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Old 19-01-2022, 16:03   #1
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Gelcoat confusion

Thinking and planning ahead for the starting line this spring, after all the days are getting longer, right?

I have a gelcoat boot stripe on life support. This is a do-it-yourself deal so I am looking for an effective way to get the boot stripe shine back without compromising the substrate

There are a couple of gouges, numerous scratches and high oxidation. I’ve used 3M rubbing compound/polish over the past few years with some success but it’s time for more aggressive measures. I started to wet sand it last fall but chickened out quickly (was horrified) when I saw what it did to the finish. But maybe that’s the point of the wet sanding and I need to hold my nose and dive in?

Do I take it all down incrementally with wet sanding then prime and “paint” over the gelcoat? Is this a roll-and-tip application? Will it leave a hard edge or raised line where the boot meets the hull? Help?
I’ve seen bad paint jobs on boats and I r.e.a.l.l.y don’t want to be in that camp.
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Old 19-01-2022, 16:35   #2
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Re: Gelcoat confusion

If you are going to paint it, just sand it flat with paper that will leave a smooth surface ! was with acetone, tape it to the size you want, and paint it ! Ours is painted ! I redo it every 3-4 yrs ! Tape it off, sand with 180-200, then paint with boot stripe paint !
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Old 20-01-2022, 05:21   #3
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Re: Gelcoat confusion

Exactly the problem with painting... it has to be done, and redone, ad infinitum. Weigh the situation carefully. Sometimes the cure is not better than the disease.
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Old 20-01-2022, 09:01   #4
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Re: Gelcoat confusion

Prep the surface, paint it with Interprotect, sand it smooth, mask it and spray it with Awlcraft. Looks great for years and small scratches can be touched up with and artists brush. Awlcraft is very forgiving.
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Old 20-01-2022, 09:29   #5
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Re: Gelcoat confusion

Yes you do end up with a hard raised line that will collect dirt etc.
If you can possibly maintain the original gelcoat line then do so.
If you progressively wet sand with very fine wet and dry finishing with 2000 or finer, you can the move to the cutting compounds you were using before.
Sand as minimally as you can as you will have a limited thickness of gel coat. If you go through this then you don't have much choice but to paint.
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