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Questions for a first time restore of Chestnut Prospector

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Nils, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Nils

    Nils Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi all, I am new here and will be re-canvassing my chestnut prospector that is in great need of so. I would like to paint the boat the "chestnut grey" colour and am wondering where is the best place to hopefully get something close to it? A recommendation of the brand of paint would be much appreciated as well. I am located in Vancouver, Canada if that helps.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Try Fisheries Supply in Seattle.
    They sell several brands of topside paint.
    I know that they sell Marshall’s Cove grey marine enamel.
  3. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

  4. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan


    I am the proud owner of an unrestored 1971 Chestnut grey Prospector Fort.
    I can confirm that Chestnut Grey is a grey-green colour .

    In his book "This Old Canoe", Mike Elliott gives paint mixes for Chestnut canoe colours using computerized colour matching system in his local paint shop.
    If you can't find a copy of the book I can pull out the formula.

    Good luck !
  5. OP

    Nils Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Bruce, what a beautiful boat. I believe mine is from around the same time as yours, though not in the pristine shape like yours. I would really appreciate it if you could help me out with the formula, I would love to paint my boat the classic colour like yours.

  6. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan


    I got lucky and picked this up from original owner- along with all his original order and bill of sale info. His family has lovingly maintained it for 40 years but determined it was too heavy for family camping anymore.
    Their loss- my great gain!

    Attached are the paint formulas as determined by Mike Elliott. As noted earlier, I'd highly recommend this to anyone restoring a Wood/ Canvas canoe, especially a Chestnut!

    This is taken from page 153 in "This Old Canoe":
    Chestnut Colours (2).jpg
  7. Claude Delisle

    Claude Delisle Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Mike Elliott informed me that these paint formulas are for Home Hardware paint.
  8. OP

    Nils Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I thought I would share a few photos of the progress I've made on the hull. I decided to strip the interior prior to canvassing and although it was a tough job, I am glad I did it as it looks wonderful now. Waiting to receive the canvas to get started on that. I don't have all the skills/ tools to do all the required repairs to make the boat (as seen by the rib repairs as opposed to replacements), but I am pretty happy with how this is coming along and it has been a joy to work on. Thanks to all on here as I have used this forum for a lot of information as I go!


    Interior prior to stripping

    interior stripped

    interior after 5 coats of varnish
  9. OP

    Nils Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A couple more shots of the interior


    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  10. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I was given a Chestnut Prospector 'Fort' yesterday. The interior wood is stained this very nice light mahogany or cherry color. Anyone know how to replicate the color?
  11. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Look in a paint store; sometimes they'll have color sheets that show stains on different woods. Cedar seems unlikely in that collection, so you may need to get a couple colors that are close, mix them, then test on scrap. It's trial and error, so keep track of proportions in your mixtures.
  12. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    "I was given a Chestnut Prospector 'Fort' yesterday."

    I guess I live in the wrong neighbourhood: no one has EVER gifted me a Chestnut...

    And I'm trying to understand your ask- are you looking to match the stained interior wood or to replicate the original colour?
    If the former, its touch and go but as Paul suggests trying finding a close match after stripping all the varnish and shellac.
    If the latter, I'd suggest it'll be hard to back back to the original untouched cedar colour once stained.

    Greg Nolan likes this.
  13. OP

    Nils Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Here are some photos of the finished canoe. Quite happy with how it turned out given it was my first try at this.

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  14. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    Very Nice!
    Well done, Nils.

    Definitely interesting paddling in English Bay...

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