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Discussion Starter #1
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

Thanks

Karl
 

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Telstar 28
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Easy Off oven cleaner is said to work pretty well. :)
 
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Montgomery 17
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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.
 

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Perithead-

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

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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.
 

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Montgomery 17
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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?
 

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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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Marc-

Acetone can easily damage or soften gelcoat if left on for any significant period of time.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 
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