A question regarding paint choice and timing

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    Longtime lurker, now about halfway through my teardrop kit (just laid my ‘glass on the outside of the shell after getting out of the mold).

    I wanted to ask if anyone has any opinions on what the best brands of paint are for the teardrop. I’m thinking of adding some royal-blue and white checkers along the #2 panel to accent the lovely wood-grain (and cover up some light abrasions from my sandpaper). Does anyone with experience want to share their knowledge on when the best place in the construction process is?



    I just sticked with the paint and varnish as suggested by CLC.  I have done a fair share of finishing and painting over the decades.  I found the Interlux  Brightside paint to be very smooth and easy to apply.  So far the finish seems tough to the touch.  By that I mean it is not brittle nor flaky.  The paint is meant for marine applications so I feel pretty confident in suggesting it.  The Varnish by Interlux is little bit more touchy to apply.  It has a viscosity that I found a little to thick.  I added about 5 to 10 percent of the thinner they make.  And once you open the can, be ready to use it.  There is a very short partial can shelf life.

    If you don’t have a lot of paint practice, try I few test runs first on say the cut outs of the windows or the vent.  You don’t want to be leaning how to do the roll and tip method on the fly.  See the boat building video series on the CLC web site for a video of the painting and finishing techniques.

    Timing wise I would wait until ALL or most of the drilling, sanding and fiddling is done. (mostly sanding) You don’t want dust to spoil your finish.  At least make sure you have a warm, clean and well vented space.


    I only need 2 quart cans of the varnish – 3 coats of outside, galley and bulkhead. (I would think most people use three)

    I used about half a quart of the Primer for the bottom – 1 coat.  I am old school and ALWAYS use a primer on ALL pf my painting.

    I used almost all of a quart can of Black Brightside – 2 coats.


    This was our first CLC project and we went with the Interlux brand – also recommended to us by another camper builder who has completed many CLC projects.  We went with Interlux Brightside Sea Green for our bottom and Schooner Varnish for the rest of it.  We went up the side about 1.5″ and one quart was more than enough.  We used the matching primer and three coats of green paint.  Lighter colors will require more coats.  We ordered 4 quarts of varnish and have about 3/4 of a can leftover (but we also did 4 overall coats and some touch-ups).

    Ditto StarMan on the rolling/tipping technique, but the hardest part for us was managing the temperature and humidity.  Higher temps and humidity will make you work much, much faster. Read the instructions and trust the makers’ recommendations.  Keep the work area around 60-70 degrees and as dust/dirt/bug free as possible.  Wet sanding between coats can only do so much.

    For sanding the epoxied fiberglass… absolutely take your time!  The smoother (aka more consistent gray) the sanding job, the better your varnish finish will be.  We spent a full 6 weeks sanding the entire shell with 220 grit on the orbital.  Probably spent about $200 in sanding pads alone.  It was a miserable experience, but the results are amazing – almost like glass reflection.  Definitely use an attached shop-vac to the sander to help prevent pigtails when sanding the epoxy.

    For abrasions, don’t rush to paint too easily.  We thought for sure some areas were ruined by our carelessness before ‘glassing but were very surprised to find that the end varnish result will look almost identical to the ‘glass coatings (just a little brighter).  We also had several instances of bubbling in the epoxy and fiberglass which we had to excise like blisters which are now invisible after patching and varnish.  If you want an approximation of the finished result, wipe with a rag soaked with denatured alcohol.  The few seconds it takes the alcohol to dry will look almost like the varnish.

    Aside from CLC, Jamestown Distributors (www.jamestowndistributors.com) sells lots of paint choices.  They have videos for how to apply the paint.  Good prices, too.

    If you’re looking for more of a walk through of the whole build, check out http://myclcteardropcamper.blogspot.com/.  He posts on this forum as DivingDuck and became a personal friend and has helped us out tremendously with advice and build tricks.



    How long do y’all need to wait after the second coat of epoxy before primer and then paint?  I’ve got the LV Expoxy and Slow hardener by MAS from CLC, that just comes standard with the kit, and it is about 70 degrees.  If the epoxy has a smooth coat do you sand with 220 before primer? I’m not used to the terminology with brush on paints, as I’ve done spray on epoxy primers in automotive applications. I’m working on building my own ICC under the teardrop.

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