poor man's fiberglass or, covering my TD with painted canvas

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poor man's fiberglass or, covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby rowerwet » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:04 pm

as mentioned in this thread http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=39373 I covered my TD with painted canvas, I used porch and floor paint as I think it is tougher, and cheap drop cloth canvas from HD.
-the canvas is wrinkled from being folded, some of those wrinkles won't paint out, you may want to iron it (or save some effort and throw it in the dryer for a spin)
-use the cheap paint for glueing on the canvas, it took me 4 gallons just to get the roof and one side canvased, the hatch is not canvased now (in one epic downpour last summer the rain found every tiny hole flooding the galley, if the hatch had been covered it wouldn't have leaked so much)
- edges, lumps, bumps screw holes, knot holes, fill and sand, any imperfections will jump out when it is painted. (use a router to put rounded edges if you want them)
-prime the wood( primer is cheaper than paint)
-cut the canvas side panels to rough shape leave a good margin around the edges
-cut the roof panel slightly oversize
-lay the canvas ,inside up, on some clean surface you don't mind getting paint on (do the sides first, use the roof as the paint area, or lay plastic drop cloth over plywood) and roll on the paint nice and thick ( I used 8 oz canvas and it soaked up tons of paint)
-roll a thick layer of paint on the part being canvased
-lay the wet painted canvas, paint side down, onto the area, roll out any bubbles and wrinkles with a paint filled roller, keep rolling on paint until the canvas stops soaking it up. (watch for drips on the edges) :roll: :oops:
-make sure any edges for hatches etc. are painted to hold them, I found cutting my round windows worked better after the paint dried, for square openings like my door cutting the canvas while wet and gluing it to the inside of the door frame worked well. (I've reworked my doors three times since, I wish I'd had them right the first time to protect the inside of the door rabbet)
- trim, vent covers, installed while the paint is wet will glue themselves in and if you try to remove them they will take some paint :( (using the paint to glue everything in makes a better waterproof seal, since canvasing I've redone my vents, RTV seals just as well on porch paint)
-after the paint dries the canvas will look dry if it soaks up like mine did, I let it dry and then painted in a top layer of expensive gloss porch and floor paint (kind of a waste, I now like Glidden better than the expensive Behr paint after more than one paint failure on my mouseboats using Behr)
-I like the textured look the canvas gives but the cheap canvas drop cloth has lots of pills and strings, get better quality cloth if that bothers you. (bed sheets material, more expensive by the yard, however much less paint=less weight, and the same strength to the paint, thinner fabric will not hide as many surface defects :oops: )
-bugs are attracted to fresh paint :cry: (and Maine has plenty of black flies...)
-make sure you know exactly where the door hinges attach (this got a lot of paint on my gloves and screw gun that shouldn't have :roll: )
:x
-rain will leave grooves in fresh paint :x :x
-pinking shears will make your edges look much more finished
hope this helps!
Last edited by rowerwet on Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby dh » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:48 pm

Interesting idea, a cheaper version of fiberglass/epoxy :thinking:

Thanks for posting this
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Postby rowerwet » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:27 am

cost
20$ per gallon for the cheaper paint (4)
27$ per gallon for expensive gloss paint (1)
25$ for the 12'X15' canvas drop cloth (1)
not counting roller or pan 132$
Last edited by rowerwet on Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dh » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:09 pm

Thats about what I'm paying for one gallon of epoxy and a quart of hardener. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up.
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Postby rowerwet » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:48 am

will one gallon cover your whole TD? just wondering? and then will you have to paint over that?
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Postby dh » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:16 pm

No, one gallon will not do my entire TD (5x9 Benroy). Also, I'm not glassing my entire TD either, just reinforcing select areas. I'll be using 3+ gal on my project.

Epoxy is not UV stable, so it has to be painted. I'm currently looking into having the boat place I'm getting the epoxy from spray on a 2 part linear polyurethane paint.
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Postby slowcowboy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:25 pm

so a coverd prarrie schooner or a plain old coverd wagen is not a great idea?

slow.
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Postby dh » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:59 pm

slowcowboy wrote:so a coverd prarrie schooner or a plain old coverd wagen is not a great idea?

slow.


depends how long you want it to last
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby rowerwet » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:37 pm

if you have a significant other... get a pair of scissors that no one will mind being covered in paint, as you will be doing a lot of cutting while the paint is still wet, I bought a new set $5 so my wife couldn't complain.
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby wingnut » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:46 pm

Rowerwet,
are you using latex paint? If you are I suggest you check out the method the canvas cedar covered caneo builders use. As you live were lots of cameo builders are, it should be easy to see how it's done. I'm pretty sure the canvas isn't paintecloths dropcloth. The paint is oil base.
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby desertmoose » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:15 pm

In our build (Horny Tow'd), we used titebond glue to stick the canvas down to the plywood. Then after it dried, we sealed it with thinned paint and followed up with a few coats of full strength paint.

Image

We really like the look of the textured canvas.

Image

Image

Sam and Kat
See our build journal at: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45718

See the shakedown trip at: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=50112

More photos at: http://photobucket.com/horny_towd_teardrop
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby bonnie » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:04 am

Sam and Kat, that is such a pretty tear! :applause: :applause:
Remember, the turtle won. :)
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby rowerwet » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:44 am

wingnut wrote:Rowerwet,
are you using latex paint? If you are I suggest you check out the method the canvas cedar covered caneo builders use. As you live were lots of cameo builders are, it should be easy to see how it's done. I'm pretty sure the canvas isn't paintecloths dropcloth. The paint is oil base.

yes I know how the professionals do it, I was looking for cheap, cheap, cheap. So far it works great. getting oil based paint around here is expensive.
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby rowerwet » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:40 pm

in case anybody was still wondering, the paint has held up just fine. the tear has lived outside all the time except for a few months last winter when I yanked the trailer out from under it for moving. Other than a a few stains from leaves which I am too lazy to wash off, and some bird stuff, the painted canvas is just as inert as the day it dried. I haven't painted it since the day I put the canvas on and won't need to for a while.
the street side of the tear was never canvased, the paint needs some work and the plywood has some issues that need to be fixed now.
When I put the tear back on the trailer two summers ago, I cut away the stupid 2x4 frame I made to "support" the floor, I had to peel back the canvas along the front and curb side, the paint tore the top layer off the plywood with the canvas. TALK ABOUT GOOD STUFF CHEAP! :thumbsup:
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Re: what I learned covering my TD with painted canvas

Postby tac422 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:20 am

How did I miss this thread ...? I wish I had seen it sooner, there's a lot of good info here !

Here's my experience, which is on Foam, but should be similar to plywood...

I used a total of 3 gallons on the outside of The BiG PInk.

1 gallon of un-thinnedTB2 to glue the canvas down. I painted it on, laid on the canvas, and used plastic scrapers to work the glue through the canvas. The canvas did shrink quite a bit. I painted the back side of the canvas on the edges which soaked in and made the canvas a lot more pliable to work it aroung corners and such.
I also used 1 gallon of Floor and porch paint (oil based), two coats pretty much took all the texture out. But Mike had bought some nice finished canvas which really helped.
And I used a 3rd gallon of aluminum roof paint for the "roof". This didn't fill in the weave, and left a very nice textured finish.

I did the front side first, and learned that I should have done the back first as I got much better at working the canvas. I found i was able to get it smooth around and into corners if I kept working it.
Like Rowerwet, I also did the winows after the glue dried. Make sure you allow for the thickness of the canvas/paint when making your door and window openings !

Desertmoose, the Horny Tow'd looks great !

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