Wood boat painting


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Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
For wood boats that are sealed inside and out with West epoxy do you sand the epoxy off the outside before you prime and paint or just scuff it up and paint?
Ray...sand the epoxy to a 400 finish then start your painting....at this point a primer is not actually needed....boat is sealed..but can still be used only to start with a uniform color...dont forget to clean the hull very well to remove ALL oils and dust...if your going rattle can...use only enough paint to cover the desired area...more isn't better...i have been down that road too many times...if using automotive paints...that is different...seal with a 2k clear like Spraymax or another 2 part automotive clear....any other questions...just ask away..
Robert, I am going to re-paint my Whiplash hull that was painted many years ago and a lot of the paint that I put on it has flakes off. The hull was sealed with epoxy and not properly prepped before it was painted. I will strip all the old paint off, give it a good sanding and cleaning before I spray it again.
Hi Ray:

With Robert‘s guidance, I had real good luck with Rustoleum 2x spray paint on my Backlash. The key with this product is allowing cure time of 4 days or more before you do other colors or clear. I used Mas Slow Epoxy thinned with Denatured Alcohol to seal my wood. I did a coat, scraped with a razor, did another, scraped again and lightly sanded with 400. The razor quickly disposes of the grainy dust that dries into the epoxy and smooths it out real nice. You’ll just need to sand since you’re sealed already. My objective was to use one color for trim on the hull and to paint the cowl and leave a lot of natural wood. I did use Rustoleum 2x Primer on the parts that I masked off for paint and I was looking to get that base Robert was talking about plus reveal any dips or voids that needed addressing. The primer coat looked good so I went ahead with the color within the6BCFDFAF-372B-424C-8A0E-FF78A5553C20.jpegF25C0A6C-12C5-461A-854F-7E75FBF1F3E1.jpeg90278E3D-D5C8-4E5A-B2C3-465513B027A6.jpegFD87EA58-BEC2-49E6-9824-9ABFA7D82A34.jpeg hour window. If you don’t recoat the primer or add color within an hour you’ll need to wait at least 2 days but preferably more like 4. I lightly wet sanded with 600 or 800 and removed a couple of bleeds with a razor and added some vinyl graphics. After the paint cured a few more days I cleared with Spraymax 2k Glamour Clear (spray can). It really turned out nice. Wear a mask with this stuff it’s 2 part auto paint catalyzed in the can and it’s rather nasty but cures super hard and is fuel proof including nitro. I probably spent 100.00 all together on paint but i didn’t have to use spray equipment. I did spray in a tent outside to cut down on bugs and wind. Good luck however you go about it but I thought I would share my experience.

Rich, the Backlash came out great.
Thanks Ray yeah not bad. I would do a couple things different if I were starting over. One of those things is patience. Too eager to touch things before they are ready to be touched, that sort of thing. But a good example of of what can be achieved on more of a budget and with limited options for a painting location, ie… outside or nothing. I mean heck we are gonna beat the snot out of these things anyway right? Brian Blazer, the designer, doesn’t even paint a boat until it has been tested and dialed in. I can see some value in that after a couple of cowl repairs already!
Paint looks great. I'm planning on doing something very similar with an OB kneeler I'm just finishing up - lots of raw wood, with some painted areas. I'll be using the 2K clear, along with createx airbrush colors. Your tips will be very helpful. One concern I had was whether the 2K clear would fill any voids/scratches in the epoxy sealer and let it come out clear and shiny, which it appears it does.

Thank you!
Mitch...dont expect the final clear to hide any flaws...sometimes the color choice can help hide some imperfections...but it all starts at the beginning...Oh and btw...welcome aboard..
Yeah if the surface isn’t level to begin with, the clear won’t hide that. Keep your epoxy consistent when you’re sealing. I used the thinned epoxy and brushed it on pretty liberally, and let it soak in for 15 min or so and then went back and wiped off the excess. When cured I scraped and lightly sanded and then did it one more time. It was pretty smooth after the second time but if I look hard enough I’m sure there’s a spot or too where there’s a little grain coming through. The Spraymax is pretty shiny, so much so that I didn’t bother with the polishing process, but that’s up to you. 6 months was enough and I wanted to run the boat.
I am no different than anyone else when it comes to wanting my boats to look good, but the reality is, you’re going to bump it on the retrieve boat, car door, truck tailgate, another boat. You’ll maybe hit a buoy and the cowl will fly off and the flexing will crack the cowl or at least your paint. So take pics when it is fresh out of the booth or before it hits the water, because it’ll never look that good again. Once it’s dinged you can go to work to get it running good and that new boat “psychosis” kind of melts away😂. Not trying to be negative, that just is what it is…. Good luck guys!
You all are 100% correct on the expectations on boats and paint....and if its a race boat...well by all means take that fresh pic...frame it...because it wont ever look that good again...but on a good note.... im really enjoying the pic you guys are posting....oh and btw...thank you for the kind words...and although my rattle can skills are improving..i still think of my overall paint skills are 4foot at best....
Meaning ...from 4 feet it looks pretty good...but I still have my fair share of flaws and Booboos...
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I just went to Wesco to pick up some paint last week and the guy at the counter talked me into a 1K automotive paint that supposedly doesn’t need clear. The more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I’m worried. Is this not going to hold up to the nitro?
One stage paint has the clear incorporated into the paint....hence...1 stage....kinda think of it as rattle can paint that you spray yourself...but without all the chemicals rattle cans have....and it should hold up to nitro....as long as your not bathing the boat in nitro
I just went to Wesco to pick up some paint last week and the guy at the counter talked me into a 1K automotive paint that supposedly doesn’t need clear. The more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I’m worried. Is this not going to hold up to the nitro?

I've painted a few motorcycles and my '62 bug with single stage urethane paints. If the prep and spray is good, they look dandy. Never quite as deep as a full on color/clear, but tough, fuel proof, and pretty. Nothing wrong with them at all when applied properly.

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