Thursday, April 29, 2010
I can't seem to get rid of the paintbrush yet. I've been repainting the gangplank to match our new colour scheme. This time I remembered to put a layer of sand on the middle coat to give some grip to our feet. The previous glossy paint resulted in Jacob falling into the Wendover Arm three years ago during the canal festival there.
I also have to do something about catches to hold the rear doors open. The previous cabin hooks that did the job left circular paint scratches as they swung loose. I can't face the thought of our lovely new paint being defaced. Standing in front of fixtures and fitting in Wickes, I can see a number of potential ideas - magnetic catches, roller catches etc, but I need to have a detailed look this weekend at the doors themselves to see what might fit. I need something elegant and practical - not always an easy compromise. Any ideas?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Clearing up and totting up the cost
It took us most of the day today to clear the boat of all the dust and rubbish accumulated. Now we are ready for our first outing in our new livery. On Friday we go to the Canal cavalcade at Little Venice along with other boats from our moorings.
One other job we did today was to return unopened tins of paint to Uxbridge boat centre. The paint (craftmaster) went quite a lot further than we anticipated, but luckily UBC gave a refund on the unused tins (about £90!). That means that the final bill for paint was down to about £375. And we still have a couple of half used tins to keep for touching up future wear and tear. I reckon the total job cost (paint, abrasives, dock hire, brushes, tools) comes in at just under £1000, plus something like 50% more for food and drink. Well you have to keep the workers happy.
Compare that with the cost of £3000 to £5000 normally charged by professional paint shops (more for the top places). Not that I think their prices are high. There is a huge amount of labour involved if you do the job right.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Of borders and coachlines - how we did it.
We went for the old fashioned way, which was to paint the coachline before the rest of the top coats. We marked out the coachline with a pencil on the undercoat, then painted it twice the proper width, feathering the edges. At this point it looks like this.
Note the red handrail paint is also feathered down. Then you stick masking tape where the final line would be, covering the coachline paint. Then we masked the edge of the red handrail. Then paint your panel and border, edging over the masking tape. Then when all is dry, pull off the tape and hey presto you have a sharp coachline.The professional painters at our dock do it another way. Just mark a single line for the centre of the coachline. Carefully paint the panel and border, meeting at the line. Then mask up either side of the finished coachline and paint it in, covering the other paints where they meet.
Lastly there is the Phil Speight way, which is to mask over the proposed line and paint border and panel, then unmask the line and mask either side, then paint the line in.
Each to his own. I don't think our way was best, in terms of the finished line, but it was the easiest and quickest.
As to the borders, its a good idea to do them a little less than the width of a roller, so once masked, its easy to paint. Our bottom borders, by the gunwales were too narrow to accommodate a full width roller so we cut our roller down, leaving a stub to run along the gunwale.
That made it really easy to stay on line and we flew along.
Monday, April 26, 2010
How to cheat at signwriting
All I had to do then was paint in between the masking tape and do the freehand curves into the serifs. Easy,although the first strokes were somewhat nerve racking
However, it's a start and I look forward to making it better with a few tweeks and the addition of some shading. That's just one side of the boat, I still have to start the other. Maybe I'll learn and do it better and quicker.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Ten secret tips they don't tell you about boat painting
1. This is the most difficult challenge. Find several friends, competent at DIY, who have more free time than sense, and persuade them that they would enjoy long days of strenuous dirty work for little reward. Our paint job took 45 person days of labour over two weeks !!! Alternatives are:
a. Do loads of prep in the weeks before the official job starts
b. Pay someone else to paint the boat. Even at three or four times the DIY cost, they are not ripping you off.
2. This is the most vital appointment, needed in order to keep the team from rising up against the management. . Nominate a catering manager and allocate them a large proportion of the total project budget for tea, cake and biscuits and order refreshments at hourly intervals. Do not expect the catering manager to provide evening meals if they are also part of the prep /paint team. Allocate a further budget, approximately equal to the cost of the paint, to spend on booze and pub grub in the evenings.
3. Even though you should use a clean, well lit indoor wet dock like thisit also would be a good idea to cultivate friends in the met office to arrange for dry weather with stable, comfortable temperatures throughout. Alternatively choose to paint your boat in spring or early autumn to get the right conditions.
4. Make a plan at the start with a daily list of jobs and then because it never goes to plan, rewrite it each day until one day near the very end it actually does go according to plan.
5. Get lots of little envelopes. You will need these suitably labelled to store all the little fittings you unscrew from the boat.
We didn’t , and it cost us hours of trying to work out which screws went where at the end.
6. Allow hours and hours and hours for masking up. To calculate how much masking tape you need, multiply the length of the boat in feet by three, then buy that number of metres. We used nearly 150 metres of it! Buy the red plastic stuff. Expensive but worth it.
7. Work out the area of carpet in the average house, then bring along that much clean rags to wipe brushes, mop up spills, wash down the boat with white spirit etc. We got a roller towel roll from a car boot sale and it was just the job. Also buy loads of tack cloths. We used over 40.
8. Buy paint from somewhere that will take back unused tins and give a credit note. Paint goes further than it says on the tin.
9. Whenever you have a wet paintbrush after painting a large area, look around for something small to paint in the same colour. Maybe a locker lid handle, or a T stud. That way, all the little bits get done.
10. Andrew Denny of Granny Buttons likened our paintfest to an Amish barnraising. That leads us to our final tip. The Amish always leave a small fault in the symmetry of their patchwork quilts to show that only God is perfect. When painting your boat, always leave imperfections to show that only Phil Speight is perfect! That’s our excuse anyway.
Lastly, remember - putting on the paint is the easy bit. Preparation is all.
Tomorrow - signwriting secrets
Saturday, April 24, 2010
We emerge into the daylight - the finished paint job
Herbie approaches home in her new livery. How will she look?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Paintfest day 12 - details details
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Paintfest day 11 - hard work, good results
Monday, April 19, 2010
Paintfest day 10- the beginning of the end
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Worse before it gets better!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Paintfest day 7 - we glimpse the real colour
Over half way through now and we face the most scary bit, prepping and painting the gloss coats. We can put it off no longer, the whole boat sits in the requisite number of layers of undercoat. It looks like the final rub down will not be easy if we are the get rid of the brush marks in the undercoat. A hard day's sanding is in prospect.
We have quite a few shallow indentations where we have rubbed down spots and although they have all had extra dabs of paint I reckon some will remain visible at the end, despite the sanding. Disappointing.
To test out the top coat I painted the front doors, which spend most of their life in the gloom of the cratch so I reckoned that any mistakes would be less visible.
After the thick primers and undercoats, the coach enamel is a revelation. Much thinner, flows readily and very easy to paint with. Although it is thin, the coverage is amazing. It seems to obliterate the undercoat colour easily. I guess that's why you pay all that money for this good paint. It really does the job. So, now we see the main colour of sides of the boat, a dark graphite grey which will be surrounded by a lighter grey border.
Temperatures have been ideal for painting.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Paintfest day 5&6 - paint over paint over paint
Yesterday was a day of bits and pieces, undercoating doors, hatches etc and it didn't feel like we'd come far. Today however, in a single day, we have undercoated or re-undercoated the cabin sides, the roof, all six steel doors, the rear deck area and the foward bulkead and the foredeck, and all the fiddly bits round the side hatch, and we now have half the hand rails resplendent in the shocking pink undercoat for the red paint. Now wonder Kath looks knackered!