Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thoughts on Interlux Perfection

After re-reading my post I realized I didn't go into too much detail about using Perfection so I thought I'd elaborate while I wait to move on to KiwiGrip.  First of all, the disclaimer: I am not a painter and I've never used a 2 part paint before (except for the primer). My painting experience is limited to latex or oil on the sides of houses and I've dabbled with Interlux Brightsides polyurethane on past boat projects.  So, it's pretty clear that I am an expert and you should take everything you read on the interweb as gospel!  Now for the expert review:

After working with the 2 part primer (Interlux Primekote), I wasn't expecting to get great results with Perfection because the primer just didn't level well even when thinned to the maximum 25%.  Every coat I did resulted in lots of stipple marks and needed a good sanding to level it after it cured.  Also, mixing the primer was a bear; the paint (big can) in its raw form is like peanut butter and mixing it to the right 3:1 ratio was a messy affair.  Maybe most primers are like that and it didn't impact the quality once mixed, but it was just an added chore (to the large list of chores).

So when I mixed up my first batch of Perfection, it was sooo much easier; both the paint and the catalyst flowed nicely out of the can (I didn't need to scoop it with a stick), and the 2:1 ratio made measuring easy (I'm actually not math challenged, but the marks on my graduated containers make doubling ratios a snap).  Once the paint is mixed, it's similar to the primer where you wait for 20 minutes, so it gives you time to wipe down the area your about to paint with 2333N Brushing Reducer.

I had read that white toned Perfection paints could be rolled and not tipped if thinned to the maximum 10% 2333N Brushing Reducer.  I am terrible at tipping out paint (I either drag too much or too little, leaving a very bad looking surface), so I decided that whatever the result, this was the way to go, at least it would be consistent (unlike my tipping technique).  I think that the lower temperatures (low 60's) also helped improve the leveling because it allowed the paint to stay uncured for a longer period, allowing it to level more before hardening up.  This is just speculation on my part, but I noticed that the third coat didn't level quite as well as the second and I suspect it was because the temps were in the low 80's and caused the paint to harden quicker.  I'm sure someone who knows about these things would have some things to say.

For the cabin top sides I used a 6" foam mini hot dog roller and the deck perimeter a 4" mini hot dog.  You can buy six packs of them at Lowes or Home Depot. They work great and leave a very smooth finish.

I knew that the first coat would be an experiment and would give me good practice for subsequent coats. Almost immediately I found that rolling out a thin film seemed to level better than a thicker coat.  They tell you this in the product literature, but I guess I didn't really get it until I saw it in action.  Also, a thinner coat on a vertical surface reduces the possibility of sags or runs.  Once the first coat cured, it had some technique imperfections that needed to be sanded out (you could see how my technique improved over the course of the first coat), but the gloss just blew me away.

I sanded in between the three coats with 320 grit paper, but I learned after I finished the third coat that if you recoat within 24 hours of painting you don't need to sand in between.  The 320 grit sanding wasn't really a chore though; it only took about 30 minutes to sand the whole thing down and since my technique for the first coat wasn't the best, I think it only helped.

I'm really happy this is done and am really impressed with the paint.  I purchased the half gallon kit (64oz) and used 52 oz.  I'll probably need to get another quart to finish the cockpit when the time comes. The only knock I would give it would be the product literature on the Interlux site is a bit hard to find and wasn't that clear to me.  However, the yachtpaint forum (http://www.yachtpaintforum.com/) is a great resource for all things Interlux.  Interlux manages the forum and has technicians monitoring for incoming questions.  All my questions were answered quickly and completely.  I felt like it more than made up for the somewhat obtuse literature.







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