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Old 26-12-2007, 06:01   #1
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How to Repair AWLGRIP SCRATCHES?

The hull on my sailboat was painted ten years ago with AWLGRIP. It still looks great but it has a couple of small dings and scratches. I would like to repair them myself.
What is the procedure. Filler, sanding, painting, color matching???? I have no idea on how to do it but like every other project I gues there is information somewhere on how to do it. Has anyone here done minor scratch repairs on AWLGRIP? Help!!
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Old 26-12-2007, 06:44   #2
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I just had some done this fall. The simple answer is it is easy. The longer answer is the work is not so hard but it's not totally easy. Wet sand, fill, prime, paint, buff. We wet sanded with 1000 wet paper then filled. The primer was done and the next day it could be painted. We were hauled out at the time and being hauled does save a lot of time and hassle. We did the stripe on both aft quarters and both sides of the bow so that was about 4 sections 3 ft long each.

The color matching is more by guess with a bit of art thrown in. You'll never match it dead on given 10 years of sun and the new paint will have a different shine that also effects the color in ways that are hard to describe. Mine were some deep scratches into the gelcoat in the aft quarters plus removing an old boat name applied in white and gray Alwgrip over green Alwgrip stripe.

For minor light scratches that don't go through the paint You may be able to buff most of them out. That was how we restored the area we removed the name from and it worked exceptionally well. A 2000 grit water based compound applied with a machine will get you pretty close. Air powered buffer is the lightest to hang on to. An electric buffer will destroy your back. We eventually did the whole hull with it and the gelcoat brightened up a lot too.

The shine had dulled on the entire dark green stripe. We buffed the entire stripe after we filled and painted the aft quarters. A lot will depend on how thick the paint really is. You can lay down Alwgrip pretty thin yet be very opaque or it might be quite thick. Mine was quite thick as we wet sanded the old name off both sides of the bow without actually going all the way through. Some buffing may reveal the original color / shine better than just painting over it. This can help match the new shine of the new to the old paint.

The color matching problem is not so easy. You prep it all up sanded, filled and primed masking off a larger area around the spot, then it takes a while to let it dry and buff it to really know how it looks. If it is too light or too dark you have to wet sand it off and do it over. That can add another two days. If it is perfect the paint you mixed is no longer usable. So the rest of the job has to be remixed. So you have to decide if you want to go for it on the first try. It's not easy to get the recipe perfect and if you did it one time for a test mixing, making enough a second time the same way isn't easy. You'll most probably have to settle for "pretty close" if you get it. Using the same Alwgrip color as the original won't be close enough so you have to use a little adjustment.

Mine started with a forest green that was too bright. We added a few drops of black and it went from being far too light to a just a little bit too dark. We went with the slightly darker attempt. After all the buffing it was close enough and far better than it was with the deep gouges. The buffing in the areas around it made the shine match better. I know where the areas are but they are not easy for me to see. If I told you where to look you might be able see them from the dock. No one can see it on the water. You could have seen the scratches a long way away on the water.

Good luck with your job. A good sprayer is a valuable tool. Someone that mixes Alwgrip isn't a bad person to know either. You won't use much paint at all.
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Old 26-12-2007, 07:11   #3
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What to buy?

Ok so I can buy the original color and then adjust it?

Did you spray or brush paint the smaller scratches?
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Old 26-12-2007, 08:00   #4
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You really can't just touch up the scratches you need to work an area around them. This also lets you blend the new paint into the old. A 3M product called Finese It is great at removing the "line" between the two. This is something you would do as the last step. I had it sprayed by a pro. I was hauled out doing a lot of the work myself but the actual painting I hired out from the yard where I was. It's affordable if you can do all the prep work yourself. Unless you can borrow a spray rig you would of course have to tip and roll it with a brush. It's nice if you can practice on something before doing it the first time on your own boat.

You can buy the original color and then add to it to match. Mixing colors is not a problem just a bit of a black art. You then add the activator and apply it. It's nice if you can find a place that does a lot of Alwgrip as the materials are expensive and the yard I worked with sold me very small quantities much less than the nominal size they come in.
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Old 26-12-2007, 08:42   #5
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Another method I've used for small gouges in the paint which works well is to simply fill the area with color-matched gelcoat. I find it much easier to work with when small areas (quantities of gelcoat) mixing pigments on-site to get the correct color match. Just fill the area and press cover to allow proper set once you are comfortable with the color match. If none properly, you won't need to buff or sand, either of which can damage the area in close proximity to the scratch.
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