Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
Gel coat restorers
|Author||Topic: Gel coat restorers|
posted 04-03-2002 10:16 PM ET (US)
I'm looking for advice on gel-coat restorers, oxidation removers. West Marine has something called Vertglas and several other brands. Any experience with any of these?
posted 04-04-2002 01:03 AM ET (US)
Getting gelcoat to look like new is a three step process:
Rubbing compound: one suggestion is MEGUIARS #44 COLOR RESTORER.
Buffing compound: one recommendation is 3M-FINNESSE-IT-II.
Wax: a million choices at this point; use your favorite (I never get this far so I am not much help).
If the gelcoat is really bad, you may even want to start with wet sanding with really in grades, like 600/800/1000 grit.
Try a small patch to test your results first.
posted 04-15-2002 08:46 PM ET (US)
What is involved in wet sanding? How is that different than dry? Can a standard palm sander still be used?
Thanks, smirkless in Orlando
posted 04-16-2002 03:00 PM ET (US)
All of the wet sanding I have done is by hand. Dip the "wet-or-dry" black paper in water, and POLISH in circular motions! It's not like sanding wood.
For oxidation removal and to avoid removing all of your gelcoat with repeated buffings, use the LEAST amount of abrasive that will do the job. Work backwards experimenting how much cutting you need. The Meguiars 44 mentioned above, using an orbital buffer, will handle 90 percent of the cases. If you must wet sand, first try 2000 grit, then 1500, then 1000 max. All of these grades generally can't be found in a boat store, instead a place like Pep Boys, etc. Never use 600 grade on gelcoat unless you are sanding down a gelcoat repair, and need it for cutting ability on a sanding block.
posted 04-16-2002 09:22 PM ET (US)
Thanks lhg. I have a lot of work ahead but someone has to do it right. The exterior has been re-gelcoated or painted many years ago. The color and bonding is still great but the texture is kinda poor. In order to save having to re-coat the finish, I'm going to start out sanding as you mentioned in a test location (stern). I have already tried buffing with little improvement. Thanks again!
smirkless in Orlando
posted 04-17-2002 12:12 AM ET (US)
It could be that you hull was re-gelcoated and not properly sanded down, as indicated by your description of a rough surface. In that case, you may indeed need to use 400 or 600 grade paper. But if it was Imron/Awlgrip painted, the automotive finishing grades of 1500 or 2000 may be more appropriate.
My above post instructions are for a boat with original, factory applied gelcoat, heavily oxidized.
posted 04-17-2002 12:50 AM ET (US)
I've ordered the Vertglas kit. Will give further impressions later.
posted 04-21-2002 08:56 PM ET (US)
lhg, I followed your instructions and guess what... It worked! The wet sanding on textured re-gelcoat worked great. Okay, its not like glass but I didn't want to go through the coat. What's nice about it too is that you can sand it in the drink where the sides were blocked by trailer guides.
I'll be sore Monday.
smirkless in Orlando
posted 04-21-2002 10:54 PM ET (US)
JimH didn't mention a wax brand in his post above. Try Collonite #925 Fiberglass Boat Wax. This is the best pure wax you've ever used, guaranteed. Someone recommended it to me a few years ago, and now I won't use anything else. This should follow the 3M Finesse-it II fine polishing process.
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.