Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Painting Deck and Cockpit....DIY or Pay?
If the gelcoat isn't cracking, I would first try a restoration. Wet sanding, with ultra fine grit, followed by a series of progressively stepped down compounding. You could even just try compound right out of the gate to see if it gets results you're happy with.
Painting is an option, but I consider it a last choice. Once painted, always painted. The paint is not as tough as the gelcoat and will scratch, leaving you with needing to repaint down the road. If you change the color, scratch will be all the more noticeable. Then again, you'll have a different base primer color anyway, I suppose.
The only paints I would consider are either Awlgrip or Alexseal, which would benefit from a professional, with a paint gun. Alexseal is more repairable. You could do all the sanding and filling, if you wanted.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.