Shop Tips » Finishing
Painting Over the Deck
An attractive way to finish a kayak is to bring the hull paint an inch or so onto the deck. The trick is to make a neat and even line separating paint from varnish. Here's how we do it in CLC's prototype shop.
- This little homemade tool scribes a line parallel to the sheer. It consists of three nails driven into a scrap of wood. The two outer nails ride along the side of the hull. The third nail, which just protrudes through the wood, scribes the line as you push the block down the sheer. The distance between the two "guide nails" and the "scribing nail" determines the width of the paint stripe on deck.
- With the line scribed, use 3M Fineline Tape to mask off the deck.
- Add extra tape at the bow and stern.
- Mark the radius at the bow and stern using a shot glass, large coin, or small jar lid as a template.
- Cut off the excess tape with a razor knife.
- Paint the hull with the boat resting upside down on flat sawhorses; this will allow you to paint the sides of the decks that are above the horses. When the paint has thoroughly dried, pull off the tape, then mask off the painted area with Fineline tape and varnish the deck. Be sure not to use regular masking tape since thin marine paint and varnish will seep under it, leaving a ragged transition.