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Old 24-03-2014, 13:43   #1
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Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

I tried using the Aqua-strip chemical stripper that's "not supposed to damage the gel-coat". It softened the gel-coat, and takes 2 applications to get all the paint off, and the only way this bucket will cover 50 square feet is by recycling the paste that's already mixed with old paint-chips.

The problem is that I've got a 35' long 10' beam sailboat deck with a baby-blue gel-coat and a beige paint-coat over it, and there are many areas that are peeling. About 35% of it has peeled off, usually in 1 square-foot patches, but also in small patches. It's more peeled off where people walk & sit.

I'm going to have to get a lot more stripper. At this point, not damaging the gel-coat isn't the issue. I can sand that down & smooth it out.
What's a cheap, powerful, nontoxic stripper that will get the job done?
I've been google-searching & suggestions so far are:

EZ-off oven-cleaner, original non-scent formula: Not cheap, and it seems more suited to remove lettering, & not an entire deck.
3384 mg/kg rat

Ethyl/Denatured alcohol: This looks like my best bet. Moonshine has this in it & it can kill or make people go blind, but people drink it. I don't plan to drink it, but I want as low toxicity as I can get. Low VOC's once dried.
ORAL(LD50) 3450 mg/kg

Brake fluid: Basically denatured alcohol w/ additives.

Isopropyl alcohol 91%: This would probably do the job as well. I've heard of people drinking it & surviving.
ORAL (LD50): Acute: 5045 mg/kg [Rat].

Acetone: ORAL (LD50): Acute: 5800 mg/kg [Rat]

Who would have thought Acetone would be the least lethal of the 3?
Anyone tried using acetone to remove deck paint? Sounds a lot cheaper than Aqua-chem's stripper which eats into the gel-coat anyways.
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Old 24-03-2014, 15:03   #2
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

Look into the ingredients in the various lacquer thinners. Acetone is just one of the actives in there. I think pure acetone is a bit harsh for the fiberglass.
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Old 24-03-2014, 15:29   #3
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

Removed 7 layers of hard bottom paint. Tried the soy stuff passable. Went to Peel Away bought at Sherwin Williams the best. Even after all the mess it created I had to sand. Good Luck
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Old 24-03-2014, 15:36   #4
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

IME,low toxicity and good results are mutually exclusive when it comes to strippers. But try this.



Franmar SOY Strip Marine Coating Remover
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Old 24-03-2014, 18:19   #5
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C4, you will never need to paint your boat again
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Old 25-03-2014, 11:30   #6
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
...What's a cheap, powerful, nontoxic stripper that will get the job done?
I have tried several and decided that for the mess and the time it takes, I'd better off sanding. I do not regret. You will have to sand anyway, so save yourself the trouble and get packs of 40 and 60 grit, a shopvac a good sander, masks, tyvek, and you are off. I bet it will be cheaper too.

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IME,low toxicity and good results are mutually exclusive when it comes to strippers. But try this. ...
Very true. Low toxicity and cheap will take forever plus one week.
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Old 25-03-2014, 12:04   #7
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
I have tried several and decided that for the mess and the time it takes, I'd better off sanding. I do not regret. You will have to sand anyway, so save yourself the trouble and get packs of 40 and 60 grit, a shopvac a good sander, masks, tyvek, and you are off. I bet it will be cheaper too.



Very true. Low toxicity and cheap will take forever plus one week.
Agreed. See my thread where I stripped and repainted my whole deck. I tried all the paint strippers. The best and cheapest was the aircraft fiberglass paint stripper but it was far from non-toxic. 40 grit sand paper will be your cheapest and safest bet, will also limit the damage to the fiberglass/gel coat.
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Old 27-03-2014, 11:37   #8
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

Just keep in mind, if you're stripping and sanding, be very careful where you're doing it. Some jurisdictions have very strict laws regarding the removal of hazardous materials. Double check the local laws in Charleston and SC to make sure you won't run into any issues.

One last thing, if I remember correctly, the gel coat is in poor condition. You may want to plan on entirely removing the gel coat and applying new.

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Old 27-03-2014, 18:50   #9
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

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...One last thing, if I remember correctly, the gel coat is in poor condition. You may want to plan on entirely removing the gel coat and applying new
I assume you are suggesting applying new gel coat? Why?
If you sand, fill and fair the cracks (if any), prime and paint, why do a gel coat job?
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Old 27-03-2014, 19:17   #10
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Re: Most nontoxic Cheapest paint-strip for boat deck

I used to own the OP's boat. The gel coat is worn away in places. It's really in poor condition.

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