Monthly Archives: July 2012

How to Use Metal Flake in Gel Coat

Gel coat is a resin that is pigmented with color. The consistency of gel coat is very thick and is best applied with a spray gun. Metal flake is commonly used in clear gel coat for that “bass boat”.  Although it appears that the metal flakes are mixed into the base coat, they are usually mixed into the clear gel coat.

This can be applied over the colored gel coat and the metal flake is usually coated with clear gelcoat for added UV protection and to smooth the surface. The larger the metalflake, the more coats of clear gel coat it will often take to cover.

Usually it is recommended to use around 16 oz of metal flake per gallon of gelcoat and personal preference plays a role as there us no magic ratio for adding flake. The typical bass boat will use 2-3 lbs of metal flake in the gelcoat. Mix the gelcoat inside a pail thoroughly with a paint stirrer to disperse the metal flakes. Stir the gel coat thoroughly and frequently during application to prevent the metal flakes from settling to the bottom.

Metal flake gelcoat is best applied using a gel coat spray gun to achieve an even coating and be sure to use an appropriate nozzle tip based on flake size.

You will need to disassemble the spray gun to clean it well as the flakes can lodge into small areas.

Related Articles: How to Apply Gel Coat

Gel Coat Color Match Chart

Use the color chart below to determine how to tint your gel coat. Use the base color shown above and then add the corresponding gel coat tint (gel coat coloring agent) . For smaller repairs you should consider a gelcoat repair kit (available in 1oz and 4 oz kits) that include a gelcoat paste and the tints for custom matching. For larger amounts of gelcoat, we also have over 12 premixed colors of gel coat to choose from (available in quart and gallons) . You can also use a neutral gelcoat which can be used with the coloring agents to make any custom gelcoat color.

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