Iota Refit | Saturday, February 16, 2008

Paint day!

I got an early start and wiped down the deck areas once more, using the designated Alexseal wipe-down solvent, and then tacked off to remove final dust.  Then, I prepared the day's paint:  Alexseal Snow White topcoat.  I mixed up more than enough for the job, using a mixture of medium and slow reducers that I'd found to work well in the past.  I chose to mix all the paint at once so that I could fine-tune the reducer quantity in a single mix, and then use that mix throughout the day.  Inevitably, this approach leads to a bit more wasted product at the end, but makes for a much more successful job with consistent results from coat to coat.

I tested the reduced mix on a couple different surfaces:  first some cardboard, which I'd used earlier to test primers, and therefore it had enough of a surface to reasonably replicate the conditions on the boat itself.  I adjusted the spray gun as necessary to control material flow, and then moved on and sprayed some of the plastic covering the hull to see how the paint reacted there.  So far, so good, so I decided to spray the cockpit locker lids, companionway hatch, and icebox hatch, which I had set up at the end of the shop.  These seemed a good test bed for the paint and technique.

Satisfied with the paint mixture and material flow, I first got up on deck and sprayed the border surrounding the companionway hatch, an area that I couldn't reach from the staging.  I applied three coats here, with roughly 20-30 minutes between coats.

Next, I sprayed the inside of the cockpit well, which required me to clamber aboard and kneel on the sidedecks, a task that I'd anticipated and for which I'd set up additional staging and ladders to make access easier based on my experience with the primer coats earlier in the process.  I sprayed three coats inside the cockpit well.

With those three coats complete, I continued by spraying 3 coats on the cabin trunk and outer reaches of the cockpit seating areas, including the cabin bulkhead and after cockpit surround.  Finally, with three coats on the cabin trunk, I moved on to the toerails; I used a cardboard screen to prevent overspray from the toerails from getting on the cabin trunk as I painted those areas (3 coats).






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