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Hempel Topcoats

Hempel Topcoats

Hempel offer a range of topcoats as illustrated further down this page.

However first we wanted to share a few tips with you regarding painting your boat.
It's All in The Preparation

It's All in The Preparation

The difference between a professional looking and an amateur finish 99% of the time is preparation. Remember that a coat of paint only hides what is on the underlying colour, not the texture.

There are several ways paint can be applied and there are advantages and disadvantages to each one:

It's All in The Preparation | Applicators

1) Brushes - Good for small areas but hard to get an even coat.

2) Rollers - Good for a quick application however the finished product has an orange peel like texture to it. Rollers also minimise wastage compared to brushes.

3) Spray on - This should only really be attempted by professionals as paint spray is toxic and dangerous to inhale. Leaves no brushes or roller marks.

4) Roll and tip - this is done by first applying the paint with a roller to get an equal coverage and tip off using a brush to eliminate roller marks.

To View Yacht Chandlers range of brushes, rollers and other aplicators please Click Here

How to Achieve Professional Results In 6 Steps

Wash and De-Wax the Surface

Wash and De-Wax the Surface

The first step is to use a dewaxer to remove wax from the surface of the boat, this is critical.

It is important to remove all the wax and not just smear it around the surface, use plenty of rags and if necessary repeat when finished.

Use plenty of dewaxer and if any silicone based waxes have been used make sure to use a remover suitable for these products. Wash the surface after the wax has been removed with products like
Fill Any Dents and Gouges

Fill Any Dents and Gouges

An epoxy fairing compound should be used to fill these in, follow up by sanding down the surface thoroughly to smooth it out.

It is a good idea to the putty stand "proud" above the surrounding surface so it can be sanded down. The putty is tough so power sanding is advised using an orbital sander. Start with medium grit before switching to fine grit

Products that can be used include: Hempel Pro-Filler

Preparing Unpainted Wood

Fill in any countersunk fastenings (screws etc) using plugs, do not use epoxy filers as these will bond to the screws making them impossible to access in future.

Sand smooth using medium paper before applying a filler type primer. The purpose of this primer is to fill in the grain of the wood. The primer should be allowed to dry for 24 hours before sanding with fine paper.

The goal is to sand to the thinnest possible paint film without sanding down to bare wood. This cannot be done with just one application of primer. Some bare wood will still show and require a second and possibly even third coat.

Sand down to smooth over when finished, keep applying primer coats and sanding until the grain is filled and the surface is smooth.
Preparing Previously Painted Wood

Preparing Previously Painted Wood

Sand paint that is in good condition using extra fine paper, this will reveal any pain that is blistered or flaking. This paint needs scraping away using a scraper

In some cases you may need to sand down to the bare wood and "feather" the new paint" into the rest of the existing paint.

Any paint that has been neglected will need to be completely removed by power sanding. Once the old paint has been removed prepare the hull as if it were new bare wood (see above).

Preparing Fibreglass

Fibreglass gel coat is not an ideal surface to paint because the paint has a hard time adhering to it.

There Primers are that soften the gel coat and bond to it making it easier to paint. Such products should be used before applying the first coat of paint.

If you do not wish to use a primer coat remove all gloss with medium sanding paper to provide a good anchor for the paint.

Primer can be applied with a brush or a roller. Using a roller speeds up the & work minimises wastage.

Do not worry too much about how the primer looks, just be sure that the surface is given a thin even coat without any gaps.

Epoxy Primer

Apply two coats of epoxy Epoxy Primer, sanding in between coats. The next step is to sand the entire surface with extra fine sandpaper, depending on the hardness of the surface.

Sanding Block

When hand sanding, always use a sanding block (rigid or foam) to ensure that you do not add any dips in the surface that may appear in the finished surface.


Preparation for painting will require the consistency of paint is correct to suit the application. Spray painting requires the addition of a great deal of Thinners to allow the paint to be sprayed through a fine jet or nozzle. Brush painting the same product could be achieved without the use or with only a small amount of thinners. The finish of a sprayed component would normally be far superior in finish than that of the same brush painted object.

To see Yacht Chandlers full range of Thinners click here
Finish Coats

Finish Coats

Unless you are an expert with spray equipment, the best way to apply paint is the "roll and tip" method. One person rolls a thin coat of paint. The second person follows the roller with a brush. The brush removes the "stipple" created by the roller and produces the smooth finish.

Rolling paint is the best way to get the desired great gloss thin finish coat. Use a solvent resistant (phenolic core), high density/closed cell Foam Roller with a 1/8" nap.

This will minimize the formation of bubbles in the surface that can occur with mohair and large cell foam rollers. A thick coat with a regular roller will run or sag and may not adhere as well to the substrate.

The next day wet sand the entire area with extra fine sandpaper and lots of water. Then do a thorough water wash and a full wipe down with a tac cloth, rotating and throwing out the rags every couple of feet.

Then paint it again.

Tips on Application

One word of caution: check that both the roller covers and the brushes you plan to use are compatible with the paint before you start the job. Many brushes and roller covers will fall apart in the solvents used with these paints.

Bigger is not better. A 9-inch roller loaded up really has enough paint on it for two or three, 3 square foot sections. If you roll more than 3 square feet at a time and then try to spread the excess paint, the paint will already be setting by the time you start tipping and the brush will drag and leave marks.

You will get too much paint on the first section, just right in the second, and not enough in the third.

A good approach is to roll the paint on in about a 2' x 2' square area. Roll out the paint in a big W and then re-roll the area to distribute all the paint evenly in the 2-foot square area. Roll horizontally, then tip vertically with a good unloaded 3" bristle brush.

It takes a certain amount of trial and error to get the knack. Too much paint and it will run. Too little and the roller marks will not tip out or the brush will drag and leave brush stroke marks that do not level out. The proper amount of reducer is critical.
Colour Guide

Colour Guide