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Old 27-03-2009, 09:56   #1
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Melamine (or some other type) paint over fake wood panels (vinyl?)

Hi Folks,

Along with lots of real teak, and teak veneer, my boat has very old, very cheap panels (here's a 30 year old description from the brochure!)

"Wood panels are finished using a sophisticated vacuum form vinyl clad process using 240 degrees of heat and 38 lbs per square inch of pressure. This modern process results in panel surfaces which have three times the abrasion resistance of Formica, yet retains the texture and grain colors of natural teak."

To their credit, they are 30 years old and still like new.. Still looking like cheap, fake wood panelling!!!

Fortunately, there isn't alot of it, just below the v-berth, in front of tanks, pumps, etc, and the walls in the head.

I would like to paint them with whatever material will make them look like bright, white fiberglass, and be low maintenance.

If anyone has experience resurfacing cheap panels, please, let me know what you used.

Thanks in advance, for any input!!
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Old 27-03-2009, 11:19   #2
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This is my wife's area of expertise, because I hate painting and she likes it. She's had very good results on a variety of surfaces by wiping down the surface with Penetrol and then painting with a good quality enamel paint using an appropriately sized roller. If you want the job to be really smooth, put a little Penetrol in the paint itself. It helps it relax and smooth out.
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Old 27-03-2009, 12:15   #3
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Hud - Thanks for the reply. I too, hate painting. My fiancee will paint anything that can be done outdoors, but I will have to do the inside, as she can't stand fumes. Neither can I, but someone has to do it!

Sorry to be an idiot, but when you say enamel, what are the normal applications for it / ie where would I find it?- as opposed to latex, or oil / alkylyd house paints, etc.
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Old 27-03-2009, 12:32   #4
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I think it was alkyd enamel, an oil based paint. She's not here right now, or I'd ask. Penetrol is used only with oil based paints.

Your friendly local paint merchant would be able to advise you as to the best paint for your particular application. The Penetrol simply helps it adhere better so it won't peel later, and helps it go on smoothly, which is the key to a nice looking job.
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Old 27-03-2009, 22:50   #5
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Enamel, in paints, simply refers to a coating-type finish which, usually, dries to a hard, glossy finish.

Many so-called 'oil-based paints' are actually alkyds, which are based on polyester resin. 'True' (whatever that means) oil-based paints are based on polymerized linseed oil. There are plenty of other binders used as well - latex is usually acrylic, but also there are melamines, polyurethanes, and epoxies.

I don't know what sticks well to vinyl, which is an acrylate, but you might check if its surface can be scuffed with 80 grit or something and then painted with with an epoxy in a worst-case scenario.


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Old 28-03-2009, 04:04   #6
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I painted our cabin with melamine paint this year. I peeled the vinyl off the plywood, sanded off the old glue, resurfaced with epoxy putting if there were dings, and than applied the paint with a foam roller. It's different stuff: practice on something if you use it. Very slow to dry -- give it a couple of weeks to harden. Still getting a feel for how it is performing, but it seems hard. It does not conceal surface defects or smooth out a pattern though: like most paints, it emphasizes them, so preparation is everything. No idea how well it would stick to vinyl.
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Old 28-03-2009, 04:52   #7
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I will have to check to see if melamine, or other types will stick to vinyl. There is a chance as well, that some may lift, warp or "melt" the vinyl as well.

Clearsea - juts curiuos as to why you decided to peel off the vinyl, before refinishing? Maybe that is the best approach, but since my vinly is a smooth, blemish free surface, I am hoping it would look OK, when refinished.
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Old 28-03-2009, 05:07   #8
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Amgine - I don't think it would be a problem to scuff up the vinyl surface a bit, if it will make any type of paint adhere better. I thought that a melamine, or similar type may work ,as some are designed to stick to the hard, shiny melamine countertops.

With regards to epoxy paint, I have never used any epoxy paints - not sure what brands are out there.

I have used the enamel bilgekote product below, to paint the engine compartment, and bilge, and it worked well. It is expensive however, at $25 / quart. Hardware store melamine is only about $30 / gallon.
However, I will pay the extra, to find the better product for the job.

"Bilgekote Quick Dry Enamel for the bilge area is a fast drying durable coating designed to protect bilges, lockers and bulkheads against moisture penetration and wear and tear. Bilgekote helps prevent absorption of oil, gasoline or sludge into wood or fiberglass.

High opacity for excellent covering power. Hard wearing.
Application Details:
  • Area: Above water
  • Finish/Sheen: Semi-gloss
  • Number of Coats: 2-3 minimum
  • Method of application: Brush / Roller / Spray
  • Coverage: 450 square feet per GALLON brushing, 395 square feet per GALLON spraying.
  • Brush Thinner - Interlux 333 Brushing Liquid
  • Spray Thinner - Interlux 216 Special Thinner "
I have several other panels, with the same finish, so I can test paint one, which is not in full view of the cabin, to see if I like the finish, before continuing with the rest.
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Old 28-03-2009, 09:52   #9
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Sounds like a plan

I remember there being a discussion here at some point about the difference between 2-part and single-part epoxy paints, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. You might have better luck than I in searching for it. I've never used them myself, but have read they're the most wonderful thing/utterly useless for trouble surfaces... ::grin::
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Old 28-03-2009, 10:36   #10
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You've got to prep the panels by sanding with 100 or 120 grit to create a surface that will allow the new paint to get a physical bite. The appropriate primer follows as it has greater adhesive qualities as well as being easier sanding. This gives you the proper surface for the topcoat. The final finish is only as good and fair as what it's covering.
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Old 29-03-2009, 06:01   #11
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thanks for the advice.

We did test paint one panel yesterday. Sanded 1/2 the panel, to see how mcuh difference that made. Then primed half of the sanded and unsanded sides. Then applied 2 kinds of paint (melamine and bilgekote) to all areas, sanded, unsanded, primed, unprimed.

As predicted, the sanding does make it look better, not to mention will surely ahere longer, and better.

Not much difference in look between 2 paints. Will try scratch testing, etc, when paints are fully cured next week.

Thanks again.
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Old 29-03-2009, 13:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
Clearsea - just curiuos as to why you decided to peel off the vinyl, before refinishing? Maybe that is the best approach, but since my vinly is a smooth, blemish free surface, I am hoping it would look OK, when refinished.
After 34 years, the surface of the original vinyl was fairly beat up.
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Old 30-03-2009, 20:05   #13
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Sorry I didn't catch this thread sooner. These folks REALLY have good products, and specialize on painting of plastic surfaces:

Bathtub Refinishing Referral Network Diy Bathtub Refinishing Paint and Repair Kit For Tub Tile Shower Sink
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