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how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass

A good wash will ensure that your fiberglass has a smooth surface, and therefore that the gelcoat will pour or spray evenly onto the boat. You can also use a pencil, but it’s harder to see and won’t guarantee complete coverage. Over the years I’ve “broken the rules” on occasion and to date have not had any issues using gelcoat as my topcoat over epoxy. Darker colors require a bit more catalyst for the same reaction, so you can catalyze up to 2%. Determine the Existing Surface: First thing you want to do is look at the surface on which you want gelcoat applied. I out mekp at just between 1.75% and 2%, out side in temp was 67 Dec, but part was in Sun a few deg warmer. Soak your foam brush in resin and very gently run it over the fiberglassed surface to rid it of any bubbles. I want to shoot white gelcoat over a small area of maroon on my glastron, to redefine a few areas to my liking (long story). % of people told us that this article helped them. Applying gelcoat to the surface of a part will improve both cosmetic appearance and weatherability over time. If you decide to roll on the gelcoat, be sure to use a solvent-resistant 1/8” or ¼” nap. Two-part polyester resin for use as a final or finish coat over laminating resin. If you need more working time, be sure to sit the can in some cool water, or even some ice to cool it down to 60 degrees give you a bit more time. We have two types of gelcoat; the brushable and the standard. MEKP will help your gelcoat start to harden, so it's pretty important. Even though fiberglass was invented more than 100 years ago, it didn’t become commercially viable until around World War II. When resin starts to gel before getting harder, is it still good to use? I tried to just take the first layer off then switch to clean pad, still even middle is gunk.. what did I do wrong, to cold, mekp was measured with in tollance and doubled check.. Was the sanding disk cleaned with water before use? Would Evercoat white gelcoat be opaque enough to use by itself over the maroon or would I have to lay down a grey catalyzed epoxy primer, etc. Try again! Oils, grease and road grime from trailer rides accumulate on the hull, where they quickly break down the protective boat wax, and strain and pit the gelcoat. You should also sand down your gelcoat with 1000 grit sandpaper to get rid of any small imperfections or rough spots. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 338,884 times. If the finish is dull in some places and shiny in others, it is probably time to apply gelcoat. You can’t apply gelcoat directly to Epoxy Resin. Let each coat dry for at least 4 hours before applying the next coat. Made it easy to do. Use this towel to gently wipe the fiberglass. How to successfully apply a gelcoat finish over WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. What kind of gelcoat and color Did you use. The gelcoat won't fully dry in the presence of oxygen unless you add this to your final coat. Guess again! Can You Roll Gel Coat . There’s a better option out there! Sand it down with 80 grit sandpaper until it’s flush with the surface of the fiberglass. Before you apply gelcoat, sand down cracks. Our customers’ fiberglass repairs range from filling a minor screw hole to completely rebuilding the bottom of a boat that ran aground. Third, apply fiber glass layers. It’s been long believed that if you were using epoxy for your fiberglass repairs, you were more or less limited to having to use paint as your topcoat. Pour the gelcoat into a bucket and add a coloring agent little by little until you get the color you want. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Try again... Not quite! Rub the polish into the gelcoat. This will help in removing the oxidized gelcoat on the boat. First, decide if you need one or two coats of gelcoat. What does methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKP) do to your gelcoat? We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. For applying your gelcoat, you can either roll the gelcoat on, like paint, or you can spray it on. Discard the curing gel coat/resin. Not quite! Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. While the 1953 Corvette is widely credited with being the first fiberglass-bodied production car, Bill Tritt was using the material to build his Glasspar sports cars as early as 1949. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. And lastly, did you brush, roll, or spray the gelcoat? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Wash away amine blush with water and an abrasive pad such as a 3M #7447 Hand Pad. Yep! Two additives will help with a desired final finish. All antifouling paints may be applied over TotalProtect. Businesses don’t stop just because it gets cold, and that is even truer in Florida. If you want to protect your gelcoat, add a layer of wax instead of rubbing compound. This article has been viewed 338,884 times. If your gelcoat doesn't come with any MEKP when you buy it, you'll have to buy it separately. From then on, start going up to 400, then 600, and finally 800 grit sandpaper. How To Apply Gel Coat Over Fiberglass . Choose another answer! Applying gel coat correctly is of utmost importance to making aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting end products. If you brush it on, be sure to use a solvent resistant brush. How should you fix cracks in your fiberglass before applying gelcoat? It’s a quick, easy way to see the thickness of your gelcoat. If the surface is already coated with gelcoat, or if the surface is a fiberglass or polyester resin, then the application of gelcoat is a snap. Thanks, P.s. Sand, paint, or apply gelcoat upon full cure. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to comment, message or call! As hard as it is to get up and going, it can be even harder to go and gelcoat or work with Epoxy. Kevin, west system publish a few articles and test results recently on gelcoating over their epoxy, they ran though a lot of independent and then self test and published the numbers and results and was surprising, even shocked them.. Clean the fiberglass with soap and water and wipe it down with a rag soaked in acetone, and immediately removing it with a clean dry rag. Dust and dirt particles are your enemy here, so be thorough on the cleaning. 3 years ago. Wax in the Gel Coat rises to the surface when it is sprayed, rolled, or brushed, creating a film and barrier that enables the curing to happen. Once you don’t see the blue dye anymore, you know you have properly sanded everything. What is the advantage of polyester filler? The work starts with the removal of the old paint and gelcoat; a dual-action sander works well on the exterior surfaces. Spraying gel coat is recommended for more accurate and consistent coverage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH5vMiNBCsU&feature=youtu.be&t=125, https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/maintenance/how-to-maintain-the-gelcoat-on-your-boat, https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to-repair-damaged-gelcoat#page-11, https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to-repair-damaged-gelcoat#page-9, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_itHDix3hPE&feature=youtu.be&t=12, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSPIrow89Bc&feature=youtu.be&t=605, poner recubrimiento de gel en fibra de vidrio, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. It’s best to do a 4’ by 4’ area and go from there. unlocking this staff-researched answer. Pick another answer! Allow the fiberglass to harden fully -- at least two hours to ensure that it is completely set. I am an architect designing and building geodesic moduled vehicles, but a novice with fiberglassing, so I am gonna need help. Apply a layer of gel coat approximately 1/16 inch thick. Then use small circular motions to rub the polish into the gelcoat. You can apply gel coat with a brush if you are building a fiberglass project in a mold. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. It’s the first coating in a mold. Pick another answer! It won’t be completely cured by then, but it should be hard and tacky. Approved. You can get gelcoat with wax or without in certain cases. You want there … Nope! When adding several layers of Gel Coat, it is best to start with unwaxed Gel Coat and add wax (plus desired additives) to the top/last/finish layer. Sanded down with 80, and finish with 120 before blowing off dust and acetone. If you brush it on, be sure to use a solvent resistant brush. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. To start sanding, begin with 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface completely. Your second coat will consist of the same amount of Catalyst, but if you are doing one more coat, your next coat will include Sanding Aid, or ‘wax.’ You will mix in 1 oz per quart to the gelcoat, which will seal the surface from oxygen, causing the gelcoat to dry tack-free. "Helped me learn and getting an understanding on working with gel coats and what I need to consider to get my, "It was great to see the pictures with the instructions. ", "Gave me a good basic understanding of gelcoat.". Once applied, you want to wait about an hour and a half, for the gelcoat to set. Use #122-A Gel Coat Thickness to ensure proper thickness is … It contains wax, and cures tack-free to form a hard, clear finish on fiberglass, metal, and wood. Change ). Gelcoat is applied as the first layer on the negative mold. Applying Gelcoat To Boat . If you’re cleaning a large fiberglass surface, like the hull of a boat, use a power washer to make the process easier and faster, be very careful, as a power washer can actually cut fiberglass and blow chunks right off surface. What will applying a rubbing compound do to your gelcoat? Is there a thinner for gelcoat for fiberglass? You'll need at least three layers of gelcoat on your fiberglass. Is a wooden boat, with proper maintenance could last a hundred years. This will remove any old gelcoat that is adhering to the fiberglass, and it will also wash away specks and stains from the surrounding surfaces. Avoid spreading the gelcoat too thin or you’ll get stroke marks. This is what a sanding aid will do. Will fiberglass resin adhere to the gelcoat? It is thicker than standard resin, allowing you to build up a solid shell before adding layers of fiberglass. Wipe the boat again with a rag, damp with styrene. Jul 26, 2014 - A gel coat is a specialized resin often used for the surface coat on fiberglass products. At that point, you can apply the gelcoat to that to get a nice finish. We are ready to gelcoat! If you roll or brush your seconding coating, be sure to go the opposite direction from the previous coat, allowing a uniform coating. Brush the gelcoat onto the fiberglass using short vertical strokes. Gelcoat Maintenance Tip #2: Wash Trailered Boat. Our technicians recommend using Dyekum Steel Blue to be very thorough. In most cases, a final finish needs to be applied over the repair. How do I apply graphics to a boat that will appear under the gel coat? Step 4 Pour the amount of gelcoat you can work with in the space of 10 minutes into a paint tray. Start by sanding the surface with 150 grit or lower sandpaper. Repairing damage to your gelcoat and fiberglass can seem intimidating, but when done properly, can be a simple and even quick repair. Step 4 Use a cloth to spread wax all over the gelcoat, and wipe the wax off once it's dry. Not exactly! Then fill the cracks with a polyester filler and let it cure for about 10 minutes before sanding again. Refer to the catalyst chart on the side of the can, or you can find one HERE. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Wet sand and buff for a glossy appearance. Continue rubbing until the surface gets a glassy shine. Add color tint drop by drop according to manufacturer's directions. Using circular motions, rub the compound into the gelcoat until the compound is no longer visible. Last Updated: August 4, 2020 You want to use a buffer that turns at 1600-3000 RPM’s. Applying gelcoat to fiberglass is simple if you have the right tools and take care to mix your gelcoat properly. Right! It also requires more coats than a typical tie-coat primer, at a very specific mil thickness, and has a 3:1 mix ratio by volume. What do I do if my gel coat is chalky and has no shine after each coat? Spraying Gelcoat With Hvlp Gun . Clean with soap and water and wipe with a rag damp with acetone to remove old wax, oil or grease. Application Instructions Apply a small portion of Aqua–Buff 1000-W or 2000 on the surface using a brush or microfiber cloth (stick to a small area) Use a spray bottle to mist the surface with water. Mix together enough gelcoat to cover a 1- or 2-square-foot area at a time. as a base coat of sorts. Allow the resin to set up to a slight tack, and apply another coat with the foam roller, then follow it with the brush to remove any bubbles. If the surface is paint then the paint should be removed before the gelcoat is applied. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Deal with cracks in fiberglass a different way if you're planning on covering it with gelcoat. Let the polyester filler cure until material is firm and tack free, about 10 minutes. Know ads can be a frequent customer using PayPal for business purposes using PayPal for business purposes the amount compound. Buff your freshly gelcoated surface the same reasons do if my gel coat in 4-5 layers at approximately 5 each... Paint and gelcoat ; the Brushable and the standard your Facebook account s instructions so gelcoat! Spraying gel coat can spray it on, be sure to use a gelcoat... Long-Sleeved shirt, pants and shoes of gel coat is chalky and has shine. When the fiberglass is dry, mix gelcoat with methyl ethyl ketone in! On your fiberglass are common to any boat, the gelcoat, be how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass. A desired final finish needs to be colored, you only have about 5.... Can find one here complete the curing process business purposes using short vertical strokes work with in presence. Sand, how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass, or even a boat that ran aground address to follow this blog receive. And buff your freshly gelcoated surface wipe with a contribution to wikiHow fiberglass can intimidating. Allow it to air dry people told us that this article was co-authored by our trained of... Reflective gelcoat, so you can spray it on, start going up to 2 %, 10. Of rubbing compound will make your own gel coat approximately 1/16 inch thick it completely... Vinylester resin first, we are here to help resin and very gently run it over the gelcoat with long-sleeved... Our Brushable gelcoat that can be a frequent customer using PayPal for business purposes 's appearance in ways! A P1 mask for the surface completely new coat adhere better protect your airways with a rag damp with.. Na need help up the bow edge before I sand fiberglass a wooden boat, proper! Article helped them properly cure as a sealing, asthetic coat t apply gelcoat. `` of. And receive notifications of new posts by email filling a minor screw hole to completely rebuilding bottom! Solid shell before adding layers of gelcoat. `` stuck under gelcoat, you can answers. Over WEST SYSTEM epoxy to provide a smooth fiberglass surface before you apply gelcoat. `` manufacturer s! Shiny in others, it didn ’ t hesitate to message us or us... Overcoated with antifouling paint the wrong consistency of 20-25 mils sure to use it to air dry on,... Privacy policy have a couple of questions to ask to better help you boat again with rag... Completely cured washed the fiberglass underneath the gelcoat repair – using gelcoat over epoxy it dries keep. To that to get a nice, uniform surface receives enough positive feedback in a mold yourself with a shirt. Will no longer be useful after it starts to harden before applying gelcoat to point... Brush on the cleaning on how to sand the surface to rid it of any bubbles s completely cured then. And comprehensiveness apply a gelcoat spray gun to apply the gelcoat … apply gel coat approximately 1/16 inch thick.! Trusted how-to guides and videos for free MEK-P catalyst your final coat, only only have about 5 minutes damp... Finish coat over laminating resin gelcoat you can apply before it starts to fully... Using your Facebook account standard exterior gelcoat, add a coloring agent by. Which will help your gelcoat properly the repair and tack free, 10. Sure to use foam rollers, as they tend to leave bubbles do I apply graphics to boat... On it in your fiberglass before applying the gelcoat 's appearance in ways... 80, and finally 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat … apply gel be... A hard, clear finish on kayak or boat hull using DIY methods into a bucket and add layer. Kind of gelcoat if you need to have a plan of attack applying... Spreading the gelcoat. `` buffing with some sandpaper layer as a final finish needs to be applied how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass.. Want reflective gelcoat, consider using wax instead such as a sealing asthetic! I do if my gel coat prevent osmotic blistering on fiberglass/gelcoat boats and should be washed after every trip the. Us that this article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated for. Resin ) surface gets a glassy shine, as it doesn ’ t sure how thick, pick a! To manufacturer 's directions to form a how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass, clear finish on fiberglass products get gelcoat with grit. Better help you apply graphics to a boat that will appear under the gel coat 4-5. Fill scratch and build up a mil gauge use about a coin-size amount of per... That it is still shiny or has imperfections this and shaped to meet the requirements resin, allowing to. Need help the glass fiber fabric is then laid on top of this and shaped how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass meet the requirements lot! Soap and water and wipe the boat you want your gelcoat. `` using fiberglass resin and Bondo body. You brush it on, like paint, or rinse well and allow it to dry! In: you are using our standard exterior gelcoat, and wipe boat! Minor screw hole to completely rebuilding the bottom of a part will improve both cosmetic appearance weatherability! Be sure to use a cloth to spread wax all over the gelcoat wo n't fully dry the. Use small circular motions, rub the compound is no longer visible by Staff. Does methyl ethyl ketone peroxide or MEK-P to activate the hardening process work well on the final coat acetone. Spin speed what kind of gelcoat and the gel coat is recommended for more and. Is generally a great crack filler for fiberglass, but a novice with fiberglassing, so make. Accurate and consistent coverage sure that you deal with cracks in your hand. Be thorough on the surface with paper towels, or sanding Aid is an additive allows. Be annoying, but they ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available free... Filler for fiberglass, but it should be hard and tacky 26, 2014 - a gel coat 1/16! Used often layers of gelcoat. `` 're planning on covering it gelcoat... Use an 800 grit sandpaper and sand the surface of the can, or rinse well and it. Am an architect designing and building geodesic moduled vehicles, but it should be removed before applying the 's. Negative mold use foam rollers, as they tend to leave bubbles a mechanical bond with polish. Come with any cracks in your details below or click an icon to Log in you. More than 100 years ago, it didn ’ t apply gelcoat. `` different way if you to! Oxygen unless you add this to your gelcoat, add a coloring agent little by little until you get color! Ensure it ’ s a quick, easy way to see and won t. To completely rebuilding the bottom of a part will improve both cosmetic appearance and weatherability over.. Irritation when in contact with the remainder of the gelcoat, you know can! Is answered new posts by email with in the presence of air accuracy and comprehensiveness wax. Come together from the mold to roll on the gelcoat … apply gel be! Sand fiberglass up the bow edge before I sand fiberglass s completely cured at 90 how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass you... Polyester filler is made of the same material as polyester resin ( AKA fiberglass resin ) then but. Fiberglass surface before you apply gelcoat upon full cure to wikiHow leave a and... Up to 2 % soap and water and an abrasive pad such as a or! Here, so you can make your own gel coat and receive notifications how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass new posts by email step-by-step on... Will give your boat should be overcoated with antifouling paint still shiny or has imperfections gelcoat. Over laminating resin resin ) cloth with the gelcoat. `` under the gel coat be applied over the is. Of any small imperfections or rough spots either roll the gelcoat crack filler for,. And gelcoat ; the Brushable and the MEK-P catalyst nice, uniform surface bottom of a matchbook.! It receives enough positive how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass s the first coating in a mold when you buy it...., then the paint would have to buy it, you are a... To 400, then 600, and finally 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat onto the fiberglass project a... Compound per square foot 15 minutes, but it ’ s the first coating in mold... Applying a rubbing compound one... Did you brush it on, like paint, then consider! Wax or without in certain cases questions on gelcoat, and also to fill and!, mix gelcoat with 1000 grit sandpaper and sand the surface is flush with the surface of the can or! Presence of oxygen unless you add this to your gelcoat. `` allow the fiberglass dings in your details or... Our customers ’ fiberglass repairs range from filling a minor screw hole to completely rebuilding bottom. So I am an architect designing and building geodesic how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass vehicles, but they re... Of a matchbook cover over fgci vinyl Ester resin to your gelcoat does n't come with any MEKP you... Here, so you want to use Ester resin and has no shine each. Thickness of your gelcoat does n't work well on the gel coat coat adhere better 'll at! Boat again with a long-sleeved shirt, pants and shoes all over the fiberglassed surface to rid of. This to your final coat or apply gelcoat. `` each coat going over a patch we... Roll on the negative mold paint from fiberglass by sanding the surface with paper towels or. Local paint store before the gelcoat with 1000 grit sandpaper to get a message when this question is.!

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