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Old 21-06-2011, 22:37   #1
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Painting over Gelcoat.

I am in the process of refitting an old fiberglass sailboat. The Gelcoat is slightly oxidized and I am debating on how and what to paint the decks and cabin with. I know the process of cleaning and preparing the surfaces, more specifically I want to know if there is a good "common" paint out there that could be bought at lets say Ace Hardware that would last and stand up to the marine environment. I am not terrible concerned in appearance since I am on a shoestring budget, honestly, looking to do this for pennies on the dollar. Please be kind to this Margaritaville Sailor with your responses since in the past some have been quite rude when all I am looking for is practical advice, thanks.
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Old 21-06-2011, 22:51   #2
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Re: Painting over Gelcoat.

Also, once painted I am reattaching plexyglass port-lights with adhesive and bolts and wonder about the adhesive integrity applied over said paint. So many questions, so many points of view. Hopefully.
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Old 22-06-2011, 01:34   #3
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Re: Painting over Gelcoat.

Most any paint will stick to fiberglass if the boat is sanded and cleaned properly. As far as lasting, doubt you'll get much wear and life out of semi gloss latex or any other common household paint. For all the work that's involved in prepping the surface, it would be a real shame to waste it and have to do it again in a year or so.

The minimum paint I'd use is Interlux Bright Side Polyurethane enamel. Not all that expensive and reported to last for a decent amount of time. I'd really look at doing a roll and tip job with a two part linear polyurethane, however. They are pricey but wil last for a decade or more with minimal care. You didn't say what size boat you have but even LPU won't be all that expensive for a reasonable sized boat. You don't need AwlGrip as their are cheaper and easier to apply paints from other manufacturers out there. If you can find someone with a commercial account that will buy the paint for you, you'll save a lot of money. Paint is one of the highest markup items in a chandlery.

If it was me and I couldn't afford to buy a decent marine paint, I'd just buff and wax the gelcoat and wait till I could afford the materials to do a decent job. The labor involved in removing crappy paint when you want to do a good job of painting makes doing it right in the first place look like an easy job.
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Old 22-06-2011, 02:23   #4
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pirate Re: Painting over Gelcoat.

This was painted over glass cloth/epoxy and did very well indeed...
Japlac Enamel... its now I believe a part of the IP Group... costs about 2/3rds the price of yacht enamels..
PS; the black has a lovely laquer effect
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Old 22-06-2011, 02:41   #5
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Re: Painting over Gelcoat.

[QUOTE=roverhi;713247]Most any paint will stick to fiberglass if the boat is sanded and cleaned properly. As far as lasting, doubt you'll get much wear and life out of semi gloss latex or any other common household paint. For all the work that's involved in prepping the surface, it would be a real shame to waste it and have to do it again in a year or so.


Ceck out Poly Glow just google it as it is a US product I am using it here in the tropics in Ozzie and it is made to put a shine back on dull gelcoat. I am 40ft on the water and one pack $86Au did the top sides most people here cant believe how good it is Jacko
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Old 22-06-2011, 03:27   #6
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Re: Painting over Gelcoat.

If the gelcoat is not totally gone or too damaged and you want the absolutely cheapest way to look better give the boat a good wax job. Start with buffing and finish with a high quality carnuba wax. Cost very little but to do it right is a lot of work. I believe Mainesail posted here or maybe on his website a step by step on how to get a really good shine on old gelcoat. Should give you at least a year or so before you need to touch it up.

Polyglo is a lot less work and some like the results but has to be stripped off periodically.
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