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Application Guide - Above Waterline Application Systems

Surface Preparation - Wood

Painted Systems

Wooden boats seldom require any extensive filling or fairing. The following surface preparation system is recommended for all but the most severe cases of deterioration on a wooden boat. Contact your local Technical Sales Representative to confirm the suitability of an Awlgrip System for your wooden boat.

The Awlgrip Topcoat may crack over working seams and miters. If the paint on the boat is cracking, the seam will crack when painted with Awlgrip. The Awlgrip Topcoat may crack when previous coatings did not.

Awlgrip does not consider cracking over seams or miters a failure.

Tip

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Use of a marine teak cleaner or wood bleach is advised on new wood to remove excess oils and promote color uniformity and adhesion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and thoroughly remove all cleaner and neutralizer residue before proceeding. Oily Timbers: Wash down with Awlgrip Wipe-­Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep T0008 or Awlprep 400 T0170; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) and allow to dry before sanding.

  1. The wood should be clean, dry, smooth, and well seasoned. Moisture content must be below 15%. Never paint wet or green lumber. Painted wet or green lumber will blister.
  2. Sand the surface smooth with 80–120 grit paper.
  3. Blow off the surface with clean, dry compressed air while wiping with clean rags to remove sanding and dust residue. Wipe the surface with Awlgrip Wipe-­Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep T0008 or Awlprep 400 T0170; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) using the Two Cloth Method.
  4. Apply a light coat of 545 Epoxy Primer to seams before applying a seam sealer. Allow 545 Epoxy Primer to cure 4–6 hours.
  5. Fill seams with high quality marine seam sealer such as polyurethane or polysulfide. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for application and cure of the seam sealer. Allow the seam sealer to cure fully before proceeding. Do not use silicone based products.
  6. Seal the wood with a light coat of 545 Epoxy Primer (spray) reduced 40% with T0006. Allow to cure 12–16 hours.

If cured more than 24 hours, the seal coat must be lightly sanded with 180–220 grit paper before proceeding.

Alternatively, you can also use Awlquik (Brush & Roll) reduced 50–70% with T0031 in place of 545 Epoxy Primer.

Surface is now ready for final priming and topcoating.

Traditional Brightwork Systems

The following surface preparation system is recommended if the final system to be applied is a traditional Brightwork system using Awlspar and/or Awlbrite. If the final system to be applied is the Awlwood Exterior Clearcoat system please use the surface preparation detailed in the applicable section below.

  1. The wood should be clean, dry, smooth, and well seasoned. Moisture content must be below 15%. Never paint wet or green lumber. Painted wet or green lumber will blister

    Tip

    Use of a marine teak cleaner or wood bleach is advised on new wood to remove excess oils and promote color uniformity and adhesion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and thoroughly remove all cleaner and neutralizer residue before proceeding. Oily Timbers: Wash down with Awlgrip Wipe-­Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep T0008 or Awlprep 400 T0170; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) and allow to dry before sanding.

  2. Rough sawn lumber must receive heavy sanding to level the grain. Sand with 3M Production (Brown) sandpaper. The 3M® Gold or Tri­M­ite® type sandpapers may leave a white stain. Work through the grits to effectively level the grain 60/80 to 100/150 to 220, and so on. When the grain is level, smooth sand the surface with 320 grit paper.
  3. Blow off the surface with clean, dry, compressed air while wiping with clean rags to remove sanding and dust residue. Wipe the surface with Awlgrip Wipe­-Down Solvent (NA/AP: Awlprep T0008 or Awlprep 400 T0170; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) using the Two Cloth Method.

Surface is now ready for application of the brightwork system.

Awlwood Exterior Clearcoat Systems

  1. Any cracks in the timber should be epoxy filled or splined with timber prior to sanding. Radius all edges to ensure that no sharp corners remain.

    Caution

    Never use teak cleaners – Oxalic acid residues impede proper curing of both primers and topcoats.

  2. If timber is badly weathered, scrub with the grain using a stiff bristled wire brush and running water to remove all grey timber from the surface before sanding.
  3. Remove all previous coating systems and contaminants. The surface of the timber should be mechanically removed until coloration is even and the original timber tone has been exposed.
  4. All substrates must be sanded using no finer than P120 grit (sanding with the grain for the final sand).
  5. If bare timber has been saturated with salt water at any stage, scrub well with fresh water to remove salt deposits from the timber before commencing sanding.
  6. If the timber gets wet after the final sand water spots may appear. Re-sand these areas with P120 grit paper before priming.


Applying to Resinous Timber

  1. Remove any sanding dust from the grain of the timber using clean compressed air, vacuum or brush.
  2. Working in sections, apply Acetone by brush, scrubbing in well, then remove immediately using paper towels or rags which are changed frequently. Failure to follow this method can result in a greater concentration of resin on the surface of the timber.
  3. Ensure the surface is completely dry before applying the Awlwood MA Primer. Apply the primer within an hour of degreasing.

    NOTE: Occasionally some timber extracts can retard the cure of the primer. Test on small areas if unsure.


Filling Defects/Fixing Holes

  1. For all defects, where possible, and especially for screw holes, the best solution for filling is to use wooden plugs of the same wood. Care should be taken to line the grain up if inserting plugs and should be fixed into place using an epoxy resin based glue. Any excess glue should be removed by sanding the cured epoxy before priming to prevent irregular spots in the varnished finish.

    If this method is not feasible or possible then the use of an epoxy resin mixed with dust/shavings (preferably from the same wood as that being coated). Once cured these filled areas should be sanded prior to application of the primer. Any excess glue should be removed by sanding the cured epoxy before priming to prevent irregular spots in the varnished finish.


    NOTE: This method may result in these areas appearing slightly darker than surrounding wood due to the absorbencies of epoxy compared to the wood. Use of a colored primer will help minimize color differences. Alternatively addition of colored primer, as noted elsewhere in TDS, to the topcoats will have the same effect. Always test on a small non-visible area first.


Surface is now ready for application of the Awlwood Clearcoat system.

Epoxy Primer or Fiberglass/Carbon Fiber

  1. Machine or hand sand to remove defects finishing with P180 grit paper. Ensure that no epoxy blush is present. Test in a small non-visible area to confirm adhesion if unsure.

These substrates do not require use of Awlwood MA Primer. Awlwood MA Finish can be directly applied to the properly prepared substrate