Popular Thinner Brand Feature Article: Pettit Thinners

There are many different marine paint brands to choose from when it comes to selecting a paint for your boat. But it doesn’t take just paint to give your boat a new protective coating. It also takes preparation and another key ingredient: paint thinner.

Pettit is one brand of marine paint that’s widely used in the industry. It’s considered the golden standard by many for its long-lasting finishes and excellent reputation for quality. Pettit makes several paint thinners to match well with their marine paint selection. Plus, when you use the same brand of thinner, you are ensuring you have maximum compatibility between your paint and your thinner. Using the wrong thinner can have catastrophic effects on your paint job and ultimately, on the integrity of your hull.

The first all-purpose paint thinner that Pettit produces is their Brushing Thinner 120, which can work with all enamels and even some of their antifouling paints (except for Hydrocoat and Ultima SR-60). This slow-drying solvent is an absolute necessity in hotter climates and typically requires only 10% addition to the paint. If you’re airbrushing or spray painting your boat, Pettit also has you in mind with their 121 Spray Thinner. Both of these thinners work with all types of substrates, from wood to aluminum to fiberglass. Thinner 120 is also a popular choice for clean up after a paint job.

If you’re using Pettit’s Ultima SR-60 antifouling paint, then you must use Pettit’s 185 Ablative Thinner instead of Pettit’s 120 thinner. This ablative thinner keeps the antifouling properties of the Ultima SR-60 line intact, which will provide the longest protection for your boat from invading marine life. Typically, you only need to add 10% thinner to the paint or 15% if you’re spray painting.

Pettit Thinners

Pettit Thinners

If you’re using a two-part epoxy system from Pettit, your thinner of choice will be the 97 Epoxy Thinner. This conditions the epoxy to flow smoothly and flash fast enough to prevent sagging. With a two-part system, you are maximizing your protection and ensuring the long life of your hull.

If you’re repainting a fiberglass hull, it’s important to prep your fiberglass substrate. When a fiberglass hull is repainted, it must be stripped down to the gelcoat. It’s important to remove grease and previously applied layers from the fiberglass or else you risk long-term damage and flaking of your new coat. Pettit’s 95 Fiberglass thinner and dewaxer is the thinner and solvent of choice to clean a fiberglass hull before painting. After you’ve dewaxed, you always want to finish with a cleaning of 92 Bio-Blue Hull Surface Prep, also available from Pettit for fiberglass.

Pettit is an excellent choice for both professional painters and weekend do-it-yourself boat painters. Remember, the best paint job always starts with an excellent prep job. Putting extra time into preparing your hull, using a primer and sanding between coats pays dividends in the end in terms of hull care and long-term integrity.

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