Frequently Asked Questions

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Is a primer required for unpainted surfaces?

This depends on several factors that include your hull substrate type, the particular ePaint antifouling or release coating, and the level of protection and performance desired. See relevant product technical data sheets for detailed description and application instructions.Metal Surfaces: Surface must be primed with EP-Prime 1000 Corrosion Inhibiting Epoxy Primer, two coats are sufficient. The only exception, EP-2000 water-based antifouling paint may be applied directly over new, smooth, non-abraded, properly cleaned aluminum.Fiberglass Surfaces: All ePaint bottom paints, with the exception of EP-2000 water-based antifouling paint, offer the option of application directly to abraded fiberglass; however, the use of an epoxy type primer is strongly recommended for better protection and adhesion of bottom paint. For best protection, prime first with one coat (two passes) of EP-Prime 2000 Barrier Coating Epoxy to protect fiberglass hull from water migration and osmotic blistering. For those not concerned with osmotic blistering, one thin tie-coat of EP-Prime 1000 epoxy primer will provide improved adhesion of bottom paint to hull. To use EP2000 water-based antifouling paint, the fiberglass surface must first be primed using either EP-Prime 1000 or EP-Prime 2000.Wood: Primer is not required.

How are ePaints safer for the environment than copper-based paints?

Traditional antifouling paints use copper as the biocide to control biofouling. Although copper is a naturally occurring compound, in high concentrations copper is detrimental to aquatic life. Our harbors, bays, estuaries, and lakes are particularly susceptible to build up of high levels of copper and other harmful compounds. In terms of metal toxicity, elemental copper is second only to mercury. Unlike copper, ePaints generate benign levels of hydrogen peroxide and contain the organic booster biocides of Zinc Omadine or SeaNine 211. These compounds quickly break down into harmless materials once released into the aquatic environment.

Why are ePaints better for my boat than copper-based paints?

Because ePaints are copper-free, they will not promote galvanic corrosion and are safe for all substrates including aluminum, steel, fiberglass and wood. ePaints are available in bright colors including white and will not form stains or discoloration like traditional bottom paints. Unlike copper-based paints, with ePaints there is not a critical coat-to-launch time and your boat can be repeatedly hauled and launched without worrying about effecting antifouling performance. ePaints are safer for you, your boat, and our environment.

What is wrong with using a copper-based antifouling paint on my aluminum boat?

Placing dissimilar metals in proximity to each other on a boat is a very, very bad idea. When aluminum and copper are in the presence of an electrolyte such as salt or freshwater (yes, freshwater is also an electrolyte) a great battery is created, galvanic corrosion takes place and the aluminum hull becomes the sacrificial anode. Damage from galvanic corrosion can be severe to your boat and your wallet. Do not be misled into thinking that applying a thick layer of primer between your aluminum hull and copper-based antifouling paint will provide permanent protection from galvanic corrosion. Paint systems on hulls are easily compromised when striking flotsam and jetsam in the water (or a neighbor with an axe to grind). The US Coast Guard and US Navy take the potential for galvanic corrosion seriously and this is the main reason that ePaints are the only copper-free antifouling paint specified for use on their aluminum fleets. New copper-organic hybrid biocides (i.e. copper-omadine and copper-thiazole) have become popular of late but these materials will also promote galvanic corrosion on aluminum in the presence of an electrolyte.

What is the difference between an ``antifouling`` and a ``release`` coating?

An antifouling coating must contain one or more approved EPA registered biocides and make a biological/antifouling claim. The Federal EPA under the FIFRA legislation as well as most states regulates antifouling coatings. A “release” coating does not contain a biocide and does not make a biological claim to control biofouling. Release coatings rely on other mechanisms besides toxicity to deter biofouling, such as a slick surface or soft ablative composition; biofouling will occur on a release coating but it should be readily removed with some maintenance scrubbing or the vessels fast motion through the water.

What ``antifouling`` and ``release`` coatings does ePaint offer?

ePaint offers both antifouling and release coatings. ePaint antifouling paints are formulated with biocides that do not persist in the environment, these products include ZO, ZO-HP, SN-1, SN-1 HP, EP2000, SunWave Plus and Ecominder. ePaint release coatings are biocide-free, these products include EP-21, SunWave, SunWave Glide, and Netminder.

What are the active ingredients used in ePaint antifouling coatings?

ePaint Company has only chosen to formulate antifouling paints with biocides that have short half lives and hence do not persist in the environment. ePaint antifouling products are formulated with either Zinc Omadine or SeaNine 211. Zinc Omadine is the same active ingredient found in popular dandruff shampoos and microbial resistant sponges. SeaNine 211 won the US EPA’s 1996 Presidential Green Chemistry Award due to its very short half-life. Both active materials formulated in ePaint antifouling paints are at loadings of less than 5% by weight. Compare this with the traditional copper-based antifouling paints. Copper is the active biocide and it is typically formulated at levels between 40-75% by weight. In regards to toxicity of metals, elemental copper is second only to mercury. When copper is released into the aquatic ecosystem it sticks around and concentrations can build up to harmful levels.

Why isn't hydrogen peroxide listed as an ingredient if it is the main mechanism for preventing fouling?

This is a common question. Hydrogen peroxide is not actually in the formula but is continuously generated in the water by photo-catalysts in the bottom paint. All ePaints contain photoactive pigments that use sunlight to photo-chemically catalyze dissolved oxygen (O2) and water (H2O) to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) around the surface of your boat hull, creating a protective barrier that is inhospitable to the settling larvae of fouling organisms. This technology was developed by ePaint and is our patented process for controlling biofouling.

Are ePaint products approved for use by the Federal EPA and other government regulatory agencies?

Yes! ePaints are approved for use by the Federal EPA, State, and most local environmental regulatory agencies.

What government agencies use ePaints?

ePaints are currently used on US Coast Guard, US Navy, US Army Corp of Engineers, National Park Service, NOAA, as well as numerous state and local police, fire, and natural resource vessels.

What existing antifouling paints are ePaints compatible over?

ePaint products SN1, SN1-HP, ZO, ZO-HP and EP-21 are compatible over most existing bottom systems. Existing coatings must be adhering to the surface and intact. Do not apply ePaint antifouling coatings over soft ablative paints, release coatings or unprimed metal. ePaint water-based antifouling coatings, such as EP2000, are not compatible over other existing antifouling systems. Download a compatibility chart here or contact an ePaint representative for specific recommendations for your boat.

Will ePaint work in both salt and fresh water environments?

Yes. ePaints are compatible for boats in both salt and fresh water environments.

How can I apply ePaints?

ePaint products can be applied using traditional painting methods (i.e. brush, roller or spray). Surface preparation is similar as with other traditional bottom paints. See the Technical Data Sheet or Easy Application Guide for recommendations for each specific product.

What is the service life of ePaints?

n terms of biofouling protection, ePaints generally provide 12-20 months of in water service life. Service life is dependant upon the product used, the amount of paint applied, boating usage and environmental conditions. Contact an ePaint technical representative for information on product selection and performance for your boat.

What conditions affect service life?

The number of coats applied, environmental conditions, and boating usage can affect service life. Service life is directly proportional to the resulting dry film thickness of the antifouling paint. Applying the recommended number of coats of antifouling paint will provide optimal service life. Environmental conditions that affect service life include water temperature, UV exposure, salinity, oxygen content, etc. Because ePaints are photo-activated, they ablate away quicker in warm, bright sunny waters compared to cooler waters.

Why do lighter color ePaints provide better biofouling protection than darker color paints?

n certain bodies of water, lighter color ePaints, like white and gray, perform better than darker color ePaints. This is because lighter colors contain little tinting or coloring agents. The addition of high levels of tinting or coloring agents decreases the concentration of photoreceptors in the paint that produce hydrogen peroxide. It also blocks out sunlight, which is necessary for the production of hydrogen peroxide around the hulls surface. The difference in performance based on color is generally exhibited in high-fouling, warm, and bright-sun waters.

What is an ablative paint and why is this desirable for bottom paint?

Ablative paints are designed to wear away over time. This is desirable to prevent the buildup of old “dead-layers” of bottom paint. The biocides in traditional bottom paints either completely leach out of the film in the water or become ineffective once the boat is hauled, leaving behind an unusable painted surface with no antifouling properties. The traditional fix is to keep applying more paint. Eventually these old layers of bottom paint will build up and need to be removed by mechanical or chemical methods, both costly and labor intensive. ePaints are unique in that they are all “photo-ablative”, wearing away during the photo-chemical reaction with sunlight that generates hydrogen peroxides. Each ePaint product has its own ablative characteristic, EP-21 is a soft-ablative, like a bar of soap; ZO and SN-1 are moderate-ablatives; EP-2000, ZO-HP, SN-1 HP, SunWave are hard-ablative paints.

Why are extra coats of ePaint products recommended around the waterline area?

The waterline area of your boat is exposed to intense sunlight, approximately one to two feet down into the water column. Due to the photoactive nature of all ePaint antifouling and release coatings, these areas tend to wear away faster. Applying extra coats at the waterline will extend service life and result in the appearance of an even ablating of the paint system over time.

What is a ``signal`` or ``flag`` coat of paint?

A “signal” or “flag” coat is the first coat of paint applied to a surface that is a different color from the consecutive coats of paint. As the outer layers of paint slowly wear away, the signal/flag coat will be exposed. Once the signal/ flag coat is visible, it means the service life of the paint system is ending and fresh coats of paint will be needed. The use of a signal/flag coat is a common practice for both primer and antifouling paint systems.

Why is it important to time the application of the first coat of antifouling paint over the last coat of primer?

This is important in order for the primer and antifouling (AF) paint to chemically bond together. Applying AF paint over primer that is still wet will result in unsightly checking and solvent entrapment; waiting to long will result in adhesion failure. The timing is different for solvent based and water-based AF paint systems. For solvent-based AF paints (i.e. ZO, ZO-HP, SN-1, SN-1 HP) the first coat of AF paint should be applied over the last coat of primer when the primer has reached the “tack-free but soft-to-finger pressure” curing condition; this condition is typically reached within 2 to 4 hours at 70oF. For water-based AF paints (i.e. EP-2000) the first coat of AF paint should be applied over the last coat of primer when the primer is hard but not fully cured and within 24 hours; this condition is typically reached within 17 hours at 70oF. Carefully follow instructions specified for each product.

What is important about the ``tack-free but soft-to-finger pressure curing condition`` of a primer and how do I measure when it is reached?

The curing of an epoxy primer involves the evaporation of solvent away from the surface of the painted film and epoxy and amine components chemically reacting and cross-linking together. The “tack-free but soft-to-finger pressure curing condition” of a primer represents the stage where most of the solvent has left the film and before the chemical reaction of the epoxy and amine components has completed. Applying solvent-based, modified-epoxy antifouling paints (i.e. ZO, ZO-HP, SN-1, SN-1 HP, EP-21) over the primer when this condition is reached allows the two systems to chemically bond together. The “tack-free but soft-to-finger pressure curing condition” is usually reached within a couple hours at 70oF but factors such as temperature and wet film thickness applied will ultimately determine when the condition is reached. This curing condition can be monitored by wearing latex gloves and pushing the fore thumb hard into the primer. If a thumb print is left behind and there is no paint on the latex glove the curing condition has been reached. If there is paint on the glove wait and retest every 20 minutes until curing condition is reached. When curing stage is reached there is a window of a couple hours to apply ePaint solvent-based antifouling paints.

Will maintenance scrubbing be required?

In most cases, maintenance scrubbing is not required. Depending on the product used, environmental conditions, and the usage of your boat, occasional maintenance scrubbing may be required. Generally, maintenance scrubbing is only necessary for boats that are stationary for an extended period of time, in high-fouling bodies of water, in murky waters that block penetration of sunlight, in anaerobic (low oxygen) bodies of water, or when using a biocide-free product (release coating) like EP-21 or SunWave.

I like to maintenance scrub and burnish my boat before a race but I do not want to scrub away the bottom paint. Does ePaint offer hard bottom paint for racers?

Of course! EP-2000 and ZO-HP are hard high-performance paint systems that you can burnish and maintenance scrub with minimal paint loss. EP-2000 and ZO-HP high performance antifouling paints were originally designed for racing sail and high-speed powerboats but are perfect for slower cruising vessels as well.

My boat is located in a body of water where fouling conditions are severe. Which product should I use?

Choose a lighter color ePaint like white or gray. White and gray colors are more photoactive and generate higher levels of hydrogen peroxide used to prevent biofouling. EP-2000 and ZO-HP are great product choices for high fouling areas.

How can I easily remove a heavy buildup of old, existing paint off my boat hull?

ePaint recommends using EP-Strip, a water-based, non-caustic paint remover. EP-Strip can be used to safely and easily remove old paint from your hull. See the EP-Strip Technical Data Sheet for detailed information and instructions.

If I apply ePaints each season, will I have to worry about the heavy build up of old layers of paint?

No worries, one of the nice features of all ePaints are that they have been designed to wear away over time and prevent the heavy buildup of old layers of paint.

Is it true that ePaints are lighter in weight than traditional copper-based paints and can provide an edge for racing sailboats?

Yes! Copper is a very dense metal and typical copper-based paints are comprised of at least 50% copper by dry weight. All ePaint antifouling paints are copper free and as a result dry films weigh much less than copper-based counterparts.

Why is it important to apply the recommended wet film thickness, number of coats, and follow the dry-to-recoat window?

As with all paints, it is important to apply the recommended number of coats of ePaints at the proper wet film thickness for extended service life and to prevent the potential for problems. Failure to apply the recommended number of coats, or to apply wet film thicknesses less than what is recommended will decrease the service life of the product. Application of coats too thick or recoating too soon may lead to solvent entrapment and failure of the coating system. Be sure to read the Technical Data Sheet for the relevant product before painting.

How can I easily make sure I am applying the correct wet film thickness of ePaints?

The use of a wet film thickness gauge is an easy way to ensure the proper wet film thickness of the paint is being achieved. During the painting process, the gauge is placed directly into the paint then removed; the paint remaining on highest number tooth represents the wet film thickness in mils or microns.Wet film thickness gauges are available directly through ePaint’s website for a nominal fee or at your local paint supply store.

What are ``mils``, ``microns`` and ``?m``?

Common units for measuring the wet and dry film thickness of paint include the terms “mils”, “microns” and “?m”. 1 mil = 0.001 inches1 micron or 1?m or 1 micrometer = 0.000001 meters1 mil = 25.1?m

What types of solvents are ePaints formulated with?

ePaint products are currently formulated in both water-based and organic solvent-based systems. ePaint is focusing its research and development efforts to move away from solvent-based paint systems, producing innovative water-based, low organic solvent, and completely solvent-free paint technologies. These products promise to be better for our environment, available to consumers at a lower-cost, and reduce our dependence on petrochemical products.

If thinning of an ePaint product is necessary, why is it important to use the recommended thinner?

If thinning is required to adjust viscosity of a coating for a particular application, it is important to use the recommended ePaint thinner. ePaint thinners are blends of solvents with different solubility properties and boiling points, formulated to provide a controlled evaporation and smooth film formation. Failure to use the recommended thinner may detrimentally affect or destroy the coating system. Contact an ePaint technical service representative if you have questions regarding thinning.

Why will thinning paint extend the drying time required before recoating?

Thinning introduces more solvent into the paint system. Because thinners are often formulated with relatively high boiling point solvents (i.e. water, naptha, etc.), it may take more time for the solvent to evaporate out of the painted film. Recoating a painted surface too soon will result in solvent entrapment and is detrimental to the coating system. This is generally a concern when applying paints at relatively cool temperatures.

What thinner can I use to thin ePaints and how will this effect performance?

Thinning of ePaints may be necessary in certain applications, such as spraying, achieving a smoother finish, or when painting at warm temperatures. Only use ePaint approved thinners. EP-13 Thinner may be used for EP-SN1, EP-SN1-HP, EP-ZO and EP-ZO-HP antifouling paints. EP-10 Thinner may be used for EP-Prime 1000 corrosion inhibiting primer. Dry acetone or MEK may be used for EP-Prime 2000 barrier coating. Mineral-free bottled water may be used for EP-2000. Do not reduce product more than the recommended level specified in the relevant products’ technical data sheet. When thinning paints the resulting dry film thickness will be thinner due to the additional solvent added; additional coats will be required to achieve optimal service life.

What is the ePaint warranty?

Service life of any marine paint or coating depends on factors outside the control of ePaint Company including surface preparation, proper application, the amount of paint applied, paint color, boating usage and environmental conditions (i.e. water temperature, sunlight exposure, salinity, oxygen content, etc). Therefore, ePaint Company cannot guarantee these products’ suitability for your particular purpose or application. Implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose and of merchantability are excluded. ePaint Company shall not, under any circumstances, be liable for incidental or consequential damages. By purchase of or use of an ePaint product, buyer agrees that the sole and exclusive remedy, if any, is limited to refund of the purchase price, or replacement of the product at ePaint Company’s option.ePaint wants you to be satisfied; please contact an ePaint technical representative for an assessment of how a particular product will perform for your boat under your particular conditions. The ePaint Company warranty is limited to the refund of the purchase price or replacement of the product at ePaint Company’s option. Documented proof of proper surface preparation, paint application, and failure is required for warranty considerations.

Where can I purchase ePaint products?

Products can be purchased directly through ePaint or your local dealer or boatyard.

For ePaint.com direct orders:
online: www.epaint.com
email: websales@epaint.com
phone: 1-772-888-2435.

When will my order ship after placing an order directly with ePaint?

In stock orders are shipped within 24 hours (Mon-Fri). Orders placed before 1:00pm E.S.T. generally ship the same day.

When will my order ship after placing an order directly with ePaint?

In stock orders are shipped within 24 hours (Mon-Fri). Orders placed before 1:00pm E.S.T. generally ship the same day.

How can I reach ePaint for customer service or technical support?

Business hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm eastern time.

1-772-888-2435
general questions: websales@epaint.com
technical support: tech@epaint.com
3365 SE Court Dr., Stuart, FL 34997