I've never heard of rolling & tipping paint - what does it mean?
Rolling & tipping topside paint helps ensure a smooth, beautiful finish. This method requires two people: one applies the paint with a roller, and the other follows right behind with a brush, to smooth out the surface. The purpose is to ensure there's no orange-peel texture (stipple).
- Figure out how you're going to apply the paint in sections, and roll & tip one section at a time. Do not stop within a section until you're done.
- Before you start, be sure to mix the paint properly, put enough paint in the roller tray (for the person with the roller) and enough paint in the paint pot (for the person brushing). Also, be sure to have the thinner recommended by the paint manufacturer close at hand.
- If you've never done this before, you and your partner might want to practice on a small piece of plywood (coated with primer) to get your timing and rhythm down before painting your boat or other item.
- There are a few different directions people roll & tip, and all work fine: (1) Roll horizontally and tip horizontally; (2) Roll vertically and tip horizontally (commonly used to paint boat hulls; or roll horizontally and tip vertically.
- As for what type of roller and brush to use: Roller - Use a 1/8″ nap high-density, closed-cell foam roller because large-cell foam rollers cause bubbles in the paint film. Do not use nap rollers because they can leave fuzz embedded in the paint film. Brush - Use a good quality natural bristle brush by brands such as Corona or Americana, for example. Also, be sure your brush and roller are solvent resistant or the solvent in the paint will destroy them.
- Plan to have stopping points that make sense for your project, such as after you finish painting one side of the hull. Don't stop in the middle of a section.
- For the person rolling: Don't apply paint too thick because the paint can run or sag and solvents can get trapped under the paint film, affecting the cure time. To maintain a wet edge and distribute the paint evenly, apply paint in small sections, approximately 2 feet wide. Small sections also let the person tipping have enough time to tip without the brush dragging from drying paint. While rolling, roll back in the direction of the freshly tipped paint.
- For the person tipping: Use a light touch to smooth out the paint, don't overwork it. If the brush starts to drag a little bit, add a small amount (no more than a capful) of thinner into your paint cup, and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Apply two to three coats, following the paint manufacturer's recommended dry times and instructions for sanding between coats. Typically, sanding is done with 220-grit sandpaper, then you vacuum to remove sanding residue. Wipe the surface with a tack cloth, then wipe again with a clean, lint-free rag dampened with the solvent the paint manufacturer recommends. Let the solvent dry completely before applying the next coat.