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Thread: Spraying CLEAR COAT

  1. #1
    Hey I just got done doing the 3m cutting compound and glaze on my gel and I wanted to spray clear coat on it to keep it really shiney but not sure how to prep or what kind of clear to spray ?? Anybody out there know whats up ??

  2. #2
    In a word....DON'T!
    If you boat is gel now, leave it alone. Automotive clear over your gelcoat will not hold up. Keep it out of the sun as much as possible, and keep a quality wax free polish on it, preferably something with UV inhibitors, and you will be happier down the road.
    PS, just wondering why you buffed and glazed it if you were going to try to clear it anyways...?

  3. #3
    Ducky, thanks for the reply. My boat has the original gel from 1976, and last year I did the 3m cutting compound, and the glaze. It came out really nice, and probably put a dozen wax jobs on it ! Maybe even more ! It is already loosing the shine, and I just don't have the money for new gel coat right now. I'm using the Maguires wax that comes in the black bottle, there best stuff. Should I try a different wax this season ?? Clear coat would be a bad idea, even for just a year or two ?? What would happen to it ?

  4. #4
    For starters, let me say I'm not totally against useing paint finishes on a boat. I did the blue band around mine to repair some dock rash from the PO when I first got it. I really don't have any first hand experiance with clearing over gel but it doesn't sound like a good idea to me either. Auto clearcoats are designed to be put over their coresponding basecoat not raw polyester so I would imagine adhesion to be a problem. You say you have been waxing the crap out of it so another problem is going to be getting all of the wax & silicone off. Gelcoat (especially aged) is rather porous and sucks that stuff up. I washed mine down with prep cleaner 4 times and still got some fisheyes.
    My boat is an 86 also but has had a full mooring cover from day 1. The gel on the deck still looks like new. Maybe consider getting a cover for it and see if your wax job holds up better? Probably get one made up for about the same as what the materials would cost to do a respray.
    If you really want to paint it, I would start by sanding thouroughly with 400 ,clean it with prepsol till your face turns blue. Then lay down a coat of epoxy primer in a color close to that of the gel. PPG sells it in different colors and it can be tinted. Then do the basecoat / clearcoat. That's the way you do a Corvette but then no one is walking on them either! lol

  5. #5
    BikerBoater- Thanks for the reply. Ya, your the third person that thought the clearcoat was a bad idea. I have a cover on it everyday, but the shine on transom and the edges just doesn't look that my opinion. What kind of wax do you use ?? -76

  6. #6
    Most likely the reason your shine is going away so fast is that you buffed it without sanding it first. Gel-coat is a very porous surface, and if you don't remove the oxidation before buffing, the heat from the buffer just burns the oxidation into the gel. Everything looks good at first, but then the haze/lack of shine comes back quickly. My suggestion is to sand it with 1500 (maybe 1000 with the age of the boat if you are careful) and a foam hand pad. Do not use your bare hand. Then buff it again, and use a quality carnuba/silicone free polish, preferably with one with UV inhibitors.
    Now then, with that being said, I know that all the NorTech's, Skaters, Etc are painted, but they are completely painted (except bottoms), and they most likely have some kind of an epoxy primer substrate to assist in adhesion. It's not my feeling that paint just doesn't belong on boats, it just that I feel spraying automotive clear over a boat's original gel is not only asking for trouble (adhesion and durability wise), but it's a shame to do that to a boat that is in as nice of shape as Miller's.

  7. #7
    I agree spraying automotive clear over gel clear is not a good idea.
    But I think 76miller wants to know where and how to spray clear gel.
    Duckys the best person to listen to here. Once you find out which clear to use, make sure you get ALL the wax off, I think 3M makes a Wax and Tar remover you can use, keep wiping it on wet until no more white runs off of it.
    Once you've done that wet sand it like ducky said with 1000 grit. I usually use a sponge block thing you can find in a Hardware Store, usually used for wood and is 150grit, But I just wrap my 1000 grit wetsand around it.
    Just go over the whole thing, let it dry off to check for if theres still some orange peel spots, then decide to clear it.
    Any help Ducky in what Gel Clear to use and how to apply it?

  8. #8
    wrap your paper around a sponge so it will curve around edges and not take the finish off.....

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the tips guys, I just got done pulling all the old rub rail off, and wet sanded w/1500 grit. I'm just going to use the 3m medium cutting compound w/ wool pad, and then the 3m glaze w/ a foam, throw some wax on it and call it good ! I really need to stop being so anul !

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the tips guys, I just got done pulling all the old rub rail off, and wet sanded w/1500 grit. I'm just going to use the 3m medium cutting compound w/ wool pad, and then the 3m glaze w/ a foam, throw some wax on it and call it good ! I really need to stop being so anul !
    I think you've made a wise choice.
    But just for informations sake, if someone wants to spray clear gelcoat, I use Valspar's TX-2 Marine Clear at my shop, but it takes a combination of chemical, and Afro-American engineering degrees to get it to dry properly outside of a mold. For someone without the much experience, I would recommend spraying clear Duratec. The key to adhesion with any product is prep. I wouldn't spray any gelcoat type product over anything finer than 220 grit, and I have sprayed solid colors over 80 grit scratches. I
    PS to all, I have trying to avoid confrontations lately by refraining from posting advice, but feel free to PM or email me if you need help.

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