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Greenland Forum

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If you use "boiled" linseed oil instead of "raw", you won't have to deal with long cure times.
A trick I learned from Mark Rodgers was to add chalk to your paint and add some raw linseed oil too. We put on two thick base coats which pretty much filled the weave. literally painted it on real thick and then rubbed it in with glove on our hands followed by a quick tip to smoooth it all out once it had been worked into the weave real well. We did the base coats with a grey so that if it was ever scratched I could tell how deep it was (the final coat was a different color (white)). It took the paint quite a while to dry due to the extra linseed oil, but I believe that extra oil made the paint more flexible. I just used regular exterior oil paint. (I skinned my boat in nylon). Worked great. As paint has a tendedncy to build and then crack when it gets thick, I don't paint my boat very much and live with it until it is looking real scruffy. I'll have to give Rustoleum a try next time.
With Zar, I typically use 3 coats, which is enough to seal and protect the fabric, and provide a reasonably smooth finish. I don't worry about completely filling the weave.
7 was pretty close, but I sand pretty carefully between coats.

I brushed the first coat because I thinned it the maximum they said, about 30% if I remember, and I brushed on thinner first to be sure that the paint wicked into the fabric. That thin it doesn’t roll very well. Then I used those little 4” foam rollers and tipped off if it needed it. It rolls on pretty nice, so in reality I only tipped off if I got it on too thick in spots or had runs. I really like Rustoleum products because the results are always really good.

7 coats didn't fill the weave? did you roll or brush it on?
Many of the "first line" kayaks in the early days of Qajaq USA had only 2 coats, maybe 3. Lightness was a fascination, and in many cases usability was sacrificed for lightness. When you paddled those kayaks water would weep in through the skin, and you'd have to constantly bail if you were in the kayak for any length of time. Personally, I don't thing that a couple more coats of paint would make any sort of difference to the weight, but it would make the kayak much more pleasant to paddle.

I like Rustoleum topsides paint a LOT on the right fabric. (According to Rustolem it's the same as regular Stops Rust, but with more UV inhibitors) As long as it's polyester or nylon, where the paint is more elastic than the fabric. I know people use it on nylon, which is more elastic that cured Rustoleum, but the stats I have on elasticity are based solely on manufacturer data. When a kayak is properly skinned with nylon like Maligiaq does it and the skin remains drum tight, the skin is under tension and I have no idea what that does to the elasticity.

In any case- the question was about how many coats. On my last kayak I did 7. It wouldn't fill the weave of the fabric (13.5 oz basket weave Polyester), but it was watertight.

Brian, how many coats?
Gina let us know ho it holds up with use please!
Sea socks rock!
Thanks, I also don’t like a high gloss finish. One of the reasons I am happy not to be gooping this time.
I've had really good luck with Zar exterior oil-based polyurethane. It's durable and works with either polyester (my preference) or Nylon. It's also available in a satin finish, which looks better than gloss on skin boats, IMO.
Hey Chris. I have a SoF here that a friend from my club gave to me.
Nylon fabric. Was shocked when he said it was finished with "Rustoleum out of a can", but apparently that's a thing !

Looks & works great. Happy I was  able to take it to hrgf & delmarva before everything changed. Hopefully things will be a lot better in 2021 & we'll be able to gather together again in some way.
I need to make a sea sock for it! 

Best to all, Alan M


alan's 1.jpg
Thanks Curtis that helpful info to know. I rolled the first coat on and it soaked in quickly. Next coat will be telling, I chose a matt finish.
We just coated a baidarka with Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane, reskinned with the same fabric. I didn't want to deal with the goop.

My preferred coating was Dura Tuff, but since it's discontinued, this was the closest replacement I found.

I have used Rustoleum in white, brown and blue ( industrial enamels). They work well over the polyester fabric sold by George Dyson. They do take a longer time to dry ( days ) and can be thinned for the first coat to allow full fabric penetration if desired . A “ roll and tip “ application will yield a smoother finish, working from the wet edge to dry. Usually at least two coats are needed and three if it is desired to fill the weave of the cloth. They can be tinted or mixed to other shades if desired to give a more traditional skin like color. Once fulled dried, they are tuff, scuff resistant,
and easy to touch up but do require time to dry , not a good field repair.
Yes, Chuck tells me it is the 12oz Nylon from Corey. Having sewn the cockpit rim in I can attest that it is a very robust fabric.
What fabric? Not nylon? I've used Rustoleum on cotton duck and it's great though the boats turn out kind of heavy.
I am finishing the skinning of Eastie a fleet qajaq, I was advised by Chuck Smith that Rustoleum would be a good choice for the fabrics he used. I just finished rolling on the first coat and have to say I love it. I felt much more in control of the paint that I do of goop, which is the only other finishing technique I have experience with.
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