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Old 17-11-2018, 07:22   #1
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MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

I used to use MEK to thin gelcoat to spray it, but now I can only find "MEK Substitute".

Anyone know if it's ok to use MEK Substitute to thin gelcoat?

Thanks
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Old 17-11-2018, 07:56   #2
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

I'm not sure where you are from but in the U.S. we can still buy MeK. Wallmart, west marine ect. I have also seen Gel coat thinner sold for about $24.00 a gallon. Not sure what it's made from.
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Old 17-11-2018, 08:05   #3
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

They claim it is a substitute, but in what application?


There is no way on earth I would try that. It might be suitable for cleaning up a mess, but many "substitute" products are not nearly the same thing. Solvency may be different. Drying rate may be different. It may not even be good for clean up.
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Old 17-11-2018, 08:22   #4
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Thanks y'all. I'm in the US ( Alabama Gulf Coast). I've looked at Ace, Home Depot, Lowes. I'll try Walmart and West.
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Old 17-11-2018, 09:07   #5
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Menards carries MEK.
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Old 17-11-2018, 09:16   #6
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

search for a commercial composite supply store. They'll have gallons of the stuff and it's much more reasonably priced.
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Old 17-11-2018, 10:04   #7
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Sounds like a much better product from reading a bit about it on Google, especially if you get the kind that is non-transdermal.
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Old 17-11-2018, 13:06   #8
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

In years past we used liquid styrene to thin gelcoat for spraying.
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Old 17-11-2018, 17:51   #9
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

I wouldn't. Had the same issue few weeks
ago. I used some styrene I had on hand.
My thought is Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)
as in Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide (MEKP) is
sure to be compatable.
I have used acetone and or styrene with good end results though they can cause problems. Neither is recommended depending on the source.

West Marine still shelves it (MEK) or possibly other Marine suppliers. I simply grew bored driving from store to store for finding only "substitute" with The Who song going on in my head....

Happy Spraying ,
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Old 17-11-2018, 17:57   #10
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Unclear where you reside but I just noticed the West Marine website
states "Can not be sold in California"

Edit: Re-read saw Alabama so you should be in luck.

Happy Spraying,
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Old 17-11-2018, 20:03   #11
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Thanks for the advice. I found some real MEK at the Ace across town. the one near me didn't have any. I picked it up and sprayed away.

Thanks again.
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Old 17-11-2018, 22:26   #12
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Itís pretty bad stuff so read the label and take care.
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Old 18-11-2018, 00:30   #13
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

QUOTE:
M.E.K. Substitute. Klean-Stripģ Methyl Ethyl Ketone Substitute is a thinner for specified coatings, including polyester and epoxy resins, ink, adhesives and contact cement. It is recommended for use when a rate of evaporation slower than acetone is desired.UNQUOTE
Klean Strip | M.E.K. Substitute


www.kleanstrip.com/product/m.e.k.-substitute
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Old 18-11-2018, 12:51   #14
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Re: MEK Substitute to Thin Gelcoat?

Confidence is important on any repair. As the market shift to ethyl acetate is
recent there is simply not much data out there.

I chose to " go with whatcha know". The typical use for MEK is as a slow evaporating wiping/cleaning solvent where the actual chemical makeup matters a little less.

MEK is really bad for humans. All precautions should be taken.

I did notice however that this (substitute) product is also

"Not intended for sale or use in California"

leading me to wonder how much safer it really is.

Best Regards,

Ed W

Klean Strip acetone also states "thinner" for polyester etc. but is not recommended by most.
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