Thread: gelcoat gelcoating experience
05-12-2011, 04:33 PM #1
gelcoat gelcoating experience
this isnt really a how to or guide its my own experience in order to help, steer you in the right direction. i am no pro and have 1 hull experience with it. i dint find a gelcoat write up but bowsniper did an excellent write up on paint, he helped me out to get started and this is my own experience...
like paint the surface has to be damn near perfect gelcoat doesnt hide much. if you spray gelcoat you have to mix acetone i did it at about 20% but i sprayed mine at 45psi i found out afterwards in needs to be in the area of 80 psi!!!!! normally its around 10-20% the higher you go the duller the finish but easier to spray. make sure you have plenty of acetone to clean your gun with this stuff does not come off. if you want to make your gelcoat a color you need to start with clear!!!!! and add tint. dont let the guy at the marina store fool you white plus 1 black tint does not equal black!!! i wanted black. make sure your gun sprays perfectly before you go near your hull!!! my grey gelcoat was very lumpy (becasue the air was so low) and 10 hours of wetsanding the hull was wrecked in 5 minutes. 1 qt will not cover the entire hull to the proper thickness (about a dime) it will however cover the whole hull as if you were painting it, which is fine if you dont wetsand it or atleast you do it very lightly!!! i did 3 coats and the very last coat i basically covered all the corners, contours with an extra coat since i knew id be sanding the hell out of it. and i still went through in a few spots trying to get the orange peel off. you will need 2.5 qts roughly to do it the proper thickness. make sure you have a little squeege when you wetsand, you have to use it to clear off the water to see if you have any little indent pock marks if so wetsand more. the first paper will be the hardest in order to get the orange peel off all the way. put the sandpaper on a foam block and make sure you have plenty of water.
paper i used as per bowsnipers instructions 320 400 600 800 1000 1200 1500. 2000 is optional but i did not use it since after all it is a hull!!!! i started with 150 because my peel was real bad then go to 220. unfortunatly after wetsanding the whole hull for an additional 5 hours after gelling it it is far from perfect. be gentle with the polish and wheel when your done.
i do considered it great practice and since i went through im most likely going to order 2 qts of black gelcoat and give it another shot or order a nice graphics kit to cover the visible "errors" on the sides after all i didn't plan on graphics or grey so what the hey.
now as far as the guy sitting at home going i wonder if i can do this i say its not very hard but it is time consuming. im no pro and id give myself an 8. its 100 times better then what it was prior. a cheap gun is 40$ and 2 qts gelcoat/sandpaper/acetone is about 100$-120$. its all in the prep!!!! and be patient with the wetsanding. i have severe adhd and i was able to do it (kinda, damn spots i sanded through) i hope this helps somebody out
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