Proper prep of molded nonskid deck for refinishing

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by pescaloco, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member

    Hello hope the wealth of knowledge here can steer me in the right direction.

    I have occasions where I need to improve the appearance of factory molded nonskid decking due to age, stains or sun bleaching. While the profile of the nonskid is fine the cosmetics can be quite rough so I am looking for a solution short of grinding it all off and painting and applying new nonskid material which of course would loose the nice molded factory look.

    I encounter the small textured dots (not much profile) and the more aggressive deep triangular type nonskid. Each seem to present a different issue to refinish.

    If someone could offer suggestions as to the surface preparation and materials it would be much appreciated.
     
  2. mastcolin
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Location: The Netherlands

    mastcolin Senior Member

    You can try all different sorts of cleaners which may or may not work - it all depends on the exact problem.(rust stain/general fallout staining is different from mildew which is different from yellowing of gel) Sorry to be vague but this is our experience. Take a bucket of stuff ranging from teak cleaner (boric acid - good for rust/fallout) to bleach to some branded yacht gelcoat cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Get down on hands and knees and scrub.

    We have polished non-skid a few times (to remove overspray -doh!). Just set the mop on it's edge so as you don't trash it and so you can get into all the valleys easier. Use a rough polishing compound eg 3M Imperial. This takes off light staining.

    The major problem is that the gel is degraded in most cases. It is porous and friable. If you do get it clean it soon picks up dirt again due to porosity.

    You can try sanding it with a rough scotchbrite and the sanding paste 3M do(did?). Then paint as standard gelcoat ie primer, topcoat.

    Our experience is though that due to the gel being old it will be pinholey which you won't cover with the new topcoat.

    We normal grind everything flat with p40 paper then redo with antiskid mixed into topcoat.

    You can of course get the stick-on non-skid tiles/vinyl which looks good and is perhaps easier as it avoids work after sanding exisiting non-skid.

    If you go down strip and repaint route, applying non-skid with roller is a skill to prevent patchiness and is another story.
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can use some of the factory made nonskid. There are some rubbery paints that don't have grit. The advantage of nonskid is that it covers pores and other imperfections in the gelcoat.
     
  4. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 81
    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member

    Guys thank you both for the replies.

    I appreciate the tips of the cleaning or yellow removal, that is always my first course of action, but there are times when a fresh coat of paint is what is needed. Yet the owners are not up for the expense of a complete sanding and refinishing job.

    What I was hoping someone would say is that they have found success in say an abrasive scrub with cleanser or TSP then rolling on a thin coat of gelcoat and Duratech High gloss clear or maybe an LPU paint minus the primer thus not filling in all the negative space in the nonskid.
     

  5. Irish Ricky
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    Location: Marathon florida

    Irish Ricky New Member

    Old Post But if your still following...

    I do quite alot of Fiberglass work ; and Deck Refinishing with the factory mold is the one job I dread ;) but I have found a few little tricks to help me along. First I scrub the deck with a diluted simple green and tsp solution using a large medium grade scotchbrite pad on a pole then rinse. After it drys I then chemical wash the deck after putting on protective clothing chemical respirator ect. I use a mix of xzylene & acetone nearly a 50/50 combination to chemical wash the deck. Now there's other stuff as I'm sure you know but this is what I use as it really works well. I then attach a stainless wire brush to my drill or my air grinder depending on the situation. Not the circular type, you'll want a downward facing one with very thin wire so you do not eat up the mold . Make sure it's stainless just in case in your clean up you miss a few bits of stray wire as they'll leave an awefull brown rust stain on the deck (and the customer allways phones you about those stains). I also keep a wire brush next to me while sanding the deck with the drill to remove any tough or peeling material. I've tried using a bronze wool pad for this kind of work and you really feel like your moving a sand dune with a spoon, the drill and wire brush gets immediate results. After that I use a palm sander on a low setting and sand the top of the non skid with 220. From there I hoover up all the dust then I'll blow it with an airgun for good measure chemical wash it again and then roll or spray it depending on where your at if your finishing with Gelcoat the job is easy as you can finish off with Duratek and skip the sanding and polish. If awlgripping ect.. Between coats it's up to you how you want to scuff it I tend to stick to scotch brite pads to get into the grooves & 400,600,grit on the surface for a smoother finish. If there is actual Damage stress cracking to the mold look up "Gibflex" or "Mas Epoxy" (they buy from Gibflex and mark up the price) they make a silicone sheet with molded patterns set into it. Hundreds of patterns. The repair using the mold is a pain in the Wazoo but you get better at it as you go along. Good luck.
     
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