Hey, I was wondering if you have any advice on oar painting. In the past all our team has done is just use regular spray paint over the old cracked paint job (obviously a mistake), but our coach has put me in charge of the repainting this year and I want to do it right. I’ve stared working on sanding down the blades but am unsure how to go about painting. Should we just use regular spray paint with a protective finish? I’ve read that some people use automotive paint.
It’s been awhile since I last painted any oars myself but I have a general idea of how it’s done so hopefully this helps. For paint, automotive paint is definitely the way to go. You can also use marine paint but automotive paint has more color choices.
1. Start with a low-grit sandpaper (180 is good) and sand the oars until ALL the shine is gone. Rinse the oar off and let it dry.
2. Prime the oars with a lacquer or enamel primer (lacquer works best but enamel is fine too) 2-3 times, letting it fully dry each time between coats.
3. After you’ve applied the last coat and let it dry, go over the oar with a high-grit sandpaper (400 is good), rinse, and let it dry. This will help the top coat adhere to the primer and create a stronger bond between the paints.
4. Once it’s dried, begin applying the topcoat. Make sure you use the same type of paint for the topcoat that you used for the primer – i.e. if the primer was lacquer, use a lacquer top coat. Add 3-5 layers of topcoat and make sure you let it dry fully in between each coat. After the final coat, let the oar dry for at least 8 hours (or overnight) before you start adding any designs.
5. Use painters tape and/or stencils to add your team’s design to the oar. Before you paint the design, lightly sand the area that you’ll be painting with the 400 grit sandpaper. If you’re adding multiple colors/layers to the design, let each layer dry before moving on to the next one.
6. Once you’ve completely finished painting, use a clear coat to seal in the color and design. This will also help protect the oar as well as give them a nice shine. Add 2-3 coats, letting each one dry in between.