Wagner Sprayer for Acrylic on Canoe?

Anyone tried a Wagner Sprayer to paint acrylic enamel on a royalex canoe? Would that give me a better leveled surface that a roller or foam brush. This is not a show canoe, but I’d like to do a neat job and keep the surface as smooth as possible to aid in speed.

I’m sure it would be smoother. I’m just
concerned that you select the best coating, one that holds up well and doesn’t add 5 pounds to the weight of the boat.

Good heavens !
You want it to “aid in speed”?

Don’t paint it.

It will be faster than if you do.



Royalex has a lot of flex.
Which is what you want if you go over a boulder just below the surface. But I’m not sure about any paint that will stretch that much that it won’t crack and begin to look worse. I’d do your research first.

I agree
with the don’t paint it faction and I have one of the ugliest royalex boat colors around. I call it sunbleached navy blue. It only looks good when wet.

I don’t know of any paint, except for maybe some epoxy paints, that will stay on and not look 100 times worse after you use it a few times.

As far a spraying goes. Wagners are fine for house painting, but I have never had much luck with them for finish work. I use an air sprayer at about 60psi to spray varnish or paint on smooth metal. Comes out realy nice.

I’m painting the canoe’s bottom to the 4" waterline. This is due to numerous gouges through the vinyl layer which are the result of a run in with oyster reefs while dodging a waterspout last summer. I’ve trimmed off the sliced up pieces of vinyl and filled in over exposed abs with JB weld. I’ve got some Bell Touch up paint, but it really isn’t a good color match and would wind up looking like a poor boy camo attempt. So I’ve painted over with Valspar spray enamel for plastic from Lowes. This left a rather uneven finish with lots of rough surface.

I plan to sand that to smooth it and then use an acrylic enamel, hoping to get a smoother finish and some extra wear protection. Its not so much about how it will look but, if I’m doing it anyway, it might as well look as good as I can get it.

I’m not painting it to make it smoother/faster per se , I just want it as smooth as possible because I’ve read smoother is faster all else equal.

Maybe I can borrow a Wanger and try it on some other plastic surfaces to get a feel for what the finish will look like.

You may as well just spray
that paint right into the water. All its going to do is come right off and not protect anything. If you want to protect the JB Weld, you can put a piece of f/g cloth over it with epoxy. For small jobs I have used the two part clear 5 minute epoxy with cloth. Mix it up, saturate the cloth, place over the repair area, get the air bubbles out, cover with saran wrap until it dries.

Earlier Results
I bought this canoe in 2000 or 2001 and it arrived with some bad freight dock burns, well into the ABS. It also had a few small spots where pea-sized or smaller areas of ABS showed through the vinyl. I patched all those with epoxy putty and painted over it with numerous coats of Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastic. This has worked very well and as I began work on the oyster damage, I looked and could tell that the fusion paint had done a very good job, wearing nearly as well as the vinyl and still protecting the UV sensitive epoxy beneath it except for a thumb-sized area on the stern that was back down into the ABS and that probably ought to get a real skid plate some day.

Point being I know paint can work for my needs. My question was mostly about how smooth a finish a Wagner sprayer might give.

5 minutes to spray
half an hour to clean the Wagner.

It is a royal pain to clean up a Wagner after you are done.

I think the Wagner might give you a decent surface finish, but you’d have to experiment to find out for sure. As far as I know Wagner sprayers are designed to spray heavy consistency latex house paint, I don’t know how they would work with the acrylic you’re talking about using. You’d have to experiment.

My biggest concern would be the compatibility of the acrylic paint with the vinyl layer of the Royalex. It would be a bummer if the acrylic pealed off and I think it would. The way I’m reading many of the comments above that seems to be many people’s biggest apprehension.

You say you had good results with the Fusion spray paint. Why not simply buy a few cans of that product and spray your boat? You can get decent looking results, not have to mess around with all the clean-up (of the Wagner) and have a finish that you can trust to stay bonded to the vinyl layer of the Royalex. Seems like the obvious way to go to me.

My general non-specific p.net disclaimer: the above is just my humble opinion. I take no responsibility for anybody’s actions one way or another. Do as you please. Not responsible for some argumentative twit’s bunched underwear. - Randall

Thanks Arkay
Going with Fusion for the whole bottom is an option still under consideration. My experience with painting a large surface with canned spray paint hasn’t been good. The finnish turned out nice and glossy in some spots but roughish from overspray effect I guess in others. Could have been the paint, or me or the day – not sure.

This boat is a user, though not a beater, so I’ll give it a try and we’ll see.

More thoughts
Since you’re doing a “waterline down” paint job you could mask it off with masking tape and paper and then lay on a medium heavy coat. Too light and “dusty” and it may show some over-spray – too heavy and it may sag. Get plenty of cans so that you can put on all you’ll want – second coat as needed. I think you’re way ahead to try the Fusion as apposed to the Wagner with the acrylic.

Of course what would be ideal would be to have an HVLP gun set-up – and a paint that would adhere as well as the Fusion. That being said the Fusion in an aerosol can is the best “second best” I would think.

I’ve read in a book or two how to mark an accurate waterline for painting: Set your boat upright on a nice flat level floor (finding that might be the biggest challenge). Use a spirit level to establish level from side to side. Block the boat in place with wedges or whatever. Trace around the waterline at whatever depth (height from the floor) you’d like using a pencil riding on a block of wood of the desired thickness. Mask to the pencil line – paint.

Good luck with it – let us know how it turns out. - Randall

Fusion and Waterline

– Last Updated: Jun-15-07 7:20 PM EST –

I think I saw the same general idea for the waterline layout in Ted Moores book, and that is what I had in mind.

As I thought more about it today. There seems little to lose in trying the Fusion first. If needed, I can always sand it and try the more complicated approach.