'Tis a glorious day today...we finally finished our deck project. Back in November, in our blog post "Decked Out", we had written about how we had used Interlux Primer after removing the delaminated fiberglass, reglassing, fairing, sanding, fairing, sanding, taping, and priming only to have it fail on us. We have waited all winter to get to this project, and the past month has allowed us some awesome weather.
We had originally gone with Interlux because it has always been touted as the more user friendly of the products, but after having it fail on us, we opted to try Awlgrip instead. Awlgrip has a reputation for being more difficult to work with for novices, but to be honest, after having used both, we really prefer Awlgrip. Though it wasn't easy per se, we can honestly say it was easier to work with than the Interlux product. Plus, it didn't peel up with the painter's tape. They both require the same prep work, which tends to take up the majority of the time anyway, but with Awlgrip, you get a an average of a 10 year lifespan as opposed to the meager 5 you would get out of Interlux's Perfection (one of our painter friends at the yard aptly refers to it as "Imperfection.")
The past couple of weeks have been spent sanding the old crap off, cleaning the surface thoroughly with denatured alcohol, taping, priming with Awlgrip Epoxy Primer, hand-sanding and orbit sanding, more cleaning, more taping, more priming, more sanding, then cleaning, then taping, then painting with Awlgrip PolyUrethane Topcoat (in Offwhite), more sanding, more cleaning, more taping, and another coat of topcoat, more sanding, cleaning, taping, and finally Kiwigrip. The painting part of it was a breeze, we went with the "roll and tip" method (minus the tipping) and it came out much smoother than we had expected. Unfortunately, the paint job turned out so shiny and smooth that it highlights our less than perfect fairing job. Overall, we are VERY happy with the results. A couple tips that we did learn is to put on extremely thin coats. The viscosity of Awlgrip is comparable to water, and it seems counter-intuitive to put on such a thin layer, but because of its flow-out, any thicker and you get sags and bubbles. Also, because of the possibility of dew, we added a couple drops of the Awlgrip 73015 Pro-cure X138 Inhibited Accelerator to help speed up the cure time. Note that you only need a few drops, a little really goes a long way. Our painter friend also recommended we use Denatured Alcohol as part of the chemical cleaning process, as it not only gets rid of contaminants, but it helps to dry out the decks. Alcohol bonds to the water molecules and evaporates at a quicker rate than water. 2 of our favorite tools through this project were kneepads and a beach umbrella. You laugh but having one person shade the area with the umbrella while the other painted, really helped the product to not flash cure and allowed it to have a little more time to flow out.
After all of the painting was done, we applied Kiwigrip as our nonskid. This latex based paint was very user friendly. My only tip on that is to pull the tape as soon as possible. What Frank and I did was, we pulled the tape halfway down each panel while it was still wet. If you don't do this, you end up with jagged edges, where the top layer of paint has dried, when you pull the tape. We applied the paint with a thick paintbrush and then used the loopy roller it came with. Piece of cake. Kiwigrip recommends that after 1 week of cure time, to wash thoroughly with soap and water in order to get rid of the wax layer that forms from curing. This really helps with the non-skid abilities, and until it's done, it feels almost greasy.
This project has been by far the most grueling and time consuming as we had gone from removing the old Plasteak, filling in the old screwholes with epoxy, then grinding off the top layer of delaminated fiberglass, then reapplying a layer of 1508 fiberglass, building risers for all of the deck fills, extensive fairing, to then 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of topcoat, and then non-skid. I would say this was the most tedious of all the other projects we have undertaken but this, along with the cabin top Teak project, has been the most rewarding of them all as well because it has transformed the look of our boat significantly.
|Faired, Primed, Painted & Non-Skid|
|Faired, Primed, Painted & Non-Skid|