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Old 08-09-2012, 16:18   #1
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Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

is there any commercial product that can help return fiberglass to the original whiteness?

I'm helping a friend with his boat project and the fiberglass color a little yellow after years of rain and sun at the boatyard.

Thks
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:46   #2
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Re: Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

Yes- paint. Sorry, wish there was an easier answer for you but I guess this is why Awlgrip and Imron exist.
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:50   #3
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Re: Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

Are there little cracks, called crazing, all over the place? Is so, them paint is most likely your only option. You can try sanding and buffing first. Try 600 grit, then 1000, and them compounding paste. Actually, try the paste first. It is always best to try the least destructive solution first, and then go from there. The gelcoat, basically a layer of plastic, is what you are sanding. don't go to deep.

We are in the middle of a paint job right now. 1 week of prep, 1 week of priming and sanding, and tomorrow we paint. Fingers crossed!!!!

Chris
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:56   #4
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Re: Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

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Originally Posted by mys View Post
is there any commercial product that can help return fiberglass to the original whiteness?

I'm helping a friend with his boat project and the fiberglass color a little yellow after years of rain and sun at the boatyard.

Thks
Solutions such as this are all over the Internet. They involve a great deal of elbow greese.


Removing Yellow Stain from White Fiberglass
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Old 08-09-2012, 17:04   #5
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Re: Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

Davis Instruments FSR Fiberglass Stain Remover (FSR). I think the active ingredient is oxalic acid, so wear gloves, a cheap rain coat and tape everything together with duct tape. Be careful, oxalic acid is a poison.
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Old 08-09-2012, 17:49   #6
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Davis Instruments FSR Fiberglass Stain Remover (FSR). I think the active ingredient is oxalic acid, so wear gloves, a cheap rain coat and tape everything together with duct tape. Be careful, oxalic acid is a poison.
Fsr works awesome!! For tannin stains and severe yellowing. Otherwise 3M medium or heavy duty rubbing compound
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:06   #7
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Re: Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

On and Off fiberglass stain remover also does the trick. Similar to Davis FSR mentioned earlier. Both are good for removing stains and getting the gelcoat stain free before cleaning with abrasives. On and Off is the best rust remover on fiberglass I have ever used.

As far as abrasives, step up in abrasivness from least to most agressive. Start with cleaner wax first to see how this works. If still dull, then try a light oxidation remover. If still dull, then go to the heavier compounds with a mechinical buffer. If none of these work, then talk to a pro before your paint to be sure the gelcoat is not salvageable. Once you paint, you cannot go back, and painting is expensive and at least twice as labor intensive as trying to polish the gelcoat first.

I have seen some pretty bad gelcoat surfaces brought back with some tlc and elbow grease. Search back Practical Sailor articles or this forum. There are lots of good articles or posts on restoring gelcoat finishes.
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:58   #8
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Re: Return Original Whiteness to Fiberglass

Cheap solution: Go to hardware store, buy oxalic acid crystals, often sold as masonry bleach or wood stain remover. Mix up a few spoonfuls with a few liters of water (not very critical) and spray on with a garden sprayer. Let sit a few minutes... the yellow stain will disappear before your amazed eyes. Rinse with plenty of fresh water. Done.

While this stuff is indeed somewhat toxic, it isn't too deadly. Simple precautions will suffice... don't drink it, get it in eyes, leave on skin for long times.

This will NOT make your boat shiny, but will easily make it white again (if the gel coat was white in the first place!). Shiny is harder!

Cheers,

Jim
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