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Old 05-03-2009
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How to tell type of hull paint (can be polished or not)?

Hi Folks,

I have only had my boat for about 2 years. It is 30 years old, and the hull was professionally redone (painted) approx 12-15 years ago. It still looks very good. However, I do have some yellowing at the waterline, that does not come off well with soap and water, and would like to make it shine as much as possible.

I have read many posts on how Awlgrip type paints can't be machine polished (or by hand), and that some other like Imron can be (carefully).

How can I tell what type of paint I have, and whether it can be polished and waxed.
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No need to KNOW the paint. Just TREAT it like awlgrip says to and you will be fine. NO MECHANICAL buffing. No WAX. Awl Wash and Awl Care hand applied.
NO WAX on ANY paint!!
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Old 05-03-2009
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You have

You have rust or tannin staining. The best method to remove it will be one of the acid based cleaners like On & Off Gel or FSR or regular Oxalic acid. DO NOT let it sit on the surface of the paint any longer than you absolutely have to as the acids can damage the paint. I do about a two foot section at a time and the minute the stains are gone I rinse the acid off immediately with a hose and move to the next two foot section. Once clean protect it with Awlcare polymer sealant to prevent this yellowing from attaching & staining the paint.

If you don't know what your finish is I would suggest against buffing it because odds more likely are it's Awlgrip than Imron seeing as they own about 65-70% of the marine paint business and Awlcraft 2000, which is buffable, is relatively new..
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The stains will probably come off with MaryKate On&Off Gel. THe stains are probably tanin stains.
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Thanks for the great replies. Just checked, and my local shop has awlcare as well as On and Off gel.

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This is something that I am still confused about. My hull is navy blue, and I have no idea as to what kind of paint was used. (The PO had no idea either.)

What would be a good clue as to what kind of paint was used, and how I should treat it polishing-wise?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaschrumpf View Post
This is something that I am still confused about. My hull is navy blue, and I have no idea as to what kind of paint was used. (The PO had no idea either.)

What would be a good clue as to what kind of paint was used, and how I should treat it polishing-wise?

If you can determine when it was last painted, that could preclude some of the newer varieties, however, it is still almost impossible to be absolutely certain. Given the uncertainty, treat the care of the paint as though it was Awlgrip (which cann't be polished by the inexperienced novice) and you can't go wrong.
Despite some of the warnings, Awlgrip can be lightly buffed but only if done properly. Unless you have experience doing so, it is best to not try. It is the top surface of Awlgrip which gives the characteristic shine which can be penetrated with aggressive buffing.
Simply wash and wax the topsides according to the Awlgrip directions including use of the lest aggressive cleaner which is effective. Scratches which penetrate the paint can be masked with some of the readily available car touch-up paints available in a wide variety of colors and, although not perfect, can be aesthetically acceptable from a distance.

It all depends on how anal you want to be and as we all see around every marina, some appear to be more into polishing than sailing.

Last edited by k1vsk; 05-04-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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