Paint over Unwaxed Gelcoat

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Larry78723
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Paint over Unwaxed Gelcoat

Post by Larry78723 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:56 am

I built a new console for my 1975 Robalo R200 and need to put a finish on it. Can unwaxed gelcoat be used as a basecoat under urethane based paint or do I need to use waxed gelcoat, wait to it to set, and sand before painting?
Last edited by Larry78723 on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Paint over Unwaxed Gelcoat

Post by terrulian » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:07 pm

Yes. People paint gelcoat all the time when it gets dull and weathered.
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Evan_Gatehouse
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Re: Paint over Unwaxed Gelcoat

Post by Evan_Gatehouse » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:35 am

If it's unwaxed it will stay tacky for a long time. That is not the same as painting over cured, waxed gelcoat applied to the outside of something OR gelcoat sprayed into a mold and them laminated over with layers of glass.

I would use waxed gelcoat, let it set, de-wax it with several wipes of acetone, THEN sand. You don't want to sand wax into the gelcoat. This will cause paint adhesion issues.

Alternatively if it is built with epoxy then don't use gelcoat, just fair with thickened epoxy fairing compound.

In both cases, you still should use a primer coat before the topcoats.
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Re: Paint over Unwaxed Gelcoat

Post by terrulian » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:56 am

Evan is correct. I was assuming old, weathered gelcoat, not fresh.
In any case, what I have done is acetone>fair if necessary>sand>primer>paint. On small repairs, it is possible just to use gelcoat over the damage but with either gelcoat or paint, the trick is matching the colors. If you're painting the entire hull this is not an issue.
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