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Awlgrip Application Guide - General Guidelines

The Awlgrip Application Guide is in five basic parts:
  1. General Guidelines - Includes recommendations and tips for:
    • Surface cleaning.
    • Application equipment selection.
    • Air compressors and compressed air.
    • Sanding and masking materials.
    • General paint environment.
  2. Above Waterline Application Systems
  3. Below Waterline Application Systems
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. General Information - includes
    • Glossary of Paint Terms
    • Maintaining the Topcoats
Complete Application Guide in .pdf format
Requires Acrobat Reader available from Adobe
If after reading the material you still have specific questions, call, fax, or write the Customer Service Department

  • United States
    1 East Water Street,
    IL 60085,
    Telephone: +1 847 599 6212
    Fax: +1 847 599 6209
  • Europe
    Bannerlaan 54
    2280 Grobbendonk
    Telephone: +32 (0)14 25 77 70
    Fax: +32 (0)14 23 08 80
  • Australia
    Unit E54
    Gold Coast City Marina
    76 Waterways Drive,
    Queensland 4209,
    Telephone: +61 7 5573 9655
    or 1800 007 866
    Fax: +61 7 5529 9329
  • Singapore
    449 Tagore Industrial Avenue,
    #01-03 Greatland Industrial Building,
    Singapore 787820
    Telephone: +65 6453 1981
    Fax: +65 6453 1778

Application Guide - General Guidelines

  1. Introduction and Safety Considerations
  2. Surface Cleaning
  3. Tack Rags
  4. Taping and Masking
  5. Compressors and Compressed Air
  6. Sanding & Sandpaper
  7. Application Equipment
  8. Painting Environment
Next Chapter - Above Waterline Application Systems

Back to top of pageIntroduction and Safety Considerations
This guide is designed to supply the professional applicator with the necessary information required to apply our products. It is not intended as a "How To" guide for the do-it-yourselfer. We encourage you to read the entire guide carefully, especially those sections on safety before applying any product.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) should be read by the applicator before applying an Awlgrip Product. These documents contain extensive information for safe handling of our products. Please contact your local distributor or download the appropriate MSDS from this website.

Along with application systems information, the guide contains a complete section containing technical bulletins for each product. These bulletins contain the basic mixing and application specifications for each product. The appropriate bulletins should be reviewed before using a product. The AWLGRIP Premium Coating Systems are available world wide. Local regulations may limit the availability of certain products in some parts of the world. In some cases packaging will differ depending on local specifications and standards.

Please remember that the AWLGRIP Premium Coating Systems are designed specifically for the pleasure craft industry and provide chemically cured finishes that are resistant to abrasion, chalking, corrosion, and chemical attack. Only a complete AWLGRIP Coating System will provide these characteristics.

Do not incorporate any thinner, additive, modifier, converter, primer, or related product that is not specifically recommended by Awlgrip into any Awlgrip Coating System. Such substitution can jeopardize the unique characteristics of the Awlgrip Coating System resulting in poor cosmetics and/or premature failure of the system and will void Awlgrip's Limited Warranty.

Safety Considerations

Awlgrip Corporation is committed to provide you with state-of-the-art chemical coatings technology and systems. With that commitment comes a responsibility of much greater consequence, a dedication to provide you with the necessary safety information concerning the application and handling of these products.

Please read the cautions and warnings on the Awlgrip labels carefully. They are there for your benefit. The recommended safety equipment ensures the safe use of our products.

If you have any questions, contact CHEMTREC at (800) 424-9300 or Awlgrip Regulatory Affairs at (908) 964-2206. Please have the appropriate label and container information available when you call.

Material Safety Data Sheets "MSDS"'s are available on each Awlgrip Product.

Back to top of pageSurface Cleaning
A clean, dry surface is essential to the success of any coatings application. Our systems include products and procedures which will enable you to obtain proper surface conditions.

Remember -- Clean before sanding. Sanding often melts greases and oils into the surface making it impossible to obtain a clean surface.

T0008 Awl-Prep Surface Cleaner
Using the Two Cloth Method wipe down with AWL-PREP T0008 before and after sanding, and between applications of primers, fillers, and topcoats. AWL-PREP T0008 has a "drying" effect which removes latent moisture from the surface. Latent moisture on the surface can cause a gloss finish to come out flat.

T0115 AWL-PREP PLUS Wax and Grease Remover A strong solvent designed to remove waxes, oils, and greases commonly found on painted surfaces and new or aged gelcoat. Use before and after sanding the substrate prior to priming.

Detergent Scrubbing
Many applicators scrub the surface they are going to paint with household cleanser and a 3M Scotchbrite Pad before any other prep work is performed. This is an excellent practice as careful observation of the rinse water will tell you when you have a clean surface. Breaks, holes or beading of the rinse water indicates areas which need additional attention.

Two Cloth Cleaning Method
  1. The surface should be cleaned thoroughly of all dust, using a vacuum or clean dry compressed air to blow while wiping with clean, oil free, dry cotton cloths.
  2. Soak one cloth in AWL-PREP or AWL-PREP PLUS. Use this cloth to wet the surface.
  3. Use a dry second cloth to wipe the surface dry and lift the contamination off the surface.
  4. Work small areas (4 sq. feet or less) to keep the surface cleaner from drying before the second rag wipes it clean.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3, changing rags frequently, until the surface is residue free.
Wiping the surface with one wet cloth only smears contamination around. Be sure the cloth used does not have any contaminates; clean cotton works the best.

The surface must be dry before using tack rags.

Back to top of pageAwlgrip/Alumigrip Tack Rags
Tack rags are used just before painting to remove the lightest dust or dirt from what would otherwise be considered a clean, ready to paint surface.

Tack rags are used before final primer and topcoat applications. They are usually not needed when applying fairing materials or surfacers.

When tacking a primer or topcoat surface, use only AWLGRIP/ ALUMIGRIP Tack Rags (#73009). They have the proper type and amount of resin to pick up dust without leaving contamination on the surface. Other tack rags can easily leave a residue that causes fisheyes and cratering of the topcoat.

Be careful not to use excessive hand pressure when using tack rags. A light dusting is all that is necessary, let the resin do the work. Even AWLGRIP/ALUMIGRIP Tack Rags can leave a resin on the surface if used improperly.

Back to top of pageTaping and Masking Materials

Masking Tapes
Masking tapes are produced in various grades. Review tape manufacturers' recommendations and then make your selection based on your working conditions and technique. A minimum requirement is tape designed for use with urethane and epoxy coatings.

Common problems with tapes not designed for use with these types of coatings are poor solvent resistance, creeping, adhesive residue remaining on the surface, and poor moisture resistance.

For striping, a thin plastic tape such as 3M Fine Line #218 is recommended. Pushing the edge of the tape to be painted down with fine sandpaper, a green Scotchbrite pad, and/or a plastic spreader will help insure a sealed edge and a fine, even, no creep line.

Masking Paper
Masking papers are manufactured in various grades. The solvents in urethane and epoxy coatings require a paper with excellent resistance to solvent penetration. 3M's Scotchblok Masking Paper is highly recommended.

  1. Do not use light weight plastic masking materials that "cling" to the surface. This can leave tracks or marks on the paint film which cannot be removed.
  2. Do not use plastic sheeting on a surface longer than two days. Condensation can form under the plastic, causing blistering, bubbling, or loss of gloss in the paint finish.
  3. Do not use newsprint or newspapers; these can stain the paint finish.

Back to top of pageCompressors and Compressed Air
Clean, oil-free, dry air is essential for operating spray equipment, air power tools, and blowing off surfaces prior to priming or painting.

Air supply lines should have oil and water separators. For separators to be effective, air from the compressor must have time to cool before reaching the separators. Usually a minimum of 30 feet is required between the compressor and the separators. Additional separators may be required.

Back to top of pageSanding & Sandpaper
Read all safety and health information contained in Material Safety Data Sheets.

Always thoroughly clean the surface before sanding. See surface cleaning.
  1. 1. When sanding or grinding, work in areas with adequate ventilation, maintaining a continuous flow of fresh air.
  2. Do not breathe sanding or grinding dust.
  3. Keep sanding dust off skin and out of eyes.
  4. Wear a properly fitted chemical cartridge/mechanical filter respirator TC-23C (NIOSH/MSHA approved) during sanding, grinding, and blowing off.
  5. Keep bystanders and unprotected workers out of sanding and grinding areas.
Proper sanding promotes adhesion for the next coat. Excessive sanding or using too coarse a grit can open pores in the surface or create a sanding scratch profile too deep to be filled by the next product to be applied. This can cause porosity holes in gelcoat and sand scratch print-through.

There are four basic types of sanding and throughout this book references are made to each type. All four types may be accomplished by hand, machine, or block. The surface shape, size, and quality requirements, will determine the tools or combination of tools required.
  1. Scratch Sanding: Scuffing or scratching a smooth surface to create a profile to promote adhesion of another coating.

    3M Scotchbrite Pads #'s 7447 or 7448 may be used to push stripe edges down or remove light overspray from primer. Caution is recommended when considering Scotchbrite for scratch sanding between topcoats as adhesion will be questionable. Sandpaper is recommended.
  2. Smooth Sanding: Sanding the surface smooth of orange peel or fine texture. This is usually done with small blocks, small pad machine, or hand sanding using relatively fine grits. This type of sanding is not considered fairing.
  3. Block Sanding: Block sanding is used for fairing. Block sanding by hand-board or machine is used to level a surface. The depth and height of the highs and lows, and the width between them will determine the size block as well as the amount of filler/surface products needed to fair the surface.
  4. Grinding: Is for the removal of material. Grits are coarse, 24-36-60, with the primary purpose being removal of undesirable material and creating surface profile. Grinding would be used to brighten corroded metal, remove old coatings and to remove heavily oxidized or damaged gelcoat.
Sanding Grit Cross Reference: The finish sanding grits in this book are for 3M Tri-M-ite Fre-Cut sandpaper. When choosing 3M Gold, or Wetordry sandpapers, a finer grit choice will be necessary to match the sanding scratch profile or depth of the Tri-M-ite Fre-Cut. Example:

Tri-M-ite Fre-Cut  Gold  Champagne  Wetordry
220  280  280  400
320  400  400  500/600

Clears and dark topcoat colors tend to show sanding scratches more than lighter colors. Using finer grits will help overcome this condition. Use:

Tri-M-ite  Champagne  Wetordry
320  400  500/600

to sand before applying clears or dark topcoat colors.

Back to top of pageApplication Equipment
Ventilation/Respiratory Protection: Use only with adequate ventilation. Maintain continuous flow of fresh air. Do not breathe vapors, spray mists, or sanding dusts. Wear appropriate, properly fitted respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved) during and after application unless air monitoring demonstrates vapor and particulate levels are below applicable limits. Follow respirator manufacturer's directions for respirator use. Engineering or administrative controls should be implemented to reduce exposure. Provide sufficient mechanical (general and/or local exhaust) ventilation to maintain exposure below TLV's (Threshold Limit Values). Personal Protective Equipment: Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Use solvent resistant safety eyewear with splash guards. Solvent impermeable gloves, clothing, and boots should be worn to prevent skin contact. When applying an AWLGRIP or AWLCRAFT 2000 Topcoat or any other isocyanate containing product, a respirator that is approved for use with such products must be used. A positive pressure air supplied respirator (TC19C NIOSH/MSHA approved) is recommended. SPRAY EQUIPMENT Air Atomized For use with AWLGRIP, AWLCRAFT 2000, and lower viscosity Awlgrip primers such as 545 Primer, 30-Y-94TM, QUIK-GRIP, ZINC CHROMATE WASH Primer, and AWL-QUIK.

SPRAY EQUIPMENT Air Atomized For use with AWLGRIP, AWLCRAFT 2000, and lower viscosity Awlgrip primers such as 545 Primer, 30-Y-94TM, QUIK-GRIP, ZINC CHROMATE WASH Primer, and AWL-QUIK.

Pressure Pot System Binks Spray Gun #95 Fluid Nozzle #63BSS (.046” Orifice Size). Fluid Needle #663A. Air Nozzle #63PW. Pressure pot gauge should read 8 to 12 lbs. with 50 to 60 lbs. atomization.
Siphon or Cup Gun System Binks Spray Gun #95 Fluid Nozzle #66SS (.070" Orifice Size). Fluid Needle #665. Air Nozzle #63SK. Atomizing air pressure should be approximately 50 to 60 lbs. The above set up works well on a pressure pot when applying Griptex Non-Skid, High Build, and 545 Primer
Pressure Pot Only For use with high viscosity primers such as Ultra-Build, High Build, Sprayable Fairing Compound, Hull-Gard Epoxy Primer, Hull-Gard W.B., and Awlstar Gold Label antifouling. Binks or equivalent:
Binks Spray Gun #95 Fluid Nozzle #68SS (.110” Orifice Size). Fluid Needle #668. Air Nozzle #68PB. Pressure pot gauge should read 15 to 25 lbs. atomizing pressure 50+ lbs.
Airless Equipment For use with high viscosity primers, surfacers, Awl-Quik, High Build, Hull-Gard Epoxy Primer, Sprayable Fairing Compound, Ultra-Build, and Awlstar Gold Label antifouling. Binks or equivalent:
Spray Gun:Airless . Orifice Size: 028” - .043”. Fan Size & Angle: 8” - 80, or 6” - 60. On a 25-1 pump, the pressure gauge should read 70 to 80 lbs. On a 40-1 pump, the pressure gauge should read 50 to 60 lbs.
High Volume Low Pressure Guns Binks MACH 1 or equivalent pressure pot. For use with all Awlgrip Topcoats and low viscosity primers:
Fluid Nozzle #91 (.040” Orifice Size), #92 (.046” Orifice Size). Fluid Needle #54-4382. Air Nozzle #93P.
For use with high viscosity products:
Fluid Nozzle #94 (.055” Orifice Size) Med. Primer, #97 (.070” Orifice Size) Griptex, Awl-Quik, High Build Epoxy, #905 or 909 (.089” and .111”) Sprayable Fairing Compound, Ultra-Build, Hull-Gard Epoxy Primer, and Awlstar antifouling.
Fluid Needle #54-4382. Air Nozzle for #94 and 97 is 97P. #905 and 909 use 905-907P.

Brushes & Rollers
Use brushes and rollers covers which are specified for use with urethanes and epoxies. Household types will "melt" because of their lack of solvent resistance. The listed products from Corona Brushes and Redtree Industries have proven to perform satisfactorily with our products. Equivalent products from other manufacturers may be satisfactory as well.

Corona: Heritage or Urethaner brushes are recommended for most work; or a Europa if a thinner brush is needed for fine detail work.

Redtree: The Badger, Onyx, and Chinese Ox are recommended for fine finish work. The Fooler is recommended for epoxy coatings and maintenance grade work. It is sometimes helpful to use at least two brushes. Keep one soaking in T0031 while using the other. Switch brushes periodically to keep material from building up in the heel.

Note: Remove excess reducer thoroughly from the brush that was soaking before using again. Spin brushes with a brush spinner for best results.

Roller Covers
Corona: The Glasskoter R101F (1/8" nap), and R201F (3/8" nap) are conventional mohair type roller covers. The Foam Slicker F780-012F is a foam cover.

Redtree: The Deluxe Mohair R-11PH (3/16" nap) is recommended for topside enamels and varnishes. The Foam Roller (1/8" nap) is designed for all urethanes and epoxies. The Dynex R-22PH (3/8" nap) is recommended for bottom paints, epoxies and resins.

A brush should be used for tipping off the paint to remove any bubbles or stipples left by even the shortest nap rollers.

Use fresh T0002 and/or T0031 to clean or soak equipment. Always keep extra equipment handy on the job.

  1. Never soak brushes in conditioners, oils, or turpentine.
  2. Foam brushes become soft and "melt" into the coatings. They are only suitable for tipping roller stipple on small projects.
For more information about brushes and rollers contact:
  • Corona Brushes, Inc.
    5065 Savarese Circle
    Tampa, FL 33634
    Tel: 813-885-2525
    Fax: 813-882-9810
  • Redtree Industries, Inc.
    161 Abington Avenue
    Newark, NJ 07107
    Tel: 973-481-0200
    Fax: 973-481-0941

Back to top of pagePainting Environment

Cure Cycles
Awlgrip Urethane Topcoats require three cure cycles.

First Cure Cycle: This cycle requires 12 to 24 hours at the standard conditions of 77°F, 50% R.H. When this stage is complete, the painted surface can be handled; masking tape can be applied for striping, and the finish appears to be dry. The coating can now be exposed to weather.

Second Cure Cycle: The second cure requires 72 to 96 hours at 77°F, 50% R.H. During this stage the film becomes much harder. Abrasion and chemical resistance develop. After the second cure cycle is complete, the boat can be safely returned to limited service.

Third Cure Cycle: This third cycle requires 14 to 21 days at 77°F, 50% R.H. During this time the coating develops all its physical properties. The casual observer may not be able to determine a significant difference between Cycle 2 and Cycle 3. However, the cure is not complete during Cycle 2 and severe service conditions should be avoided.

These cure calculations are based on exposure at standard conditions (77°F, 50% R.H.) and with coatings applied at the recommended film thickness.

Caution: Cure rates are subject to many variables. These include, but are not limited to; ambient temperature, substrate temperature, relative humidity, applied film thickness, reducer selection, use of accelerators, retarders, and air flow. Temperatures warmer than the standard conditions of 77°F, 50% R.H. speed, dry and cure times. Cooler temperatures will create slower dry and cure rates.

Moisture Complications
Moisture on the surface can be disastrous. Problems are noticeable when moisture comes in contact with the Awlgrip or Awlcraft 2000 Topcoats before they complete the first stage of curing. Results can be
  • overall loss of gloss and image
  • flat spots
  • a rough or grainy surface
  • blistering
These problems can also occur as a result of overcoating a primed surface that has not adequately cured, or applying the topcoat to a surface that is contaminated with moisture.

Avoid applying topcoats in situations where rain, dew, fog or other condensation can contact the paint surface before the coating has completed the first stage of cure. Whenever feasible, erect some kind of cover or shade over the work area. This cover will help keep dew from the curing finish.

Condensation occurs when the air becomes completely saturated with moisture and the temperature drops below the dew point. At standard conditions (77°F, 50% R.H.), avoid applying topcoats when the temperature could drop below the dew point within 6 to 8 hours after the application.

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