Peeling topsides paint - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 12-01-2005
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Peeling topsides paint

Hi,I''m new to this forum so bear with me. I bought an Edel 540 last year (my first cruiser) Other than a few minor problems she''s in fine shape. My question to other participants is it possible to remove the topside paint and restore the original gelcoat? From what I have read, the immediate answer is "once painted always paint". Here''s the "but" I haven''t had answered... The original gelcoat is red. The topsides were VERY sloppily painted red with who-knows-what kind of paint that is badly faded and is now peeling off. The gelcoat revealed by the peeling is actually in good shape (it isn''t as faded as the paint) and it does''nt look like it was sanded prior to painting. Is there no way of stripping off the paint and restoring the original gelcoat?
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Old 12-01-2005
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Peeling topsides paint

I have a theory that says that NOBODY looks at their low maintenance gelcoat deck one day and says "I want to spend time and effort and money in order to paint all this exactly the same colour and then deal with the increased maintenance issues from then on" unless there is something wrong.

Now the area that the paint is peeling may show a glossy lovely gelcoat deck....but once you start strippinf off the paint you will find one or two or three (or more) spots, patches, acres of problem that the paint was there to deal with. Unless you bought the boat from a lunatic (with the paperwork to prove it) I would bet that the places the paint is sticking to best (and thus not letting you get a look underneath)are the places that the gelcoat is worst/missing.

Cheery thought, isn''t it?

Sasha
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Old 12-01-2005
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Peeling topsides paint

Sasha is so right! Paint hides a multitude of sins, and sticks better to a rougher substrate. (Ever try to get paint off brick?) If you''re trying to keep costs down, you could try roll & tipping the hull yourself, but be ready for a LOT of work wth hazardous materials. 80% is prep, and you may have to sand the entire hull three times as well as give it MEK baths between sandings. Hope you got a deal because she''d need painting.
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Old 12-20-2005
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Peeling topsides paint

Good point, Sasha and Paul. Once I start sanding the paint off I''ll probably find out why it''s there. Guess I got my work cut out for me...
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Old 12-22-2005
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Peeling topsides paint

There are alternatives to sanding off the paint. It may be easier in the long run to use a chemical stripper. Do some research and choose the one that fits your needs. Sanding is a long and tedious job, and it''s easy to bite into the underlying gelcoat, which will cause more work. Once the finish is off, you can do a light sanding prior to repainting. Here again, you have alternatives. You can pay someone to spray the topsides, or you can roll and tip it yourself. I did a 33 foot Columbia Sabre over a three weekend period, and it looks like it was sprayed professionally. One has to really look closely to tell its not new gelcoat.
Do some research and get all your ducks in a row.
There is no cheap fix, and you only want to do it once, so do it right the first time.
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