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When it comes to protecting your boat or any other watercraft from the harsh elements, two pack paints are like superheroes. Many DIY painters are a bit nervous about using two pack products – this is usually as a result of not understanding a few simple tips that will make your painting experience a resounding success.

Becoming increasingly popular in marine applications, these advanced coatings offer exceptional durability and performance compared to traditional single-component paints.

Polyurethane coatings are a popular variant within the realm of two pack paints. These coatings offer superior protection against harsh weather conditions, UV radiation, chemicals, and abrasion. They also offer excellent colour retention and gloss levels that can withstand years of exposure to sunlight.

Altex Yacht & Boat Paint’s local technical team have offered some tips to help you master two pack paints:

APPLICATION – The application process for two pack paint products requires careful mixing of both components in the correct proportions followed by proper surface preparation before applying the coating using spray guns or brushes. It is crucial to follow manufacturer guidelines regarding mixing ratios and curing times for optimal results.

MIX RATIO – The mix ratio is the ratio of Part A (the base portion) that is mixed with the Part B (the converter or catalyst). Mix ratios are set to an optimum rate so that the paint cures well, and performs at its best. Users are encouraged to measure the volumes of the two parts carefully and accurately. Make sure the two separate components are well mixed before you decant any as it is important that each component is a smooth, homogenous blend before measuring / decanting.

INDUCTION TIME – Induction time is the period of time, after mixing the components together, but before thinning when the paint is allowed to rest and start the catalysing process. Induction has a number of benefits and is highly recommended, especially in cooler temperatures.

POT LIFE – The “Pot Life” is the amount of time available (based on warm, 24°C conditions) to apply the product before it is too far along the cure process to still be useable. Always mix smaller amounts than will be needed in the course of the day. Even though a product may still be liquid, once the pot life has expired, discard the balance as partially catalysed product will not adhere and perform well.

THINNERS – Thinning is usually required for most products (but not always, so check the data sheet). Thinning helps to achieve a nice even finish, without lots of brush marks, and it helps to control how much paint is applied. Thick coats are often the cause of problems.

DRY TIMES – Dry times are based on the prevailing temperature at the time, the thickness of the coating applied and ventilation. Pay particular attention to the recoat window on the product label and always refer to the Product Data Sheet for detailed information regarding application conditions.



Published in print January-March 2024