Stripping Paint from an Optimist?

by Nicole
(New Zealand)

Hello Everyone,
I am starting to restore an older wooden Optimist (sailing pram).

It has been sitting unused for years, and the paint that's on it right now (inside and outside of hull) is flaking off.
I have started to strip off the old paint.

I put on a chemical stripper and have managed to get most of the layers off, but there is still some old paint.

In order to save time (and sweat!) I was going to just do some hand sanding and put the new primer on without getting those last patches of old paint off.

I've got it to the point where the old paint is not flaking, and it's smooth now that I've started to sand it, so.....can I go ahead and start putting on the primer, or do I need to get every last bit of the old paint off???

Thank so much!

Comments for Stripping Paint from an Optimist?

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Slip Slap Slop it on...
by: Devil and the Deep

So long as those old bits of paint are well and truly stuck to the hull it shouldn't be a problem to paint.

On the Matthew we have the same thing every year. Sand between each layer that you put on and you will be fine.

I am enjoying your blog very much. Thank you.

Thom from

by: Nicole

Thanks, guys, that sounds like good advice, and will save me some time, not to mention money, as the chemical strippers aren't inexpensive!

Thanks so much.

by: Papapete

I had a similar problem on my 28ft boat.

I proceeded to strip off all the old paint using a variety of methods.

The final one worked the best, and it was a 3M Clean'n'strip wheel.

I think one needs to take care when using it on wood as it is a bit aggresive but it really works wonders...

But in your case I agree with the previous comment, go ahead with the primer, as long as it is a single pot one and not a two-pack (epoxy or polyurethane).

The two pack could potentially react with the old paint.

Hope this helps!

by: Mike

Hi Nicole,

Sounds good to me.

As long as the paint is sound, well stuck on and there are no bumps go for it.

That’s what I would do.

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