[Public-List] Mast Painting

Michael Taylor m_tayau at yahoo.com.au
Mon Oct 19 20:56:13 PDT 2009

I painted the mast about 5 weeks ago on #231 (as yet to be renamed).   The previous owner painted over the original anodised finish presumably because the anodising had lifted.  It was done without a great deal of care and the paint was flaking off all over the mast.

I looked at various possibilities but settled on stripping the anodising off.  After removing all fittings I degreased the mast with a strong detergent and then using a palm sander stripped the mast to bare aluminum (220 grit).  Within an hour or two I used a conversion coating made by endura paints.  This avoids the acid edge step which I was not so keen on handling.  The conversion coat was allowed to dry before priming commenced.

The primer/sealer was applied within 30 mins of drying.  I used an expoxy based primer which contained Zinc Chromate.  I would have prefered not to use Zinc Chromate however I misunderstood what I was being sold and for various reasons decided to use it.  I put on two coats.  

The top coat was applied about 14hrs after the primer/sealer was applied.  I settled on a two part polyurethane.  Again I used two coats.  The key to the paint system was to ensure that all the stages were applied within the recommended time frame.  

I used a brush for all coats.  Accepting that the finish would not be as good as when professionally sprayed.  I have seen so many jobs which have not turned out well by people who dont spray regularly.  So I was happy to brush.

I am pleased with the results.  It cost around $200 to do the job.  About 1 months to plan and a day or two to do (usual ratio).  The right weather conditions were critical.  Temperatures of 20-25 degrees and 4 degrees above dew point at all times.  And no wind!

Seemed to me that painting was the simplist solution.  I would have liked to leave the finish as it was but after researching I felt that aluminum does need protecting.  The initial unsightly finish also inspired the repaint.

Be glad to share more detail for anyone considering painting the mast.



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