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Old 02-06-2012, 16:37   #1
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Suggestions for Finishing Rough Bulkheads

Hi folks,

We have some bulkheads in our cat that need a makeover. Essentially, they are just fiberglass that has been painted. The surface is still fairly rough, which makes it tough to keep clean. I suppose we could sand the heck out of them and make them nice and smooth, and then paint them again, but the task seems a bit daunting. I don't particularly want to hide them behind something else (like panelling). For one thing, I like the fact that if we accidentally leave a hatch open (who us?) and they get all wet, it doesn't matter. For another, I worry about mold growing in places I can't get to. And finally, how the heck do you fit panelling to curvy walls anyway?

Anyway, what I'd really like is some amazing substance that I could paint on the fiberglass that would be thick enough to produce a smooth finish without too much work. And water and mold resistant and come in pretty colors.:-) Any suggestions?

Carrie
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Old 02-06-2012, 17:14   #2
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Re: Suggestions for Finishing Rough Bulkheads

This might work, How bout Textureing the surface with a good type Home texture material, can be many different types and looks. Then paint with 2 part marine paint, so the clean up would be real easy, can be gloss, semi, or flat paint, many colors avaiable! just a thought
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Old 02-06-2012, 17:54   #3
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Re: Suggestions for Finishing Rough Bulkheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
This might work, How bout Textureing the surface with a good type Home texture material, can be many different types and looks. Then paint with 2 part marine paint, so the clean up would be real easy, can be gloss, semi, or flat paint, many colors avaiable! just a thought
Coating a latex texturing product with a low-permeation marine coating will just about assure pealing, and soon.

I had a cat like that. Honestly, you are much better off to stay with the original product type, but perhaps go to a higher gloss finish than before. I was pretty happy with semi-gloss house paint. Yes, it will require some touch-up, but that's nothing with latex. The more it's painted, the smoother it gets, the better it cleans. But in the damp marine environment, forget thickeners and keep the coats thin.

I'm all in favor of 2-part paints, I just feel that is not the right answer for you. As for paneling and it's problems, you seem to understand. My current boat has a liner and it's mixed blessing. There are a few screws and tools in the liner space!


(Pictures always help us understand the problem better)
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Old 02-06-2012, 18:31   #4
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Re: Suggestions for Finishing Rough Bulkheads

If you are trying to de-emphasize the non smooth bulkhead, then a flatter finish paint would be better than going toward gloss I would think...? I suppose you could get into something like sponge painting to create a pattern that distracts entirely from the rough finish.
Otherwise, to make them smooth go to a "high build" primer. It is thick, sands easily once dry and is intended for smoothing out surfaces. marine or auto paint supply places have it. If you have deep pock marks they would have to be filled with a Bondo type first.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:45   #5
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Re: Suggestions for Finishing Rough Bulkheads

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll see if I can get a decent picture to post.

My concern is both aesthetic and functional. Aesthetically, the bulkheads don't look "finished" to me. Functionally, the dirt gets in the rough bits and stays there. The bumpy bits shred my sponges. The functional part is more important, of course.

Sounds like going with a heavy paint would have its own issues. Might have to get the sandpaper out after all.


Carrie
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