AwlGrip Desert Tan

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby Binkster » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:29 pm

Anyone wanting to paint their Whaler AwlGrip Desert Tan can get an exact match from Finishmasters Automotive and Industrial Paint and Supply. They are a supplier of AwlGrip products. Call their branch store in Largo Florida, 727-531-7701, ask for Phil "the paint tinter", and order AWLGRIP POLYURATHANE TOPCOAT BASE DESERT SAND.

A couple of years ago when I painted the interior of my 1986 15-footer with AwlGrip, I cut a sample from the console, sanded and polished the sample and gave it to Phil to color match. The paint he came up with is an exact match to my 15-footer. I had him put the formula on file as Desert Sand. He can make up the paint and send it to other branches in the Tampa area, or have your local Finishmasters dealer call him for the formula. They are a national chain.


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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby ollie366 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:37 pm

Great info thanks. I've been looking for a paint to use but nothing matches. What's the smallest quantity that they'll mix and sell?

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby jimh » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:32 am

Why was the color that was made to match the in-situ gel coat color "Desert Tan" on your boat called "Desert Sand"?

It looks like AWLGRIP has a stock color called "Desert Sand." Based on the color seen in a paint shop webpage at ... -9912.html

it looks rather darker than Desert Tan.

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby Binkster » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:11 am

Beats me.

The color that they made for me is an exact match for my 15-footer. It is not a stock color. It has a custom label. Phil, the paint matcher at the Largo, Florida, Finishmasters store told me he would put the formula on file for $25. I said "OK, call it Desert Sand." I ordered more at a later date, using that name, and it was the same color.--rich

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby Smallfrye » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:26 pm

Matching Desert Tan is not difficult for any professional paint supplier.

Also consider that the Boston Whaler gel coat " Desert Tan" covers a fairly wide range of color shades based on year, gel lot, damage, or wear of your particular hull; gel coat resin simply fades or stains over time. You should sample the existing color and not feel the " exact color match" will actually match your application.

On my past few projects I have been using PPG's Epoxy Siloxane. This is the same paint as used by the Navy and USCG for use on most marine craft. It has held up extremely well and is easy to spray and touch up.

For spider cracks or any polyester resin damage, I have had great success with floating a barrier coat of epoxy over the entire exterior. It will flood the cracks and holes, and a light finish sanding leaves a new finish to prime. The addition of micro-bloom fillers will make a creamy material but leaves a light textured finish. I like it for a base to primer below the waterline, where adhesion is most critical.

ASIDE: my current project is a 1974 Classic 19 (#74) which has this recipe: BLX-4, ROX1, WTX-1Y YOX-35. Any PPG Commercial supplier can mix this to achieve a perfect match to my 1974 hull color. Please consider this hull spent several years partially submerged in the back water of a Virginia marina, where it was sun baked in the summer, frozen in the winter and generally abused to the point of being considered a salvage or trash hull. The gelcoat is unusually thin, so was probably discolored to the base glass. I used the underside of the forward hatch cover after sanding, buffing and polishing to obtain a sample color to work with.

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby TFrere » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:49 pm

[Revives this thread after it has been dormant for two years and seven months]

I would like to paint the non-skid on my 1985 Sport 15, and I’m hoping the Awlgrip Desert Sand is a close enough match. I see they have the color in multiple products.

Have any readers of this thread tried the Awlgrip Desert Sand [in the last two years and seven months since this thread was last updated]?
1985 15’ Sport with Yamaha F70

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby jimh » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:25 am

Just to clarify:

Boston Whaler calls their gel coat color Desert Tan.
Awlgrip calls their paint color Desert Sand.
An individual says a custom color was mixed specifically for him by a local paint shop and was also called Desert Sand.

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby dyoung16611 » Fri May 14, 2021 12:42 pm

Since I live close by, I called the Finishmasters shop [mentioned above by user BINKSTER as a source of an AWLGRIP paint custom tinted to match his Boston Whaler boat, and whose color tinting formula was to be recorded locally there as "Desert Sand" by the paint shop and the formula was to be retained by paying a $25 fee to them].

Phil, fellow mentioned [as the color matcher and custom tint creator], retired a year or two ago, but Ed and Tom were kind enough to dig through Phil's files and came across a hand written formula identified with "Boston Whaler?" at the end of it, but there is no indication as to what amount of paint the formula was intended to produce. Could this be the elusive secret formula?

For what it's worth, color matching Awlgrip isn't as simple as matching up house paint and these local distributors don't seem to have the equipment available to do so. They all need to ship my sample off to Awlgrip to replicate the color and say they have no idea how long it will take.

I may sacrifice $90 and have them make a quart of what might be Phil's formula for Binkster [supposedly identified as "Desert Sand" by that shop], and see if the match to Boston Whaler gel coat in Desert Tan is decent. A quart, because I can't imagine Binkster would have needed a gallon for a 15 foot boat, right?

ASIDE: I resurrected this thread in the hope of helping others, and to see if anyone else has good advice for locating Awlgrip in a close vintage of Desert Tan for my 1983 Striper.

[Moderator's Note: BINKSTER, Richard Messineo, passed away in February, 2021.]
1983 15' Striper

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby Phil T » Fri May 14, 2021 5:08 pm

Keep in mind that the color Desert Tan was, in the early years hand mixed. There was some variation. Color matching boats that were truly "hand made" and over 40 years old has been problematic.

Many owners who do a color match use the bow locker as the "master."

Vance's Revenge did a Awlgrip color match on his project. I have contacted him offline and asked him to join this conversation.
1992 Outrage 17
2019 E-TEC 90
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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby jimh » Sat May 15, 2021 10:25 am

As for the suitability of a custom color made to match someone else's boat that was believed to originally be Desert Tan: in addition to possible color variation in the actual gel coat resin used, there can and will be considerable color variation over time due to exposure to sunlight, rain, and other environmental influences, due to the care given to the boat in keeping it clean, polished, and waxed, due to how the initial sample for the color match was provided, and due to the light sources involved in the color matching. Shades of off-white, which is what Desert Tan is, can number into the hundreds. The differences are very subtle.

In the cited example from BINKSTER, I think the entire boat was repainted. You do not need a perfect match if you repaint the entire boat with AWGRIP because all the original gel coat will be covered and never seen again.

Also, on many Boston Whaler boats the hull gel coat color and the interior gel coat color were not the same. In addition to Desert Tan a color called OUTRAGE GRAY was often used.

Vance's Revenge
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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby Vance's Revenge » Sat May 15, 2021 10:55 am

Phil T wrote:Vance's Revenge did a Awlgrip color match on his project. I have contacted him offline and asked him to join this conversation.

It has been about four years since I rolled and tipped the transom my Revenge 22 and three years since I sprayed the interior. I purchased Alwgrip in Oyster White because it looked to be the closest match to the hull and found it wasn't very close.

I have friend that owns a body and paint shop so I took the can of Awlgrip and the port side cover that hides the fuel fill and vent lines to his shop to get his opinion. He read the Awlgrip can and said his tint for his automotive paint will work. He took the quart of Awlgrip into his booth and came out about five minutes later with two cans of paint and said there you go. He had to use quite a bit of color to make the change based on how my quart became approximately a quart and about 1 1/2 inch of paint in the second can.

The paint matched the cover I gave him for comparison pretty much dead-on. He put a couple drips on the cover when he matched it and the only difference was the shine from the paint.

When I rolled and tipped the transom it was a perfect match.

When it came time to paint the interior I had him match a second quart. This second quart along with the paint left over from the transom was enough paint to finish the job. When I sprayed the interior it was slightly off but not noticeable unless I point it out. I later found the reason his color didn't match the hull better is because the cover that I gave him to match wasn't exactly the same as the interior. I didn't notice this until I painted the boat. The factory must have gel coated the cover that I used in a different batch of gelcoat than they used when they made the hull. Or, possibly the sun over the years bleached out the hull and not the cover.

If you are painting the whole boat or a complete interior the match doesn't have to be perfect if there is a separation such as a rub rail.

This friend that did the tinting has been tinting paint for roughly 40 years and does it by eyesight . I'm not sure if the new paint tinting machines that read the color and print paint mix codes will work. If you have any older paint shops in your area you might give them a call and ask if they are painting with oil base paints or water base. If they are painting oil base they may be able to help you.

I can say on the second can mixed the tint seemed to want to separate quickly and had to be stirred often. When stirred and sprayed it came out nicely. I didn't notice this on the first mix, the cause might have been that my paint had been on the shelf a couple years.

As for Awgrip itself. It is incredibly expensive but wonderful paint. I found it easy to apply and incredibly durable. I'm now 60 and being I have friends in the industry I have been around auto painting my whole adult life. I have no talent painting myself but if there are any flaws my eyes are drawn to them. I easily painted my boat with the Awlgrip and it came out looking like it was done by a professional. I found that you don't have to have a fancy paint gun either. I originally purchased a gun at Harbor Freight to apply the primer and it worked so well I used it when I shot the topcoat.

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Re: AwlGrip Desert Tan

Postby bubbleRefuge » Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:11 pm

Hi. I had my 81 Outrage 18 painted with Awlgrip Desert Sand above the waterline. Happy with the results.