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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Removing paint from Gelcoat
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Thread: Removing paint from Gelcoat Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-15-2014 03:11 PM
hellosailor
Re: Removing paint from Gelcoat

EZ-Off, the traditional product in a bottle NOT the new aerosol cans, was basically lye. Same as drain cleaner, but thickened to stick on vertical surfaces.

Lye is also sold as a paint and varnish stripper in paint stores, often is the active ingredient in purple industrial cleaners.

Yes, it usually works and works well, and since it is an alkali it will eventually soften or damage gelcoat and fiberglass if it is not thoroughly rinsed off, and followed by a mild acid (vinegar) to neutralize it.

But don't be surprised if there is a pale ghost left behind after you get the name paint off. Since that was shading and protecting the gelcoat beneath it, there's usually a brighter shadow left behind, and there's no simple way to remove that, although careful compounding and polishing of the hull may blend it in.
04-15-2014 02:31 PM
capta
Re: Removing paint from Gelcoat

Back in the day before decals, the professional sign (name) painters all used Easy Off Oven Cleaner. I do not know of anything better, cheaper or safer for the gel coat. Do make sure it is indeed painted on there, as it's very rare these days.
04-14-2014 09:17 PM
cardude
Re: Removing paint from Gelcoat

Thank
04-14-2014 09:32 AM
jaytee
Re: Removing paint from Gelcoat

The Company that I purchased my new "Peel and Stick" name told me to use Easy-Off Oven Cleaner and nuetralize after with White Vinegar.
I hope it works as I plan to do it today.
01-21-2014 09:01 AM
JimsCAL
Re: Removing paint from Gelcoat

This is a 5+ year old thread. I suspect he got the paint off.
01-21-2014 08:53 AM
jaytee
Re: Removing paint from Gelcoat

I just purchased new peel and stick name for my boat to replace the faded painted on one. The supplier, who does this proffessionaly, told me to use EZoff oven cleaner to remove the old name and nuetralize with white vinegar afterwards.
Any residual paint can be emoved with rubbing compound.
11-08-2008 11:29 AM
sailingdog Marc-

Acetone can easily damage or soften gelcoat if left on for any significant period of time.
11-08-2008 11:26 AM
marcberoz On my boat I was able to remove a painted on name just using acetone.
Marc, Westbrook, CT
11-07-2008 04:01 PM
ADMTROX Oven cleaner does work very well.
11-07-2008 03:14 PM
Faster Perit

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..
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