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I know we discussed bottom paint in depth but I am about to paint everything above the waterline and would like to know what kind of paint others have used and how they went about applying it.  I have the original paint mostly sanded off and imagine I need to start with some sort of primer.  Is gelcoat difficult to apply or expensive?  What about non-skid on deck?  Thanks in advance for your insights.

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I've been using 100% acrylic latex housepaint for the topsides. Gloss is more water-repellent and easier to clean than the lower sheens. Extremely simple to touch up dings. I used Interlux non-skid at first, but the Behr non-skid is cheaper.

What is the surface, wood or glass/epoxy? Some paints won't need primer to go over epoxy; read the manufacturer's labels to ascertain what they want.

I used Interlux Perfection for the topsides. It is a two-part paint and not cheap but you get what you pay for. It is extremely resistant to wear and UV damage. For everything inside the boat, I used Interlux Brightside. This one is a one part and also very good but not as resistant as Perfection. Both paints are relatively easy to apply with either a good roller and/or a good brush. The difference is supposed to be in the overall time the paint lasts. Time will tell but so far I am very pleased with the results.

For the last topside painting I used a Petit topside paint. But instead of the normal white, I used an almost white sand color. Made a tremendous difference in the glare.
One nice thing about using a primer is that you end up with a uniform color. Without a primer, there are different colors underneath the paint and they will show through the final coat, dark in some places and lighter in others. The patches become less visiable after the 4th coat of paint.

Another nice thing that I like about primer is that it lets you know when to stop sanding the next time you prep her for painting.

But yeah, everything sticks to epoxy, so you don't usually need primer from an adhesion based viewpoint.

You're in the States, right? Have you checked out Genesis paint by Scherwin Williams? It's formulated for aircraft and is fucking bulletproof. I think Practical Sailor mag did a comparission test which included it a few years ago.

You can apply gel coat with a spray gun at 70 psi with the right nozzel on your gun. It's easy and more durable than most paints. It's cheaper than some paints, and more expensive than others.

You can buy little granuals in small, medium and large which may be added to the paint to create a nonskid surface. They may be shot or rolled. Alternatively, some people use things like ground up walnut shells, etc...

If you like to roll and tip, those interlux paints are great, like Martin said.

One of my friends double tapes his nonskid areas when painting the deck. It creates a really nice ridge and makes cleaning easier later on.

Personally, I would like to see you be the low budge guinea pig and buy some cheap one part house siding paint. Crush up some wallnuts, tell us how it goes in a bit :)
Above the water line:
1 layer of International Interguard Epoxy primer,
2 layers of International Interthane 2 part polyurethane paint
All rolled on, no spray gun. The result satisfies me much.

For non skid surfaces I poured fine white sand on the wet paint and rolled over 2 more layers of the same paint. Very good non skid properties and lasts well, too. I have used it before on a dive boat with much passenger traffic, no problem.

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