Painting boat with lacquer
Hi, guys. I am new here, just registered. Have done fiberglass work for 20 years, started out working in a shop, now i do it for fun.
I am repainting my 1985 hydrostream viking speed boat. It is a special boat to me, as i bought it from ron baker, the original designer, and he just died in september. I am restoring with all the beauty the boat was meant to have, leaving the mods he made to the boat, but changing the color to the liking of my sisters little girls as they lost their dad unexpectedly over the summer. I am shooting the boat with tcp global's restoration shop acrylic lacquer. The color is firemist orange. I really wanted to use the electric blue as it is similar to my favorite, nassau blue, but, i am learning that this life is not all about me. Getting to the point; shooting lacquer over gelcoat, i am careful with my budget, since i have another baby on the way. I bought some rustoleum filler primer 254863 and was going to scuff up the gel with about 220-320, shoot a few coats of the filler primer, and then block a bit, and shoot multiple thin coats of lacquer over this. Once i have uniform coverage and enough build thickness, i am planning on sanding with about 800 grit, then rubbing compound on my makita, followed by polish, and then wax after a month or so. What should i do differently? I know, i know, lacquer is not so great, but to me it is fine, easy to fix, and the boat stays inside the majority of the time, and never over night. And, i know rustoleum is crap compared to other products, but i think it is okay for a trailer queen. Please, any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks again. Ronny
Welcome aboard Ronnie.
I probably would have recommended against lacquer but it works better over fiberglass than over metal and as long as it's stored indoors, out of the sun, it should last a long time.
The best method of spraying acrylic lacquer is to layer it so that the solvents escape between coats. When doing high-end restos in lacquer we spray three or four coats then sand with some 600 wet sandpaper then allow the surface to dry for several warm days then spray three or four more coats sand again, wait a couple more days then spray several more coats and sand with 1000 or finer then polish. This allows the lacquer to release it's solvents before it's re-coated. If you apply all the lacquer in one spraying session the surface will dry trapping solvents in the deeper layers and as the solvents escape it dulls the paint and causes the surface tension to increase. The increase in the surface tension can cause the paint to crack as it ages.
Lacquer is the worst choice for a boat.
It's very hard and brittle, chips and scratches off easier
than any other paint.
And once it's scratched and chipped up, it will need to
be removed in order to paint it with something better.
Epoxy primer is the only primer that I would trust for adhesion
on a boat. And urethane for a top coat for durability.
I have used urethane for my boat that was cheaper than what lacquer
Temperature of the paint
I FORGOT TO ASK, if I HEAT UP MY GARAGE TO MAYBE 55 OR 60 DEGREES IN ORDER TO PAINT, is this warm enough? how cold is too cold? being lacquer, it seems like i could always recoat, sand, and buff if the finish is not what i want. being cold out, should i use any retarder or other additive? the thinner i have from tcp is "hi-gloss slow" which is probably not ideal for cooler temps. any thoughts?
Thanks a lot. i appreciate your help. Last question for now, is the lacquer i bought any good? i saw another made by trinity 1945, and then i saw duplicolor. the concern with d.c. is that it states you must shoot clear over it, which does not sound like true lacquer to me?! also d.c. is so expensive as much of the can is thinner.
Thanks again guys.
By the way, I know it is not as durable as urethane, but fixing lacquer is so much easier in my view than urethane, especially a dual stage urethane (which would be a must since this is metallic). if an area gets damaged, couldn't i scuff, load up my preval with paint, shoot, sand and then buff? thanks
As long as you're not spraying the lacquer on top of another coating that can react poorly then 55 to 60 degrees should be ok. Lacquer is a drying process not a hardening process so it's not as temperature sensitive as urethane.
Originally Posted by JETMORE
As far as repairing damaged lacquer goes, yes, it can be repaired easily but the repair won't come out as good as a urethane repair or as good as a base/clear repair. IOW, you get what you pay for in both time and money.
I would rather put laquer on a car than a boat. Boats tend to sit out in the sun most of the time and that laquer probably isn't going to like that very well unless you wax it very well or store it in a barn like I do mine. FWIW the area under the windshield of my cuddy (grey) had faded before I bought it due to the cover the PO had used not covering fully and the windshield acting as a magnifying glass. I removed the windshield scuffed it and brush painted it with Acry. enamel and it has held up fine for 10 years though it spends most of it's time in a barn out of the sun. If i was to do it again I would definitely use some hardened Acrylic Urethane for long life and less fade. If it's gonna sit in the sun a lot remember some colors fade a lot worse than others. Ever wonder why you almost NEVER see a red airplane? They get to be the most horrible shade of "titty pink" all too quickly