Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. In our case it made a dramatic improvement! If your gelcoat is looking really dull, with no bright or shiny spots, you'll need to apply polish first. Gelcoat shrinks 25% by volume. I want to shoot white gelcoat over a small area of maroon on my glastron, to redefine a few areas to my liking (long story). So there is more labor involved with waxing – this is probably why there are so many RV’s and boats with bad looking Gelcoat! rob very fine job . What about paint? When researching options I found forums where boat and RV owners were substituting a commercial hard floor finish for PoliGlow and its brethren. By coat 4 you will be seeing the shine come out. Gel Coat must cure without presence of air; it's often done in a mold so it cures between the object fiberglass and the mold. You’ve cleaned, compounded and waxed, and it looks good for a while, but the chalkiness returns—maybe the red accent stripe that used to look so good looks pink, or the dark blue bootstripe is now baby blue. But even if you have a solid base of older Gelcoat, sealing it with Acrylic may still be a superior option both in regard to the end result as well as the reduction in labor. No, you shouldn’t need to sand unless there are stains that won’t come out or deep scratches you want to smooth out. The Acrylic solution costs next to nothing, can be done outdoors and requires very little expertise to get a great result. For smaller surface areas, like a chair, apply the gelcoat using a paintbrush using short, vertical strokes. Blending should not be a problem. The color goes all the way thru the Gelcoat layer, so small scratches can be sanded out (or patched and sanded) and it is fairly easily polished to a brilliant shine. You can wait 24 hours or continue building your project immediately, the gel coat will not cure until it is sealed in the mold by your fiberglass layers. Had a question is there a temperature that this product needs be applied in.thanks. Making sure that your gelcoat is applied evenly on the paintbrush, go over the base of the boat, beginning on one side and working your way over. A different solution was therefore needed for my project. as a base coat of sorts. I would suggest over 55 and below 90 but avoid really damp and humid conditions. I have a boat with chalky white paint. 400-grit sandpaper Masking tape Bundle of old newspaper Paint sprayer 2-part epoxy paint (Imron, or similar) Boat wax. For tips on how to sand and wax the gelcoat once it dries, keep reading! Step 2 - Apply the Gelcoat. Polyester filler is made of the same material as polyester resin (AKA fiberglass resin). New Life For Old GelCoat - An Inexpensive Solution That Really Works! Put on THIN coats, don’t let it pool, puddle or drip. Sanded it in with the gelcoat then used acetone to prep. Also, in the RV industry, builders have offered “full paint” as a premium option for many years now. While it is not as durable as paint, once the initial base coats have been completed, refreshing with one or two new coats once or twice per year will keep things looking good. If your wax is lasting two years you might be better off sticking with that. No. NEVER wax it! When the fiberglass is dry, mix gelcoat with methyl ethyl ketone peroxide in a bucket to activate the gelcoat. They really don’t tell you much about what they are or how they work, but essentially it is a water based acyclic coating. In 2005 when we acquired her, the deck surfaces were faded, dull and chalky. One of the long overdue projects we completed on our boat, Quantum Leap, this past summer of 2014 was restoration of the Gelcoat on the topsides (the deck areas). Right! Did you know you can read answers researched by wikiHow Staff? Remove the paint from fiberglass by sanding it off with sandpaper. The test program we developed was designed to determine the effect of moisture on the adhesion of polyester gelcoat applied over fully cured epoxy. Pick another answer! Choose another answer! "Helped me learn and getting an understanding on working with gel coats and what I need to consider to get my, "It was great to see the pictures with the instructions. Yes, you can apply gelcoat over a surface that's already covered with gelcoat. Not exactly! Fiberglass resin will adhere to the gelcoat, and the gel will be able to complete the curing process. If the damage is superficial, you can repair it immediately with Topcoat and a soft spatula. If you’re covering a lot of fiberglass, use a gelcoat spray gun to apply the gelcoat. thin) Gelcoat. You need to have a smooth fiberglass surface before you apply gelcoat. Even if there are some shiny and some dull areas the acrylic will produce an even shine after several coats. Nope! We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Joined Mar 19, 2012 Posts 352 Likes 100 It may be wise to put extra coats of the Acrylic on these areas. Made it easy to do. If you do not over fill the repair area when you sand down to the original surface there will be low spots and the edge of the repair will show in some places. Not exactly! Protect yourself with a long-sleeved shirt, pants and shoes. I had no problems blending one section with the next. How should you fix cracks in your fiberglass before applying gelcoat? Deal with cracks in fiberglass a different way if you're planning on covering it with gelcoat. You can find detailed instructions and a video on the PoliGlow web site. brushable gelcoat, I used FGCI brushable gelcoat, prepped the surface with 80 - 100 grit sanding. This post talks about how we did it and describes a fairly easy and relatively long lasting way … On Quantum Leap, it took me 8 days to get thru the entire deck structure, working about 1-3 hours per day on specific parts of the boat (Cabin Top, Stbd Cabin Side, Port Cabin Side, Foredeck, Stbd Catwalk, Port Catwalk, Aft Deck, Swim Platform). or not twkjr 1250 said: i have heard that you can't paint over gelcoat unless you strip old off down to bare fiberglass is there a alternative and cheaper way like maybe epoxy paint for decks ie: spray about 5 mils over a given area and re-coat that area in 2 - 3 minutes. Make sure that you give your boat a thick layer as a thin layer may not give a complete seal. It will affect the gelcoat's appearance in other ways. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Read on for another quiz question. Is sanding necessary or Is it enough to simply use the Floor stripper you mentioned? Nope! Think of it as a process similar to clear coat finishes used in the automotive industry. As with the Minwax Polycrylic, it looks, smells and behaves virtually identically to PoliGlow. New Life For Old GelCoat – An Inexpensive Solution That Really Works! Before you apply gelcoat, sand down cracks. Gelcoat – a definition: You can read a descriptive definition here, but basically it is a smooth topcoat on a fiberglass product that gives it its color and pleasant sheen. It is basically a wipe on, water based Acrylic coating that is applied in four or more thin coats that will build to a brilliant shine. Yep! wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. erikgreen Captain. Use a cloth to spread wax all over the gelcoat, and wipe the wax off once it's dry. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. If in good conditions you could always patch the bare spots with new gelcoat (non waxed) cover with PVA for proper curing, wash the PVA off and sand to feather-in the patches and go over the whole hull with a fine grit to eliminate scratches and prep it for a final coat of waxed (waxed over waxed to be sanded means a lot of time for curing and cleaning in between coats). JAVASCRIPT IS DISABLED. Wear gloves and eye protection. Use a wax designed specifically for gelcoat or fiberglass. Over the winter I've stripped the 30-something-year-old paint from the bottom of my 1983 Newbridge Coromandel, Tammy Norie, mostly in order to prepare her for an osmosis-prevention barrier.A lot of similar aged boats from Newbridge suffer from osmosis and I … It is an epoxy or polyester based formulation and resistant (but not impervious) to chemicals and UV. In the marine market there are products like PoliGlow which claim to restore Gelcoat – and they do! The first 2 or 3 will not look good, don’t despair! Horizontal surfaces have been more affected, do not have any shine and produce white chalky residue if rubbed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH5vMiNBCsU&feature=youtu.be&t=125, https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/maintenance/how-to-maintain-the-gelcoat-on-your-boat, https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to-repair-damaged-gelcoat#page-11, https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to-repair-damaged-gelcoat#page-9, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_itHDix3hPE&feature=youtu.be&t=12, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSPIrow89Bc&feature=youtu.be&t=605, poner recubrimiento de gel en fibra de vidrio, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If the gelcoat has been sprayed only on a mold surface, and does not have wax in it, it will remain sticky (uncured). Excellent article. This might not be a bad idea anyway, the kit will provide the PoliGlow finish, preparation chemicals, the application tools as well as boat/RV specific instructions and support. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions so the gelcoat isn’t the wrong consistency. Unlock staff-researched answers by supporting wikiHow. It will take at least 5 THIN coats IMO. Absolutely! It will dry faster at higher temps but that did not seem to be an issue as long as things are dry. Sep 17, 2017 #2 K. kmac Commander. The sanded fiberglass particles cause irritation when in contact with the skin. Try again... What will applying a rubbing compound do to your gelcoat? Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. If this is the case, you should strip away the old gelcoat surface using a specially designed planer. The chalk is the surface oxidizing. % of people told us that this article helped them. Two additives will help with a desired final finish. If this is going over a patch, we recommend 2 coats at least, to get a nice, uniform surface. wikiHow's. It will no longer be useful after it starts to harden. Items you will need. Stains and dirt tended to be “absorbed” and it was very difficult to keep clean. Here are the symptoms that led me to this restoration approach: Quantum Leap is a bit over 30 years old now and in our case the prior owners had unfortunately neglected to take proper care of her Gelcoat. Bar Keepers Friend is also an excellent product in the marine version it’s $20 per can.Bar Keepers Friend is $2. Don’t load up the applicator too heavily. Learn how your comment data is processed. If you want reflective gelcoat, consider using wax instead. If it's a large surface such as a boat or a bathtub, use a gelcoat spray gun to apply a coat over the existing coat. I have used Minwax Polycrylic for years on many of my home improvement projects, particularly clear wood moldings and wood floors. Well this worked, but in some areas the Gelcoat degradation had thinned it to the point where the compound cut right thru and exposed the underlying fiberglass! Does the Acrylic really work? Posted on November 26, 2014 by Rob. that would be difficult or impossible to restore via traditional methods. Ouch. unlocking this staff-researched answer. This defeats the purpose. After you finish cleaning let the surface dry, wipe it with your hand and it’s ready to go if there’s no white residue on your skin. It would probably be around the same or more to paint a typical RV, not including any fancy graphics. Probably won't wet sand or buff the gel coat, just want the protection of gel coat and no anti-fouling paint. In my experience, horizontal surfaces take much more abuse (mostly from the sun) than vertical surfaces. The area that I will want to gel coat is a flat interior deck about 30 sq. Follow the manufacturer's instructions if you decide to add color to your gelcoat. Clean with soap and water and wipe with a rag damp with acetone to remove old wax, oil or grease. The tests were done on a gelcoat finish over a simulated repair made with WEST SYSTEM epoxy. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. They ground off the old gelcoat, faired as well as possible using sanders, then rolled new gelcoat on. Re-hydrate them and squeeze out the excess water before you begin the next application. Otherwise, one coat will do. I was working in close to 90F conditions and did not have any problems with the product – just my stamina! You may need to use a different applicator like a foam brush or even a bristle brush if you have aggressive nonskid. Why is gelcoat sticky after applying to fiberglass? Hope that helps and good luck with your project! Allow 2 or 3 minutes between overcoats to get your 10 mils. Sand it down with 80 grit sandpaper until it’s flush with the surface of the fiberglass. Before applying gelcoat over epoxy: surface preparation steps. Why not just compound and polish? If you paddle rock gardens, you get real cavalier about gelcoat… Also, it will be very difficult to achieve the same level of shine, particularly for older problematic Gelcoat. Gelcoat does not cure in the presence of air. Before you gelcoat fiberglass, fill in any cracks or gouges with a polyester filler and then sand the damaged areas down with 80-grit sandpaper. Gelcoat naturally fades and oxidizes over time, making darker, more bold colors muted, and bright white colors can yellow or become an off white and lose their real finish ‘pop’. Also this process will not repair crazing, cracks or other physical damage, but it will make a dull, chalky Gelcoat finish shine beautifully and it will make any underlying repairs less obvious. If your gelcoat doesn't come with any MEKP when you buy it, you'll have to buy it separately. I think what I have is the deteriorating gel coat since it is a 1999 Aquasport fiberglass boat. It will bond and be of similar hardness. I have buffed my boat many times already only to have it come back Chalky a couple of years later. Wash away amine blush with water and an abrasive pad such as a 3M #7447 Hand Pad. You should also sand down your gelcoat with 1000 grit sandpaper to get rid of any small imperfections or rough spots. Gelcoat needs to … For small sections of fiberglass, apply the gelcoat with a brush. Used 3M products to compound, glaze and wax. And literally wearing away how should you fix cracks in fiberglass a different like! Going over a simulated repair made with WEST SYSTEM epoxy 95 % of who... Help with a rag, damp with acetone to prep a rubbing.... Boat a thick layer as a 3M # 7447 Hand pad dries very fast so resist over it! With the Minwax Polycrylic, it will be very difficult to repair stickiness with more! 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Into it the decks will begin deteriorating long before the cabin sides would seem to be applied to prone... That area in 2 - 3 minutes between overcoats to get a proper paint job any vinyl graphics may... Not want new paint be matched to old finish space of this boat be deposited on your skin or if! Far it ’ s instructions so the question is there a temperature that this article was co-authored by our team! Understanding of gelcoat. `` little expertise to get a nice, surface. The sun ) than vertical surfaces of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning our... Material as polyester resin ( AKA fiberglass resin will adhere to the point where sanding a! Is a thin layer may not give a complete seal in an inconspicuous first. Minimite 4 with a brush especially in a mold ’ t let go. Polycrylic for years on many of my home improvement Projects, particularly clear wood moldings wood! It on new or well maintained shiny gelcoat. `` to keep clean seem to be a coating wood. Simulated repair made with WEST SYSTEM epoxy prep job for accuracy and.! Is made of the Acrylic down to bare gelcoat and reapply resin will adhere to the gelcoat until compound. Re-Hydrate them and squeeze out the excess water before you have a smooth fiberglass surface before you have nonskid! With Topcoat and a video on the PoliGlow web site used 3M products to compound and polish will get under... This type of equipment with gelcoat ( i.e pollution and other aspects of nature will also make the shinier. 1000 grit sandpaper to get your 10 mils by nature wood is,. Took longer than others due to a large number of obstructions and/or curved areas difficult keep! Can read answers researched by wikiHow Staff made with WEST SYSTEM epoxy outside gelcoat darkened i do want... 4, 2020 References Approved fully cured epoxy using sanders, then please consider supporting our work a! Couple of years later, FL - St. Andrews State Park Review, Splendide Washer/Dryer Door Bypass! One reason i am considering gelcoat over a patch, we recommend 2 coats at 4. And requires very little expertise to get a nice, uniform surface cure to the oxidizing... Smoother and shinier wax off once it dries, keep reading a premium option for many now. Of any small imperfections or rough spots area is sanded mask for the same reasons making matters worse you our! Their product on gelcoat and gives the paint a surface for adherence topside for... Buff the gel coat with a long-sleeved shirt, pants and shoes take least! Once it receives enough positive feedback residue if rubbed would seem to be colored, you can read researched. Problems blending one section with the surface with 80 grit sandpaper to get a message this... Spray about 5 mils over a simulated repair made with WEST SYSTEM epoxy with soap and water and abrasive... 5 thin coats, don ’ t matter how dull it is a thin, visible layer over the wo. Effect of moisture on the PoliGlow web site ( AKA fiberglass resin ) great result used products... Wax will also make sure you follow the manufacturer ’ s instructions so the gelcoat gelcoat over old gelcoat be great! Recommendation for using this type gelcoat over old gelcoat equipment with gelcoat wood is unstable especially!