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Old 09-12-2019, 15:44   #1
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Interior Paint

I have talked to local paint stores on what interior paint to use on my interior cabin sides. They seem to agree that a good quality latex is good and that the important factor is gloss or semi-gloss is best for a humid environment. Which they recommend for bathroom walls and kitchen areas with higher exposure to steam, etc.
Does anyone have experience that disputes this and would say to stick with oil base paints? Does anyone use interior latex with good results?
The issues are clean up and expense. Obviously, I don't need much UV protection for the interior.
Is a salt water environment a factor?
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Old 09-12-2019, 17:33   #2
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Re: Interior Paint

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I have talked to local paint stores on what interior paint to use on my interior cabin sides. They seem to agree that a good quality latex is good and that the important factor is gloss or semi-gloss is best for a humid environment. Which they recommend for bathroom walls and kitchen areas with higher exposure to steam, etc.
Does anyone have experience that disputes this and would say to stick with oil base paints? Does anyone use interior latex with good results?
The issues are clean up and expense. Obviously, I don't need much UV protection for the interior.
Is a salt water environment a factor?

No latex paint! Oil based is much better for the interior of a boat... it's harder, more durable and easier to clean. Preferably an alkyd enamel exterior porch paint if you want cheap and durable.


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Old 10-12-2019, 04:40   #3
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Re: Interior Paint

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No latex paint! Oil based is much better for the interior of a boat... it's harder, more durable and easier to clean. Preferably an alkyd enamel exterior porch paint if you want cheap and durable.


Matt
Matt, while I agree with the above, I'm not convinced that latex paint has no place inside a boat. I think it depends on where you use it and the finish you want. I have a dry boat (with 5 dorade vents to keep the air flowing when closed up). A year ago I painted the few painted areas of the salon (around the ports) with a quality satin finish latex paint. It has held up fine (a surface that doesn't get abraded), no mold (never any mold on the boat) and looks great. I didn't want the glossy finish you get with oil paint. Satin finish has just enough gloss to make it easy to clean with a paper towel and windex. Also, latex is easy to apply and can be repainted whenever necessary.

In the head, which has painted bulkheads, I used a 2-part epoxy paint. Tough stuff, but it is yellowing a little. I'm thinking of giving it a light sanding and applying the same satin latex over it. I never shower in the head, so humidity is not an issue.

I think if your boat tends to get mold, then perhaps the oil or alkyd paints are better, as the glossy finish can be easily cleaned. I just don't like the look of glossy paint (or glossy varnish) in the cabin.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:50   #4
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Re: Interior Paint

Our PO painted areas of the hull in the cabin with latex. It makes me want to do bad things to him! It probably looked ok for a few months then started peeling off is small unmanageable pieces and going chalky.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:52   #5
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Re: Interior Paint

We have 18 year old satin latex on our boat and for the most part looks good. Easy to touch up or repaint.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:56   #6
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Re: Interior Paint

I used Brightside in my shower stall over 20-years ago. It's held up fairly well, a couple of peeled patches but that's likely due to poor prep, not the paint.

Elsewhere in the interior, I've used Rustoleum which works fine but limited color selection. Latex paint has come a long way. I wouldn't hesitate to use it. Oil based paint is no longer readily available in the US (Rustoleum and marine paints being exceptions) due to VOC content so R&D has gone into latex water based paints. It has come a long way and is perfectly suited to a boat interior. Most probably already know this, but low-lusger finishes hide imperfections better than high gloss finishes.

Another option that I recently used to paint an exterior concrete patio surface is a Behr (Home Depot) "epoxy" product that is inexplicably water based. I think it's intended for garage floors. Goes on very hard but the finish may be matte.

Finally, if water based is the concern, I'll observe that 20-years ago I refinished my teak floor on my trawler with a 2-part water-based sealer that has held up very well despite obvious abuse of water and heavy traffic.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:57   #7
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Re: Interior Paint

They do make satin enamel paints too We've used a satin alkyd enamel in our current boat (Valspar from Lowes)- wife insisted on no gloss- and the characteristics to gloss enamel are the same.

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Old 10-12-2019, 05:00   #8
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Re: Interior Paint

Interlux CabinCoat is a "marine" paint marketed specifically for boat interiors. It is a latex paint. Three times the cost of quality latex house paint, but no different. I bought a quart in off white to try it out on my Columbia 36. After seeing what it is I went to Home Depot and had them match the color in a quality "bathroom" latex to finish the job. About six years later they both are holding up well, no issues. The only downside I see with latex is it doesn't level out as well as enamel, you always will have brush or roller marks. I was painting the fake wood laminate that has a little texture to it anyway, so I carefully rolled it out with a foam roller leaving an even stipple effect. Looks good, way better than the aged, dark fake teak laminate.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:37   #9
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Re: Interior Paint

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...The only downside I see with latex is it doesn't level out as well as enamel, you always will have brush or roller marks. ...
Agreed, but there is another. The problem is adhesion. If you start right with a rough and porous surface (think drywall) and very clean, it stays on for a long time. Works great on wood and plywood. But the surface needs attention. My boat has latex where there is no risk of abrasion, works great.

Why use marine paint down below? Being at it for more than 20 years, The only place I can justify marine price is in the bilge, where I exclusively use Interlux Bilgekote.

Rustoleum makes a boat topside paint that is very good for interior work and a good price and found at HP & Lowes as well. Its an enamel, and has worked well for me in lockers and bulkheads.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rust-Oleum-...-fl-oz/3200853

But the best finish I found is also Rustoleum, found at HP or Lowes: white appliance epoxy (one part). Great, hard semi gloss paint for bulkheads, lockers, etc.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ole...1168/100674043
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:47   #10
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Re: Interior Paint

If you use Latex, you can never go back and will never smooth it out later. Just remember that. It doesn't sand and loves to bubble up.
I'd use quality oil based paint or polyurethane. Not a fan of Brightsides myself. I find name brand outdoor paints work great. Rustoleum (non primer) paints are especially good IME.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:38   #11
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Re: Interior Paint

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If you use Latex, you can never go back and will never smooth it out later. Just remember that. It doesn't sand and loves to bubble up.
I'd use quality oil based paint or polyurethane. Not a fan of Brightsides myself. I find name brand outdoor paints work great. Rustoleum (non primer) paints are especially good IME.
Yes you can, not sure what you mean back to what, but there are tie coats that can be used once you sand the latex off. Being there done that.
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Old 10-12-2019, 13:03   #12
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Re: Interior Paint

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Yes you can, not sure what you mean back to what, but there are tie coats that can be used once you sand the latex off. Being there done that.
Yeah, latex is like rubber, it rolls up into stringy pieces when you sand, it fills paper fast, You can't (IME) make it smooth, you just have to leave it, use a tie coat, or take it completely off. etc. It can be aggressively sanded to get it off and there are some other methods I hear. I also agree that there are some latex types today that are harder/better for sanding... or so I hear. But bottom line ...it's not like a poly or oil coat that you can lightly smooth sand and recoat.
I will admit I haven't tried some of the latest things though.

If I had a really old boat with a lot of bad interior surfaces that I simply wanted to make clean and better, I might consider a good quality outdoor latex paint for that. Knowing I wouldn't be trying to create a yacht quality refurb.
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Old 10-12-2019, 13:44   #13
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Re: Interior Paint

Semi gloss interior/exterior enamel is my pick. Latex is too soft and can have adhesion issues and, as has been said, is thick and doesn't brush out as well. My only gripe with enamel is that it will yellow in dark areas in time, but this usually isn't noticeable until someone holds something that's actually white against it.


For areas inside lockers two pack epoxy paint is hard to beat.
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Old 10-12-2019, 13:52   #14
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Re: Interior Paint

Sherwin Williams Tile Clad HS Epoxy is an awesome bilge paint! Rock hard, easy to clean, doesn't stain, insanely adhesive to any surface and pretty affordable.


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Old 10-12-2019, 14:44   #15
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Re: Interior Paint

Those who insist latex has no place in a boat interior have not tried Petit Cabincoat. Expensive and worth it. Would I paint a bilge or other really wet area with it? No, but itís awesome stuff for bulkheads, overhead ceilings and the like. Itís mildew resistant and sticks like glue. You can tell the difference between Cabincoat and a household interior latex by how well it sticks to your hands or anything else you spill it on, including Formica. I like itís semi gloss appearance as I think glossy paints look cheap down below and of course show every little imperfection. You can get a smooth finish with foam rollers and brushes. I used on my fiberglass ceiling over gloss enamel after fully sanding it. Three years no issues and no mildew. Itís worth $45 a qt!
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