I tell ya what, these past few weeks have been nice, really nice. Tate was in TWO weddings along with all the shindigs that go with it, so for a while now we’ve been on a boat work break. Sure I kept going after work on Friday to fiddle with hinges, and do this or that, but the many days and long hour projects seemed so far in the past.  And you know what, I LOVED it. I absolutely love sitting around with Tate and nothing much to do, so much so it was pretty difficult to get my next project underway.  The weather lately has been raining and cooler than usual, not good weather for rebedding the deck hardware as planned. No, this weather was more like painting weather, yep painting.

UGH, it’s SOO much work. Sitting around here after work watching Breaking Bad, the X-Files, visiting my Dad in Ponchatoula, and cooking red beans is just so much fun, I imagine alot of our trip will feel like that. But I knew I needed to move forward. That countdown is ticking away a bit faster these days and I’m not yet done with my interior projects. I decided I would paint the next round of cabinets with Bilgekote. Often when I have to do things I’d prefer not to, I’m somehow able to turn on “Danibot” and get to work. It’s like jumping off a cliff for me, I just have to get started which means I have to finish (rarely ever do I not finish something I start), not worrying about the in between details much.

After work on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and today I automatically went to the boat, no questions. Like almost every project on a boat I had to empty out the targeted cabinets and relocate their contents. Boat Jenga, yep. It took me 17 hours of prepping and 6 hours of painting, but finally I have that accomplished feeling. I have put the 1st coat on a ton of freaking cabinets in the salon, the nav area, and one particularly large starboard cabinet that is behind the head hanging locker (seriously I can fit in there!).

I didn’t take too many photos of the very beginning, not sure why, I suppose even robots make mistakes. These were taken right after the final acetone and vacuum.

Salon and Nav area before:
Salon Before
Nav area before

Did I mention there were paint flakes, LOTS, and they got on EVERYTHING.
Paint flakes on the floor

These cabinets were some of the most dirty on the boat excluding the engine room and bilge, with chipping paint, grease and grim soaked through. I assume it’s because they all have holes cut down to the bilge and over the 6 years of neglect no doubt the diesel and other sludge permeated up.  Even though they were painted previously (20 years ago?) they smelled musky and mildewy, which in our house, has to go.

The first day was spent scraping old flaking paint off of uneven surfaces, the next day was followed with cleaning the cabinets with a bleach and TSP mixture then rinsing (the hardest part with all those trips to to top sides for more water), then I sanded everything with 120 grit, acetoned and vacuumed a half dozen times. A ventilator is a must and I usually wear glasses to somewhat protect my eyes from the fumes.
Dani with Acetone

Finally today I was able to start painting.
Dani Painting the Cabinets

1 1/2 quarts of Bilgekote and 6 hours later this was the result. Yay!
Salon finished
Hanging locker finished
Nav table finished
Oil cabinets finished

The econo-brush for $2 was a trooper and I managed to only get a little paint in my hair.
Paint brush after

Man does it feel good to have that done! The first coat is always the hardest with having to paint every single surface including the underside tops. I still have to sand lightly with 320 and paint a 2nd coat (only on the major surfaces), then repeat for a 3rd coat on just the bottom.  I’m not going to lie, painting these cabinets in the boat has been the toughest interior project yet, but the result is TOTALLY WORTH IT.

It makes the boat feel new, who knew paint could make such a different.  I am now about 75% done with painting the cabinets and I have taken a lot of care in the prep and painting to hopefully make this a 20 year job. Some of the other cabinets I painted are holding up perfectly. 75%…I can taste the end. Champagne will be drunk the day I finish all of the cabinets.

I have certain standards for where I live, many times totally cleaning and painting most things, and now it’s our boat. It’s slowly turning into our home and that is worth the effort. I’ll take my time with the 2nd and 3rd coat, as for now, there’s an X-Files to watch.