Double Secret Paint From Woody Boater Labs


One of three paint closets full of old paint colors. The good stuff. Cough cough

I have some hard to reach areas on Sweet Pea that I wanted to be bright work. But in no way in hell wanted to open up a can of worms under 50 years of god only knows is holding it all together. So what do you do?

Some is real, some?

Paint? But here is the issue. paint looks like… well…paint. There is a reason bright work is so magical. The glow, the sparkle , light, and tone differences. I did not want to do some sort of wood grain type thing. That would be tough to keep up. And many of the parts I am dealing with are far away.


I found an old NOS can of TEAK Pettit paint, and that came close. better than the Bright Work Brown they make now. I tried it and it was close but lacked the glow. So a give away. And then it happened. I have an old can of 1Shot Copper lettering paint.

Could this be it?

And a new color is found!

Dead match

Its not perfect, but works, and from social distance away, looks perfect

Even the Boatress was impressed. Not really. Just rolls her eyes. but I know deep inside she is in awe of THE WOODY BOATER Genus!

Blend of real and secret paint

Little details


14 replies
  1. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Of course, just tempt us with ‘no longer attainable’ materials. 🙂
    Currently available paints to produce the same effect? Could be a story there.

  2. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Don’t let OSHA or EPA get a glimpse of that paint closet.
    You’ll either be declared a Superfund site or they’ll make you build a concrete block enclosure with a metal roof around it.
    Those type of agencies consider life a disaster waiting to happen.
    Wait, did I just describe what owning an old wooden boat/car/plane/house/etc is all about? So what? We’re in love anyway, so leave us alone to create and enjoy our shared madness.

  3. Bill Bernhard
    Bill Bernhard says:

    After painting give it a couple coats of your best varnish, the color will pop and you will get the high gloss of varnish you desire.

  4. Ratrodz
    Ratrodz says:

    Off subject but do you have a warm place to store your paint in winter or just let it freeze?

  5. Ron in Seattle
    Ron in Seattle says:

    I learned how to paint boats from old school Bosun Mates when I was in the Coast Guard many years ago. I learned what a holiday was, and that military spec oil base paint will run very easily. One thing I have carried forward is every time you open a can of paint, take a flat screwdriver and punch four spaced out holes in the bottom of the rim. The paint then drains back in rather than over the side of the can. And the lid will always fit.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      I do that from time to time. But these two cans were new old stock and both got knocked over in a cluster of crap. Ugh. It was an hr clean up

  6. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    Great match, 1 shot lettering paint, good stuff. You can’t buy in the paint or automotive stores around here anymore. Amazon sells it (of course) but they don’t have all the colors that I think I need.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    If you care as little as I do for the color match and hate actual varnish too boot…I have used Benjamin Moore porch and deck enamel in “rich brown”…may not look as good from the dock… but can’t tell it from the real thing from across the creek!
    John in Va.

  8. Bill & Linda
    Bill & Linda says:

    There is an Epifanes Yacht Enamel “EPF YE o14750 Mahogany”.
    The sides of this boat are painted with that color, and the deck, transom and interior are all varnished natural wood.

    Lots of folks have stood next to this boat and never noticed the difference.

  9. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    Matt, I built this shed last year to store all my flammables away from the barn and work shop. I’ve been planning to do this for years and now I have one less item to worry about.

  10. David Hughes
    David Hughes says:

    Patches O’Houlihan would be proud of all that lead based paint in your cabinet!

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