From majestic jets to plain tugboats, enamel is commonly used on surfaces that require a durable coat of paint. Available in almost any color desired, it is a topcoat and, as such, requires a primer underneath it. Enamel can not only be painted directly over epoxy paint, it requires it as an undercoat.
No matter what surface is being painted, it requires preparation. This can be completed with sandpaper, paint stripper or steel wool. Epoxy paint must be applied over a clean surface, free of dust and debris. However, if the desired finished result with the enamel paint is a smooth surface, a fine sandpaper must be utilized before application of paint.
Epoxy paint, or a similar paint, is required for an enamel finish. The primer is often applied in a two-part fashion, with two light coats forming the base rather than one heavy coat. The two-part application creates a smoother surface for the final coat and ensures that both coats are completely dried before more paint is applied. Without this base coat, the final enamel has no bond and will often bubble or chip off.
Enamel is often thinned with a specific thinning substance, applied according to manufacturer's directions. Instead of brush application, the enamel is usually sprayed on in a very thin layer using a paint sprayer. After being allowed to dry only to tackiness, a second, thicker coat is applied several minutes after spraying.
A second thick coat of enamel may be applied after the first to give the final finish to the enamel. With the epoxy acting as the bond between the enamel and the surface of the object, the lasting nature of the paint is prolonged. Continued touchups may be required if the paint is exposed to heavy use.