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Painting narrowboat

Why is it recommended to add a thinner to top coat when painting a narrowboat?

Asked by: Dave Snarey  | 3.27pm, Monday 11 April


WW says:

I would imagine that the person recommending this would say that it makes the paint flow more easily so that there are fewer brush marks. However, as with so many things associated with boating, there are many varying opinions on this subject. Others would say that thinners makes the paint dry more quickly which means that it is more difficult to apply.
A fresh pot of paint should be of the correct consistency without thinners or additives provided you make sure you blend the contents well with a broad bladed stirrer. If you are painting in very hot or very cold conditions, you may benefit from adding a small amount of paint additive like Craftmaster PPA or Owatrol as long as don't over do it. It's best to wait until conditions improve if you can.

Graham Booth  | 5.24PM, Monday 11 April

Adding substantial amounts of thinner can also make the top coat much thinner, as you will deposit less solid material within the coat- with some paints, this may lead to premature paint failure, as insufficient adhesion will take place.
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I would strongly take the advice of the paint manufacturer into account if you want to add a flow additive (i.e use what they suggest, as Graham has indicated) and also avoid using thinners. If you do use thinners, ensure it is specific to the type of paint utilised.

Mark Langley  | 2.03PM, Tuesday 12 April

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