Finishing a toy balsa ship

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My son and I made a toy ship. The body is made from a balsa block, we still have masts, bowsprit etc to add. I think that it will be sturdy enough to survive for a while.
My question is how to finish it. I want the finish to stay on. My son wants to play with this ship in the bath, so, it needs to survive periodic dunking. I hope that this ship remains with him for a while, so I need some simple and durable finish.
i
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Fiberglass? Epoxy Paint? Outdoor porch enamel? many coats of oil/wax? Spar Varnish (although i seem to recall that stays sticky... might not be good for toys)
It really depends on the look you wish to achieve.
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On Mon, 26 Feb 2007 10:34:25 -0500, Philip Lewis

I think that I mostly want to protect the wood. I have spar varnish, maybe I will use that.
i
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Mon, Feb 26, 2007, 8:26am (EST-1) ignoramus1280@NOSPAM.1280.invalid (Ignoramus1280) doth proclaimeth and queryeth: My son and I made a toy ship. The body is made from a balsa block, <snip> My son wants to play with this ship in the bath, <snip>
Betcha it'll need a weight in the bottom to make it float upright.
JOAT When in doubt, go to sleep. - Mully Small
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Yep. I did add such weight, actually, I had some brass bars left off from some disassembled equipment. Otherwise it would definitely not float upright due to masts, etc.
i
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Mon, Feb 26, 2007, 12:06pm (EST-1) ignoramus1280@NOSPAM.1280.invalid (Ignoramus1280) doth sayeth: Yep. I did add such weight, actually, I had some brass bars left off from some disassembled equipment. Otherwise it would definitely not float upright due to masts, etc.
I'm thinking that no matter what finish y ou use, if it's played with in the bath, the balsa is gonna dent. And when it dents, I figure the finish will crack. Which will let waer in. And the balsa will absorb water. I'd think reserve the balsa model for display only, and for bath use make one out of pine, poplar, or whatever inexpensive wood. You'd have to treat it pretty rough then to dent, and even if it did, it wouldn't absorb water like balsa would. But, you can always make another with your son later. You do have a son, right? It's not you that wants a bath toy?
JOAT When in doubt, go to sleep. - Mully Small
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My son wants to play with it in the bath, yes. Would some oily finishes work? I have some linseed oil, for example.
i
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Tue, Feb 27, 2007, 4:23pm (EST-1) ignoramus19052@NOSPAM.19052.invalid (Ignoramus19052) doth query: My son wants to play with it in the bath, yes. Would some oily finishes work? I have some linseed oil, for example.
No, I wouldn't use linseed oil. If I were in your place I think I'd just pick a good paint color you like, or maybe varnish, apply it, and let your son play with it. Just tell him to be a bit careful with it, so he won't beat it up too bad, and let him have fun. After all, you can always make another if you have to.
You might want to check the thread I posted titled Bath-Tub Steamboats too.
JOAT When in doubt, go to sleep. - Mully Small
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Thanks. In the end, we simply spray painted it with a gold spray paint.
i
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wrote:

You want something that's easy to apply, smooths out surface roughness, and is fairly hard.
The ideal stuff is car body shop brushable, sandable primer. Not the cheapest thing around, but I use mine an awful lot! Hides anything 8-)
Then the simplest and cheapest aerosol paint to colour it. A bit of work with masking tape is worth it, for a more interesting colour scheme.
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Would it hold on to soft wood such as balsa?
i

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wrote:

Works fine on anything.
Comapred to other paints it has far more "body" and quickly builds to a thick _sandable_ layer that hides imperfections. Mostly it's spray- only (like most car body products) but you can also find it in small cans for brushing. It's great stuff for getting a perfect paint finish on top of any old surface.
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I think that I have such stuff left over... I like that...
i
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A caution with heavy filler primers though. This stuff will shrink shortly after it's applied. Up to a few weeks after it's applied. You'll see depressions where you used it as a filling primer, and it later shrunk. It is advisable to allow it to dry very well, even applying a heat lamp (500w halogens work very well for this), for a half an hour or so. You have to be careful with heat lamps though. Too close or too long and you can watch your filler primer fall right off. Apply it in light coat build ups, and give it time to dry before final finishing.
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message

block, we

sturdy
My son

survive
while,
The paint the balsa wood airplane folks use should work.
Len
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That is the perfect stuff: I think it's called Dope but I could be wrong. Check the local hobby store.
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@NOSPAM.1280.invalid says...

I built some balsa boats as a kid. They got finished with primer and enamel paint over the top. Had no problems; enamel is not only fine in water, it is also very wear resistant.
-P.
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Are you talking about regular automotie primer and automotive paint? That would be cool if I could use that, I want to make sure that I did not misunderstand you.
i
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@NOSPAM.1280.invalid says...

Just ordinary oil based gloss enamel paint, turps cleanup - not automotive (at least I am thinking spraying laquer when I hear automotive). The kind of stuff you should paint your doors and windows with (as opposed to water based paints which are fine for walls but not as wear resistant).
Is this another area where different flavours of English/American use different terms?
-P.
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Keep in mind that English is not my native language. Okay, so, I can use oil based paints.
i
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