Part 3.2: Roll and Tip

Suggested Application Technique

One of the main benefits of Bristol Finish is to get the job done with a minimum of labor invested, for the best possible results. This outline follows our thoughts, from the viewpoint of a painter with only average abilities. After reviewing this, and with some practice using Bristol Finish, you may discover some variations to the process that you think are a good idea. Please let us know about these.

First, read the Application Guideline brochure that is included in each kit. Then use this outline as a supplement to that material.

This technique is based on the concept of getting the buildup coats applied in the fastest and easiest way, with a little more time put into the finish coats. This method has worked well for us for many years.

  1. First, mix an appropriate working batch of Bristol Finish. You should be planning to apply 6 coats as quick as possible. This may take 1 to 2 days. Bristol Finish has a pot life of approximately 4 hours at 70°F so mix your batches accordingly. After applying the first coat, you may want to increase or decrease the batch size as needed.
  2. Application should be done with a roller ONLY for the first 6 coats. Use a 7″ or 9″ roller cover that is either yellow foam as is used for epoxy or a good urethane-rated cover. Start applying the first coat, rolling out as necessary. Don’t spread the material too thin. Don’t over-roll the surface. This will cause lots of bubbles.Do all the the project like this. After finishing the first coat check the starting point to see if it is tack-free. If so, proceed with the second coat. Don’t use too much pressure on the roller when applying the 2nd and subsequent coats. Continue like this until you have 6 coats on the project.Don’t worry too much about little defects like roller stipple, small runs or such. Get the 6 coats on and let it cure with good air movement and ventilation for at least 3 days.

    When the coating is cured enough to sand it with 220 grit without clogging, sand the entire surface until it is completely smooth. Block sanding by hand usually works well. You can use a machine if you are VERY CAREFUL. You don’t want to remove any more than is absolutely necessary.

  3. Now you are ready to apply the two final coats. These coats need to be applied a little more carefully than the buildup coats, and the technique will be a little different.Remove all of the sanding dust. Mix an appropriate batch for one coat, and apply with a roller just like the buildup coats. Wet the roller, and roll out an area only two roller widths wide. Now tip off with a slightly wet brush, pulling only one stroke, from either waterline to sheer or down (on a boat), whichever works best for you. Do the whole project like this.It is best to allow this coat to dry for at least 4 hours, so that it is not too soft when the final coat is applied. You can wait as long as 24 hours if you want, but you shouldn’t need this much time.Now apply the final coat just like described above. Roll out 2 roller widths, and tip off once with a slightly wet brush.

    When applying the 2 final coats, you should minimize the air flow in the work area as much as possible. This will allow the 2 final coats to flow out as much as possible. When the first final coat is completed, allow to sit for at least 1 hour and then turn the fans on. Follow this same procedure for the 2nd final coat to get good leveling.

  4. (For mobile projects or smaller boats) After all the coats are applied, allow to cure for a couple of days inside, and then the boat can be moved outside, but only in a shaded area. Don’t move it directly from the cool shop into direct sun, as this can cause thermal shock which may cause small bubbles. After it has been in the shade for 1/2 day, the sun should be O.K. as you have gradually brought the surface temperature up.

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Above all, remember that this technique isn’t set in stone. If you find something that works particularly well for you, by all means go for it.