Polishing new paint
QI have just had my narrowboat re-painted and have conflicting advice: should I polish it as soon as possible, or leave it a month for it to harden first? Please advise quickly as the roof is getting a great deal of bird droppings... TURBO1948, via the CB website
ATONY REPLIES… Firstly, did the painter give advice, and if not, could you ask them? Secondly, as long as you use plenty of water and a soft brush I can see no reason you should not wash the boat every day to get rid of the droppings.
If a single-pack paint was used, I would go with the ‘let it harden for a while’ camp as it hardens by solvent evaporation so remains soft for a while. Two-pack paint hardens chemically so should be hard enough for polishing within a day or two.
Most people now recommend a polish using carbanuba wax. Avoid ones with silicone because they cause problems with touching up. Also, be aware that some polishes contain a mild abrasive to clean the oxidisation from the paint surface: good for old faded paintwork but not for new soft paint.