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Blisters On A New Finish

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by doug fogal, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. doug fogal

    doug fogal New Member

    refinished a sweet 1936 old town. It developed blisters when floating. We stripped that paint and used another supply of paint. We let it set up for 1 year+ then put it in the water for a week. Blisters again. (hundreds of small water filled bubbles). It pretty much covers the entire water contact area and seams like it's the top layer of paint. Not positive about the paint layer.
    Craig Johnson likes this.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This is not an unusual issue which typically goes away once the canoe has dried out. It often is only a serious problem when the canoe is left in the water for long periods of time (i.e. over 24 hours). Some paints just seem to bond to some fillers better than others. Good luck,

  3. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    In marine terms, most enamels and polyurethane paints are labeled and considered "topside paints". This would also apply to stuff like Rustoleum and a lot of hardware store floor enamels. On a boat, the topsides are the parts of the hull which may get splashed or wet in use, but which are out of the water the rest of the time. Topside paints are made to look nice, but generally are vulnerable to blistering, or even peeling when left in contact with the water longer than your typical outing might last. The same is usually true of varnish. Best bet when not actively using your canoe is to get it out of the water. There are "bottom paints" of several types which will tolerate long term immersion, but most are full of copper compounds to prevent slime and algae from growing on the boat and they usually aren't very pretty to look at. They generally aren't something you would want to paint a canoe with.

    The red here is bottom paint (Hydrocoat), the green is topside paint (Brightside). Most bottom paint is similarly dull and kind of ugly. Luckily, the fish don't mind.

    nordica 4.jpg
  4. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    That’s why on a stripper I’m refinishing or an epoxy filled canvas I can indulge in interlux perfection or epifanes 2 part urethane, as the surface is more stable. And it’s so much harder- even collisions with my 16/30 produced only moderate scuffs. Ha.
  5. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    I know some outfitters and guides who use a traditional shellac bottom. Canoes are used on week-long and longer trips where the canvas has no real chance to dry out until the end of the trips, after which they are stored inside and dry, of course.
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    Atkinson Travelers built by Rollin Thurlow, and a Wilderness Guide built by Jerry Stelmok, on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Maine

    Jerry put a similar shellac bottom on our new 1889 model, with Petit EZ-Poxy Topside Boat Paint above.
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    I have not heard of any bubbling problems with a shellac bottom.

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