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Bottom Painting Tips

The following are tips and tricks to help ensure your antifouling coating is as effective as possible at preventing boifouling on your hull bottom.

Stir the paint well

Antifouling paint is thicker than regular paint. If it contains copper, which is heavy and sinks to the bottom of the can, you need to make sure all the copper is in suspension and available to the paint brush or roller. To make it easier to get as much copper off the bottom of the can and into the paint, take it to a paint shop and have it shaken first. This will make it easier for you to stir the paint thoroughly.

If you're doing the mixing by hand, pour half of the paint into a mixing bucket so you can mix without making a mess. Keep dredging up the copper off the bottom of the can until the bottom feels clean to the touch of your stir stick. A drill mixer bit works best for thorough stirring. Slowly stir in what you poured off until the paint is uniform in color and consistency. Each time you add to your roller tray you will need to quickly stir again to ensure consistency and to ensure that the copper stays in suspension and doesn't settle to the bottom.

Do not thin bottom paint

Antifouling paint is meant to be used as is out of the can, without thinning, or it will lose its effectiveness. We recommend not to add any thinner to your antifouling paint unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise.

Use solvent-resistant brushes and rollers

Use a solvent-resistant brush or 3/8" nap roller to apply paint thickly, without drips, onto the hull, otherwise the solvent in antifouling paint will dissolve these items. Keep the thickness even, and paint from one end of the boat to the other.

Apply extra paint to areas of greatest water flow

Because ablative paints wear away faster in areas of greatest turbulence, apply extra coats to these places such as the leading edge of the keel and the bow.

Use copper-free antifouling paint on underwater metals

Remember to paint underwater metals such as transducers, with a copper-free antifouling paint that will not cause galvanic corrosion.

Pay attention to overcoat times

Recoat based on the manufacturer's directions for overcoat times. Ensure that the weather conditions are optimal for recoating.

Take care when removing masking tape

After the final coat of bottom paint has dried, remove the masking tape slowly and carefully. After cleaning up, be sure to dispose of used solvent and paints properly.

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