I am painting the Bristol with
System Three's relatively
new water-based linear polyurethane paint. It is wonderful paint, with
the durability, shine and color retention of Awlgrip, but without deadly
fumes and much simpler mixing and cleanup. I won't repeat what is on their
website about the product, but I will tell you my experience with it, good
and bad. You can see examples of what I am painting:
System Three WR-LPU Color Card,
It is very hard paint. As hard
and durable as any other LPU paint.
It is very hard paint, and
grows harder after curing for about a week, so like any other LPU
system, it is difficult to sand. Paint that you have added the
crosslinker to for the finished coats, is a finish that is extremely
difficult to sand.
It is not latex house paint.
I have read on several boat building discussion boards of various
opinions that it is. That is total nonsense. Water-based enamels and
LPU's have been in use in this country and around the world for the
past dozen or so years. Every car that comes off an assembly line
now uses water-based paint. The strict VOC emission laws demand it.
The most expensive German luxury cars are painted with water-based
LPU. The only industries that still cling to solvent based LPU
paints seem to be marine and aviation, and those will soon enough
fall under the scrutiny of the EPA and regulated VOC emissions.
So understand that this is not bleeding-edge technology and believe
me when I say that the product is as good as Awlgrip, or any other
LPU paint system. Try it and see for yourself...
It is cold weather paint,
making it difficult to use in Florida. Now that being said, solvent
based LPU is probably as difficult to work with in temps above 75
degrees. The advantage that SystemThree has is that it is thinned
with water which doesn't evaporate the way reducers do in solvent
based LPU paints (so once you have the right dilution it remains
consistent and doesn't require continuous adjustment of the
It dries very quickly.
It dries very quickly.
It has no odor so bugs are not
attracted to wet paint.
Bugs travel for miles if I even
open a can of Awlgrip.
It is a base coat, clear coat
system, like automotive paint. What this means to the boat owner is
that repairs of small areas are very simple and can be invisible if
done carefully. Unlike Awlgrip that is impossible to feather a patch
into the surrounding paint, with SystemThree, just sand the area,
repaint with the base coat and feather the clear coat finish.
The clear coat provides the
same level of brilliance as sprayed Awlgrip, but adds additional UV
filters to what is already in the base coat. It works well as a
clear protected, super hard finish over epoxy encapsulated
brightwork, and goes over any kind of paint or varnish that I have
experimented with. I am using the satin clear on all the interior
wood in the cabin. You can see examples
If you want a satin finish, you
can apply a satin clear coat. If you want a flat finish, just use
the color without the clear coat.
It is expensive, about the same
as Awlgrip or the other solvent-based LPU's.
The equipment set up I use for painting
includes a Wagner HVLP
2600 3-Stage system, an extra 12-ft length of hose that I run thru an
ice chest of ice water, and the standard gun that comes with the Wagner