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Old 05-04-2010, 07:32   #1
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High Spots Left by Removal of Old Boat Lettering

Before I place the new vinyl decal boat lettering on my boat I was hoping for a little guidance.

After successfully removing the painted-on boat name off the stern, I can still feel the letters on the gelcoat. Its as if the paint had protected some of the minor erosion of the gelcoat that has occurred over the last 2 decades leaving slightly raised lettering. My plan was to lightly compound the entire stern to make it all the same shade of white and then apply the decal, but is this enough?

Should I attempt to lightly sand the lettering down to the rest of the gelcoat or should I just put the new lettering on and hope that over time the raised portions that are showing will reduce down to the rest of the stern. My concern is whether or not the raised gelcoat will cause any distortions on the new vinyl decal.

Has anyone run into this ? Any suggestions ?

thanks..
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:43   #2
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The lettering kept the gelcoat under it from oxidizing. Unfortunatly the newly exposed gelcoat will not oxidize any faster than the gelcoat that has been exposed for decades.

You could hand wetsand with a board the full size of a sheet of sandpaper the newly exposed gelcoat down so it is level with the rest of the gelcoat. You could also rent a long board which is a powered sanding board with a long strip of sandpaper. It is used to get hulls super fair.

Or you could not worry about it and put new vinyl letters over the partially sanded down raised area. I don't think it would be that noticeable unless you are looking for it.

You could also not sand but build up the area around the letters with a sandable epoxy filler, fair it out and then have it sprayed with an LPU paint like Awlgrip.

My own inclination would be to sand it flat and then have the transom sprayed which would put an end to the gelcoat oxidation.
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Old 06-04-2010, 16:57   #3
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I would say wet sand it with 400 grit on a palm sized block using circular motions over the old letters. Keep it very wet, and feel with you hand every few rotations. Use very light pressure, let the paper do the work. If the rest of the transom is nice n clean, then I wouldn't bother sanding the entire thing. Just take your time with fine paper. If you're nervous, start with 600 grit.


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Old 07-04-2010, 18:21   #4
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I think messages here are a bit optimistic about fine grits dealing with it. I would start with 340 grit and change down to 220 after you get tired of it (all wet sanding). When it's all flat, wet sand the entire stern with 600 first (just a quick sand, like washing it), followed by 1500, followed by rubbing compound, polishing compound, put new letters on and finish with wax.

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Old 07-04-2010, 18:40   #5
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Jedi has the right idea, just be careful with the 220 if you have not done it before you can over do it, and use a block for the saqndpaper not your fingers
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Old 16-04-2010, 10:47   #6
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I first used Interlux "light compound" across the entire stern, then using 500 grit wet/dry 3M sandpaper and watering frequently was able to bring the raised gelcoat down. Cannot see or feel those letters anymore. Now to apply the new decal !

thanks again for the advice !
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