Friday 27 October 2023

Paint Blisters | Update (1)

I got in touch with the paint manufacturer who had supplied all my paint and asked them what could be causing the blisters.

They were really helpful and sent someone out to inspect the blisters and offer any help.

So Andy from TeaMac spent an hour with me and gave me some extremely useful advice.

I explained how I had painted the boat. Five coats of primer sanded smooth, followed by ten coats of gloss which was wet sanded with wet'n'dry and then polished with buffing compound.

I was relieved to be told that was the right strategy, but the tools I had used were not suitable. I used a soft foam roller to apply the paint and a foam brush to tip it out. These are my tools.

It turns out that the foam in both roller and brush actually introduce tiny air pockets between the layers of paint which are sealed in when the paint dries but expand under certain conditions of temperature and humidity.

That's what is happening to my boat. I was so relieved to find out.

Andy said that he would usually remove a square of paint for testing by cutting it out with a knife, but he was very impressed with the build quality and would not damage the surface. He knew what the problem was.

Again he said he would normally tell some people to just live with the blisters but in my case he said I should repaint the boat because he knew I couldn't do that.

He was really, really complimentary about the boat, which made me feel a lot better about messing up the paint.

He told me what I should be doing, and even brought a top quality roller set and a brush for me to use. This is them.

The roller sleeves are short pile micro fibre and interestingly the brush is synthetic. I have always been told to use pure bristle brushes for solvent based paint. But I am going to do what Andy says!

He is going to send me some fresh paint and thinners to have a practice at getting this right. I should be using a special Thinners 14 for cleaning brushes and rollers - not brush cleaner.

I asked about when and where to do the repaint. Andy said it would be best to wait until the spring, and do it indoors.

My idea of using a PVC car tent was not good - they harbour moisture and cause humidity problems. So that's out.

So it looks like the boat is going back into the garage at some point. Unless I can find a suitable workshop but that's not looking likely so far.

I need to make a pair of dollies for it to rest upon upside down again. We are certainly getting a lot of practice at this!

The build has now entered its sixth year. I fervently hope it will be its last.

The great thing is that I will have an opportunity to correct some things that I am not happy about, apart from the paint.

I have always worried about the centreboard pendant. The hole in the board was too small but I didn't know at the time and forced the knot into it. I also didn't seal the knot very well and was concerned that it might fail. I can fix this now because I have to remove the board anyway to to repaint it.

And the keel fillets are not very good. It's purely cosmetic, I know, but they can now be made much nicer.

What a journey she really is turning out to be...

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