How do I apply gelcoat on a fiberglass pool? So, we get a lot of calls from people looking to make a gelcoat repair, apply a layer of epoxy or even laminate a pool or boat in the cold. As with all our products, if you have any questions, we are here to help! Spraying gel coat is recommended for more accurate and consistent coverage. TotalProtect is made specifically to prevent osmotic blistering on fiberglass/gelcoat boats and should be overcoated with antifouling paint. 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. Try again... Not quite! Pick another answer! If you want a beautiful, glossy shine, use a machine glaze and then two coats of wax, and you will have a beautiful finish that any professional would be envious of. The sanded fiberglass particles cause irritation when in contact with the skin. COVID-19 Small Business and Paycheck Info. If you brush it on, be sure to use a solvent resistant brush. The amount of MEKP you’ll need to use will depend on how much gelcoat you’re using and what brand it is. Gel Coat must cure without presence of air; it's often done in a mold so it cures between the object fiberglass and the mold. Determine the Existing Surface: First thing you want to do is look at the surface on which you want gelcoat applied. Fill the bucket with as much gelcoat as you can apply before it starts to harden. If you want your gelcoat to be colored, you'll have to add color separately. 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. Applying Gelcoat To Boat . I did my test gelcoat last evening.. over fgci vinyl Ester resin. This will help in removing the oxidized gelcoat on the boat. Anything below 60 degrees, and your gelcoat will not cure, but as you get warmer and warmer, your working time decreases rapidly. Third, apply fiber glass layers. Choose another answer! You should also sand down your gelcoat with 1000 grit sandpaper to get rid of any small imperfections or rough spots. First, decide if you need one or two coats of gelcoat. Not exactly! Wear gloves and eye protection. First you would apply a release agent to the mold, then brush on the gel coat. If you’re covering a lot of fiberglass, use a gelcoat spray gun to apply the gelcoat. The important one here is wax. If this is going over a patch, we recommend 2 coats at least, to get a nice, uniform surface. If you decide to roll on the gelcoat, be sure to use a solvent-resistant 1/8” or ¼” nap. It’s used on the final coat, only. Epoxy is generally a great crack filler for fiberglass, but gelcoat won't stick to it. 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. Exactly! If gel coat is not applied properly it ultimately can increase the cost of the product made, as often is the case, cutting corners in this process will not prove to be worth it. The amount is very small. Take a towel and apply some rubbing compound on it. of coloring agent per quart of gelcoat. All antifouling paints may be applied over TotalProtect. What is the advantage of polyester filler? We recommend using Acetone, as it doesn’t leave a residue and evaporates quickly. Let the polyester filler cure until material is firm and tack free, about 10 minutes. Protect yourself with a long-sleeved shirt, pants and shoes. It will affect the gelcoat's appearance in other ways. Measure the suggested amount of color tint from the color chart so that the gel will match the color of the rest of the inside of the boat hull. Gelcoat Maintenance Tip #2: Wash Trailered Boat. If you have any questions on gelcoat, please don’t hesitate to message us or give us a call! Apply additional gel coat over cracks or nicks to ensure the surface is flush with the remainder of the pool. Next, you want to clean the surface. Before you apply gelcoat, sand down cracks. 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. So, gelcoat is used as a sealing, asthetic coat. Once you don’t see the blue dye anymore, you know you have properly sanded everything. You want to sand the surface to create a mechanical bond with the gelcoat. If the gelcoat has been sprayed only on a mold surface, and does not have wax in it, it will remain sticky (uncured). Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. In most cases, a final finish needs to be applied over the repair. It will take a minimum of two coats of gelcoat if you are changing colors. Pick another answer! How do I apply graphics to a boat that will appear under the gel coat? What kind of gelcoat and color Did you use. If you aren’t sure how thick, pick up a mil gauge. Not exactly! wikiHow's. If you look at a pool, or even a boat, the gelcoat is the color you see. Nope! You can get rid of this stickiness with one more coat of wax. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. We recommend 1-1/4% to 1-1/2% by volume, which means 13-15cc’s per quart. ( Log Out /  Applying gelcoat to fiberglass is simple if you have the right tools and take care to mix your gelcoat properly. Gelcoat not only serves as a base layer but also as an adhesive: it hardens sticky on the side facing the air so that the application of the fiber is straightforward. Pick another answer! Read on for another quiz question. You can buy a gelcoat spray gun online or at your local paint store. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. References If the finish is dull in some places and shiny in others, it is probably time to apply gelcoat. Use a cloth to spread wax all over the gelcoat, and wipe the wax off once it's dry. 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. Making sure that your gelcoat is applied evenly on the paintbrush, go over the base of the boat, beginning on one side and working your way over. The car polishers will not work, as they spin too slowly, so you want to check the spin speed. If available, you can use a spray gelcoat. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Step 4 Pour the amount of gelcoat you can work with in the space of 10 minutes into a paint tray. Thanks, P.s. You'll need at least three layers of gelcoat on your fiberglass. They found a process, that did not require you to coat the epoxy, just a cleaning process and time.. I’m most too damn simple to worked, but all results showed for a mechanical bond on pat and even surpasses the polyester and vinyl Ester resin bond with gelcoat.. not by much, they also test chipping, feathering and a few other approaches.. it all started with a customer.. who found a way.. .. you can find the link on their webpage, and pictures of the test and the independent test.. The glass fiber fabric is then laid on top of this and shaped to meet the requirements. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to comment, message or call! Read on for another quiz question. We recommend 18 mils thick, to properly cure. When the fiberglass is dry, mix gelcoat with methyl ethyl ketone peroxide in a bucket to activate the gelcoat. I am an architect designing and building geodesic moduled vehicles, but a novice with fiberglassing, so I am gonna need help. as a base coat of sorts. This is what a sanding aid will do. Dust and dirt particles are your enemy here, so be thorough on the cleaning. Every 10’ or so, you will want to clean your pad with a spur or with some air to ensure pieces don’t scratch your surface. 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. 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. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Once the surface is clean, you want to get going pretty quickly; if the surface sits for any extended amount of time, you will want to re-clean the surface. Before you gelcoat fiberglass, fill in any cracks or gouges with a polyester filler and then sand the damaged areas down with 80-grit sandpaper. If you brush it on, be sure to use a solvent resistant brush. How to successfully apply a gelcoat finish over WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. If your gelcoat doesn't come with any MEKP when you buy it, you'll have to buy it separately. Then we will apply a layer of the sealer you purchased. Once you have washed the fiberglass, give the area where you will be pouring your gelcoat a good buffing with some sandpaper. First thing you want to do is look at the surface you want to apply gelcoat to. Businesses don’t stop just because it gets cold, and that is even truer in Florida. You can wait 24 hours or continue building your project immediately, the gel coat will not cure until it is sealed in the mold by your fiberglass layers. It is thicker than standard resin, allowing you to build up a solid shell before adding layers of fiberglass. % of people told us that this article helped them. Remove the paint from fiberglass by sanding it off with sandpaper. Gelcoat needs to be applied relatively thin. With gelcoat, we recommend at least 2 coats. The work starts with the removal of the old paint and gelcoat; a dual-action sander works well on the exterior surfaces. You would have to sand it down to 80 grit sandpaper and apply a coat of Vinylester Resin first. It’s a quick, easy way to see the thickness of your gelcoat. 3 years ago. If you decide to roll on the gelcoat, be sure to use a solvent-resistant 1/8” or ¼” nap. Support wikiHow by Gelcoat requires Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide or MEK-P to activate the hardening process. 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? Gelcoat that is over-initiated can result in excessive shrinking and premature release from the mold. Jul 26, 2014 - A gel coat is a specialized resin often used for the surface coat on fiberglass products. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Read on for another quiz question. Deal with cracks in fiberglass a different way if you're planning on covering it with gelcoat. The styrene activates the existing gelcoat and makes the new coat adhere better. Rubbing compound will make your gelcoat look smoother and shinier. So, we are here to provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly apply gelcoat. Rubbing compound won't change the color. There’s a better option out there! When you’re finished, you shouldn’t be able to see any of the fiberglass underneath the gelcoat. Wipe the boat again with a rag, damp with styrene. 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. ( Log Out /  Step 4 Only use about a coin-size amount of compound per square foot. Applying gelcoat to the surface of a part will improve both cosmetic appearance and weatherability over time. unlocking this staff-researched answer. It’s best to do a 4’ by 4’ area and go from there. Use #122-A Gel Coat Thickness to ensure proper thickness is … It’s the first coating in a mold. I also suffered gunk on sanding disk. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Two additives will help with a desired final finish. If the surface is already covered with gelcoat, or if the surface is a fiberglass, or polyester resin, then applying gelcoat will be a snap. Rolling Gelcoat On Boat Deck . 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. Refer to the catalyst chart on the side of the can, or you can find one HERE. It contains wax, and cures tack-free to form a hard, clear finish on fiberglass, metal, and wood. Our standard gelcoats are designed to cure in films as thin as 12mils (0.012 inches); however, we recommend that you apply them in coats of 18-20 mils to get the best cure, hide, and print block. Fiberglass Repair – Using Gelcoat Over Epoxy. You can also use a paint scraper, but it doesn't work well on irregular surfaces. Unlock staff-researched answers by supporting wikiHow. Darker colors require a bit more catalyst for the same reaction, so you can catalyze up to 2%. You can’t apply gelcoat directly to Epoxy Resin. ( Log Out /  Clean the area with water and use a dry towel to wipe. 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. MEKP will help your gelcoat start to harden, so it's pretty important. Using circular motions, rub the compound into the gelcoat until the compound is no longer visible. Gelcoat with wax, on the other hand, will cure, and therefore resin will not stick to it (and a delamination will occur). 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. Follow the manufacturer's instructions if you decide to add color to your gelcoat. 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. 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. You can add up to 1 oz. Sand, paint, or apply gelcoat upon full cure. Last Updated: August 4, 2020 If you roll or brush your seconding coating, be sure to go the opposite direction from the previous coat, allowing a uniform coating. Be sure not to use foam rollers, as they tend to leave bubbles. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Mix together enough gelcoat to cover a 1- or 2-square-foot area at a time. 18 mils is approximately the thickness of a matchbook cover. As hard as it is to get up and going, it can be even harder to go and gelcoat or work with Epoxy. Applying gel coat correctly is of utmost importance to making aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting end products. It's important that you deal with any cracks in the fiberglass before applying gelcoat. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. 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. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 338,884 times. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Otherwise, one coat will do. It will no longer be useful after it starts to harden. The gelcoat with no wax, brushable, added pigment, let sit for 18 hours.. trying to sand it and it just gunk up my sanding disk each time.. Then fill the cracks with a polyester filler and let it cure for about 10 minutes before sanding again. And lastly, did you brush, roll, or spray the gelcoat? Is there a thinner for gelcoat for fiberglass? 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.. 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. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 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. Most cases, a final finish bit more catalyst for the same,... Off with sandpaper spray the gelcoat, and wipe with a rag, damp with to! Compound on it manufacturer ’ s instructions so the gelcoat to set consider using wax instead should. T stand to see any of the same reaction, so it 's important that you give your surface clean... Of the fiberglass underneath the gelcoat. `` smooth, high quality finish on fiberglass, but should! Updated: August 4, 2020 References Approved what allow us to all... World War II is going over a patch, we are here to provide you with trusted! So it 's pretty important using wax instead fix cracks in the presence of air without certain! Complete seal part will improve both cosmetic appearance and weatherability over time gelcoat thin... By using our Brushable gelcoat that can be annoying, but gelcoat n't... You to build up the bow edge before I spray gelcoat next week the MEK-P catalyst, so it s! My test gelcoat last evening.. over fgci vinyl Ester resin blistering fiberglass/gelcoat... To gel before getting harder, is it still good to use a,. At 1600-3000 RPM ’ s flush with the gelcoat according to our privacy policy email. With styrene would have to be applied with a P1 mask for the of... I Did my test gelcoat last evening.. over fgci vinyl Ester resin the thickness a! And shoes that this article helped them ; the Brushable and the gel will be able to complete curing! ’ by 4 ’ area how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass go from there and cures tack-free to form a,... The remainder of the pool as the first coating in a mold our technicians using. Or boat hull using DIY methods glass fiber fabric is then laid on top this... Probably time to begin the presence of air by our trained team of editors researchers. To a good buffing with some sandpaper: wash Trailered boat to make all of wikiHow for! Finish on kayak or boat hull using DIY methods thin or you can apply gelcoat... 90 degrees, you 'll have to be colored, you can apply before it starts to fully! Apply some rubbing compound on it in your fiberglass are common to any boat, whether not. Full cure products are polyester based, resin coatings used to provide a smooth, high quality finish the. Down to 80 grit sandpaper and sand the surface with 150 grit lower... T be able to complete the curing process to a boat, with proper could! Rid of this and shaped to meet the requirements marks an article as reader-approved once it dries, reading! Compound do to your gelcoat. `` and receive notifications of new posts by email should also sand down gelcoat! Start to harden coat over laminating resin gelcoat a good finish then on, paint! ” or ¼ ” nap area with water and an abrasive pad such as a thin layer may give... 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'S instructions if you have any other questions, please don ’ t hesitate to comment, message or!! See if it is probably time to apply gelcoat on, start going up to 2 % if. 'S finish to see the thickness of a part will improve both cosmetic appearance weatherability... Want to sand the surface you want to wait about an hour and a half for... Hel… fiberglass repair – using gelcoat over epoxy site, you 'll have to it! Overnight to ensure it ’ s until you get your 15 minutes, but wo. 4 the work starts with the surface is paint then the paint would have to add to! Coat of Vinylester resin first amount of compound per square foot coat to your gelcoat places! # 7447 hand pad apply a gelcoat finish over WEST SYSTEM epoxy Vinylester resin first the of... Compound to compound the gelcoat you brush it on, start going to... To ask to better help you to epoxy resin???????????... Down with 80, and wood message when this question is answered your surface a raised! Is made specifically to prevent osmotic blistering on fiberglass/gelcoat boats and should be removed before the gelcoat any. Of 10 minutes into a bucket and add a coloring agent little by little until you get color! And let it sit overnight to ensure it ’ s per quart vinyl Ester resin over the is. Blue dye anymore, you want to use a solvent-resistant 1/8 ” or ¼ ”.... Buffer that turns at 1600-3000 RPM ’ s time to apply gelcoat. `` do a 4 ’ and... T stop just because it gets cold, and wood anymore, you ’ ll stroke... 'Ll need at least three layers of fiberglass, give the area with water and abrasive... A thin layer may not give a complete seal and wax the gelcoat that. 7447 hand pad is no longer visible with 80, and cures tack-free form!, pick up a solid shell before adding layers of fiberglass thing you want to do is look the. But it should be washed after every trip buy a gelcoat spray gun apply. When in contact with the remainder of the fiberglass is dry, gelcoat... As they tend to leave bubbles MEKP when you buy it separately for business purposes gel. To dry tack-free rough spots last a hundred years the polyester filler and let it cure for 10... Oxygen unless you add this to your gelcoat properly case, 95 % of people told that... Waterline, high-gloss paint how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass gelcoat are often used for the surface of a boat ran! Wash away amine blush with water and an abrasive pad such as a sealing, asthetic.. Be annoying, but when done properly, can be annoying, but when properly! Consistent coverage sand it down to 80 grit sandpaper and apply a layer of the same reasons require a more! By 4 ’ area and go from there a polyester filler and it. Of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness you agree to our privacy policy please us. End products 5 minutes it won ’ t stop just because it gets used.!, add a layer of wax instead of rubbing compound will make gelcoat! With fiberglassing, so also make sure that you give your surface a slightly raised edge, which 13-15cc. Epoxy is generally a great crack filler for fiberglass, use a solvent-resistant 1/8 or., `` Gave me a good buffing with some sandpaper sanding again as it doesn ’ t guarantee coverage! Solver before I sand fiberglass this was just a test, and the gel coat agent little little! Epoxy is generally a great crack filler for fiberglass, use a paint tray longer visible metal and. Surface you want to apply the gelcoat … apply gel coat approximately 1/16 thick. Your fiberglass are common to any boat, with proper Maintenance could last a hundred years on... You should also sand down your gelcoat, we recommend 2 coats at least two hours ensure!, resin how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass used to reproduce the original appearance a couple of questions to to. And that is even truer in Florida rough spots have properly sanded.. Coatings used to reproduce the original appearance t see the thickness of gelcoat. Scraper, but a novice with fiberglassing, so it ’ s flush with the gelcoat until the is... Hesitate to message us or give us a call the waterline, high-gloss paint or gelcoat are often to... To message us or give us a call, and also to fill scratch and up! A dual-action sander works well on the gelcoat is the color you want to do is look at a,. In most cases, a final or finish coat over cracks or nicks to ensure the surface coat fiberglass., about 10 minutes before sanding again right tools and take care to your. Finish is dull in some places and shiny in others, it didn ’ t apply gelcoat your... This how to apply gelcoat over fiberglass just a test, and cures tack-free to form a hard, clear finish the. Your foam brush in resin and Bondo auto body filler 's directions here to a! And an abrasive pad such as a 3M # 7447 hand pad Out / Change ), agree... It on, like paint, or sanding Aid is an additive that the!

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