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Application Guide - Above Waterline Application Systems

Final Priming and Topcoating

The application of the final finishing primer coat and application of the topcoat completes the coating system.

Primers and Sealers

The finishing primer supplies a hard, tight film on which to apply the topcoat, sealing the more porous fairing or surfacing materials below it. This hard tight film supports the Awlgrip, Awlgrip HS, Awlcraft 2000 or Awlcraft SE Topcoats maximizing the gloss and distinction of image (D.O.I.).

When painting fiberglass/gelcoat, wood, and smooth surfaced aluminum (masts, spars, etc.), there are many projects where no fairing or surfacing materials are used. In these cases the initial priming of the surface and the final priming can all be part of the same process. The only real distinction is which coat of primer is being applied.

Topcoats

The Awlgrip Premium Urethane Topcoat is a polyester based polyurethane coating which can be applied by spray, brush, roller or the roller/brush combination. Awlgrip provides excellent chemical and abrasion resistance, along with outstanding color retention.

Awlcraft 2000 is an acrylic based polyurethane coating designed only for spray application. It is designed for the yard, applicator or owner who is willing to sacrifice a little durability to have a faster curing, more easily repaired finish.

Awlgrip HS is a high solids, low VOC polyurethane coating designed to provide premium gloss and distinction of image. Awlgrip HS provides a long-­lasting protective and decorative finish along with superior resistance to chemicals and stains.

Awlcraft SE is a revolutionary topcoat encompassing metallics, pearls, and effect pigments and is fast drying with excellent opacity. Awlcraft SE is designed to work as one layer of a multi-part system where the Awlcraft SE imparts the colour and effect and is then topcoated with Awlcraft 2000 F3029 High Gloss Clear. This combination forms a high performance, high gloss robust topcoat system.

  • All Awlgrip topcoats provide a tough, chemical and abrasion resistant coating which has been proven to perform in the marine environment.

  • All topcoats require two coats minimum – regardless of application technique. Some applicators prefer to use three coats, which may be the easier way to go with some colors.


Do not clear coat over whites or pastels with Awlgrip, Awlcraft 2000 or Awlgrip HS systems. Each system has a clear available. For Awlgrip it is G3005 High Gloss Clear; for Awlgrip HS it is N3100 High Gloss Clear; for Awlcraft 2000 and Awlcraft SE it is F3029 High Gloss Clear. However, these products should only be used over dark colors or Awlcraft SE basecoats.

Application of Finishing Primer

  1. Sand the surface smooth with 120–220 grit paper. Grit choice will be determined by condition and make up of the surface.
  2. Blow off the surface with clean, dry compressed air while dry wiping with clean rags to remove sanding dust and residue.
  3. Tack off the surface with Deluxe Tack Rags #73009.
  4. To mix primers; ensure that base and converter are mixed to the correct mix ratio and leave for 15 minutes induction time. If indicated, reduce as necessary for application method.
  5. Apply the required coats of the final primer smoothly and evenly. Thinning the product will reduce film thickness but results in a smoother surface that will require less sanding.
    Note: Awlquik is easier to apply by brush/roll than 545 Epoxy Primer. However, 545 Epoxy Primer will provide a more durable system.
  6. Sand the entire primed surface with 320–400 grit paper to a smooth, flat finish.
  7. Blow off the surface with clean, dry compressed air while dry wiping with clean rags to remove sanding dust and residue.
  8. Wipe with Awlgrip Wipe-Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep T0008; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) using the Two Cloth Method. Repeat process as necessary until the surface is completely clean. Allow the surface to dry.
  9. Tack off the surface with Deluxe Tack Rags #73009.

321 HS Undercoat is a low VOC alternative to 545 Epoxy Primer which requires fewer coats for the same total DFT.

For application instructions for all Awlgrip products, refer to the respective Technical Datasheet.



Finish Coat Application:
Spray Application (Awlgrip and Awlcraft 2000 Topcoats only)

  1. Mix topcoat base with selected spray converter (G3010 or G3038) at the correct ratio and reduce up to 25% with the appropriate reducers for spray application.
  2. Using recommended spray equipment, apply a smooth, wet tack coat to the surface. Allow tack coat to flash off 30–45 minutes.
  3. Then apply a full, wet coverage coat to achieve color coverage (i.e. hide) and film thickness requirements.
  4. When using G3010 Awlcat #2, in most situations the application of three coats is normal (For Awlcraft 2000 and Awlgrip topcoats). Allow the second coat to ‘flash off’ 30–45 minutes until only slightly tacky before applying third coat.
    If using G3038 and VOC Exempt Reducers with Awlcraft 2000 topcoat base it is generally possible to apply the necessary film thickness in two coats for most bases. Always check correct final film thickness is achieved, however.

Brush/Roll Application

  1. Mix two parts by volume Awlgrip Color Base with one part Awlcat #3 Brushing Converter. Reduce 10–33% with Brushing Reducer.
  2. Brush or roller apply Awlgrip Topcoat in a minimum of two coats. Depending on film thickness applied and color choice, one or possibly two additional coats may be needed.

Warning

Topcoating cannot be done in one coat.

Sanding between coats with 280–400 grit paper will provide a smoother finish. Blow off the surface with clean, dry compressed air while dry wiping with clean rags to remove sanding dust and residue.

Wipe with Awlgrip Wipe-­Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep T0008; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) using the Two Cloth Method. Repeat process as necessary until the surface is completely clean. Allow the surface to dry.

Tack off the surface with Deluxe Tack Rags #73009.

On large surfaces such as hull sides, transoms and house sides, first roll the Awlgrip Topcoat and then smooth the roller stipple by lightly tipping the surface with a brush or pad.

This can be done with 2 painters working side by side (i.e. 1 rolling and 1 tipping), or with 1 painter rolling approximately 6 sq ft and then tipping that area before rolling any further.

Tip

See the last sections of this guide for maintenance advice on Awlgrip or Awlcraft 2000 topcoats and repair advice for Awlcraft SE.