The recent Why paint instead of gelcoat?
thread was very interesting, and timely too. This winter I plan to refinish the deck, cabin top and cockpit of my 35 year old Bristol 29.9. The original gelcoat is scratched in a few spots and seems to have “pin holes” in other areas. My original plan was to paint the deck, but after reading the thread I realize that spraying gelcoat is actually an option for me.
I don't want to rehash the pros and cons of gel vs paint in this thread. I've decided that I will be spraying gelcoat. I'm a rookie, but I will be doing it myself. I've got a few months to practice.
Most of what I have read about spraying gelcoat involves doing the topsides. In my case I will be doing the deck, the smooth portions between the anti skid. So I dont have any big areas to cover. Of course the small sections are spread out of the whole boat, and some of them extend the length of the boat.
so a few questions:
- Practice. Can I practice on wood scraps (plywood etc) or is it too porous to give a decent finish? If not what can I practice on? (I dont have hunks of fiberglass ... )
- The preval sprayer a reasonable choice? Its seems the easiest for me at this point and I think it would be fine for the relatively small sections that I am doing. But I could go with an HVLP sprayer and borrowed compressor if that is the way to go in this case.
- With paint, roll and tip, you need to keep a wet edge, but I am wondering if that is the case with gelcoat. Can I do a section, say the side decks from stern up to the shrouds. Then the shrouds forward the next day? Or do I need to shoot it all in one go? (this may determine if I can use the preval sprayer or not … )
- Also plan to do the antiskid. Kiwi Grip was the plan, but now Im wondering if stippled gelcoat would be the natural choice at this point. thoughts on that?
- duratec additive: yes?
- thinning: use styrene or “patch booster”?
- surfacing wax: for all coats or just the last?
- coats: how many?