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  1. #1

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    Jan 2012
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    How to get white gelcoat back to white

    I`m working on a project I picked up and I`m wondering if it`s possible to get the white gelcoat to either lighten up a few shades or more or get it back to ultra pure white.

    There`s thousands of shades of "white" and this boat`s current white is more like a light mocha or Swiss Coffee and I`d like to get it back to or as close as possible to ultra pure white.

    I have a rotary with a LC white wool pad, a LC yellow wool (for polishing), a LC Orange curved waffle (for light polishing). On product I have Presta Super Cut Compound, Regular Cut Compound, and Polish (plus a ```` load of car products, DA, pads, and products if needed). Current plan is Presta compound, Presta polish, colonite 446 super double coat as a sealer.


    So far I used the rotary with the white wool pad and the Presta regular cut down one side. It got most of the oxydization off but it didn`t really remove most of the marks in the gel coat or really clean it up and make it white-white. It`s shiney but not super white, I haven`t polished it but I`m holding off until I see if there`s something I can do to make the white whiter or possibally the red more fire truck red vs maroonish-red?

    The rear upper parts of the sides have been re-shot with more of a pure white gelcoat and I`d like to try and get closer to that white, if possible.

    Here`s some pics

  2. #2

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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    Heres how the side turned out.
    How to get white gelcoat back to white-img_20220128_195902687.jpg
    IMG_20220128_200016513.jpg


    In these you can see the difference between the original swiss coffee and
    the fresh pure white and some of the original white that was covered up from the sun.


    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.1.jpg
    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.0.jpg

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.2.jpg

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-img_20220128_200312738.jpg

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.4.jpg

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.6.jpg


    The hatch cover white edge VS. the swiss coffee gelcoat

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.7.jpg

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-1.8.jpg



    Also have some burn marks from the cover being in the sun

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-2.1.jpg


    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-2.2.jpg



    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-2.3.jpg


    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-2.5.jpg

    How to get white gelcoat back to white-boat-yellow-gel-pics-2.4.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  3. #3
    wannafbody
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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    I doubt that you`d be able to get the gelcoat to lighten up much. Maybe using a strong APC would help. The Presta line isn`t popular here but they make solid products. I know someone who uses them and he prefers them over 3M. They also don`t have fillers.

  4. #4

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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    Is it possible to lighten the gel a few shades with wet sanding it, or using a different product, or possibally wiping it down with a solvent (mineral spirits, aceatone, etc prior to buffing???

    I have not ran the Super Cut yet, I always start off with the least agressive product to get the job done, so not sure if that`ll whiten it up or handle the burn marks?




    Thanks

  5. #5

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    Keokuk, Iowa
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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    Be it a boat or the end caps on a motor home, rhe white showing an off color, usually a "tan or amber" color which sanding and or buffing does not return the color to white, it is due to the manufacturer using excessive styrene as a method to cut cost and thin the actual gelcoat resin, Not always, just an example of what may be the issue,
    "Logic dictates I have been at this detailing thing way too many years!":wink1:
    Likes CAdetailer liked this post

  6. #6

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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Ketcham View Post
    Be it a boat or the end caps on a motor home, rhe white showing an off color, usually a "tan or amber" color which sanding and or buffing does not return the color to white, it is due to the manufacturer using excessive styrene as a method to cut cost and thin the actual gelcoat resin, Not always, just an example of what may be the issue,

    Thank you Ron. Not sure how much of that is the case, the boat is a 1994 and had not been well taken care of, so not sure how much is sun discoloring or just dirt and other stuff in the open pores.

    Is there anything I can try/use to clean it up or do a test spot to see if it`ll clean up better?

    Thanks

  7. #7

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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    CA Detailer:
    Are the striping graphics/signage vinyl decals applied OVER the gel coat or are they covered with a clear gel coat?
    I ask because you mentioned trying to get the red to look more red rather than maroon, and I assume it is the striping decals you talking about.


    IF the decals are applied over the gel coat, you might try Meg`s Marine/RV Rubber and Vinyl Cleaner and Protectant No. 57 as a way to bring back some of the color. Not sure how faded and bleached they are from sun exposure.
    Another option is to use Meg`s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze No.7 on them by hand. The revitalizing oils in this glaze may help restore that color as well.
    GB detailer

  8. #8

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    Re: How to get white gelcoat back to white

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    CA Detailer:
    Are the striping graphics/signage vinyl decals applied OVER the gel coat or are they covered with a clear gel coat?
    I ask because you mentioned trying to get the red to look more red rather than maroon, and I assume it is the striping decals you talking about.


    IF the decals are applied over the gel coat, you might try Meg`s Marine/RV Rubber and Vinyl Cleaner and Protectant No. 57 as a way to bring back some of the color. Not sure how faded and bleached they are from sun exposure.
    Another option is to use Meg`s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze No.7 on them by hand. The revitalizing oils in this glaze may help restore that color as well.

    Hi Lonnie,. The boat was laid up with this gel scheme, so those graphics are gel coat.


    Basically I need to know if wet sanding or cleaning with some kind of solvent will brighten up the white & red gel coat. OR it will not and doing so will just eat through the graphics/ gel and ruin the boat?

 

 

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