I wish this post was coming to you with the good news that the new ports have been placed in the port side of the boat, but unfortunately we are back to square one. Minus the silicone and gunk removal that is. Or filling all the bolt holes. But we are back to square one as far as priming and painting goes.
Everything had gone according to plan for the first few days. Directly around the now open ports we placed a coat of Petit Aluma Protect, a 2 part strontium chromate epoxy primer. This is to give a proper barrier coat over bare aluminum, and comes in an awesome almost neon yellow color. Although we started by coating only the area surrounding the ports that we had ground down to expose and fill the extra bolt holes, as soon as that was on and protecting that bare aluminum, Matt moved on to grind off all the remaining paint from that side of the pilot house and coachroof before the entire side was coated in the Aluma Protect. So far, so good.
The next stage was to place a barrier coat on, and what we had chosen to use was Petit Protect Epoxy Primer. The first thing that went wrong with this barrier coat is that we had meant to get it in white, but when it came in the mail we had found that we’d accidentally ordered gray. Turns out when we placed the order button online we had been paying more attention to the sale price instead of the color. Even though the next primer coat and final coat would be white, we weren’t sure how well it would cover the darker color underneath. Not one to throw away a good deal though, we thought we’d give it a shot. What we hadn’t expected, but found out once we’d applied the two necessary coats, is that this is a high build primer and did not want to sand well for us.
If it was a barrier coat to the bottom, no big deal. We’d just be apply the top coat after and not worry about any bumps or ripples caused by the roller. The topside though…yeah, a smooth surface is pretty important to us. As soon as we’d take any kind of sandpaper to it, trying out both 100 and 220 grit, it would automatically clump the paper and we’d be left with either a bare spot where it all came off or a still semi rough surface. Thinking that maybe the primer would hide some of these mistakes and we could then smooth that down to a dimple free surface we added the next step of Petit one part white primer, the same as what we used in the head.
As you’ve probably guessed by the title of this post, it hasn’t worked out for us. After a bit of discussion and deliberation, we talked about continuing with the products we had, doing multiple rounds of priming and sanding until we had the smooth surface we desired. Or, we could start fresh with different products. So that is what we have decided to do. All of our hard work over the past 5 days is now getting washed down the drain as we grind the side back down to bare metal and start from scratch.
We’ll be keeping the Petit Aluma Protect as our barrier for the aluminum, although after that point we’re switching to Interlux InterProtect for the barrier and primer coats. A little more time and money out the window, but what can you do? Being such a major focus of the boat we can’t do a slapdash job on the paint and hope no one we’ll notice. We certainly would.
We’re sad the line of Petit products didn’t work out for us although we’re still using them for the top coat), and it’s possible the fault could have been all our own. Maybe I just have terrible ratio and mixing skills. We’ll never know. The new products should be arriving any day though, and we hope this time around everything goes much smoother. Both literally and figuratively.