Blue Turtle Cruising

Main salon interior walls makeover

We have no shortage of boat projects going on right now. We are tirelessly ticking things off our list to get the boat in shape for our family honeymoon to the Dry Tortugas and Key West. Some of the projects are musts, like regular maintenance and getting spare parts for the engine and generator. Other projects are things that have been on our list since we bought Blue Turtle 4 years ago (you heard that right!). Ever since we brought her home, I’ve been drying to pull the mildewed, stained, peeling wallpaper off the interior walls of Blue Turtle. If we had an endless supply of money and time (which we don’t) I would have loved to do a wood veneer finish on the walls. Randy and I finally came to the realization that this wouldn’t happen and opted to paint the walls instead. We tested this out on the v-birth first and likes the result so much that we did our aft cabin a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been dying to tackle the main salon and finally got my chance this weekend.

On Saturday, Randy helped me de-assemble everything. By this I mean remove the mini-blinds and the panels of wood that cover them, remove the panels that cover the tops of the doors, remove basically anything (cb radios, storage shelfs, etc) that would be in my way of peeling the paper off and painting. Once this was done, I tackled the paper while Randy went to work outside finishing the painting of the hull (more on that in a future post).  Basically, it took a full day to de-assemble the salon and get the paper off and prepped for painting. 5pm rolled around and Randy and I decided to take the dinghy down to Time’s Square for a much needed beer and dinner.

Demolition day: trying to get the wallpaper off in tight spots
Demolition day: trying to get the wallpaper off in tight spots
Nothing like sitting over the galley sink working with the afternoon sun beating down on you
Nothing like sitting over the galley sink working with the afternoon sun beating down on you
Time for some fun! Headin to Times Square for happy hour and dinner
Time for some fun! Headin to Times Square for happy hour and dinner

On Sunday, I started in with the Kilz to lay down the base for the paint to adhere to.  We had a few areas of wood damage near the windows where there must’ve been a leak at some point. The wallpaper had literally become one with the paneling. I did the best I could to preserve it and in a couple spots decided to leave the paper in place and paint over it. This turned out to be a good decision since it would have been much worse with the damage it would have caused to remove the paper. Kilz does an amazing job of giving a surface on anything for paint to stick to. After that, it was 2 coats of white paint. The project literally took the entire weekend, but we are very happy with the result: a fresh, clean appearance on the interior of our boat. It was a lot of work for so little wall surface in the salon. This is because a lot of the wall surface is covered by mini blinds and wood panelling. Still, it all had to be removed to do the job right.

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Top photos: Before of the lower helm with old wallpaper. Bottom photos: After, freshly painted
Top: wallpaper peeling in progress; Middle: after the coat of Kilz; Bottom: after with the fresh coats of paint
Top: wallpaper peeling in progress; Middle: after the coat of Kilz; Bottom: after with the fresh coats of paint
Port side windows after paint (with blinds and wood panel covers off)
Port side windows after paint (with blinds and wood panel covers off)
Galley window and around cabinets (blinds and wood covers removed)
Galley window and around cabinets (blinds and wood covers removed)

6 thoughts on “Main salon interior walls makeover”

  1. I am loving this blog. Good way to keep a memory and it reminds me of the time my ex and I when first married bought a 32 ft. Pacemaker (ask your Dad…he will remember them) that was donated to the Coast Guard. We refinished it from stem to stern and took it up the Hudson River. This is Peggy Lomasson, your sister’s friend. Keep em coming and congrads on your upcoming marriage.

    Reply
    • Never! We have a 3 multiplier rule on the boat. If we think it will take 1 hour, it will really take 3 hrs. If we think it will cost $X, it’s more likely that it will be $XXX!

      Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing this information. Very informative, so Jan and I know what’s in store after purchasing our boat. (Looking for 90’s model trawler without success thus far)

    Jan and I have retired and now living on the Pamlico River here in N.C. 30 minutes from ICW. Traveling south on ICW has been on bucket list for quiet a while, west coast Florida being the goal. Your blog so well written once started had to read it all.

    Thanks again,

    Dale & Jan

    Reply

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