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Old 24-02-2016, 11:33   #1
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Painting with awl grip

Hi All,
I am currently researching the costs of painting the hulls only (not topside) of 44 ft catamaran over gel coat. The Gel Cot is blue and quite faded as its 10 years old. I have been told it needs 6 coats of epoxy (2 types) and 2 coats of topcoat. Was wondering if anyone has done something similar and what the indicative costs would be.

Thanks
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Old 24-02-2016, 11:43   #2
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Re: Painting with awl grip

The hulls (above the waterline) are the "topsides".
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:07   #3
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Re: Painting with awl grip

I would seriously investigate the possibility of restoring the current gelcoat before spending all that money.

Is it just faded? It is possible that you have an oxidised, faded layer on top, and sound gelcoat underneath.

By restore, I mean wet sand, compound, polish. You can try a small area to see if this works.
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:33   #4
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Hi Mark unfortunately I have cut and polish it to within an inch of its life. So I need to do something which is a pain.
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Old 24-02-2016, 12:47   #5
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Have you tried wet sanding? I had to begin with 400 grit, then building up to 1000.

I am concerned that your cutting compound isn't aggressive enough.

Try 400, 600, 800, then 1000 grit, then Presta Gel Coat compound, then a polish.
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Old 25-02-2016, 02:27   #6
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Re: Painting with awl grip

I'll give it a go. Thanks
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Old 25-02-2016, 03:12   #7
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Years ago I painted my then Cat 27 with two part. I was worried about it and ended up calling DuPont research. The guy who invented Emron told me Polyester is perfect for two part. He suggested sand it then rub it hard with Acetone. Acetone is a solvent for polyester. Apply the two part direct to the polyester soon after the acetone. I did that and years later when I last saw it the paint was still good.
Bob
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Old 25-02-2016, 06:19   #8
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titch71 View Post
I'll give it a go. Thanks
titch - Just a couple of hints here. Take a look at a chip in your gelcoat to see how thick it is. Often you can take like 1/3 of it off to achieve your goal with no detrimental effects.

As above, start with 400 and go even higher - maybe 1500.

Usa a cheap air sander and plenty of water. When I did this 25 years ago, it came out great, but took me 50 hours to execute on a 10M sloop. I haven't seen that boat in maybe 15 years now, but I'm sure it would hold up if they kept it waxed. The yellow gelcoat looked new after that, and I was diligent in applying Collinite fleetwax twice a year to keep it looking great.
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Old 25-02-2016, 06:28   #9
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Re: Painting with awl grip

I've just lifted my 23 YEAR OLD gelcoat with these:



and




The fellas who taught me about this are truly experts in their field, and it is a bit techniqu'ish

I did this to my hull sides. Two-foot sections or so. The way to apply the compound is to dab it on a few spots with a chip brush. Then use the buffer to spread it around some and then polish it in. Start at slow speed, then work your way up to 2000-2500rpm. Get a stick, like a paint stick, put in your pocket. When the buffer pad clogs/pills, take the stick across the buffer at high speed, rather like a needle on a vinyl record, inward to outward, to fluff it back out. You'll do that with some frequency. Have a couple of pads - it's all about being clean. The pads wash up easily, and you can really wash as you go, drying at high speed on the buffer, rotate between two pads

If the gelcoat is worn through/you can see the fibreglass underneath, then you will have to consider re-gelcoating or painting.

In my case, there were areas of same on the topsides (which I haven't polished yet). They applied, with a foam brush, AwlGrip with flattener added, to the areas. I wasn't interested in painting the entire boat.

The rubbing will get you very good results, you'll be impressed. The painted areas look pretty good, but it's more like matching the old rather than looking shiny and new, which works in my case.

It is well worth buying the quality tool for the job.
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:15   #10
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Re: Painting with awl grip

buff it clean and then have it shoot with a layer of clear LPU will look great
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:19   #11
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Titch71, First, you will need to repair and fair any stress cracks, chips, etc. If the gelcoat is still rough, a coat or two of high build primer. Every coat will require sanding between recoating. Next you will need 3 coats of 545 primer, either white or grey. Then 3 coats of the topcoat paint. Preparation is the key to a successful paint job. We painted our former 40 foot sailboat from the waterline to the masthead and then our current trawler. Both boats looked great after we finished and still do today. Download the instructions for rolling and tipping the paint and follow those instructions. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:35   #12
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Gelcoat thickness is the key. If there is sufficient depth the 400 - 2000 wet sanding route is worth a try. Finish this wet-sanding with a 3000 3M 'pad' then compound and polish (not wax). Pneumatic (as in DA) would be my tools of choice. Make sure the various grits are kept well-rinsed as you proceed (spray bottle with water & a drop of dish detergent works well). Try one inconspicuous section first; if it works, great! If not you're in for a longer haul. Best of luck.
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:50   #13
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Re: Painting with awl grip

I have a 1973 Gulfstar 41 that suffered cosmetic "topside rash" during Hurricane Katrina. I used Awlgrip to refinish the topsides. The finish looks as good today as it did when it was first applied 8 years ago. It is durable and easy to touch up, if needed. In my opinion, the real key to success is to find a painter who has a track record of successful topside paint spray applications. Get some references and look at the work. Seabrook Marine in New Orleans did my work. I typically have them polish the topsidesl every three years while they are renewing my Trinidad SR bottom paint.
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:04   #14
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Re: Painting with awl grip

Several tips: 1. always use wet/dry sandpaper.2. Do not apply two part paints when its misty outside--will set up too fast. 3. Epoxy paints are undercoats, never top coats. Will degrade quickly in sunlight.

4. Unless your going for the new yacht look, go with a good one part paint. Always use gloss paint to better resist the weather. One part paints, even house paints, look good if applied evenly and without sags, drips, nor brush marks. Way easier to apply and mistakes are easy to correct. And the final job will look a lot better than a misapplied two part paint.

5.Try to paint one side of the hull in one go.

6.Preparation is more important than the paint you apply. Fill in gouges, etc with micro balloons,sand well, clean up. Tack rags to get dust and hairs off of surface before painting.

7. Acetone is your best friend. Wipe down hull with it before the tack rag to get any films and hazes off the hull. Wear gloves obviously or you will not have any hands left.
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Old 25-02-2016, 09:59   #15
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Re: Painting with awl grip

All the info you've received is good stuff - especially the wet sand drill! But I didn't see any mention of caution when painting with 2-part. It is crucial that if you paint with a 2-part (A-grip or I-ron) thoroughly protect yourself with high quality gloves, goggles and a paintsuit and hood to cover all skin AND MOST IMPORTANT....a super high quality respirator!!! 2-part paints will kill you quick!! Seen it happen - fast acting poison!!!

Good luck!
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