Painting the boat yourself - Which boat varnish to choose?
Top coats are divided into one-component and two-component varnishes. 1-component boat varnish is cheaper and easier to apply, but must be reapplied more frequently due to its consistency. 2-component boat lacquer consists of a base coat and a hardener. These components must be mixed before use. Two-component varnishes are much more durable and keep their gloss for 6-8 years, which is better than one-component products (approx. 2-4 years).
1-K boat lacquer or 2-K boat varnish?
Never apply 2-component boat varnish to 1-component paint! If you are not sure what type of boat varnish is on your hull, we recommend soaking a small cloth with 2K thinner and placing it on the hull somewhere out of sight. After a few minutes, check carefully whether the paint can be easily removed (e.g. with a spatula or a pocket knife). If so, one-component lacquer has been used. Make sure you only use 1-K boat varnish again!
Re-apply boat varnish to the gelcoat
If you are going to apply boat paint directly to the gelcoat, a 2-component lacquer is recommended due to its hardness. A compatible 2-K primer should first be used. If it is not a new boat, be sure to remove any unevenness before varnishing.
Refreshing and touch ups
If your existing boat paint is still intact and only needs to be refreshed, you can simply revarnish with another coat. It is essential to repair deep scratches and damage beforehand in order to obtain an even coat of paint. The old layer should be lightly sanded for better results.
Cracked and flaking boat paint
If the old boat paint can no longer be used, it must be completely removed. The best way to do this is to use a hot air gun and scraper. Start painting again from your boat's gelcoat.
Applying paint correctly - brush or roller?
Corners, edges and small parts should first be painted with a brush. Large areas are easiest to paint with a roller. When applying boat paint, always work horizontally with the roller in order to reduce the risk of dripping and to achieve better coverage. Be careful with 2-component lacquers: Never use foam rollers!
Number of coats and dealing with defects
Between 1 and 3 coats should normally be applied, depending on the type of boat varnish. Use enough paint so that it covers well, but not so much that it starts to run. Before each coat, slightly roughen the dried paint to ensure better adhesion of the next coat. Small paint defects and drips can be corrected if necessary.