Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Painting the Topsides

With a bunch of coats of 2-Part Epoxy Primer rolled onto the work skiff, Lou is anxious to now roll topside paint over the primer.  But not before he does a little more finish work to the cap rails – rounding the forward corners and showing us how they can be used as a chock. It’s all part of Lou’s master design. He’s also proud of the spot on the stem head where he attaches a painter to be used as a bow line. Lou even sneaks in a lesson on how to tie a bowline a few different ways – extra Tips from the shipwright at no added charge for you! And then more painting – becuase no one can ever seem to get enough instruction on how to paint the topsides of a boat. Lou cracks open a can of our new TotalBoat Wet Edge Cold Cure – a perfect solution for his chilly shop and a paint job that, like most, just can’t wait for a warm, sunny day.

Lou, Halsey the filmmaker and the TotalBoat Work Skiff will be at the Jamestown Distributors annual Tent Sale on April 22nd. Come by and see the skiff for yourself and meet Lou. Lou loves to answer viewer questions and to meet his fans. So come check out the skiff, some great deals and much more on 4/22.

And don’t forget you can binge watch every episode of Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff right here! Thanks for watching. Leave your comments for Lou below and don’t forget to SHARE this post and video with your friends.




20 responses to “Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Painting the Topsides

  1. Just a pleasure watching these episodes. I may never build a skiff but I do lots of other woodwork and many of Lou’s methods easily carry over into other projects. I also like his philosophy of slow and easy to turn a rough plank into a useful thing of beauty. Thanks for the tip about the masking tape to strike a line along a curved surface. Always something new to learn.

  2. Lou~

    A joy to watch as always – great explanation of your approach to rolling and tipping with just the roller.

    One thought re your painter length: Although I, too, try to make sure it never goes overboard unattended, I was taught to make my painters only so long that they cannot foul the prop.

    I was hoping to meet you on April 22 but other family obligations have now gotten in the way…..

    Thanks so much for this wonderful tutorial!


    1. Excellent advice! Cut the length of the painter to come just to the end of the stern so they are not long enough to even reach the prop!

  3. I sure learned a lot about topside paint, Would love to have work along side of Lou just for the teaching. Gotta have pride in your work and good work ethics to do the correct job. Sure enjoyed this session. If one thing needs to be noted is Like my DAD taught me is “Preparation is 9/10 of the finished product….don’t skimp on the time put in on the prep work.

  4. I would like to have seen a section of the hull, say the transom, painted with a roller and then tipped with a good brush to see if there would be a difference in the finish

  5. Lou,
    Thank you for another informative video. I really look forward to these weekly lessons in boatbuilding. I appreciate your explanation about why you left the cap rails proud. This is a workboat after all and I suppose that the cap rail is something that will receive a lot of wear and may need to be replaced at some point.
    I’m still bothered by the blunt forward ends of the lift rails and the bottom rails for that matter. Any chance that these planks could be tapered a little bit on the forward end to give the boat a more aerodynamic look?
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Sure could be – but not his preference. and he intends those blunt ends to act like chocks. SO it makes sense that way!

  6. Lou, thanks for the terrific series. I haven’t missed one. Question: I thought 2 part primers were for 2 part finish coats and best on non-wooden hulls. The thinking was that epoxy 2 part paints are not flexible enough for wood planking which can work themselvess and move. Here you’re using 2 part primer to be covered with 1 part polyurethane.

    1. Lou wanted to use the epoxy primer and it is totally acceptable to use a 1-part finish over a 2-part finish. DO NOT however, use a 2 part finish over a 1 part finish. So you can use both 1 and 2-part finishes over the 2-part primer. Your base coat is the most important for proper adhesion. If Lou feels the wooden boat can handle the epoxy paint – we trust him and think it came out great. Thanks

  7. Lou is a skilled craftsman, reminds me of my brother who built two
    boats, mostly by hand, A conventional hydro and a utility racing runabout. I look forward to every episode, Thanks to JD for the series!!

  8. Dear People/Lou

    First order of business here (since it appears that my question will be posted – presumably on the Internet somewhere) is to tell everyone who hasn’t see these instructional videos is they are absolutely THE BEST because Lou tells us WHAT he’s going to to, then he SHOWS us HOW it’s done, and then he tells us WHY he’s doing just about everything they way he’s doing it – and in many cases he describes some of the alternative methodologies (so we don’t have to do every little thing just exactly his way).

    I watched Lou’s “Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff” series, video episode numbers 1 thru 33. As I selected each video, in the screen below the selected video (on my smartphone) the next video in the series was at the top of the pending playlist – until I selected “Episode 33”. With the advent of my selecting episode 33, the trail ended. I’ve Googled for it and I’m drawing a total blank. I figure there MUST be a few more videos in the series because there’s no bottom paint below the masked waterline on the side of the boat AND Lou still had to fill some holes on the gunners and oil them AND he’d mentioned that he was going to install another “knee” on the transom.

    Soooo, HOW do I go about finding the rest of the series?? Also, does TotalBoat have any other boat building “how to” or “instructional” videos.


    1. Jerry – you’ve caught up! We are releasing the videos as they come out – next up is Episode 34. Welcome to the waiting game, all the rest of the viewers are glad you came!

      You will be able to see ALL the videos in ONE playlist here: as we go and of course, upon completion of the series:

  9. I noticed Lou has a sharp looking Total Boat belt. I commented many episodes back about the rope he was using as a belt. The reason I noticed that is that I recalled my father, who was also an excellent wood worker, used a rope as a belt. He worried that he may mar a surface with his belt buckle so he never wore a belt. When I saw Lou using a rope it reminded me fondly of my father. This is a great program Thank You so much

  10. Outstanding!!… I have really enjoyed this series. The way Lou goes about describing what he has in mind for the project, the next steps, and then explaining as he moves through those processes is captivating. I really like the extensive use of hand tools and the focus that only experience can revel.

    Thank you so much.
    Keep up the fine work..

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