Monday, July 9, 2012

When You Give a Pig a Pancake ...

Getting to the actual task of painting (or priming in my case) seems like I am firmly part of the children's book by Laura Numeroff.  I start on one small task and it leads to another, and another, and another, until I am so far away from the original task that it makes my head spin.  So when I walked over to the boatshed this morning thinking I'd have the cabintop primed by 9:00 I should have known better.

When I started, I was going to mix up the paint right away and use the 20 minute induction time to wipe down the cabintop.  Instead, I decided that I'd give a quick once over with the 100 grit to make sure everything was perfect. Well, that led to me finding some silicon that was still on the window frames so I had to dig out a razor to cut it off and then sand that down.  Then I decided that I would re-sand the area where the deck meets the cabintop to make sure that was smooth.   In the end I spent 2.5 hours doing prep work that I thought was already done.  Oh well.

When it came time to mix up the Primekote things up it went pretty smoothly though.  I had practiced on the dinghy the day before to get a feel for how this stuff behaves.  I decided to use the same amount I used on the dinghy to make things easy.  I had a fair amount left over when I finished the dinghy and I thought it would be about the right amount for the cabintop.  

Measuring this stuff by volume is a bit dicey since the paint part is like putty, so I poured 5 oz of catalyst (liquid) into a quart container and then glopped (technical term) in the paint part until the total volume was at 20 oz (3:1 ratio).  Then I mixed it up and let it stew for 20 minutes (induction time) while I wiped the top down with 2333N.  I should note that Interlux recommends using Solvent Wash 202 for the wipe down, but I didn't have any and based on many other's accounts, I went with the 2333N.  It has many of the same ingredients according to the MSDS sheet and its only purpose is to get any remaining dust/debris/wax off the area to be painted.

After the 20 minute induction period was up and I had wiped everything down, I added 5 oz of 2333N Brushing Thinner, mixed it to an even consistency. I started on the top aft section of the cabintop and worked my way aft on top.  I'd pour a bit out and then roller it in all directions spreading it evenly in roughly a 2x2 foot area.  Once satisfied that it was uniform, I tipped it out with a brush to knock down any bubbles that may have formed while rolling it out.  One thing I forgot to do before starting was to tape off the mahogany trim on the hatch opening.  I ended up getting a bunch of paint on it and will need to sand it all off and re-varnish (eventually).  

Crappy Roller
Once I finished up with the top sections I poured the remaining paint into a roller tray and loaded the roller in the tray to do the side sections.  I used a 7" high density foam roller from Lowes for all the work today.  One thing I learned yesterday from the dinghy project is that not all marine grade rollers work very well.  The one I had for the dinghy (Seachoice High Density) fell apart long before I was finished and I had to do the last sections with a brush only.  The cheapo's from Lowes worked well and never left any chunks of debris in the paint as I rolled.  One thing that is a must is to use a full face respirator with organic vapor cartridges.  At one point while painting I pulled off the mask to scratch my nose and I couldn't believe how bad this stuff smells.  There is no question that exposure to this stuff is really bad.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the first pass.  It's not perfect by any means but it's a start and I think I'll be able to refine my technique as I go along.  Also, now that the cabintop is fairly uniform in color, I can really see any high and low spots from my work so I'll be able to do a surface fairing after I sand the primer.  Then I'll get at least one more coat of primer before real paint, but that's a long way off.

Just the cabintop is primed, decks await.

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