Paint Stripper on gelcoat! Help! - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2007
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Paint Stripper on gelcoat! Help!

No lectures please...

I made a mistake and used the wrong kind of paint stripper to remove the varnish on my handrails. I got a small amount of the stuff on the deck gelcoat where the rails are, and also had a small spill on the non-slip deck. I managed to wash it off quickly, but the solvent did eat into the gelcoat a bit, and sort of melted it.

It's hardly noticable, but I know it's there. The gelcoat still seems intact, just warped a bit. I wonder if I still need to repair the gelcoat. Or can I leave it alone?
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Old 02-15-2007
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If there aren't any gelcoat penetrations, the core should be fine - just a cosmetic issue. Try wetsanding the gelcoat with a very fine grit, followed by rubbing compound. Finish by buffing, after applying a good quality wax.

Otherwise - if only you know it's there, just leave it alone and live with it.
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Old 02-15-2007
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tigerregis has a little shameless behaviour in the past
TB, you are the only person I have ever heard recommending wax on decks. Could you please explain your POV, since this the second time recently? Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2007
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My POV with fiberglass gelcoat is to protect and beautify the surface with wax . . . don't you wax your boat? The area in question was just "a small amount of the stuff on the deck gelcoat where the rails are . . . ". The section walked upon is covered in non-skid.

Of course my non-skid decks are teak - which I leave natural, but the solid glass everywhere else is waxed. Sorry for your confusion.
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Old 02-15-2007
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Gelcoat, even on decks, needs a sealant to keep out dirt, seal the pores, and protect it from UV degradation. That usually is wax or some fancy polymer.

Oddly enough, there are also "antislip" waxes that will increase traction. A very good thing to look for in a deck wax.
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Old 02-15-2007
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Sorry to hear about your gelcoat. If you're interested there is a product that will remove any paint/varnish, does not effect gelcoat in any way and is water soluble. I used it to remove the painted name from Seraph's transom, as well as 8 coats of Cetol. Follow the directions and LET IT SIT till it turns white so it can do it's thing. Could take 4 hrs.

http://www.ibacktonature.com/Pages/aquastrip-PD.html
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Old 02-16-2007
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If it's pitted you can certainly prep it and fair in some gel-coat and then sand and polish smooth, the color match being the most difficult part of the job. If it's white you don't have to be too anal about the exact color as it will tend to fade and blend in.
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