PAINTED BOAT NAME REMOVAL
CLIENT SHOWCASE - The Mistress (Formally known as My Mistress)
Below is an old Chris Craft in great shape, however it required a name update and restoration to give it that "final touch". Boat name paint removal can be
a chore and requires patience, but it is well worth the effort. Before modern day computer graphics all boat names were painted. Today, many ships, despite the fact that they are well kept and admirably maintained, are showing their age through their boat name. Boat name paint removal and new graphics can greatly restore your vessel's overall beauty.
SAFETY NOTE: Keep in mind, no matter what method you decide to use, protective gear is always a must. Gloves must be worn as the solvents can be carcinogenic, and can cause liver damage, skin damage etc. Standard rubber gloves will not protect from acetone, lacquer thinner, MEK, and various other chemicals. The small molecules in the solvents are smaller than the mesh membrane of the glove and will immediately penetrate right through. A 4-H glove or Butyl glove can protect you from the mentioned chemicals. A respirator is also highly recommended.
1. Paint Breakdown
Most boat names are one part enamel and most hull surfaces are Gelcoat. In this case, acetone and a rubbing compound mixture will lift the paint with a strong buff. This will also polish the Gelcoat at the same time with no damage. This method works well for painted names that have worn thin. Once applied and buffed in a small circular motion, the paint will soften, and a razor blade should be gently used to start lifting the paint.
2. Lifting The Paint
It is highly recommended when using compounds to use the high-end professional products that do not contain waxes or silicones. The concept is to achieve a mirror finish without wax, teflon, silicones etc. These products are disguising the lack of a true mirror
finish. Furthermore, with these contaminates, the new name won't adhere as well or last as long. If the paint is thicker it may require a more aggressive "lifting agent". In this case EasyOff can be used.
3. Focus & Persistence
When using EasyOff, mask off any nearby painted or varnished surfaces. Also mask the "drip" areas. The EasyOff will bubble the paint in about five minutes. Before the paint starts to drip, gently scrape the letter with a razor blade scraper. Be cautious not to gouge the gel coat if using a metal blade. You will notice the gel coat yellowing. Do not be alarmed! Distilled vinegar will turn the gel coat back to it's original white colour. Do not use this EasyOff approach on colored Gelcoat or painted hulls such as Hatteras which has an Imron surface.
4. Final Surface Preparation
The next phase is to polish to give off a high gloss finish. A third approach for removing paint from gelcoat, and in some case a linear polyurethane surface, is to wet sand. Typically, start with a 600 grit and in some cases 400. Then wet sand with 800, then 1000, 1200, 1500, and finally finish off with the 2000 grit. Most hardware or home supply stores do not carry sand paper this fine. You will need to find it at a marine supply store or an auto-body supply shop. Do the entire process using plenty of water in small circular motions. Use lots of "elbow-grease" and a sanding block.
5. Like New Again
Once you have completely removed the paint and given a wax-free final polish you are ready for your new boat name. You should be left with a glossy finished transom. Once your new graphics have been applied your transom can get a light waxing in most cases. Check with your IBG representative to confirm that waxing over your graphics is acceptable.