Preparing rough gel-coat surface for painting

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Napoleon, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Napoleon
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: Queensland, Australia

    Napoleon New Member

    Hi everyone,
    This is my first post here, so pardon any faux pas.

    I am preparing my fiberglass fishing boat for a new paint job. The boat was built in 1978, so the materials on it are old.
    The surface of the dashboard (which sits horizontally) is roughed up so as to prevent things from slipping.

    My question is how to prepare the dashboard surface to a new coat of paint without sanding back the raised portions to get into the cracks?

    Are there any solvents or acids that I can use?


    Cheers,
    Nap
     
  2. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    A stiff wire hand brush will work.
     
  3. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    "how to prepare the dashboard surface to a new coat of paint without sanding back the raised portions to get into the cracks?"

    Painting and cracks do not go so well together generally.
    Remove (of course) all instrumentation, get a nice clean muslin cloth and soak it with acetone, and wipe over the entire surface, keep turning the cloth a few times as it will get dirty very fast.

    This will remove the dirt and crap, and hopefully leave a reasonably good surface to do the next operation.

    This is not a recommendation on how to fix things properly, it is a simply method to prepare and old fishing boat for repainting without either spending money or time.

    Mix up a nice amount of epoxy resin and gently brush the affected crack areas, then whilst still wet, mix resin and glass baloons to form a wet slurry, mix enough for the job at hand. One milimetre thick resin for one metre needs one litre, but only need about a fifth of this much resin to do a bog slurry as the baloons fill up a big area. Spread this mix over the console top and try your best to get it into the cracks.

    Allow to dry then paint with whatever you choose.
     
  4. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    If I understood him correctly, I think means the there's a textured surface, sort like a non skid finish and he wants to reach the low spots in the texture. When he introduced the word "cracks", I don’t know if he means low spots, or actual cracks.
     
  5. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    yeah, time will tell......
     
  6. Napoleon
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: Queensland, Australia

    Napoleon New Member

    Thanks for all the replies.
    ondarvr is correct when he suggests that I am talking about a non-skid surface. Other than a wire brush, any liquids that would be useful?

    (I have a ton of HCl acid I would like to use)

    Cheers,
    Nap
     
  7. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Other than cleaning the surface, you won't really gain anything by acid washing, and you'll need to clean it again even better after that type of treatment. Use whatever the paint supplier recommends as a cleaning product for surface prep.
     

  8. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    Hydro is a good cleaner of organic matter, it will make the white gelcoat go white again, removing all the "rust" stains.

    Wash off with copious water and detergent after (dteregent will neutralise the acid too.

    You have non skid on the dashboard? certainly is a fishing boat, guess you have to sometimes put ya feet there when she rolls..........
     
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