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Polish hull or apply name first?

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Muttley03/08/2020 14:49:18
4 forum posts


I've just finished spraying the hull with a dark blue top coat(s). But this the first boat I've built to such a level of detail and I'm unsure what I need to do next.

The hull needs to have name/numbers/stripes applied but do I polish the hull first (and if so with what?) before applying the numbers? and then lacquer over the top?

Or is there some other way to protect the name/numbers?

The hull also needs to have some vinyl strips which again, I'm unsure whether these need to be applied before applying a finish to the hull.

And finally, what do I do about any blemishes in the top coat? I was going to use a bit of T-Cut but I am worried about losing the gloss of the blue top coat.

Any help gratefully received as I'm worried about ruining this boat with a poor paint job!


ashley needham03/08/2020 17:45:49
6755 forum posts
198 photos

Hi Muttley and welcome to the forum.

First off, are you dissatisfied with the finish you have achieved?

Secondly. What sort of paint are you using?? A spray can finish always looks best straight out of the can.

If it is spray can paint, this can be rubbed down with fine paper ending with1200 or so grade wet`n`dry and T-cut afterwards. Other finishes are not so easy, although enamel paint CAN be rubbed down and T-cut but only after it has hardened.

I have found that if you need to T-cut one bit of the finish, you need to do it all....the shine is never quite the same??

Once you are happy with the finish then you can apply the various pinstripes and wotnot. How you finish them depends on the type of material you are using. pinstripe tape generally needs no varnish, water transfers WILL need varnish, vynil stickers probably not.

PERSONALLY. I dislike varnishing paint as it makes touching up very difficult. You should not need to varnish most finishes.

There is a guide to hull finishing i think on the home page somewhere.


Edited By ashley needham on 03/08/2020 17:53:20

Muttley03/08/2020 18:25:06
4 forum posts

Hi Ashley.


I'm using Halfords acrylic spray paint, over a Halfords primer (grey cause I'm aware there are some issues with the white). It had 3 coats of top coat, then flatted back with 1200 wet n dry and then a further 3 coats. Currently waiting 2 weeks (as advised on the can) for the paint to harden before doing whatever is next required.

One problem I had has been over-spray in areas around the prop shaft tunnels. Partly inexperience, partly lack of control with commercial spray cans and partly cause with the various keel extensions make it quite difficult not to dust something sprayed a few mins previously. And yes I discovered that T-Cut tends to change the finish.

I probably should have mentioned it's a lifeboat (white lower keel, blue upper).

The hull designation markings and name are all water-slide transfers so I'm expecting them to need some protection but it'll also need some vinyl tape striping.


ashley needham03/08/2020 23:02:34
6755 forum posts
198 photos

M. I try to spray something like that “in one”, so that the whole thing is “wet” and minimises the dusting effect.So saying, it is difficult with lots of sticky out bits present.

As for transfers, I would just varnish the actual transfer and 1 or 2mm over the edge, and use a non-yellowing varnish (Humbrol do transfer varnish).

Having given you my words of wisdom, several members here are lifeboat experts and no doubt will pitch in on what is the RIGHT way to do it!


Muttley04/08/2020 22:50:48
4 forum posts

Thanks for the advice Ashley, appreciate it.

Paul T05/08/2020 20:44:12
7183 forum posts
1214 photos
2 articles

All I could add to Ashleys expert assessments is to take some photos of the suspect areas of paintwork.

Muttley07/08/2020 09:48:01
4 forum posts

I'm actually not too worried about the over-spray because it's on the white anti-foul underneath and will t-cut out (or at worse need a flatting back and a limited respray).

It was some advice on polishing the hull, applying the waterslide hull markings and then something to protect them with (that is compatible with whatever I should use to polish the hull) that I was after.

ashley needham07/08/2020 11:20:52
6755 forum posts
198 photos

M. I would suggest that if you get a good shine on the spray, I would not do anything more.

As before, personally I would just varnish over the water slide transfers plus 1mm, and leave the pinstripe.


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