When I first bought Cadence the interior was a moldy, paint-peeling mess. The last time she had been painted was ~20 years prior, and she had been sitting closed-up in Moss Landing’s notoriously un-sunny climate for four years (over one summer there I counted 1 1/2 days of blue sky). Fortunately I had my other boat, Noname, for a few weeks more that I could stay in while I worked to make the interior habitable.
Firstly, I removed everything from the interior and with a light bleach solution in a spray bottle I sterilized everything I could reach – walls, floors, lockers… Having soaked the boat, I washed it all away with a pressure washer, being careful not to use too concentrated a stream and blow away varnish and paint. Nonetheless, lots of the paint flaked right off anyway, ultimately saving me the trouble.
Enter the scraping, scrubbing, sanding, wiping, taping… Finally the painting commenced. The V-berth was done fairly soon, thanks due to Jessi and Steve for their help, but I used an oil-based paint and it was at least another week with a heater constantly blowing in there before Jessi and I could move in. Though she had an apartment in Santa Cruz at the time, she stayed down in Moss with me often, graciously tolerating the fumy, project-cluttered boat.
Closing the V-berth off gave us a little safe cave at night, from which I’d emerge every morning to resume sanding, wiping, painting, working from bow to stern… It seemed like it was taking forever. When I was about at the end of my rope and lacking for motivation, the lower walls and compartments around the galley still remained to be done. When my awesome brother Boz sensed my aggravation he valiantly drove down and picked up the brush, and with one last bold dash we finished the last corners and lockers. What a wonderful feeling it was to have the project done with, and the inside clean, white and livable as she must once have been.
(Regarding the paint, for those interested, I used a Glidden oil-based paint from Home-Depot. It’s been nearly as tough as any paint I know. I would not recommend anything but epoxies and 2-part polyurethanes for outdoor use, but for inside this paint worked great, and I could pick the exact hue I wanted, at 1/3 the cost. The major downside is that it is very fumy, and takes a long time to dry. In cracks where excess paint piled up and the skin dried, it would sometimes rub off as long as six months later.)