Our Boat and Vinyl Spray Paint..(Seriously)

Did you know there is such a thing as vinyl spray paint? Here’s the story of how I “found” it and what I used it on. I’ve told you about my husband’s family place up in the Adirondacks… it’s right on a lake. It’s rustic and amazing and we love it there.

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Being on the water, most of the families have a boat of some sort (if not more than one). His family has always has a few: what they call the “dingy”- which is a row-boat (it’s got to be at least 30 years old), a metal canoe (probably 20 years or so) and a 4 (yes, FOUR) horsepower motor to make them go. If you’ve never had the ‘pleasure’ of a trip with a 4 horsepower motor… well, you’ve obviously managed to get somewhere… A turtle moves faster, I just know it.

This post is sponsored by Simply Spray. They have a lot of really cool products that paint some pretty unusual things.

A few years ago we went to the local boat show and bought a ’73 Glaspar boat. It was lemon yellow and horrid- We loved it. $500 for the boat, the motor, AND a trailer. After learning it was $850 a week to rent one, we figured if it died after the first year, we still made out. It didn’t. It lasted 3 years I think and we had SO much fun with it. Dragging the big girls all over the lake, going on trips and just being silly.

Then it died… a sudden and cruel death on the other side of the lake. My poor husband and oldest daughter had to grab the rope attached to the bow, jump in the water, and swim us all home… Ahhh memories…

The next year we bought a new (to us) boat. It’s a 88 CVX something-or-another (this is where the “girl” in me rears its head) and it looks like this:

red boat in water next to dock
boat interior with duct tape repaired seats
Don’t be jealous…
red boat out of water and on trailer

Did you see that middle photo? Yep, it’s got a super fancy- “custom” duct tape interior… We didn’t even have to pay extra for that! Sweet!! Brian promptly named it the “Redheaded Step-Child” in honor of sweet Abbie (I mean, really, how many people actually HAVE one of those?) and she loved it.

We drove it exactly that way for two years. Last year the Marina owner asked Brian if he wanted his upholstery lady to have a go at the seats- Apparently Brian said yes and promptly forgot (this is not uncommon with my sweet husband).

In the meantime, I discovered Simply Spray Fabric Paint (see my purple chair post) and immediately went to their facebook page when I was so happy with the results of their product. A few months later they started posting about a new product Leather and Vinyl Cote. “Spray Paint” Type products for Leather and Vinyl… seriously?! How cool is that?! I was, of course full of questions and someone was kind enough to answer them all. I even sent an email with very specific coverage queries. Emily answered me and then asked if I would be interested in testing the Vinyl Cote product. Ummm, Would I?! That’s a certain YES!!

I sent her the before pictures of the boat- No surprise that she said “Those seats are pretty bad, I don’t think this product will work for you”. Ha! Remember how Brian forgets things? What an incredible surprise to get up to NY this year and see that indeed, the seats had been recovered… Check it out!

Stunning, right? Tom’s upholstery lady is amazingly talented and very fairly priced (ok, so low we feel like we stole it). However, she only did the seats. The sides and glove box areas were still a mess. Emily was oh so kind to send me one can of spray and one can of primer to test. I chose white since that is what color the glove box was already.

dashboard of boat before painting from far away. stains are hard to see.

Pretty bad up close. No amount of scrubbing was getting that mess off- believe me, I tried. What a perfect opportunity to try out Vinyl Cote!!

boat glove box before painting. spotted with stains
top shot of glove box stained from moisture
can of primer and spray color for vinyl from Simply Spray

The process is a little bit complex and you want to pay attention to what you’re doing- I’m warning you ahead of time.

The first thing is to read the directions… and then read them again. Then tape and mask- everything. I’m not kidding, EVERYTHING. It’s a whole lot “runnier” (thinner) than you would think it would be and it will be all over.

boat glove box prepped for paint with newspaper covering everything

Then you spray the primer. (Step 1) It isn’t necessary to be heavy-handed, just a light coat is all you need. then it says to rub it in to the cracks and crevices with a lint free cloth. I used an old tea towel. I truly think it would have been SO much easier with an old paintbrush. Then wait at least 30 minutes to get the primer dry. This step allows the “paint” to have something to stick to. You cannot skip it.

Once it’s “tacky”, then you pull out Step 2- the actual color. You spray it on the primed surface and then the directions say take a lint free cloth and rub it into the cracks and crevices.. Once again, use an old paintbrush, you’ll be happier. It almost seemed like I rubbed most of it off. Honestly, I was getting nervous about the coverage. The can warns you will most likely need more than one coat. They aren’t kidding. I was covering a white surface with a white paint, so remember that if you use this to guesstimate how many cans you might need. In theory that would require even less paint than normal- this is after the first coat:

boat glove box after one coat of primer and one coat of color

You let that coat dry for at least an hour and then you spray again. I was VERY limited on time so I had to speed up this process. I sprayed the second coat on a bit heavier than I would have preferred. and it looked like this:

glove box still covered in tape and fully painted

not bad, right? Peeled off the tape after about an hour and got this:

newly painted glove box on a boat. white with red trim.

I’m very pleased with the result. The splotchy-ness left over from the mold is gone. You can’t even see a trace of it. There is a little wrinkle where the paint gathered around the tape on the top handle. I really think with a fine sand paper I can get that out and spray one more coat. The bottom box has a bit of a drip because of the angle I was forced to contort to in order to spray the box.

All in all, I am very pleased with this product.

Pros: Easy to use, not labor intensive, MUCH less expensive than reupholstery, overspray came off very easily on the boat fiberglass.

Cons: more expensive than regular spray paint, much thinner than what you might except so be prepared, it may require more coats than you were expecting, and therefore a bit more time.

Just FYI- I do still have a half a can or so left of the color. I have nearly a whole can of the Primer product. I would absolutely use this vinyl spray paint again and recommend it. If you have the ability to actually remove the pieces you’re working on to lay them flat, DO IT. It’ll save you some trouble.

Update: several years later, it still looks brand new.

Here’s the before and after:

I would love to try out the Leather Cote on my girlfriend’s couch. She’s been complaining about it looking worn.. If the Leather Cote works like this… I think it’d be just the thing.

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pinnable image that leads back to vinyl spray paint post

Simply Spray was kind enough to send me product in exchange for sharing with you. All opinions are my own and always will be.

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  • Reply
    A Pinterest Addict
    August 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Wow! What a difference! Love the new seats too! It’s amazing what pain can do, huh?!

  • Reply
    A Pinterest Addict
    August 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    UHm… I meant “paint”. Sorry!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    The redo on the seats obviously set the tone. The glove box was just the “topper” and one of those things that would have seriously driven me crazy. 😉

    I really want to maybe try to do the vinyl stripes in the cabin part next year (there is red and darker gray ones too… if the paint colors are a close enough match I may just spray it all up. Tom at the marina was pretty impressed as well. I don’t think he’d ever heard of it.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    That’s awesome! I used another spray vinyl product, and I’m not sure how well it really worked (but the chair I sprayed had its own set of issues). But I’m definitely going to investigate the spray you used. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    By the way, the seats look FANTASTIC!!!!! Maybe I should send my chair up with you so she can redo that for me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
    August 30, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    My grandparents had a lake cottage in Michigan, and we’d spend the summers there… my memories of the place are so wonderful. They had a pontoon boat, (which is not awesome in any way. You cannot be pulled behind it, or go fast, or anything.) But it did have orange Astroturf flooring. THAT was pretty awesome.

    Your seats came out great and the spray painted dash looks fantastic!!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Victoria, we all love that place- It is such a place of calm and peace. My husband has wonderful memories of being there as a child and I only hope our children have the same… My grandmother had a lake place in Texas for a few years and the first boat she bought was a speed boat and it was carried away in a flood. She replaced it with a pontoon. Her’s was crazy fast though so apparently you could be pulled behind it. I was only on it once and it was so new, no one would “test” it.

  • Reply
    ADK home | Saved by Scottie
    September 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    […] a crazy boat to climb over, and drive, and tube with. (better shots of the boat and interior here) […]

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