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Old 26-05-2012, 23:54   #1
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Painting My Mast....

I know this has been done before but I still didn't find what I was looking for.
I got my mast down and sanded it all clean with about 30% aluminium exposed.
Everybody I talk to says Awlgrip two pack is the only way to go with two pack primers and top coat. Plus I need to use a spray gun.
I have done many good paint jobs with a foam roller and foam brush so I am very tempted not to use a gun.I do have a compressor and gun but worry about all the chemicals drifting trough the air.
My mast has not been painted for nearly 25 years and still looked pretty good in most places. I'm sure back then there was no two pack and it was painted in a good enamel. I found a good etch primer and a suitable epoxy enamel which I would like to use. I believe that not everything now has to be two pack and lots of new and fancy stuff. But all I know about painting is what I read and hear from others. Am I on the wrong track and two pack is the only way to go?

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Old 27-05-2012, 00:48   #2
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Re: Painting My Mast....

Reiner, I am sure you know that the only reason to paint your mast is aesthetics. That being said, then the most important thing is to make it look at good as it can or as good as you want to accept. So you get to choose whether it will be by spray or roller or brush.

Keeping the paint on for any length of time is another story. The local professional mast painters have consistently said that not only is excellent preparation essential but so are the environmental conditions when applying the base coats. Air temperature, humidity and substrate temperature are all very important not only during application but also for the curing / drying time of the paints selected.

Get those right and the type of paint used becomes less important; get them wrong and it doesn't matter what paint is used.

My 2 cents worth - I am not a professional painter!
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Old 27-05-2012, 11:23   #3
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Re: Painting My Mast....

We painted our masts on our sailboat, Voyages of Sea Trek: Refurbishing The Spars and also painted the mast on our trawler. You do need to prime all bare aluminum and then prime again if using Awlgrip. There is no reason at all why the primer and paint can't be rolled on. Chuck
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Old 27-05-2012, 11:32   #4
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Re: Painting My Mast....

If the fittings are off, I would think it would be easy to do a roll and tip awlgrip on it. should work out nice...? PS: beware about the compatability of some topcoats with zinc-chromate aluminum primer....
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Old 27-05-2012, 11:36   #5
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Re: Painting My Mast....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If the fittings are off, I would think it would be easy to do a roll and tip awlgrip on it. should work out nice...? PS: beware about the compatability of some topcoats with zinc-chromate aluminum primer....
No problems with Awlgrip, but I can't speak for other brands. Masts are still up and looking like new 4 years later. Chuck
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Old 27-05-2012, 12:14   #6
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Re: Painting My Mast....

If you can live with it I would leave it bare. Strontium chromate is what is used to prime aluminum. Zinc chromate is for steel. You can't get strontium chromate in California any longer. I already tried getting some strontium chromate Awlgrip primer. I don't know about other states.
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Old 27-05-2012, 12:35   #7
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Re: Painting My Mast....

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If you can live with it I would leave it bare. Strontium chromate is what is used to prime aluminum. Zinc chromate is for steel. You can't get strontium chromate in California any longer. I already tried getting some strontium chromate Awlgrip primer. I don't know about other states.
HMMMMM, That's interesting. For over 20 years working in several marine yards, both myself and every other painter I have seen work on aluminum spars, zinc chromate is what is always used. I have seen other etching primers used occasionally but this has been the primer of choice and it has held up very well on our spars on both boats. Chuck
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Old 27-05-2012, 12:51   #8
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Re: Painting My Mast....

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
If you can live with it I would leave it bare. Strontium chromate is what is used to prime aluminum. Zinc chromate is for steel. You can't get strontium chromate in California any longer. I already tried getting some strontium chromate Awlgrip primer. I don't know about other states.
Zinc Chromate (Boeing BMS-10-11) is used widely on aluminum, as is Strontium Chromate.
"Zinc Chromate Primer, A low moisture sensitive, corrosion inhibiting zinc chromate primer. Primarily intended for spray or dip on aluminum or magnesium surfaces."
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Old 27-05-2012, 12:58   #9
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Re: Painting My Mast....

Check out this video. He did a nice job on his and mentions the list of products he used on his. Might help.
just painted Paragon's mast with Awlgrip Awlcraft 2000 - YouTube
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Old 27-05-2012, 13:02   #10
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Re: Painting My Mast....

Certainly I have painted dozens of masts using zinc chromate and warrantied them with no problems. Topcoat used is fairly irrelevant cosmetically, as is method if you are a good painter, but using a high quality epoxy primer like 545 is imperative. I think for most people, once they have gone through all the work of chemical stripping bare, etch and alodine, epoxy primer sanded fair, etc. etc, they are happy to spend the little bit of extra at the end for awlgrip, for the added UV protection to extend the amount of time before the whole process must be done again.
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