Rolling and Tipping the Topsides with Third Coast Craftsman

It took a little help from some experienced friends and a few calls into the TotalBoat Support Team, but Chris from Third Coast Craftsman has been both frustrated and exhilarated by his drift boat build. He landed himself with the chance for a pretty topside paint job after he was unhappy with the fiberglassing job he did earlier. Chris used the rolling and tipping method on his bare fiberglass using WetEdge Topside Paint which had no problem adhering to the well-prepared surface with several coats. Learning how to “master” this fussy paint job was another victory for Chris who ended up with a beautiful, pro-looking, two-toned Wet Edge paint job.

This video shares lots of great tips on rolling and tipping topside paint. It’s shared here by someone who explains it clearly because he too was a timid novice who understood how challenging it could be to get a smooth, mirror finish. His slow, thoughtful process helped to ensure success with every important step. Chris took 2-3 hours to prepare each coat before applying the next because he knows that preparation is the single most important part of getting a paint job to look really good. The second trick is figuring out the flow and leveling of your paint, and Chris worked hard to figure out the exact steps amongst so many tricky variables.


13 responses to “Rolling and Tipping the Topsides with Third Coast Craftsman

    1. It’s nearly impossible to mate 2 colors edge to edge. To avoid gaps, you have to overlap. Partially overlap 2 colors and it’ll look like 3 and/or create 2 ridges, 1 where each color ends. It’s better to do a full overlap like the video. That way your top color will be consistent all the way through and you’ll get just 1 ridge instead of 2.

      1. On further though, you may have been thinking about a full overlap with red on top?? The problem there is you want to remove the masking tape before the paint is completely cured to keep from peeling the edge up or permanently gluing the tape down with paint. . But when switching colors, you want the bottom paint cured before you put on the top coat in order to avoid bleed through or mixing of the paints. See the dilemma? That leaves you trying to match a 2nd masking exactly to your paint edge. Though not impossible, it’s very difficult and much easier the way it was done.

  1. I’ve done a lot of painting with single part poly, granted, not with dark colors like you are. However, I believe you are putting the paint on way too thick. I thin it much more, at least 10-15%. Also, I use Penetrol in the mix. I roll it on in a much larger area, and “stretch” out the coat from the center outward in all directions. i almost never tip with a brush, just lightly with a clean roller. No brush marks. With your dark colors, you might see some light orange peel, but more preferable to brush marks.

  2. It’s hard for me to believe you do not use a primer coat. I believe he would have a much better end result with at least three coats of primer. First coat of primer should be a high build two-part. Two more succeeding Coats sanded to 320.

    1. Totally agree; high build, sand, 445, sand to 320, 445, sand to 320 or better, final coat. Plenty of reducer to ensure good flow, accelerator depending on temp.
      We generally use awlgrip on a 2:1:1 basis. Rolling and tipping with a mohair roller and the best brush you can afford. Sponge rollers hold too much paint.

      1. I have built 5 boats so far and have used various brands of one part Poly like the Total Boat. The last boat was painted totally with TotalBoat primer and paint. Your are correct about the foam roller holding too much paint. I bought a roller like the one used in the video and it just wasted too much paint soaking up way too much paint just get started. I went back to my old recipe of using West Systems foam rollers. These have thin thickness of foam and a very nice core. Usually I cut these rollers to fit the shorter application holders that are around 4″

    2. I read that you can use monourethane over resin without primer. However, I used primer on my Pygmy Kayak and achieved a very smooth mirror finish. But the best advantage seems to be that most scratches leave the primer intact and still protect the resin from UV damage. The topcoat just isn’t as durable the primer and doesn’t seem to have the same adhesion to the resin.

  3. Great video! I am building my first boat and hull painting is coming up fast. Lots of good tips that will help with that stage. Thanks Chris!

  4. good video. I’m going to paint a couple boats this summer and I can use all the info and tips I can get, from comments and videos alike, Thanks!

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