Monday, 8 February 2016

Narrowboat blacking for beginners :- Tips & Tricks

I, stupidly, forgot to put some masking tape around the new sacrificial anodes that we had welded on. For the sake of a few minutes masking up, I then had to scrape and then wash off with thinner.
Tip 1 Always mask around your new anodes.

Tip 2 Use a stiff brush such as a masonary brush to apply the first heavier coat, this will allow you to stiple the bitumin into nooks, crannies and pitting. Then either brush or roller on as many coats as you have time and bitumin. If you don't have enough left for a complete coat, a small amount can be used to give an extra coat around the waterline.

Tip 3 Wrap your brushes and rollers in clingfilm overnight, this will keep them soft and ready to use, alternately, pop them in a bucket of water.

Tip 4 Make sure you wear disposable gloves, if you do get any bitumin on your skin use babyoil or babywipes to get it off.

Tip 5 Make sure the surface is dry, even a light coat of condensation will stop the bitumin from sticking.

Tip 6 Once finished allow 1 to 3 days for the bitumin to go off (depending on the weather) before putting your boat back in the water. 

Tip 7 Normal paint won't stick to bitumin so be careful not to get it onto surfaces that will need painting. 

Tip 7 Don't forget to black INSIDE your weedhatch! Remember this will be under water too. Be careful that the rubber gasket is sealing properly before you re-tighten the lid (which you also should have blacked!)