Painting Fiberglass - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Painting Fiberglass

I will probably soon be painting a boat (19' ski-boat) for a friend. It is fiberglass, and I think it is gelcoated but not totally sure. I would like to know what some experts would reccomend that I do to make this come out good and hold. Not going for a top-of-the-line paintjob, but not a junk paintjob either.

Most of my paint experience is painting steel, so this project will have some aspects that are new to me. I have a Devilbiss HVLP airgun.

Sanding to 220??
Some sort of special paint??
Some sort of catalyst for adhesion??
A clearcoat??

Looking for a compromise between a low budget and medium budget job.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 11:24 PM
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what kind of shape is this boat in? meaning is it basically a sand and shoot? assuming the Gel coat is in good shape your paint process will basically be the same as steel. I would sand the Gel coat ( assuming all repairs have been made and already been primed with epoxy primer ) in 320 Grit, seal it and then paint it.

I would use Epoxy primer instead of urethane. its more water proof

the type of paint doesnt really matter. you could use All Grip, a brand made especially for boats, or use Imron , a dupont product that holds up very well to vehicles under alot of abuse , or base coat clear coat it , or just single stage. any paint will adhere just fine assuming the prep is done well just like on steel. The difference is going to be how much money do you want to spend on the product and how long you expect it to last.

I am not a boat guy or paint many of them but i would bet that a regular enamel single stage paint would hold up the least out of the other options, especially if it is in salt water.

i would also suggest do not use a solvent base cleaner on fiberglass. rubbing a solvent soaked cloth back and forth over fiberglass will create static electricity which can cause a spark wich is not good since solvent is flammable

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 08:13 AM
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Degrease/dewax with a waterbase product, cure what you want for appearance and use either epoxy or poyurethane 1 part primer. Slick it with 400 grit for synthetic enamel or 320 for 1 part poly. The paint will last about twice as long with hardner but the stuff is DANGEROUS, I lost a friend and an aquaintence about 6 years after they started using Imron ( poly ) and another friend 15 years later. They did not take care not to touch the hardner nor use fresh air masks, Two of them painted in tee shirts and all 3 died of pancreatic cancer.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 10:20 AM
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all paint today has hardner/ catalyst, Imron has been re formulated and isnt as hard on people any more. Ive been using catalyzed/ hardend paint for 15 years .

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