Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Hopefully this blog will provide a few answers for potential customers, and also be useful to anyone considering doing a paint job themselves.
The featured boat is painted in our colours dated from the 1960's, when we had our own carrying boats.
Hence the rather confusing Company Name, now mostly abbreviated to CTS.
You can find out more about our history on our website at www.canaltransportservices.co.uk.
Incidentally this boat is not owned or operated by CTS. The owner has amibitions to carry freight by water, and we are more than happy to assist with the loan of our colours.
Follow the blog by scrolling down through the pictures, then click on "older posts" at the bottom of each page.
No rest for a boat painter. Once the hard slog to get the main colours on is done, there is still lots to do. Borders, coach lines, handrails, lids and hatches, bows and sterns.....
If you want to know more about the history of canal art, the traditional colours of canal carriers, and what goes where on a working boat and what each part is called, then try these books.
The Art Of The Narrowboat Painter by A J Lewery
Colours of The Cut by Edward Paget Tomlinson
Stem to Stern by John M Hill
We use various guides and patterns cut from hardboard to mark out the coach lines and motifs on the boat. Wax pencils, a wooden folding ruler and an old fashioned compass are the weapons of choice. Then its masking tape of various types, standard low tack in 1" and 2", a special one for the long straight bits (which I am keeping to myself), and a flexible one for the curves. All available from automotive body shop suppliers or boat paint suppliers. If you are doing the job outside you need special masking tape.
A. Mostly with a "Dual Action" sander with a coarse then medium grit paper to cut back the old paint, feather out the edges, and provide a key for the new coatings. Rust killer and body fillers applied as required.
Q. Do you grit blast?
A. When there is a lot of rust, or a thick build of old, flaky paint, or if there is any doubt about the adhesion of the existing paintwork then yes, we blast to bare metal. And sorry, but this is usually more expensive.
Q. What type of paint do you use?
A. There are very few bad paints on the market these days. At the risk of upsetting a few people, some paints are easy to apply in all conditions and cover well, others need more skill to put on but have a better, longer lasting gloss. Horses for courses as the saying goes.
We use a good quality coach paint available both direct from the manufacturer, and locally at many yards/chandlers. It is available in a range of standard colours, or can be matched to whatever you want.
Q. Is the finish very shiny?
A. A question with the potential to wind me up as we take care to get a good, deep, gloss finish, not just a surface "shine".
Q. How long will it last?
A. There is no answer to that as it depends how you look after the boat. If you moor next to the local incinerator and never clean your boat it will not look good for long. If you keep on top of any scratches and give it a wash and polish twice a year, it will last well.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. I would need to see the boat or at least some pictures to give you a quote. Contact details on the website or call me on 01543 374370.