Monthly Archives: October 2021

How Can Gelcoat Be Used to Repair Fiberglass Surfaces?

brushable gelcoat

Gelcoat is popular as a surface coating in the fabrication and repair of fiberglass-based products and can also be used to patch existing gel coat, fiberglass repairs, and new construction and repair projects. Gelcoat is extremely durable and provides a high-quality finish to visible surfaces making it a popular solution for damages to fiberglass surfaces such as covering up blemishes, patching small holes, filling cracks, and renewing surface shine. Gelcoat is often referred to as a one-stop solution for almost all types of damages on fiberglass surfaces such as, boats, jet skis, wave runners, swimming pools, hot tubs, showers and more.

Gelcoat for Swimming Pools

If you have a fiberglass pool then its surface is made of gelcoat, a liquid-colored resin that is applied to the pool shell. Gelcoat is the considered one of the most durable pool surfaces, typically lasting several decades, depending on maintenance, wear and tear, and the quality of the surface. Concrete pools need to be refinished about every ten years or so.

One of the more common areas of a fiberglass pool that needs to be refinished over time are the pool steps which can fade after exposure to pool chemicals, weather and UV rays. For more information please refer to our How to Gelcoat your Fiberglass Pool Steps article.

Gelcoat for Shower Stalls, Bathtubs, and Hot tubs

Cracks, holes, chips, and stains in showers and tubs made from fiberglass can be repaired with gelcoat. A common rule of thumb is if the hole is smaller than 1/2 inch, you should be able to make the repairs yourself; if it is a larger hole, then it may require the replacement of the surface or unit.

Fixing the damaged area requires applying two-part epoxy that hardens to the strength of the surrounding surface.

Gelcoat for a Fiberglass Deck

One of the most common ways to refinish a fiberglass deck is with a two-part polyurethane, as the results will provide a finish that will look as good as and should last at as long as the original gelcoat.

Re-gelcoating a Boat Fiberglass Hull

Regularly waxed gelcoat can last up to 15 years, depending on how well you take care of your boats hull and exposure to UV rays. If your hull is showing signs of damage such as cracking or is no longer retaining its gloss, and has chalky white powder on the surface, then it is time to re-gelcoat your hull. Dewaxer is perfect for dewaxing the hull and effectively cleaning up paint supplies.

Be Prepared for your Gelcoat Project

Using gelcoat can be an excellent solution for repairing and renewing fiberglass-based surfaces. Gelcoat is not a paint so if you are not familiar with applying gelcoat, please see our numerous how to articles as it can be difficult to apply and achieve optimal results for first time users. You can also contact Bottom Paint Store’s technical team from 8:30-5:00pm EST Monday through Friday.

The Different Types of Pettit Paint

Pettit Marine Paint, was established back in 8161 and is a manufacturer of a variety of boat paint including marine coatings, antifouling boat bottom paint, varnish, and epoxies.

Hard Modified Epoxies – The active ingredient leaches out while the paint film stays mostly intact. Leaching Coppers lose performance as time goes by and must be repainted after dry storage.

Pettit Eayspoxy is an advanced single-stage topside polyurethane and deck enamel. It has a superior high gloss finish and flows well when brush applied. Easypoxy’s innovative ultraviolet filters improve gloss retention and enhance polyurethane’s durability.

Captain’s Satin Sheen Varnish V-975 is widely esteemed for its reliability, multi-purpose application, fast-drying capability, and superior durability.

Ablatives – (Ultima and Hydrocoat Technology) Ablative polymers paints wear away with use exposing new biocides, both the biocides and the paint film disappear over time. Ablative Polymers can be used multi‐season and maintain a more steady performance throughout their useful life.

Pettit Black Widow Racing Antifouling is the slickest, fastest, ultra-smooth, burnishable racing finish available. Its powerful dual biocides provide multi-season protection in all waters. Black Widow is easily applied by roller, brush, or spray and is easily burnishable to a metallic “gun-metal” shine.

Hybrid – (Vivid Technology) Hybrid antifoulings offering hard paint that does not build up. Hybrid’s work by leaching out the biocides just as a Traditional Leaching Copper does, but once the biocides are gone, the paint film will break down exposing a new layer of biocide.

Trinidad HD, Multi-Season Hard Antifouling Paint provides excellent, long-lasting protection, even under the toughest antifouling conditions. Trinidad HD provides dependable in-water antifouling protection while meeting the 330 gram per liter VOC regulations.

Copper Free – Econea is a non-metal biocide that is extremely effective against hard-shelled fouling organisms including barnacles, hydroids, mussels, oysters, and tube worms.

Odyssey HD multi-season antifouling combines controlled polishing ablative technology with a high copper content to provide a paint film strong enough to handle the tough marine environment from coast to coast. Odyssey HD is compatible over most finishes, 50 state V.O.C. compliant, and will not build up over time leaving running surfaces smooth and clean.

White Copper -(Cuprous Thiocyanate)- requires 50% less copper content than the heavy, dark copper used in conventional antifouling paints. They are the only copper-based paints that are compatible with aluminum.

Low-Density Copper – replaces the core of traditional Cuprous Oxide with environmentally friendly materials found naturally in the ocean.

Irgarol – is used in many dual biocide products, Irgarol is an algicide designed for use in antifouling paints to prevent soft growth such as algae and grasses.

Water-Based (Hydrocoat Technology)- This formula uses water to replace the harsh solvents found in conventional antifouling paints. The product has an extremely low VOC content.

Clean Core Technology – An enhanced paint film that can reduce the amount of heavy metals released into our waters by up to 90%. These new additives have been specially formulated to provide a more “finetuned” and consistent release of the biocides from the paint film. This results in a more effective bottom paint that requires lower biocide levels to deliver full antifouling protection.