After reading how others have proceeded at this point in the construction process, I decided to paint the storage areas before installing the planking. It makes a lot of sense to paint now, while the access is good and requires no kneeling. At this point, you can stand between the bulkheads and reach the storage areas with few contortions. I taped off all the exposed area (until I ran out of tape). I didn’t trust myself with a paint brush without the tape to keep me straight. Along the hull/garboard plank joint, I taped off a wider margin to accommodate the fiberglass tape which will be placed there. It took 3 coats of Rust-Oleum paint (Gloss Almond #7770) to properly cover the panels. All these joints areas need to be filleted to the planking. I will then paint over these areas. Don’t leave mineral spirits in plastic cups. Somehow, I missed this in high school shop class.
The taping and painting process took some time, but I’m very happy with the results. I’m now ready to move towards installing the planking. I’m a little nervous about this next step. Any and all suggestions from you who have completed this next step are encouraged.