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Author Topic:   Paint: AWLGRIP or IMRON With a Brush
Bertramp posted 06-09-2005 10:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for Bertramp   Send Email to Bertramp  
Can AWLGRIP or IMRON be applied non-professionally with a two-man team of a roller man and a brush man? Have any of you tried applying without spraying? Alternatively, will it be worth it to do the prepwork myself and have an experienced person spray it? Please share your experience/knowledge. Thanks
bsmotril posted 06-09-2005 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
This is a common way to apply such paint with awesome results. Do a search of this forum, and a google search on "Roll and Tip", or "Tip and Roll" AND "Paint" and you'll pull up relevant articles that describe the technique in detail.
Binkie posted 06-09-2005 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
Purchase a VHS--Brushing With Awlgrip. It usually goes for about $15 and is very informative. I got one about 2 months ago.
tobes posted 06-14-2005 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for tobes  Send Email to tobes     
I wouldn't roll/brush either, you are more likely to get poor results. They are primarily used for spray and are deadly if mishandled without proper protection.

Low VOC Sterling two-part poly will give you excellent results by roll/brush and it is very forgiving. I just finished repainting my 22 OR and I'm very happy. I used "moondust", the closest to desert tan.

The only drawback is the price. The setup for the hull inside and out, including new anti-skid, filler, wash, primer and topcoat ran me about $800 altogether.

Call Detco out of Newport Beach, CA they were great to deal with. 800-845-0023


PS proper prep is key for whatever finish you do use.

jeffs22outrage posted 06-14-2005 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     

Could you detail the process you did to your outrage? Also do you have pictures?

chrisvs posted 06-14-2005 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for chrisvs  Send Email to chrisvs     
I have just seen an episode on My Boat TV where they performed this type of re-finish on what looked to be a 13' sport. Try this link, I believe episode 6 is the one you are looking for.

I can not remember the product used, but it was from Interlux.

The results looked quite good.



The Chesapeake Explorer posted 06-14-2005 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Chesapeake Explorer  Send Email to The Chesapeake Explorer     
I figured it will cost me about 600 dollars for Awlgrip or Imron paint supplies to do my MONTAUK. Lots of prep on all gel coat cracks.. I have heard of "tipping out" with a brush where you thin the paint till it can go on a piece of glass and not form circles but a smooth coat all over the glass, then its just right for the boat. Prep is truly the truth.
LuckyLady posted 06-15-2005 01:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for LuckyLady  Send Email to LuckyLady     
I've sprayed and brushed on Awl-Grip for twenty years.I find that the best made foam brush is the best for brush on. It's all about the amount of reducer for the best flow out with the current weather conditions. With the foam, no brush marks either. Painting the whole hull should be done by spraying. It worth the money to have it done that way. Small jobs like decks and etc. are great with the foam brush. I really hate taking the time to set up the spray equipment unless it's a biggy.
John O posted 06-15-2005 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Have the Pros do it. Period
Freeport Alan posted 06-15-2005 07:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
Have the pros do it, period ?
Nice little Boston Whaler resto projects best done by the pros only ?
Roll & Tipping yields great results allthough I think the point made that algrip may be harder to paint this method then other 2 part paints "may" be true.
Saw Shipshape TV episode once where they did a big center console rolling & tipping, came out beautiful..
I've seen boats painted this way over the years & these boats come out perfect most of the time..
Awlgrip isnt the only marine paint thats good, Interlux 2 parts are excellent, & many more..
I would look for that episode from ShipshapeTV to tape or purchase it was that good..
jimh posted 06-15-2005 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Larry posted 06-15-2005 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Larry    
Dosen't interlux make a one-part poly designed to be about the same result as a two part but a little less hard surfaced?
It is made for roll/brush applications. It might make your job easier. Has anyone used it?
rfdevil1 posted 06-15-2005 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for rfdevil1  Send Email to rfdevil1     
I am going to be painting my 13 with Interlux Perfection 2 part next week. Any last minute tips? I have spent what seems like forever sanding and filling and finally put the prekote on over the weekend. I am going to roll and tip as I've heard the results can be really nice. But I have learned by doing the prekote that the thinning/reducing (as LuckyLady says) makes a huge difference in the application. Not enough and it too thick and begins curing too quickly. (I had to make some adjustments to my first batch)Too much and uh-oh.

I haven't thought of using a foam brush for this as everything I read said to use a high quality china bristle or badger hair brush. Does the foam really work and will it hold up through an application?

Larry - I spoke to the owner of a marine supply store where I got my paint. He sells mostly Interlux stuff. I was trying to decide between one part and two part. He said the two part is far better (harder and more durable) and will last much longer than one part even though the one parts have gotten much better. He said Perfection in pretty new and couldn't say enough about how good it is and that it's fairly easy to apply so I'm giving it a try. I'll post how it went when done.


BoniB posted 06-15-2005 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for BoniB  Send Email to BoniB     
Thinking about repainting my 1971 16'7" using the Interlux Perfection. What is involved with the roll and tip application?
rfdevil1 posted 06-15-2005 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for rfdevil1  Send Email to rfdevil1     
It was explained to me as a two person job. First person rolls it on with a tight foam roller. Second person follows close behind with a high quality brush and very lightly brushes off any bubbles or "bumpiness" left by the roller. He recommended a light horizontal swipe and finish with a vertical. I have no interest in getting involved with a sprayer and want to do the job myself so this is what I plan to do next week unless someone convinces me otherwise.

Freeport Alan posted 06-15-2005 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
Basiclly roll & tipping is a 2 man job, one applys the paint with a roller then someone else follows behind & immediately swipes { or brushes it } it with a high quality brush to smooth out the bubbles ect..
It's amazing how good it comes out in most cases.
I've tryed 1 part polys on decks in the past, they wont work well on the exterior of a Whaler { nor did it on the deck }..
I cant stress how informative that ShipshapeTV episode was on Rolling & Tipping, they do a 21' Center Console this way, show all the tricks & tips ect..
I think they sell back episodes of thier shows ..
I bet that Interlux Perfection would work great , you need a 2 part paint on these boats..
Freeport Alan posted 06-15-2005 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
looks like we were posting @ the same time, I've seen boats painted this method & they looke like they were sprayed.
Personally I would want to watch it done first & learn all the tips & tricks first not that this is brain surgury but it would be a big plus,
JeffA posted 06-15-2005 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JeffA  Send Email to JeffA     
I am getting ready to roll and tip using the perfection. I would appreciate advice on the % thinner used for both the primer and paint. The directions give a range, however, I am sure someone has found the optimum amount of thinner from actual experience.


rfdevil1 posted 06-17-2005 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for rfdevil1  Send Email to rfdevil1     

I have only done the primer so far and tried to use what the instructions said (epoxy primekote or Prekote don't recall exact name offhand)and it was a little too thick so I thinned a little more until I got to a better consistency and it went on much smoother and more even. I won't be doint the perfection until late next week so if you do it before I do, please post how it went.

buffman posted 06-21-2005 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for buffman  Send Email to buffman     
Found this article reagrds to applying awlgrip. Thought I would share this for those who are interested. There are interesting tips for DIY'ers.
phatwhaler posted 06-22-2005 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
Not sure if this is mentioned but be carefull which foam brushes you use. The foamies at West Marine have much smaller cells than the foamies from Home Depot for instance. The Home Depot foamies leave brush marks. I have rolled and tipped gallons and gallons of Brightside Poly and with a roller and brush and it works pretty well. I will admit that I was painting Coast Guard boats so a yacht finish wasn't the goal.

phatwhaler out.

Chesapeake posted 06-22-2005 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Buffman: That is a great article. Thanks for sharing.
downeastpete posted 06-22-2005 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for downeastpete  Send Email to downeastpete     
I have used the 1 part interlux for the past 10 years on my sailboat. I do all the work myself and can paint my 15 ft sailboat in about 45 min. I roll on about a 2-3 foot section with a 6" foam roller from Home Depot and then tip it with a 4" foam brush. I keep a wet edge at all times. I just changed the color of my boat from jet black to a light grey, and it only took one coat, or about 1/2 quart. I don't thin it out, I use it straight out of the can.
Calder posted 06-23-2005 01:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Calder  Send Email to Calder     
Do the prep work yourself and roll the primer on and lightly sand it then get someone to spray it in an automotive spray booth. I paid a guy $350 to spray a 21ft Invader with awlgrip in his car spray booth. He did it on a saturday and made a little cash. They are used to two part paints and don't charge the Marine prices. I had to tape everything first to protect the trailer but the finish was great. I am restoring a 21 Outrage now and plan to have him shoot that as well. I am sure there are plenty of car painters around that would help. Oh ,I had to supply the paint and thinner etc.
HoldenBeachBum posted 08-07-2007 06:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for HoldenBeachBum  Send Email to HoldenBeachBum     
Great info, everybody. I have a question however that I don't see addressed here. I'm presently involved in restoring a boat, and have all the prep work done with Awl Grip products, so we're ready for final priming and painting.

The boat is just a 14' McKee craft, which is much like a 13 Whaler, only made locally here in NC. It's a 1970 hull, but it had a nice newer Yamaha 60hp, and a low price.

My concern is our weather here on the Carolina coast. We plan to roll and tip (with foam rollers and foam brushes), but the humidity is so high here that you can practically see the air. I had thought about doing the job in my garage under the house (we're all on stilts here), but I've got concerns about fumes making their way inside.

Has anyone tried painting in high humidity conditions? We'll be working in a protected area under the house (but open), and I've heard horror stories about loss of gloss with products other than Awl Grip.

Incidentally, we're planning on the two part traditional Awl Grip, which seems to be the recommended paint for salt water.

Thanks in advance-

The Bum

Binkie posted 08-08-2007 07:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
I sprayed my 13 ft. Whaler last April here in Central Fl. in a 20x20 screen room in my yard. Not an ideal set up, but it works. I had to deal with wind, smoke from forest fires, and of course the ever present humidity of Florida, but I got through it, and the job turned out well. I wouldn`t spray it outdoors without some form of protection from flying bugs. If you do happen to get one just leave him be untill the paint dries, and then just pluck him off. Generally just his feet are in the paint and no damage done. If you do it in an enclosed area, your going to have to use a ventilation system system. Under your stilt house seems ideal to me. I would close off two sides with clear plastic, and leave one side open for ventilation. Of course your wearing a good paint mask, and long sleeve shirt, and long pants. If you concerned about fumes getting into your house, you`re using your A/C anyway, and I wouldn`t worry about it. If you can smell paint fumes upstairs, just have your family leave until your done. The fumes will dissipate when the paint is dry, usually in a couple of hours. You can take down the plastic then also. As far as humidity, I have never had a problem, Just make sure your paint is dry when nightfall comes. The paint could flatten out if wet dew lays on a tacky surface over night. I would be laying the paint on at 10AM. The morning dew had dried up, and it will be well dry by evening. Don`t spray if rain is imminent, or windy.
AwlGrip is no more difficult to spray than any other enamel type paint. I`ve sprayed over a dozen boats with AwlGrip over the years, and never messed up a job even spraying outside with no covering, and dealing with the bugs.


John W posted 08-08-2007 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     
I've done "roll & tip" paint jobs on several boats using Awlgrip, Sterling, and Interlux Interthane. The latter paint was very dificult to use with roller and brush, but that was years ago & the Interlux paints of today may be easier to use than the Interthane was 10+ years ago. Results were excellent with Sterling and/or Awlgrip and roller & brush. Get a good gas mask & follow directions thoroughly.

As to humid conditions, I would wait for cooler, less humid weather if you can't paint in an air conditioned building. These paints dry based on temp and humidity...high humidity actually makes them set up more quickly. This gives you less time to work with the paint, and it inreases the likelihood of sags, runs, etc. Plus its a nasty job, and wearing a gas mask & working quickly in this heat will lead to your sweat dripping all over the place...I would find an air conditioned painting place, or wait for cooler weather.

All of the two part polyurethane paints can give good results, but IMRON is a different animal from the linear polyurethanes such as Awlgrip and Sterling. I don't think you can brush IMRON. IMRON is less abraision resistant than liear polyurethanes (although it is more repairable if you scratch it later). A newer paint called "Alex Seal" is being used by many yards & boat builders now, that supposedly has the repairability of IMRON with the high shine and abraision resistance of the linear polyuethanes such as Awlgrip & Sterling. But I don't know if Alex Seal can be brushed or not.

Despite my positive experiences with the "roll & tip" brushing method, I had my 1971 Outrage was professionally sprayed with a two part linear polyurethane called "Endura", which is primarily used on oil rigs and other industrial uses. I didn't want to try to brush around all of the ribs, etc on my Outrage, so I had it sprayed. I have been very pleased with the results:

Hope this helps


Binkie posted 08-08-2007 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
John W
You seem to be knowledgeable but I must contradict your comments about the drying time of two part Poly paints such as Awlgrip. You claim the humidity and the heat affect drying time, when in fact it is the chemical reaction between the catalyst and the paint that controlls drying. Thats why you don`t mix them together until you are ready to paint. You have about 7 hours of open time to use the paint, but the paint always seem to tack up within an hour.
BTW if your going to do the roll and tip method make sure you buy the BRUSHING catalyst and not the SPPRAYING type. I used that method once to paint some trim on the boat, so I wouldn`t have to mask off the whole boat from overspray. AwlGrip is a very thin paint and they recommend 3 coats. As a result of it being very thin, it likes to run and sag, if you are not careful, and try to get to much coverage with each coat. When your cutting in around cleats and the like, it can be a real bear if you are not careful and have too much paint on the brush and roller. Spraying is much easier.


John W posted 08-08-2007 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     

You are right that these paints dry bt chemical reaction. But temperature and humidity significantly affect the chemical reaction by which these paints dry.

Here is something on the topic from the Awlgrip website:

"...These cure calculations are based on exposure at standard conditions (77¡F, 50% R.H.) and with coatings applied at the recommended film thickness.

Caution: Cure rates are subject to many variables. These include, but are not limited to; ambient temperature, substrate temperature, relative humidity, applied film thickness, reducer selection, use of accelerators, retarders, and air flow. Temperatures warmer than the standard conditions of 77¡F, 50% R.H. speed, dry and cure times. Cooler temperatures will create slower dry and cure rates...."

The product literature that is available for Sterling & Interthane, and the written instructions that were provided by Awlgrip, discussed temp & humidity affecting drying time as well. I also know from first hand experience that the curing time for these paints can be dramatically faster in high heat & humidity.

I agree that using the right catalyst is critical if there are seperate catalysts for spraying with the paint brand you use.

Binkie posted 08-08-2007 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
Many successful Awlgrip jobs have been done outside controlled temp environments. If the job can dry tack free before being hit my moisture, the job will be successful. The guy is just trying to paint a 14`boat. If you bring all that technical mumbo jumbo into it that allows the company a way out of every situation, the poor guy will get so confused he`ll do what you did and pay big bucks for someone to spray it for him.

If he`s going to roll and tip his boat, the best thing he can do is to buy the VHS video called BRUSHING AWLGRIP. It usually can be found on E-Bay for about $25, and will show the whole procedure. It shows a boat being painted and all the little tricks that will help you, and the boat is being painted under a tree in S. Florida on a nice summer day. It ain`t rocket science.

HoldenBeachBum posted 08-11-2007 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for HoldenBeachBum  Send Email to HoldenBeachBum     
Thanks a lot for the info, John and Binkie.

I acutally called the Awlgrip tech support guys, and they first responded that the solution would be to use the fast drying reducer. However, that's only for spraying, so the brushing reducer that I have on hand is apparently my only option to improve flow.

I gathered from Ted, the Awlgrip dude, that the biggest problem is not so much HEAT as is is HUMIDITY. If any moisture gets to the boat, it kills the shine, and the shine is the whole point of all this ridiculous prep work we've been doing.

My partner and I wondered about renting a garage space (to avoid the fumes getting in the house) and setting up a dehumidifier to give ourselves better conditions, but the Awlgrip guy says no to that idea as well. I guess the dehumidifier could bring down the humidity, obviously, but the instant we open the door to come in, the humidity goes way back up.

Interestingly, his advice was to use a couple of big box fans set alongside the boat. They'd be angled so as not to blow directly on the boat itself, but parallel to slightly outward angled, the idea being to improve air flow around the hull. It seems that improving air flow goes a LONG way toward defeating the humidity issue, and allows painting in conditions up to 75% relative humidity.

Other don'ts, by the way, include painting when a thunderstorm could hit inside the 8 hours or so of curing, EVEN IF THE BOAT IS UNDER COVER. I gather that the rapid increase in humidity would be a killer.

Again, thanks for the info, guys. My neighbor/partner here at the beach and I both have large open water boats, and this is just our little shallow water solution to getting up our tidal rivers in search of the redfish. We've become a little obsessed with perfection here, and with nearly $600 in prep materials, respirators, solvents, paints, and catalysts, we don't want to screw it up.

Nice whaler, John. I like the custom wood decks!

HoldenBeachBum posted 08-11-2007 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for HoldenBeachBum  Send Email to HoldenBeachBum     
Oops, forgot to mention, Rich, that we've stripped every single bit of hardware off this old boat, so cutting in won't be an issue. We ripped out the console, took the floor tunnel cover off, removed the rear bench seat and forward hatch cover, the rubrail, and every cleat/chock/eye/hook on the surface.

Did I mention that perfection is an issue for us? I've even got all this old hardware soaking in a bucket of solvent right this minute.

I figured that spraying was easier, but we're not set up for it, and I didn't want to go nuts over buying some big spraying setup and getting all involved in all the Awlgrip minutia over moisture somehow entering the compressed air lines. I'd hoped that the fact that we're using ice blue for our hull and snow white for our interior might help to mask the brush marks. I've also ordered foam rollers in 3" and 7", as well as white china bristle brushes from Jamestown Distributors (where I bought the paint), and those are reportedly the ticket for better roll/tip results.

Again, thanks for the advice. I'll probably go to You Tube again for Awl Grip videos prior to topcoat application.

Binkie posted 08-11-2007 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
The foam rollers are very important whether rolling or spraying. If you get a sag or run, you can roll it in with the roller providing the paint has not yet begun to tack up. I got the dense 3-5 inch foam rollers with the rounded ends from Home Depot. They are mainly used for painting kitchen cabinets, and the round ends won`t leave roller marks. I painted a 12 to 6 inch yellow stripe using Awlgrip, on my bass boat, with the roller method on the hull. that I had just sprayed white Awlgrip. I didn`t want to spray the stripe because of all the masking. It came out so good by just rolling, that i did not tip it off with a brush, and it looked the same as the spray job. Just remember THIN coats don`t worry about coverage, multiple coats will make it cover.


HoldenBeachBum posted 08-11-2007 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for HoldenBeachBum  Send Email to HoldenBeachBum     
Good to know that rolling works that well with the topcoat. I tried the rounded smaller high density rollers as well, when we rolled on the 545 primer. Problem was that they broke down with the solvent, so in priming the boat we ended up going through about eight of the damn things. That's why I'm getting the solvent-safe ones from Jamestown.

We'll see if we need the brushes when we go...I'll post some pics once we're done.

Thanks again-

Binkie posted 08-12-2007 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
Remember the 545 primer is epoxy based, while the topcoat is a polyurethane. Never tried those rollers with the primer, only the topcoat.


John W posted 08-12-2007 07:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     

Thanks for the comments on my Outrage. The teak deck areas are OEM from Whaler in 1971.

Binkie is right that you can get good results doing this outdoors...,y father and I rolled & tipped a 24' Aquasport outside, and my Whaler was sprayed outside...results were great on both boats. But both were painted when it wasn't so hot (heat index 110 to 120 degrees in Savannah over the past week).
if you don't want to wait for cooler weather, I would close your garage door, open the door from the garage to the house, and set your A/C on 70 the day before. Get up early in the AM, close the door to the house, and paint the thing in the garage while it's stilll cool from AC. Your house will probably stink for a day...have everyone plan to be out of the house that day. It should come out great.

Binkie posted 08-12-2007 08:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
If your painting inside, make sure your area is very well lit.


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