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Old 12-06-2021, 18:56   #1
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Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

I have sandblasted and primed my aluminum Via 42 and am trying to get a game plan for the deck using Awlgrip and softsand non-skid. Being a metal boat, you just weld stuff on to attach other stuff which creates infinite surface area. All information pertaining to Awlgrip application has to do with topsides; long continuous vertical surfaces and you do it in one shot.
There is no way I can pull off a tack coat plus 2 additional coats in a few hours which includes the cockpit sole and not get runs.
Roll and tip plus just brush I am thinking. I need to do the entire cockpit and just the "drain" channels between the non-skid patches on rest of boat, so not as scary for 42'. The question is who has done this before and specifically, brushing 2-part epoxy finish coat. Brushed areas wont show and I have a test/practice scenario, but still looking for advice. Yea, yea, yea it wont show or more like hidden, but still I don't want brush marks and I am not going to slop it on.
I am also thinking of doing sections; doing no-show areas first or last depending on if I need to walk on it. Doing second part within window or sand transition area. Question 2: what does Awlgrip transition look like? If i have a transition out of view, how hard is it to see?
The summer is getting hotter and wetter. Need all the techniques I can get my hands on.
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Old 13-06-2021, 01:20   #2
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Les Noble, you definitely need to get some shade on those decks when painting. The paint needs time to flow and lay down before it sets. I would be buying the best quality brush you can afford as well.
We tried to paint the deck of a Peterson 44 outside during a Queensland summer and in the end the owner paid to drop the mast and put the yacht in a shed. Then we could spray it and get the finish the owner wanted. We were two pro painters with plenty of experience but still could not get the proper finish.
Awlgrip has some good retarders that should be able to help you.
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Old 13-06-2021, 03:22   #3
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

I have done this several times. Tape off and do the nonskid sections first: one coat with sand liberally sprinkled on, with the excess vacuumed off next day, followed by another coat and sprinkle.
Vacuum that excess off when dry, pull the tape, and do two coats over everything--smooth and nonskid.
If you can't keep a wet edge, you'll have to find good spots for seams. It's better to feather a dry seam edge than to have a hard tape line. You'll see it, but less.
If you roll it outside, it'll look like an outside roll job. The best roll job will never look as good as an indoor spray.
Eliminating brush marks is all a matter of technique, and that comes mostly with practice. Any chance you could paint all your neighbor's boats first to get warmed up?
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Old 13-06-2021, 04:59   #4
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Wow, you're brave! I would never dream of doing a job like that any way other than spraying.

Good advice above. Don't worry too much about sprinkling too much non-skid. The excess will vacuum or brush off.

Awlgrip is particularly sensitive to humidity. It must not get wet, or even damp. Do you get dew at night? If so you want to be painting no later than about 10am to give it time to kick off and develop a hard film before dusk. If not the sheen will be lost and it'll stain readily with anything that touches it.

Many thin coats is better than a few thick ones. Don't worry about complete coverage until the end.

Don't try to go back over mistakes - just leave them and either live with them or sand them out and re-paint later.

Awlgrip is a superb product as I guess you know. It gives a great finish and has excellent wear properties. But it's also one of the least forgiving paints to work with. Good luck!
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Old 13-06-2021, 05:03   #5
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

imo overpriced cr*p
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Old 13-06-2021, 07:21   #6
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

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Originally Posted by Emmalina View Post
imo overpriced cr*p

+1 make sure you get a good tie coat and primer down. Then if you get 7 years you will be doing good.
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Old 13-06-2021, 12:37   #7
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

I've had bad luck with Awl Grip. Did two boats with it, "professionally" applied with the same result. It held up great on the topsides from the waterline to deck level, a long, continuous application, as you mentioned. But the top coat pulled away for the well-primed substrate at the inside radii where the cabin top (coach roof) meets the deck and where the hatch combings meet the cabin top. Awl Grip at the outside radii seems to hold up well however.

I did the nonskid once myself with Awl Grip. I would have no trouble doing it again myself. Just do it in small sections. If you don't have enough smooth finished drain slots on deck between the nonskid make some more with a sander.

I am also looking at the new one-part paints which may put the linier-pollys out of business for the DIY crowd, like me. I've also know one applicator who prefers Imron for boats.
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Old 13-06-2021, 12:44   #8
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Forgot to mention, you can buy non-skid grit from the major paint companies, like Sherwin-Williams, on the internet for a fraction of the premium brand material. It is a round polymer bead which appears under a magnifying glass to be identical to premium brands. Since, this in non-paint and therefore non-hazmat, they can ship it free on Amazon.
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Old 13-06-2021, 14:36   #9
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Softsand makes a great non-skid surface. Non of what I'm about to say may apply to an aluminum boat, we did our deck over on a fiberglass C&C40. As you may know most of the labor involves removing and reinstalling deck hardware, and being meticulous about the prep work.
We found it took three coats of awlgrip to fully cover the non-skid, so use the medium grip softsand. If you use the fine it won't be as grippy as you may wish.
Three coats of paint overall before the non-skid, then the tack coat, sprinkle the softsand (you'll get a much more even surface than mixing into the paint) then three coats over the softsand after vacuuming off to loose particles.
We found it necessary to remove and re-tape the non-skid areas between coats. You'll never get all the tape off after three coats of awlgrip.
It's a lot of work, but it's worth it in the end. We did the job for 10% of the prices we were quoted for having it done.
Good luck,
Len
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Old 13-06-2021, 14:43   #10
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Sorry about that attachment. This is the one I was supposed to send
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Old 13-06-2021, 16:51   #11
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

All good advice! I did my test paint today. Non non-skid edges of engine and companion hatches and helm seat which supports teak slats. Lots of nooks and crannies to test. Came out pretty well despite dust. Did the companion first and was too thin. Minor curtains. Engine and helm seat look good. Used excess on aluminum flashing material (smooth surface) and came out mirror smooth despite dust. Used T0031 reducer. Rained yesterday and will probably be dewey tonight. Was planning on sanding anyway before second coat.

BENZ: i like your idea. I did a test with Perfection and your method would seal edges better. However, I am one of those who is doing the two tone non-skid. Already have the paint.

As far as shade, will get new 20' tarp to cover deck. The one I have is now shedding.

DefinitelyMe: I didn't think about the last coat would be the shizzle. Previous coats could hone the technique.

CaptainLen: How come you had to re-tape? Could you give more details?

I asked the Awlgrip Rep this question, but no response yet. If it is not for show (the topsides), do I need to do the tack coat? On the deck only the sides of the cockpit and drain areas will be shiny Awlgrip. Rest is non-skid. Never done tack coat and gun shy, but is it necessary? what about spray like primer, multiple thin coats. Is "tack" for looks or adhesion?

Thanks
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Old 13-06-2021, 18:12   #12
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Details regarding re-taping
Taping a line for a boarder to non-skid is the only way to make a clear, sharp line. However, if multiple coats such as over non-skid particles, are needed it is nearly impossible to remove the tape leaving clean line when more than two coats of awlgrip have been applied. We only got good results by removing the tape immediately after each second coat then reapplying tape later before applying a third coat.
it's tedious I realize, but necessary for a good job.
Len
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Old 14-06-2021, 03:10   #13
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

tack coat is only a technique for spray. Because you want to shoot it all in one day, you do several really thin coats that can 'tack' off quick because of their thin-ness. There's simply no way to brush a coat that thin. When the tack coat is sticky but firm, you spray on a thicker coat (flow coat) which grabs onto the tack coat so it's less prone to drip.
This technique works for pretty much all spray paints--Awlgrip, Easypoxy, Brightside, even Rust-oleum
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Old 14-06-2021, 04:24   #14
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

I think what is meant in previous ost as tack coat is actually wet coat to apply non-slip aggregate, not next coat of paint? The paint needs to be pretty wet still when you apply non slip. If it is partially dried it won't stick.
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Old 15-06-2021, 04:07   #15
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Re: Awlgrip deck paintjob - metal boat superstructure hell

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
I've had bad luck with Awl Grip. Did two boats with it, "professionally" applied with the same result. It held up great on the topsides from the waterline to deck level, a long, continuous application, as you mentioned. But the top coat pulled away for the well-primed substrate at the inside radii where the cabin top (coach roof) meets the deck and where the hatch combings meet the cabin top. Awl Grip at the outside radii seems to hold up well however.

I did the nonskid once myself with Awl Grip. I would have no trouble doing it again myself. Just do it in small sections. If you don't have enough smooth finished drain slots on deck between the nonskid make some more with a sander.

I am also looking at the new one-part paints which may put the linier-pollys out of business for the DIY crowd, like me. I've also know one applicator who prefers Imron for boats.
Could this be from not sanding primer or not able to get in the corner and not get good adhesion? That is my main problem, way too many corners and half have a weld there. I am overcoming this by using scotchbrite. The dark gray is 150ish grit and maroon is 320.
Works really well for varnishing as well. Scotchbrite first to rough up grain valleys then sand with recommended grit to knock down ridges.
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