Re: Faux Teak and Deck Paint
Jose,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
When you say that the Faux-teak is missing in places do those thin areas look white by chance? If so closely by feel deck where you have the white areas and you may find that the wood grain texture exists in these areas, they are just the wrong colour. In looking at my boat, I am pretty certain that Amel brushed the gel coat into the mold for the Faux teak colour and then sprayed the rest of the deck mold with the white gel coat that we see on the areas outside of the Faux teak area. This makes sense from a production standpoint because to spray the Faux-teak area would require masking off the entire deck mold except for the Faux-teak area..a lot of extra work. It is really hard to brush gel coat to a perfectly even thickness so perfectly normal to have some thinner areas. These thin areas look on my boat like brush marks because actually they are, only from the reverse side. (grin) The only point I wanted to make was that on my boat at least, enough white gel coat was sprayed over the top of the Faux Teak gel coat that despite the Faux-Teak colour being thin in places, the fibreglass is well covered and protected. So I view this as just a cosmetic issue so pretty low down on my to do list currently.
You can certainly experiment with patching in the Faux-teak colour where it is missing. I have not yet tried touching up my decks using the ideas that follow so your mileage may vary but I have done similar touchups on some other projects. Unfortunately the results I have obtained are never as good as the original but there has always been improvement.. I would suggest getting a flattening agent for your Awlgrip to reduce the gloss and improve the traction some. You will need to experiment with how much to add to get your best match. The paint will need to be dry to know for sure how it will look. Go for a bit too shiny as the trend will be for the Awlgrip to flatten more over time. As you found out, super shiny Awlgrip is really slippery stuff.
I wish that I could suggest an anti-slip additive for painted surfaces but I have not really found one that I like much and I have tried more than a dozen over the years. Sand does work great for nonskid but it is too hard to sand down with normal sandpaper so when the time comes to recoat you have a problem. Sand also has a colour so will show up as the paint wears down or chips off of the sand bits and this is the problem with many of the other additives. We have had good luck using glass beads to varnish. These tiny beads are added to the paint used for reflective stripping on the roads. With (Including the Awlgrip /Awlbrite varnish) varnish, the glass beads disappear visually though the non-skid texture remains. You can also sand them down when the time comes which is a little confusing since I would think that glass would be too hard to sand too but it does work. I have not tried the glass beads with the Awlgrip paint but it might be worth doing a small test panel to see if you like it or not. The fine Awlgrip non-skid additive will hold up the best of the additives they sell. The more coarse Awlgrip additives become very slippery over time as the paint sticks poorly to the plastic bits so eventually you end up walking on the exposed plastic bits as the paint chips off. I developed a technique where I thicken the Awlgrip and apply it with a roller. It makes the best non skid I have walked on to date but it would completely cover you wood grain.
If you go to the Awlgrip.com website and click on colours at the top of the page, you will see the option to have custom colours created. Awl grip can be applied in thin coats which you can use to your advantage in blending the paint to the Faux-Teak gel coat. Build up thin coats as needed to cover your thin areas and then enlarge the patched area with additional coats to end up with only one thin coat at the edge of the repair. You want to spread out your laps in other words. You could also do a little wet sanding and polishing around the blend lines to help the paint blend into the gelcoat. A tiny HVLP spray gun might also work well in doing these touchup areas but it takes a little practice.
I am not really sure how to properly prepare the Faux-teak gelcoat surface for paint since you are wanting to retain the wood grain effect. Sandpaper will tend to flatten the surface so the only other option I have used are the Maroon Scotchbrite pads which you can compress into the low areas to scratch all surfaces. The surface really needs to be freshly scratched everywhere to get a decent bond. Awl grip is supposed to be applied over a primer such as the 545 but white or gray are your only options so will complicate patching. I have found that the Awlgrip topcoats actually have great adhesion to a prepared surface as rule so if I try patching I will omit the primer.
Glad to hear that you like the Awlgrip on your hull.
Best of luck with the patching, please let me know what seems to work for you.