Protect your investment in the paintwork of your narrowboat by ensuring you regularly polish the paint work to keep it gleaming whilst protecting from UV damage.

Narrowboat paint work can soon become dull from environmental impacts
Regular polishing of your narrowboat paintwork will help to protect from UV damage
Narrowboat paint work is soon brightened with a good polish and a lot of elbow grease

Polishing… What Do You Need To Know?

One of the biggest assumptions made is all canal boats can be polished.

This certainly not the case. Before investing in any polish or polishing equipment please check if your paint scheme is polishable.

Many canal boat paint manufacturers will have their own range of paint care products that are tried and tested with their paints.

The other consideration regarding polishing is paint thickness. In essence every time you polish paintwork you are removing a small layer of paint… Just check the polishing cloth; It will soon turn to the colour of your paint! Dry film thickness is the correct term for paint thickness and this can be test with a dry film thickness gauge or coating thickness gauge. Be aware if you are considering testing the paint thickness it will bear no relevance to the gloss pigmented layer as it will measure the entire paint scheme thickness i.e the cumulative thickness of primer, undercoat and gloss layers.

If you are going to start polishing your boat be prepared to split the job into manageable sections as it’s not a quick job, nor one you can shortcut. Once you start there is no going back!

Protecting the narrowboat paint finish is important. However you’ve achieved it, it has cost good money.

Above all else regular washing and cleaning of the paintwork will see you well.

Modern products are available with UV inhibitors to prevent fading. If nothing else, you are regularly inspecting your narrow boat and will therefore notice any deterioration before it becomes a serious issue.

At the very least, try and remove duck/bird mess as soon as you can. This has got to be one of the most corrosive substances known to man and can eat fresh paintwork back to bare metal.


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