Natural finish versus paint

Canoes, Kayaks, Pedal power

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Tom Clark
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Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:26 pm
Location: houston, TX

Natural finish versus paint

Post by Tom Clark »

If I fiberglass the hull of the Huron, and apply a clear finish, will the maintenance be any different than fiberglass with paint?

I was able to locate douglass fir plywood which is half the price of okume. So now I am trying to determine if i should paint or go natural finish with the more expensive plywood. I don't really want to have a high maintenance canoe, if that is what going with a clear finish will result in.

Any comments and what product would you recommend for either paint or clear finish.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.

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Re: Natural finish versus paint

Post by Oyster »

My opinion is that when you own a varnished canoe or kayak, this would be in addition to owning other like boats that you can use and not worry about them, using them for what they are intended to be used for. Of course folks also use them for excersize on lakes on open rivers and bring out the sunday canoes and kayaks like the one that you are intending to build. My opinion on building with fir and varnishing, well lets just say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Depending on the uses, maintainance can vary with each method. The sun is the deciding factor with varnishing which also comes with how you intend of storing your boat too. Folks leave them upside down on a rack and the finishes take a beating in warmer climates from the U.V. rays. for portability, fir will be much heavier too.

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Re: Natural finish versus paint

Post by BruceDow »

One of my canoes is clear finished.

I sand and revarnish it every 8 or 9 years "whether it needs it or not". (It is about 20 years old, and I have only refinished it once, but it is overdue for a second)

In between, I touch up the scratches.

If she were painted, I imagine the routine would be about the same.

~~ Do what you love, and love what you do. ~~
~~ To me - only my boat is not yet perfect. Everybody else's is to be admired for I know the path they have walked (Dave Lott, 2010) ~~
Dow's Monaco Project

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Re: Natural finish versus paint

Post by kens »

I think if you prefer a natural finish, then do it.
Besides, if you change your mind later, then you just paint it and your done.
On my transom, I did natural finish epoxy, and used automotive clear paint as UV topcoat. So far this is holding up very well, and I still have the option to paint over the clear at any time.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

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