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Too Much Time Between Coats?


New Member
The directions (Rustoleum Marine Primer / Topside Paint) is clear regarding the minimum time between recoats. My question is, "May I wait a prolonged time between recoats as long as I prep the surface properly?" My work schedule and the amount of daylight are making it difficult to put on a second coat of Topside paint. I was wondering if this can be finished in the spring.


Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member

This is a great question. I can't think of any reason why you could not delay re-coating for weeks or even months with no harmful effects but maybe there is a credentialed 'protective coatings' expert reading this post who who could offer a scientific answer.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Yes, you can wait before applying a second topcoat, and with proper prepping at that time, it'll be alright... however, I personally believe that the bond between coats is not quite as strong as it is when a second topcoat is applied to a freshly-cured initial coat. Just my $.02, I've tried both ways in the past and the freshly-applied second topcoat always seemed to turn out better... if circumstances change and you do get an opportunity to throw on that second topcoat, take it, and let all coats of paint cure up hard for awhile in winter storage. :cool:


Active Member
There is a time frame where a paint is ready to accept a next coat with good bonding. I believe with rustoleum products that time frame might be on the order of a week or two, check with the company.

There are different ways the next coat can bond to the previous coat. One is chemically/ solvent melting. The other way is being 'open' on the surface for molecules to insert into gaps of the previous surface. Manually we do this by scratching by mechanical means.

So how long until the current paint is no longer open to allowing he next coat to bond? That is the question you need to answer. After a few months you also have to be concerned with surface contaminates. It might just need a proper wash with the right chemicals or you might need to clean then sand before the next coat.

The only correct answer is asking the manufacturer.


New Member
I called Rust-Oleum for some clarification. They basically agreed with Shorefun regarding timing between coats. 7 to 10 days for recoat without sanding. There was no limit between coats if you're willing to sand the surface coat.
I think I will have to put the boat in storage till spring. I am having a terrible time getting that marine paint shipped to me here in good old California.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
All you need to do is "scuff" the coat with 220 grit. That will also dull the surface a bit so when you put on the next coat you can see where the fresh paint has covered and avoid "holidays."

Rust-Olum Marine Topside paint is sold at some Lowes and Home Depots. You may also have good luck with Jamestown Distributors shipping Interlux Brightside, Pettit EZPoxy, TotalBoat Wet Edge and they might carry Rust-Oleum as well.

Here's a boat with primer and one coat of Rust-Oleum Marine Topside Oyster White, sanded, waiting for completion of successful Sea Trials. It was several weeks before we applied a finish coat.


And on the same boat, we decided to keep the interior Oyster White but changed the topsides to Pettit EZPoxy Sea Foam Green. All we did was sand and paint, it has held up well even though we could have applied Pettit EZPrime over the Rust-Oleum to ensure the absolute best bond.

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