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Old 15-07-2016, 19:55   #1
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Non skid in gel coat

We are in The Philippines and availability of suitable paints is terrible - no Awlcraft/Awlgrip in anything other than blinding white at an exorbitant price, Imorn is useless to deal with and getting answers is like pulling teeth plus all they have is the airplane version and no gloss additive. Interthane 990 seems to be the only expensive choice and I am forced to use this on the topsides.
What to use on the deck?

I am therefore considering using gel coat on my deck after the teak is removed and a layer of glass applied over the entire area.

Availability of the grit is also a problem and limited to Awlgrip coarse which I am thinking that may be too coarse, and silica sand.
Any suggestions on how to add the grit to the gel coat - sifter it on or add to the gel and roller it on?
I do not think that using a sifter and no additional top coat will work and would appreciate comments

I am not sure about trying to get a non-skid texture in the gel coat by using a textured roller
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Old 15-07-2016, 23:28   #2
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Re: Non skid in gel coat

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Originally Posted by Hoghead View Post
We are in The Philippines and availability of suitable paints is terrible - no Awlcraft/Awlgrip in anything other than blinding white at an exorbitant price, Imorn is useless to deal with and getting answers is like pulling teeth plus all they have is the airplane version and no gloss additive. Interthane 990 seems to be the only expensive choice and I am forced to use this on the topsides.
What to use on the deck?

I am therefore considering using gel coat on my deck after the teak is removed and a layer of glass applied over the entire area.

Availability of the grit is also a problem and limited to Awlgrip coarse which I am thinking that may be too coarse, and silica sand.
Any suggestions on how to add the grit to the gel coat - sifter it on or add to the gel and roller it on?
I do not think that using a sifter and no additional top coat will work and would appreciate comments

I am not sure about trying to get a non-skid texture in the gel coat by using a textured roller


Griptex Coarse will do fine, as long as it's not Extra Coarse. Don't sifter/sprinkle on gel unless doing only small areas, it tacks off too fast. Reduce your gel with 15% styrene monomer or MEK and roll on. Use either a high quality foam roller that is solvent resistant or a candy striper (1/4" nap).

I've done a number of decks this way, and it can provide excellent results if done right. Roller laps are a problem which can only be solved by technique; lay off carefully in one direction only. Tight areas too small for a normal roller are a problem too; use a 3" roller and/or a Slim Jim to get into these areas, with a foam brush for the tightest of spots. Practice first.


Getting an excellent surface cure is the big trick to this. Don't catalyze too light; no less than 1% even if it's hot out. This means if it is hot out, you need to coat early before it's too hot (after ensuring dryness), or coat only small areas at any one time, using small batches. Or both. I have found using PVA for surface cure on skid can be a mistake, it becomes very difficult to remove entirely from the skid pattern, you need a lot, and I have seen it lead to staining because of the bright colors they use for PVA. This means you need a quality surface seal in the right ratio. Do NOT use pre-waxed gel coat.


Coverage can also be an issue. I prefer to "prime" the deck with several coats of neat gel in the color in question, then sand that out to 180 and apply a single coat of gel with nonskid and surface seal added. Unless the deck is already in the color desired, and in good shape. This also has the advantage of providing a practice run of sorts, ensuring you are getting a good surface cure in current ambient conditions. Do not apply gel after about 3:00; humidity can inhibit perfect surface cure and dew can lead to blotches in the gloss.


As for a textured roller, that is too extreme for gel. If that is the desired effect, simply add some cabosil to your gel to thicken it slightly and roll apply. By varying the amount of cabosil/gel viscosity and type/nap size of roller, you can make a very aggressive skid pattern that some people love. It is, however, generally more aggressive than even the coarsest skid particles. Real flesh remover-but you won't slip.


Spray application provides the most even, perfect finish, but is well beyond the capabilities and equipment set of most amateurs. I would suggest completing the entire process of whatever application method you choose on your most out of the way skid pad or removable hatch cover as practice first. Other options might include tinting your own Awlgrip base. Good luck and feel free to ask any questions!
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