Tuesday 9 October 2012

Primer and undercoat

The main thing, said Rich, was not to leave primer overnight once the evenings were getting damp. It allows the dew to get through to the steel, which is not a Good Thing. However, you can apparently paint over it earlier than it says on the tin, so the plan was to get primer and first undercoat on in one day.

According to Steve the marina manager, there was a coat of ice over everything at 7 this morning. I confess I didn't see it – nor much else until considerably later. By the time I'd breakfasted, the sun had warmed up everything sufficiently to tackle the primer, but it was still early enough to get an undercoat on in the afternoon.

It's amazing what questions arise as soon as you actually start doing the job. Things I hadn't thought to ask Rich during our session last week. Do you rub down the bit you treated with Rust Exit? Do you thin primer or not? How much stirring is enough? If the undercoat tin says you can thin it with CraftMaster's PPA, are you sure you can use white spirit? How do you get a small amount of undercoat out of its tin and into the baked beans can (previously emptied!) ready for adding some white spirit, without spilling it everywhere? One you've finished the job is it OK to put the surplus thinned paint back into its tin? How does a boater dispose of white spirit? When you come to do the next undercoat should you use new masking tape?

No doubt all this will become second nature. At the moment I'm more concerned about the second undercoat. Hopefully tomorrow's weather will be favourable.


  1. These and many more questions will hopefully be answered in tomorrow's edifying edition of Erin Mae: a narrowboat adventure! Yes we've had the same thoughts;how do you clean out your brushes, not wanting nasty stuff going into the water? We purchased large biscuit barrel/jar in charity shop and bring them home to clean..there has to be another way!

  2. I have found that, generally, after a short space of time the paint residue will have settled out of the white spirit which can be decanted into a new jam jar and the pocess started all over again. Dump the old jar with the paint in it and marvel how long a bottle of white spirit can last. nb red seems to work least well.
    Matthew Flinders