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Author Topic:   Textured Gel Coat Deck Repair
Salty posted 09-27-2001 09:56 PM ET (US)   Profile for Salty   Send Email to Salty  
I just recently bought a Whaler with a few gelcoat patches over the textured part of the deck. They are smooth spots in the middle if the textured deck surface. The color matches very well but they stand out. Has anyone had any experience with restoring a patch like this to it's original or close to original texture? Thanks,
jimh posted 09-28-2001 12:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What follows is conjecture on my part--I have not actually done this.

Since you have a cured patch in place, you would try to effect a non-skid pattern by using a small file, on edge, to remove portions of the patch.

If you look at the pattern of the non-skid you will see that there are three axis of straight lines to the molded dimples. By carefully aligning your file with each of these three linear directions, you could cut into the patch and produce some semblance of the non-skip pattern in the otherwise plain patch surface.

Please report any success you may have with this approach.

(This idea was suggested by someone else here on the forum some time ago--I have not tried it myself.)

dfmcintyre posted 09-28-2001 06:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I had a conversation with a glass repairman about this a few years ago, and he had given some thought about making a small tool or mold of the pattern and then, while the gell or resin was curing, press the tool into the still damp resin.

You would first mask off a clean area of deck, coat it very well with a mold release agent (I've read articles where hair spray works well for this) and make a dam of sorts, maybe a cut down toilet paper roll. Tape the roll onto the deck and pour about 1/2 inch of resin (or dental stone) into the tube.

The end result should be a decent match of the pattern. There will be a slight size change, but it might not be noticed.


Tom W Clark posted 09-28-2001 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The three way scraping idea is mine. I have used it very successfully on gelcoat patch paste that has kicked but not yet fully hardened. I don't know how well it will work on cured gelcoat.

The tool used was a wood scraper. The kind that is just a rectangular piece of steel about 1/16" thick (as an example of one: [url][/url]) But you may use whatever you have that works. Be resourceful and look around the house for something that is the thickness of the space between the "tits" of the non-skid. Heck, perhaps a butter knife with the tip ground down on a bench grinder might work. If there is a file thin enough it might work too. Experiment.

But the idea remains the same: try to create "valleys" in the patches that that align with the "valleys" in the non-skid. Even if it does not come out perfect, you will be amazed how even the "suggestion" of the pattern of the non-skid will fool the eye and camouflage the patches you have.

Tom W Clark posted 09-28-2001 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark
Sinclair7 posted 09-28-2001 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sinclair7  Send Email to Sinclair7     
I posted a similar question a while back about old screw holes in textured area. chack the old postings i got a few good responses.
Salty posted 09-28-2001 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salty  Send Email to Salty     
Thanks guys for all the tips. I will look into these and do some experimenting.
JB posted 10-01-2001 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
There is at least one problem with making a small "female" mold. If you press the mold onto the resin and then remove, the fine design will become distorted from resin clinging, ever so slightly, to the mold, even if some sort of mold release agent is used. If you leave the "mold" in place until the resin cures, then you will, most likely, have an excess squished over the background of the area surrounding the hole. A very tricky situation, at best. My recommendation is to patch the spot with some color matched resin and run a modified toothpick in the valleys as suggested. Not perfect, but the best most can do without driving themselves crazy.

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