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Hello all,

I am continuing to fix up our new old boat. One of the more cosmetic jobs is to remove some old paint from the cockpit, but I'm not sure what sort of paint it is. I have attached a couple if pics. I was wondering if I start to try and dissolve it using turps or acetone other chemicals, what damage could I do to the gel coat underneath? Is there any chemical that is a definite no-no when it comes to gel coat? Any suggestions?

Many thanks

Mark
 

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Barquito
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I'm guessing it will be hard to get all of that off without damaging the gelcoat a little. You will need to patch those holes, too. It would be a bit difficult to match the gelcoat color (off-white), but you could just scape the paint off, fill the holes, fair, and sand the whole thing. Then paint the cockpit with a really tough two part paint.
 

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There are a few strippers sold by the marine paint companies that will not harm gelcoat, but they are pricey. I've used Citristrip which is available at Home Depot and many hardware stores and it works pretty well and doesn't soften the gelcoat. Some around here recommend oven cleaner, but I haven't tried that.
 

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I once used a soy based paint stripper to take off bottom paint. It wasn't quite up to the challenge of many years of paint build up, but could easily handle your job. Google "soy paint remover" and you will find several sources.
John
 
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