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lrak 11-06-2008 04:12 AM

Removing paint from Gelcoat
Hi all

I am trying to remove a boat name painted on the top of gelcoat.

I am wondering if there is some solvent that will remove the paint but not the damage the gelcoat.

Any help greatly appreciated



sailingdog 11-06-2008 07:47 AM

Easy Off oven cleaner is said to work pretty well. :)

Perithead 11-06-2008 10:46 AM

Sanding isn't to bad, I just recently sanded my whole 22' project sailboat down to the gelcoat. Are you your trying not to harm the paint on the hull and just remove the name? If so, I dont know if I would put a solvent on it. But I dont know if I would sand it either. Maybe a quick wet sanding would do the trick?

Im not sure realy but someone knows.

Faster 11-06-2008 10:53 AM

This works too:

Back To Nature Products

sailingdog 11-06-2008 11:06 AM


He's got a PAINTED NAME on GELCOAT...not on a painted hull.

recycle 11-06-2008 11:31 AM

Petit or Interlux sells a paint remover for this application. I bought a boat that had painted letters that I had to remove and it worked well. I think it was a Pettit product in a steel quart sized container.

Sailormon6 11-06-2008 11:35 AM

This stuff works well, but don't use most paint strippers. They're too aggressive, and will damage the gelcoat.

Perithead 11-07-2008 02:31 PM

Oh ok SD, I just assumed that the hull was painted and wasn't just the bare gelcoat. Isn't that bad?

Because I would think that he uses the boat without hull painted and the gelcoat directly exposed to the water. Or is that not that bad?

Faster 11-07-2008 03:14 PM


The majority of boats out there are what you would call "bare gelcoat".. which is not the same as bare fibreglass. Gelcoat is sprayed into the mold first, including, in many cases, boot stripes and cove stripes, after which the layup is built inside of that. The hull pops out of the mold smooth, shiny and finished. Keeping it that way requires periodic cleaning and waxing.

Some high end boats, and boats that have undergone extensive refits after years of gelcoat fading are typically painted, hopefully with a 2-part polyurethane paint for durability and shine.

It would be far too costly for the high production builders to actually paint each hull after construction.

Unless your Watkins has been refitted, it may well be still "bare gelcoat".. it most certainly came out of the factory that way..

ADMTROX 11-07-2008 04:01 PM

Oven cleaner does work very well.

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