Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Very white indeed

Virginia finishes painting the stateroom.
A few weeks ago my wife and I reached a major milestone: the inside of the boat is painted. (Well, mostly: we still need to do the head and a few other odds and ends.) Seems like it shouldn't be such a big deal, I mean, it's only a 43-foot boat. As anyone knows who does any kind of painting, it's all in the preparation. In Oceanus's case, lots of preparation.

Before we could paint we had to finish the faux frame and panel (I guess that's what you would call it). All of the bulkheads needed the treatment and it looks terrific, even if I say so myself. Jason, the previous owner, did a great job on some of the bulkheads. We tried our best to match his high standards.


...after. This is the hanging locker in the master stateroom.

After applying the frame and panel, I had to sand and fill and sand and fill ad nauseum. I thought I would never get done. I used marine epoxy with a sanding filler. It was the best stuff for the job, but the mixing and application was tedious at best, down right frustrating on some days. The overhead was the toughest to get right. There were places where bulkheads were removed and fairing that was a chore. There were also a lot of holes that needed patching. Fairing in the new bulkheads was the toughest part by far.

Then I had to sand. Sand until my arms felt like they would fall off. Sand until it was all I could see when I closed my eyes at night. The good news is I have a tool-triggered vacuum attached to my random-orbit sander so I didn't have to eat my own dust. I would never do a job like this without that vacuum. Never!

As I would finish preping one section, my wife would paint it. First with an undercoat and then with two, three or sometimes as many as four coats of enamel. The high-gloss enamel showed every defect, which meant more filling and sanding, but, oh, does it look good! The shine tricks your eyes into thinking the space is larger than it is. And the bright white paint makes the inside cheery, even on overcast days. (We get a lot of those in the Northwet.) I've never heard someone complain that the inside of a boat was too bright. Have you?

Now the painting is done, we are on to more fun things, like woodworking. Stay tuned.


  1. As per usual, a very fine job. Particularly that fairing of the overhead at the bulkheads (my shoulders are aching in sympathy for you). I took a peek the other day and am eagerly following your ceiling progress. Definitely one of the most gratifying projects on a fixer-upper, it's a wonder that so many boats these days forgo (sp?) the treatment entirely. It will be a beautiful counterpoint to all of the wonderful white surfaces. No dark cave syndrome here!


  2. Hey Jason, Thanks for the comment and complement. I've got pics of the ceiling project and will post an update soon. Glad you like it.