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Paint for wooden boats


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Any marine paint will do a fine job to be honest.  You can even use non marine paints if you like, but it's generally worth spending a few extra dollars to get a decent one part marine paint.  If you prep and prime diligently you will end up with a fine finish.  Jamestown Distributors is a decent place to look, and they have their own private label paints and varnishes which are perfect for this type of project.   The last part of your question is unclear.  If you're looking to repaint every year, I would get as shitty a paint as you can find and don't prime it.  You'll be guaranteed to have to repaint every year.  If you do it properly and use a good primer along with a marine paint, the finish will last for many years so long as it doesn't get too beat up getting dragged along the shore or banging into other boats.

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O.P. said plywood. What kind? (Fir, or some kind of mahogany?). Is the boat gliued with epoxy, or nailed/screwed together? Have the surfaces been fully coated with epoxy? All of these and other details influence the effectiveness/lomngevity of paint and what paint is appropriate aloing with how best to apply it.

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My Optimist Pram was plywood. It was varnished on the  inside and  painted  red on the outside.

Our 1946  Cedar plank Snipe was red with a varnished mahogany deck, varnished interior and a white sole. 
 

Every winter :

*we either put a fresh coat of paint on the outside and sanded  the inside to mostly bare wood and added two coats of varnish

or

*we sanded  the outside to mostly bare wood, added two fresh coats of red, and the inside got a fresh coat of varnish and white white. 
 

any dings during the season we’re IMMEDIATELY sealed with some fresh paint so we would not harm the wood before winter 

.

In my seven years.. age 5 to 11.... sailing my Optimist I never put any dings or chips in its finish. My then 16 year old brother, on port, managed to knock a hole in the side of the Snipe with a starboard boat’s  bow. Three years later, when that Snipe was passed on to me, I had to learn how to remove additional wood around the perimeter of an incompetent repair so I could properly fix his hole. 55 years later I still make it a point to bitch at him for causing 12 year old me to fix his screw up. 

 

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The boat I’m building is a very simple 8 ft. pram. I agree that using high quality paints would probably be better in the long term, but since this is my first attempt, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. What I meant about repainting is that I am okay with repainting every couple of seasons. I think what I am really looking for is the cheapest paint available that would seal the boat for a season or two.

17 hours ago, fastyacht said:

O.P. said plywood. What kind? (Fir, or some kind of mahogany?). Is the boat gliued with epoxy, or nailed/screwed together? Have the surfaces been fully coated with epoxy? All of these and other details influence the effectiveness/lomngevity of paint and what paint is appropriate aloing with how best to apply it.

 I just used cheap exterior grade plywood from Home Depot. It's mostly glued with PL premium, but some parts with epoxy. the hull does have a layer of epoxy. I thought that if I did it this way, I could use cheap paints.

 

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13 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

The boat I’m building is a very simple 8 ft. pram. I agree that using high quality paints would probably be better in the long term, but since this is my first attempt, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. What I meant about repainting is that I am okay with repainting every couple of seasons. I think what I am really looking for is the cheapest paint available that would seal the boat for a season or two.

 I just used cheap exterior grade plywood from Home Depot. It's mostly glued with PL premium, but some parts with epoxy. the hull does have a layer of epoxy. I thought that if I did it this way, I could use cheap paints.

 

That's basically true. Fir plywood has a problem of surface checking. The best solution is MDO (or HDO). The next best solution is epoxy which you have done. If the boat does not live in the water, you can use any exterior grade paint that is oil-based. There are even some water based paints that will work but I don't have a detailed knowledge of the water based ones. However do note that in much of the country, oil based housepaint is a thing of the past (not legal to sell!), which puts you into the marine paints, or the water based paints...

If you g o through the hardware store you will find water avsed varnish finishes. A water based deck (as in house deck) paint is likely to be suitable and likely cheaper than easypoxy or brightside other marine paints. It is poetically correct. After all, Burt Dow's Tidely-Idely was painted with leftovers from Mrs' so-and-so's porch!

 

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On 3/13/2020 at 10:00 AM, Eddie_E said:

Tractor supply sells oil based tractor paints for less than the Rustoleum marine paint that is probably the same paint. Assuming you like John Deer green, Yellow or barn red.

Barn red hull with clear coat/spar urethane deck could be gorgeous. 

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The Tractor Supply paints, which look very good, must be conditioned or you might have a coat stay wet for about a month, as I did when I painted a skiff with International Harvestor White right out of the can.  Good looking color though.  I've got to go get that skiff.  I left it at a neighbor's and some jr high boys used it as a fort in a paintball war.  

10982254_10205178695459466_8536320906755342841_o.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=wTWsRimsvjoAX8wbxdu&_nc_ht=scontent.fsac1-2.fna&_nc_tp=7&oh=afef260a5c52822ccd1d39f363c84422&oe=5E98F643

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26 minutes ago, Coquina012 said:

The Tractor Supply paints, which look very good, must be conditioned or you might have a coat stay wet for about a month, as I did when I painted a skiff with International Harvestor White right out of the can.  Good looking color though.  I've got to go get that skiff.  I left it at a neighbor's and some jr high boys used it as a fort in a paintball war.  

10982254_10205178695459466_8536320906755342841_o.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=wTWsRimsvjoAX8wbxdu&_nc_ht=scontent.fsac1-2.fna&_nc_tp=7&oh=afef260a5c52822ccd1d39f363c84422&oe=5E98F643

So now you’ll tell us which one holds up better - the Tractor Supply or the Paintballs? 

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I am afraid the skiff has fallen into a state of disrepair, you know, entropic universe and all.  By that I mean, I have neglected her outdoors at my neighbor's house after I lost my shop.  

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