Gelcoat question

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by finnatic, May 31, 2022.

  1. finnatic
    Joined: May 2022
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Austin, TX

    finnatic New Member

    Going to redo my gelcoat because it is toast. No clear left and the metal flake which was originally Blue is mostly Silver. I was originally just going to shoot new clear over it but have decided it needs a refreshing of metal flake as well. My question is two fold. First can I just spray the new metal flake over the old or do I need to lay down another base coat? I believe the original base coat was black. This is also my first time working with gelcoat ( I know, I'm crazy for even considering it) but I'm determined to do it anyway win or lose. I am probably going to have to work in sections and tackle it over a period of time due to the fact that I work too. After laying down my last coat of clear on any refinished section should I use PVA, wax or duratec and how would that affect my attempt to work on the next section when I can get to it?
     

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  2. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,058
    Likes: 249, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    That’s a very complex surface for a first attempt!
    Better you find another surface to practice on.
    Search “spraying gelcoat” on this forum, and on the web, read everything you can find before starting.
    gelcoat is not easy to spray, and if you screw it up, will be a horrendous sanding job.
     
    ondarvr likes this.
  3. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 2,813
    Likes: 489, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 506
    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    First, I'd say don't do it, it's not easy, my suggestion would be to use an automotive paint, it will much more likely that you stay sane through the this project.

    But, you said you "are" going to do it this way.

    The background color can have a huge influence on the color of the finished look, so yes, it can be very important. But if you like the color of the background being silver, it's fine to not use one. This is something you need to test ahead of time, make several panels so you know how it sprays and what the final look is before you do anything on the boat. Surprises while spraying are not a good thing.

    The process is. Background color, then clear mixed with flake, followed by several coats of clear. You need enough clear over the flake layer that after sanding for days on end you don't sand into the flake. Sanding into the flake layer may cause problems that aren't easily overcome.

    Wax can cause clears to become cloudy, so don't use it. PVA works, but timing and application is important, the bigger the part the harder it is to use.

    Duratec is easier and won't cloud the clear gel coat, but because it will lower the viscosity you may need apply more coats to build up enough clear.

    It will flow and level far better though, so it can reduce the amount of sanding by days.

    One down side to re-gel coating a bass boat, or any metal flake finish. The metal flake look requires many applications of gel coat, so even on a new boat the gel coat be much thicker than a solid color boat. Thick gel coat tends crack easier, so you already have a good amount of gel coat on there, adding more can increase the likelihood of cracking a great deal.
     
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