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  #1  
Old 07-13-2012
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Walnut and Soda Blasting for Paint Removal?

I'm looking for anyone that's had experience Walnut blasting or Soda Blasting a fibreglass hull to remove paint.

We've just acquired a 33' full-keel sailboat with a heavy build up of bottom paint, and a cracking/peeling topside paint. Ideally, I'd remove it all, get a new two-part PU sprayed for the topsides, then re-apply fresh bottom paint. If we DIY, I'd also be tempted to remove deck fittings and re-paint the house/deck too. A sort of once every 15-years sorta refinishing project.

I just did a 24' keelboat bottom and topside job last year... down to gelcoat, 5 coats of inter-protect 2000e, 3 of primer, then a pro topside 2-part PU job, plus 3 coats of bottom-paint. All prep was done with random orbitals, and while it worked, was pretty easy to control, and obtained a fantastic finish, I will never do it again. Way too much effort! Media-blasting seems far easier, and especially for this 33' which is more of a cruising boat... I can accept a lesser finish....

Any help, comments, photos, stories or shared experiences with media-blasting a fibreglass hull would be very appreciated!!
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Old 07-13-2012
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Re: Walnut and Soda Blasting for Paint Removal?

I had an older but newly-bought 28-footer soda-blasted to remove unknown layers of unknown substance to get a surface where I know what is what. Today spent another 2.5 hours with an orbital sander and 80-grit pads getting down to all gelcoat. I probably have another 45 minutes of second-pass touch-up sanding to get to an all-gelcoat surface for new barrier coat and bottom paint coatings.

Soda Blasting was effective, and did no damage. For me, it was worth spending $900 to save 20+/- hours of grueling, awkward sanding work. Younger owners with less disposable income and in better shape may choose otherwise but for me it was $$ well-spent.
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Walnut and Soda Blasting for Paint Removal?

Good on bottom paint

Topside prep not so much as your taking off tougher stuff and the a bit to deep is a much bigger issue
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Re: Walnut and Soda Blasting for Paint Removal?

I'm definitely leaning towards media-blasting, even though I am likely younger and have less disposable income

Tommays - Ya I hear you that walnut blasting is probably fine for the bottom but maybe too harsh on the topsides. Have you done either? Can I switch media to soda and maybe adjust the flow-rate and shoot the topsides (and deck/house)?
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Re: Walnut and Soda Blasting for Paint Removal?

The big problem is depends on who is driving as even soda can damage glass

Around here its a full tarp job which limits the visibility of the driver

On a bottom it leaves it READY for the prep work and it can uncover a bunch of fillers and other stuff that were fine and now have to be repaired











The bottom alone for me down here would have been 2K and i felt the 5 days of this sucks was NOT worth 2K of my budget
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