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Old 28-03-2013, 09:41   #1
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Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Idiot that i am , while epxoying some glass i was wearing latex gloves and managed to get some epoxy on the gloves without noticing and then touched various parts of the transom, leaving nice finger print splodges of epoxy behind which has now set.

Does anyone know of an easy or not so easy way of getting the epoxy off the gel coat?

thanks in advance

steven
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Old 28-03-2013, 09:46   #2
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

If the gelcoat was waxy, dirty, and not too porous, you might be able to pop the epoxy off with an orange stick (cuticle stick) without any damage. If things were clean and the epoxy bonded well? You'll have a polishing and compounding job, it will have to be ground off. Which could mean repainting the transom when you're done. Once epoxy cures and sets, there's no solvent release for it.
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Old 28-03-2013, 11:59   #3
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

If it does not scrape / flick off easily then it's well bonded, but if you have a good coat of polish on then half a chance.......

....if not, then it needs abrading off.........and epoxy is as solid as epoxy is! With simple rubbing compound you will be there for a couple of years!

Fortunately gelcoat is pretty solid too........I have used wet and dry sandpaper on gelcoat - get comfortable with 800 (and the sight of liquid gelcoat!) and likely will find can happily get down to 600 or even 400 grit. The challenge is about not rubbing through the surrounding gelcoat too much (the epoxy would of course take 60 grit!) - as you won't be able to stop abrading the surrounding area of gelcoat as you sand the epoxy into oblivion.........which also means you likely will have a new challenge in having very clean (bright white?!) patches on the stern, could try feathering them into the rest of the gelcoat - could do the whole stern! (and could start off feathering and then end up doing the whole stern!)........just as well it was not the hull sides!

If it's a painted finish you are likely fooked (and even flicking off will have a good chance of taking the paint off).

Or you could think about some decals..........
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Old 28-03-2013, 12:03   #4
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Rubbing alcohol will take the epoxy right off the gelcoat.
Has worked for me many times.

The epoxy can says to:
Clean resin or mixed epoxy residue with lacquer thinner, acetone or alcohol.
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Old 28-03-2013, 12:28   #5
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Rubbing alcohol will take the epoxy right off the gelcoat.
Has worked for me many times.

The epoxy can says to:
Clean resin or mixed epoxy residue with lacquer thinner, acetone or alcohol.
Yeah but only while wet/uncured.

I replaced a rotten lazzerette bulkhead in our boat with a epoxied, glass-wrapped marine-ply panel, which I then proceeded to glass- and over-epoxy into place, as only an amateur can. And of course I touched the boat every time i crawled in/out of the lazz, and dripped in various and sundry places.

The only way to remove the cured spots was by carefully sanding them off. Masking around the epoxy blotches helps preserve the surrounding gelcoat. Finish off with wet-sanding and compounding. It wasn't too hard, and the spots are completely gone.

Handy tip - the spots are easier to sand off if you let the sun hit them for a year or two. (ok, I was slow to get around to it)
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Old 28-03-2013, 12:40   #6
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

i would have a try with a skill knife blade first,and see if it will lift before using sand paper
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Old 28-03-2013, 12:54   #7
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Try some acetone. I will also use a sharp wood chisel to carefully slide along the gel coat to try and lift off the epoxy. A razor tends to be too sharp and will cut into the gel. Go slow and easy but you should be able to get most off. Then like the others say a bit of compound should remove any remaining film.
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Old 28-03-2013, 12:59   #8
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Handy tip - the spots are easier to sand off if you let the sun hit them for a year or two. (ok, I was slow to get around to it)
That would probably be part of my solution to this problem as well - sun / UV degrades Epoxy so doing nothing does count as doing something
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Old 28-03-2013, 13:11   #9
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

The knife/chisel ideas are good... I shoulda tried it first. Only downside I see is potential for gouging the gelcoat.

The sanding had the upside of not requiring any gelcoat repair.
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Old 28-03-2013, 17:20   #10
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Try heating it with a heat gun or maybe even a hairdryer would do. Epoxy softens before polyester does, by a long shot I think.

Heat it, then try scraping and whatever is left. use alcohol or acetone. Not all at the same time!
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Old 28-03-2013, 18:34   #11
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

Regular utility razor with the corners rounded off. Use the convex side. Then wet sand and buff. Next time wear rubber gloves at least three layers thick. Peel a layer off every time you need to move around or touch something clean. Add more layers occasionally, never removing the base layer. The base layer should have a tape seal in any case.
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Old 28-03-2013, 19:43   #12
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Re: Removing epoxy from gel coat.

use a razor. If you scrape the gel then buff. If the buff wont work then wet sand. when the roving is exposed repaint. You probably wont see the transom when your sailing unless you just fell over board. If your sailing and you see the transom your last worry will be the finger prints that are leaving you behind.
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