Note It’s always advised to use a respirator and work in an area with plenty of ventilation when working with solvent-based materials
Required skill Level: 1.5/5
Finish Time: Approx. 13.5 hours (inclusive of drying time after washing and between coats)
Tools and Supplies
Polyurethane Protective Coating rollers
* Four 12-ounce cans of Rustoleum Self-Etching Primer
* Wooster 4-inch cage roller frame
* Wooster 9-inch cage roller frame
* Paint tray and stirring stick
* Disposable paintbrush
* 80-grit commercial sanding disks
* Crimped wire rotary brush
* Pressure washer (optional)
* Blue painter’s masking tape
* Painter’s masking paper
* Clean shop rags
Sand All Surfaces
Make use of an orbital sander with 80-grit sandpaper to remove any loose paint and roughen up the surface in making preparations for priming. Change the sandpaper when it becomes “loaded up.” A boat like this has plenty of uneven and hard-to-sand surfaces, inclusive of the tops of rivets, drainage channels, seat brackets and corners. Use a rotary tool or power drill with a circular wire brush to get into these difficult-to-reach nooks and crannies.
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Wash and Dry
It’s important to eliminate all dust and debris before applying any Polyurethane Protective Coating. Hose out paint residue and dust left over from sanding. A pressure washer speeds this process. Let the boat dry entirely. If you have access to an air compressor, use a blast of pressurized air to speed the drying process and get water out of small nooks and crannies. Before the priming process is started, finish with a wipe down of all surfaces with a clean, slightly dampened cloth.
Mask Off Unpainted Surfaces
In the last preparation for primer application, use painter’s masking paper and blue painter’s tape to cover any interior surfaces you don’t want to paint. Depending on the look you’re going for, this could include the sides and tops of gunwales, bench seats and the transom. For long, narrow surfaces like the tops of gunwales, center the tape along the entire length and trim to cover using a razor cutter.
Spray With Self-Etching Primer
To make sure both the primer and the Polyurethane Protective Coating adhere well to any areas of bare aluminum, first prime with a self-etching primer. Self-etching primers contain a mix of phosphoric acid and zinc. The acid forces the zinc into the surface layer of metal, creating a rough, “etched” aluminum surface for better adhesion.
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Roll on Polyurethane Protective Coating
Apply using only the 4-inch and 9-inch stippled rollers to ensure even distribution of the rubber granules. Don’t worry about complete coverage on the first coat. Avoid letting the liquid pool in low spots. Allow several hours for the first coat to dry before applying a second thin coat.
Before you start rolling, use a brush to apply the Polyurethane Protective Coating to all areas that can’t be reached by the roller. Use a dabbing motion — rather than a brushstroke — to get the protective coating into cracks, corners and crevices.