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We've just bought a second hand narrowboat and she needs a full exterior paint job, is it possible to use a matt finish paint to give the same protection as gloss?

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I am watching this thread with great interest and hope a real expert gives an answer. I want to do the same, though with a semi-matt (eggshell) rather than full matt.

I have done quite a bit of experimentation over the last couple of years with mixed results.

 

It appears to me that paint is naturally glossy and making it matt requires an additional component in the paint (matting additive!) which has some disadvantages.

In some experiments this has worked well and so far lasted well, but I find it very hard to get the matting additive stirred in really well, it tends to form a lump at the bottom of the paint tin, and often even when stirred really well still gives tiny lumps visible in the paint finish. This is ok for little jobs but might not look so good on the cabin sides.

Some brands of paint appear to matt better than others.

 

I suspect that matt paint is softer and more prone to scratching. A possibly approach might be to do a coat or two in gloss, gently sand, then do a final coat in matt.

 

A real paint expert, Phil Speight,  used to post on this forum but has not done for a while now.

 

and welcome to the forum and congratulations on not wanting a shiny boat ?

 

................Dave

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Sorry dmr, I’m not an expert ! However ...... I was repainting my boat and didn’t want it shiny, so after the usual prep, and only using primer where rubbed right back to cure the odd rust spot and bad scrape, I put on two coats of Craftmaster undercoat.

I liked the finish, so left it for a couple of weeks to let it harden, then very gently rubbed it down to give the next coat something to grab on, applied two further coats and left it at that.

I kept the boat for a further 3 years then had to sell - the finish was still fine, and I recently saw a short video of the boat and it still looked OK, probably 10 - 12 years after painting. The original gloss finish was in fairly good condition, so as most of the boat was just rubbed down with wet and dry, that may have helped ‘proof it.

Would I do it again? Yes. (The present owner may not agree - I await their comment,!)

And billybobbooth got the benefit of the Craftmaster gloss that I bought and never used!

Edited by Mike Tee
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International Paints Matting agent comes in a tin, easy to mix well and doesnt clump if mixed regularly. Satin finish is achieved with a 1 to 1 mix, and flat Matt finish with more like 25 paint/75 additive. This is what we use if needing a matt finish.

Using one of these and a power drill makes life so much easier.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bosch-1609200291-Paint-mixer-drills/dp/B000XJ3PG4

Edited by matty40s
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1 hour ago, Mike Tee said:

Sorry dmr, I’m not an expert ! However ...... I was repainting my boat and didn’t want it shiny, so after the usual prep, and only using primer where rubbed right back to cure the odd rust spot and bad scrape, I put on two coats of Craftmaster undercoat.

I liked the finish, so left it for a couple of weeks to let it harden, then very gently rubbed it down to give the next coat something to grab on, applied two further coats and left it at that.

I kept the boat for a further 3 years then had to sell - the finish was still fine, and I recently saw a short video of the boat and it still looked OK, probably 10 - 12 years after painting. The original gloss finish was in fairly good condition, so as most of the boat was just rubbed down with wet and dry, that may have helped ‘proof it.

Would I do it again? Yes. (The present owner may not agree - I await their comment,!)

And billybobbooth got the benefit of the Craftmaster gloss that I bought and never used!

 

I'm a fan of Craftmaster undercoat. I have just done the hull sides between gunnel and top rubbing strake in Craftmaster black undercoat. The rear deck cants have been in Craftmaster blue undercoat for years but I do repaint these every year or two. The blue appears to fade quite a bit after a few months but this might just be it getting impregnated with dirty rainwater etc. I also suspect its quite a bit softer than gloss, not sure I would be confident doing the cabin sides in undercoat.

 

.............Dave

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1 hour ago, matty40s said:

International Paints Matting agent comes in a tin, easy to mix well and doesnt clump if mixed regularly. Satin finish is achieved with a 1 to 1 mix, and flat Matt finish with more like 25 paint/75 additive. This is what we use if needing a matt finish.

Using one of these and a power drill makes life so much easier.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bosch-1609200291-Paint-mixer-drills/dp/B000XJ3PG4

 

I have used international matting additive with some success with both international and Rylards paint. As you say rather a lot is needed to get matt, its almost as if the paint is the "additive" ?. I felt that the additive reduced the covering power of the paint, especially with the Rylards, which is why I suggested only a final coat with the matting additive.

If stored for any length of time the additive forms an almost solid lump and its very time consuming to stir it back to a liquid. I have not trusted myself with a power stirrer, too much potential for messy accidents, but I think I need to give it a go.

 

I had some "raddle" blue mixed by Craftmaster and found that it gave tiny lumps in the finish. At first I thought I had got dust or other contamination into the paint, but eventually concluded it was the additive. It was ok for decorative panels but probably not for a cabin side. I stirred it really well but only by hand, maybe I need to have a go with a power stirrer. 

 

.............Dave

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13 hours ago, Katie Wales said:

We've just bought a second hand narrowboat and she needs a full exterior paint job, is it possible to use a matt finish paint to give the same protection as gloss?

There’s a paint by Jotum called Conseal Touch-Up that is an exterior low sheen paint suitable for boats that should suit your needs. It looks like an undercoat but is fully weather resistant. The good thing is that it is easy to apply with a roller and easy to touch up as just blends in unlike high sheen gloss. Have a look on their web site. May just be what you need. Link below.

 

https://www.smlmarinepaints.co.uk/topcoats/single_pack/conseal-touch-up

 

I wouldn’t use an additive as some don’t always work with certain paints causing them not to harden properly, always check and test.

Edited by PD1964
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Just had a good look at the range of Jotun paints. The Conseal is a Xylene type all in one paint (no primer) intended for painting containers.

 

I also found this, which looks more suitable for cabin sides............

https://www.smlmarinepaints.co.uk/topcoats/lustre/lowsheenSiliconeAlkydtopcoat

 

Its a bit cheaper than most boat paints and comes in a range of colours, including RAL.

I will get some and investigate.

I really need a RAL colour chart to get the right shade of blue, have just looked on the www and a proper RAL chart is about £200....cheaper to buy several tins of paint and give the wrong ways away ?

 

............Dave

 

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18 minutes ago, dmr said:

Just had a good look at the range of Jotun paints. The Conseal is a Xylene type all in one paint (no primer) intended for painting containers.

 

I also found this, which looks more suitable for cabin sides............

https://www.smlmarinepaints.co.uk/topcoats/lustre/lowsheenSiliconeAlkydtopcoat

 

Its a bit cheaper than most boat paints and comes in a range of colours, including RAL.

I will get some and investigate.

I really need a RAL colour chart to get the right shade of blue, have just looked on the www and a proper RAL chart is about £200....cheaper to buy several tins of paint and give the wrong ways away ?

 

............Dave

 

 

Anywhere near Reading? If so you can BORROW my RAL fan, I also have the the common BS fans.

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You can always try a commercial paint supplier, if you take a sample they can analyse it and tell you the exact colour or match. They may charge you a small fee or offset the cost if you buy some paint off them. 

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5 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

You can always try a commercial paint supplier, if you take a sample they can analyse it and tell you the exact colour or match. They may charge you a small fee or offset the cost if you buy some paint off them. 

 

Tried that. First it was too glossy, then after I had matted it down with fine wet & dry they got a reading but the resultant colour was way off. That was from week old paint on a mixing stick. I suspect the machines only match to the nearest colour they know about, so with odd proprietary colours its likely to go wrong.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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29 minutes ago, JonesBoy said:

Lots of RAL charts you can view online, may give you an idea

 

 

Honestly, that is only any good if you have calibrated your monitor so it colour renders true. An idea yes but not enough to colour match. Plus paint colour shows in reflected light, the monitor actually shines light at you.

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Interesting question. I wonder if u/coat is a bit risky as I don't think it is generally tough enough. I think the way to get there is start with gloss then matt it. Probably look much the same but should last better. Black country paints website is worth a look.

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1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

Tried that. First it was too glossy, then after I had matted it down with fine wet & dry they got a reading but the resultant colour was way off. That was from week old paint on a mixing stick. I suspect the machines only match to the nearest colour they know about, so with odd proprietary colours its likely to go wrong.

Maybe analysing has got a bit more accurate these days, as this company seam to be very accurate with matching.

https://www.ultrimaxstore.com/

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3 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

Maybe analysing has got a bit more accurate these days, as this company seam to be very accurate with matching.

https://www.ultrimaxstore.com/

My local paint company will analyse and mix any shade you want here in Lowestoft. How good the results are I don't know

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According to a former acquaintance who was a chemist working for a paint company, primer is designed to adhere to the surface it is designed for (metal, wood, plastic etc) and provide a surface that the undercoat can adhere to. Undercoat provides covering power and protection, and a base for top coat to adhere to. Top coat is for providing  the final colour and finish, rather than protection. That related to oil-based paints in the 1970's.  

 

The old lead-based paints used to naturally lose their high gloss (chalking) after a few years, and didn't need frequent re-coating. 

 

Matt and satin oil-based paints are readily available in small (14ml: 1/2 fl.oz.) tins for modellers, but I guess there is insufficient demand for decorators' paints in anything other than gloss for manufacturers to make such finishes available commercially. 

 

For mixing paint I use lengths of 1/4" rod, bent at the end into a hook or "L" shape, in a cordless drill. 

 

 

Edited by Ronaldo47
typos
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8 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

My local paint company will analyse and mix any shade you want here in Lowestoft. How good the results are I don't know

It’s always going to be difficult to get an exact match as obviously boats are outdoors in the sun and more prone to UV paint fading.  Even when you have the same paint in a tin that you used a year or so ago it will not look the same once you put on the old paint. 
  You just have to blend in the best you can and live with it or repaint the whole panal.

  That’s why I mentioned Jotum Conseal Touch-Up as they say you don’t have this problem and it matches in.

Edited by PD1964
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1 hour ago, PD1964 said:

You can always try a commercial paint supplier, if you take a sample they can analyse it and tell you the exact colour or match. They may charge you a small fee or offset the cost if you buy some paint off them. 

Dulux Decorator Centre tried to match a paint sample for me, but I was told the gloss original was too shiny for the machine to work from. Ended up doing a by-eye comparison with a range of colour swatches to get an acceptable match, which was then mixed to order.

And later I found a Wilko standard colour that looked identical- so that's probably what I was trying to match, and would have been much cheaper!

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I think you would really need an old CRT monitor for reliable colour matching. All the flat screen monitors I have seen,  change appearance with viewing angle. 

 

Gloss can indeed be a problem for colour analysers. I still have the Kodak grey scale and standard colour patches I used to use with traditional photography when I was experimenting with long exposures with colour film, where the responses of the three layers do not keep step at long exposures. The grey scale and standard are specially printed on uncoated white cards to avoid reflections. 

 

A problem with  getting accurate colour reproduction is that, whle it is easy enough to do the analysing using red green and blue ( or yellow, cyan and magenta) filters, to reproduce an analysed colour you have to use pigments that are not pure primary colours but which will in practice include proportions of  other colours. Thus you have to take into account the fact that red pigment will contain a proportion of green and blue, etc. and adjust the proportions of each colour accordingly. If the pigments currently used by the paint maker are the same as those used in your original sample, then you have a good chance of getting a good match, but if they are not, getting an exact match might be a challenge. 

Edited by Ronaldo47
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4 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

Anywhere near Reading? If so you can BORROW my RAL fan, I also have the the common BS fans.

Still up on the Rochdale, won't be visiting the K&A again this year.

I agree with you, the computer screen is just not suitable for evaluating colours, I need something to hold against the boat.

I am not actually wanting to match the existing colour, I am trying to find something pleasing but a few shades darker than what we currently have.

 

Another thing that I have noticed is that matt or almost matt colours appear much darker than gloss, I assume this is a sort of illusion? and most colour samples are gloss.

 

...........Dave

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5 minutes ago, dmr said:

Another thing that I have noticed is that matt or almost matt colours appear much darker than gloss, I assume this is a sort of illusion? and most colour samples are gloss.

If it has the same colour code then it will be the same colour. The reason it appears darker is because it does not reflect light as a gloss surface will. So yes, an optical illusion.

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3 minutes ago, PCSB said:

If it has the same colour code then it will be the same colour. The reason it appears darker is because it does not reflect light as a gloss surface will. So yes, an optical illusion.

 

But as the objective is choose a paint with a suitable pleasing appearance, if it appears darker then it is darker ?

 

..........Dave

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2 minutes ago, dmr said:

 

But as the objective is choose a paint with a suitable pleasing appearance, if it appears darker then it is darker ?

 

..........Dave

Except that when the light source is behind - so no reflectance - they will then appear the same.

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