. These are automotive related products so I am sure your Body Shop people can help.
When I worked at a Pontiac dealer in the early 70’s,they had what was called an “Endura?” ft. bumper made out of body color,soft type material that was impervious to small bumps. They had a special paint,2 part I think, that was flexible to use to repaint them. If by some slim chance it is still avalible,it should be the perfect paint for a roylex boat.
a polyurethane, which is what was rubbing off on Glens boat last year, and some rocks at NewBoston last Saturday...
Think about, the hull flexes. A hard paint will chip, a soft paint will wear. Spray cans of Krylon fusion...super thin means of application. It's a canoe, not a Tiffany Vaaaaaaz lol.