paint requirements for preservation of a destroyer every
60 to 70 days are 270 gallons. All of this is a way of
saying the Navy uses a lot of paint. The more attention
you pay to the basic instructions, the less paint you will
have to use.
The Navy uses paint primarily to preserve surfaces.
It seals the pores of steel and other materials, prevents
decay, and arrests (stops) rust and corrosion. Paint also
serves several other purposes. It is valuable as an aid to
cleanliness and sanitation because of its antiseptic
properties and because it provides a smooth, washable
surface. Paint is also used to reflect, absorb, or redis-
tribute light. For example, light-colored paint on a
ships interior distributes natural and artificial light to its
Learning to paint properly requires the selection of
suitable paints for the surfaces to be covered, the proper
preparation of the surfaces before painting, and the
correct methods of applying paint. Though the selection
of suitable paints wont concern you now, you should
know how to prepare the surface and how to apply paint
with a brush and roller. Improper surface preparation
and paint application, in that order, are the greatest
reasons for paint failure.
PREPARING THE SURFACE
For paint to stick to a surface, all salt, dirt, oil,
grease, rust, and loose paint must be removed
completely, and the surface must be thoroughly dry. Salt
and most dirt can be removed with soap or detergent and
freshwater. Firmly imbedded dirt may require
scrubbing with scouring powder. When scrubbing
wont remove oil and grease, they may be removed with
paint thinner or other approved solvents. After
scrubbing or scouring, always rinse the surface with
Equipment and Procedures
The removal of rust, scale, and loose paint requires
the use of hand tools or power tools, paint and varnish
removers. Hand tools are usually used to clean small
areas. Power tools are used to clean larger areas and for
completely cleaning decks, bulkheads, and overheads
covered with too many coats of paint. Paint and varnish
removers are used to remove paint from wood.
HAND TOOLS.The most commonly used hand
tools are sandpaper, wire brushes, and hand scrapers.
Sandpaper.Use sandpaper to clean corners and
to feather paint. (NOTE: To feather paint, you taper the
edges of chipped areas down to the cleaned surface so
that no rough edges remain.) Paint will bond best to a
clean surface that has been lightly sanded.
Sandpaper is graded from 12 to 600, which
corresponds to the size of the abrasive grit on its surface.
For example, the coarsest sandpaper is 12 grit and the
finest is 600 grit. Very fine emery (a natural abrasive)
paper is sometimes used to polish unpainted steel
surfaces. However, never use abrasives, such as
sandpaper, on unpainted galvanized metal (brass,
copper, nickel, or aluminum) surfaces.
Hand Wire Brush.A hand wire brush is a handy
tool for light work on rust or on light coats of paint. You
can also use hand wire brushes for brushing weld spots
and cleaning pitted surfaces.
Hand Scraper.Hand scrapers are made of tool
steel. The most common type is L-shaped, with each
end tapered to a cutting edge like a wood chisel. Hand
scrapers are useful for removing rust and paint from
small areas and from plating less than 1/4 of an inch
thick when its impractical or impossible to use power
Chipping (Scaling) Hammer.Occasionally, its
necessary to use a chipping or scaling hammer.
However, take care to use only enough force to remove
the paint. Too much force dents the metal, resulting in
high and low areas. In painting, the paint naturally is
thinner on the high areas. Therefore, if you leave high
and low spots, rust will form on the high spots and, in
time, spread under the good paint.
PORTABLE POWER TOOLS.The most
useful power tool is the portable grinder (fig. 18-1).
Portable grinders are usually equipped with a grinding
wheel that may be replaced by either the rotary wheel
wire brush or the rotary cup wire brush. Light-duty
brushes are made of crimped wire. Use them to remove
light rust. Heavy-duty brushes are made by the twisting
of several wires into tufts. Use them to remove deeply