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.

Pettit SR vs Pettit PRO

Pettit Ultima® SR-40 features an enhanced formula that utilizes an increased biocide load combined with PTFE to offer an outstanding multi-season control in all types of fouling. SR-40 employs a unique controlled erosion technology to minimize coating build-up and keep underwater surfaces smooth. Its ablative surface wears away with use providing a continuous supply of fresh biocides while eliminating the need for sanding. Ultima® SR- 40 employs a Slime Release technology combining super slick PTFE with a higher copper load for added performance and reduced friction. It can be hauled and re-launched without repainting. Ultima SR-40 is available in red and blue colors and is an excellent choice for power or sailboats with fiberglass, wood, or steel hulls. Formerly sold as Ultima® SR and Horizons® Pro, this formula has a proven track record as one of America’s premium ablative bottom paints. Ultima® SR-40 is an excellent choice for power or sailboats with fiberglass, wood, or steel hulls.

Pettit Trinidad Pro is packaged exclusively for professional applicators through the Pro Coatings line. Due to its dual biocides, with a high 60% copper load, Trinidad Pro offers unprecedented protection. It is a long-lasting, strong antifouling and features a high copper load and slime resistance that provides unprecedented resistance to all fouling. It is a hard protective coating that has excellent adhesion and withstands the toughest abuse. Trinidad Pro is available in black and blue colors and can provide years of dependable service, even if left in the water, and is backed up by the HD (Hull Defense 18 Month Limited Warranty).

If you need assistance selecting the best boat paint for your paint project, contact the technical experts at Bottom Paint Store Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00 pm EST 888.505.2313.

The Different Types of Boat Paint

In this article, we will briefly describe some of the different types of boat paint that can be used to repair, restore, protect, and make your boat looks its best.

Topside boat paint is a type of paint you apply above the waterline of a boat. This can include the sides of the hull, deck, as well as interior. Marine topside paints usually consist of one-part polyurethane, two-part polyurethane, and alkyd marine enamel. There are also buffable, two-part acrylic urethanes. Due to the sun’s rays, your boat is vulnerable to UV damage so coating your upper hull and deck with good topside paint can go a long way to protecting your boat.

Blue Water Marine Topside Paints are superior in quality, higher in value and typically, priced better than store brands


Aluminum boat paint can be used for many purposes including to camouflage, decorate, refurbish, or restore aluminum boat surfaces. Paint that is safe for aluminum and can be applied without a primer and can be used below or above the waterline.

Aluma Hawk Paint
Aluma Hawk is a fast drying, high-solids, corrosion-inhibiting coating designed for use on aluminum with no need for a primer.


Fiberglass boat paint usually consists of gelcoat, gelcoat putties, resins, restoration solutions, repair kits, and tools/materials. Gel coats are often used to touch up or repair a boat’s finish. They have a much shorter shelf life and can be a lot more difficult to apply than paint so the manufacturer’s instructions must be carefully followed to ensure a successful result.

Gelcoat can be used to patch existing gel coat, fiberglass repairs, and new construction and projects.


Wood boat paint typically includes traditional types of oil-based finishes, as two-part paints tend to be less flexible. Because wood can flex and swell, especially along seams, expensive finishes will not last any longer than traditional stain or paint. Teak can be used to prevent fading on a boat’s wood finish. If left untreated, it will often fade which leads to the need to clean or treat the wood so it is not susceptible to rot, mildew, and discoloration.

Teak wood cleaner
Just Teak is a simple solution to clean, brighten & protect your teak.


Bottom boat paint is antifouling paint or coating designed to diminish weeds, barnacles, and other aquatic organisms that can attach below the waterline of a boat and cause damage. Bottom paint includes ablative bottom paint, hard boat bottom paint, aluminum safe bottom paint, primers for bottom paint, and boat bottom paint remover.

Biocop bottom paint uses the newest biocide technology which is safe for the environment.

If you need assistance selecting the right boat paint for your next project see Bottom Paint Store’s how-to articles or call our technical support department Monday-Friday from 8:30-5:00 pm EST 888-505-2313.

Using a Signal Coat Indicator for Repainting Ablative Antifouling Paint

Anti-fouling paint is a type of underwater hull paint, also known as bottom paint. These specialized coatings are designed for the exterior of the hull of a ship or boat and combat the growth, as wells as, the detachment of underwater organisms, such as seaweed, algae, and barnacles. These aquatic life forms bind to the hull and impact a vessel’s performance and longevity.

Anti-fouling paints are often applied as one component of a multi-layering process which can have other benefits in addition to their antifouling properties, such as acting as a barrier against corrosion on metal hulls that will degrade and weaken the metal, or improving the flow of water past the hull of a boat or yacht.

Boaters recognized early on it is important to keep the bottom of their craft free of barnacles due to loss of speed and performance. The key is knowing when to pull your boat out of the water for a new bottom paint application. Ablative paints are typically reapplied every 1–3 years. One way to ensure you reapply your ablative antifouling paint when it’s needed is by adding a signal coat or flag coat.

To apply a signal/flag coat, when you are getting multiple coats of ablative bottom paint applied to your hull, make the first coat a different color. For example, if the bottom is going to be painted blue, make the first coat red. When the blue paint wears off and you see the red flag coat, it is time to repaint.

ablative bottom paint
Aquaguard is an excellent antifouling bottom paint

If you need further assistance with your boat painting project feel free to contact our technical team Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 pm EST.

Antifouling Paint for Inflatable Boats

Be sure to apply a water-based ablative antifouling paint to your inflatable boat

Inflatable boats have become very popular due to their flexibility and variety of uses. If your inflatable-bottom dinghy stays in the water for long periods of time and you have decided to apply antifouling paint you have a few options. You’ll want to apply a water-based ablative antifouling such as Monterey by Sea Hawk, one quart is enough for two coats on an 8-10′ boat. Avoid copper-based paint on aluminum. Before application clean the area with a maroon Scotchbrite pad for good adhesion. These paints tend to be flexible and adhere well to PVC and Hypalon but since they are ablative they can easily rub off so be careful when storing your dinghy on deck or deflating it for longer storage to protect surrounding areas from paint.

Monterey Bottom Paint

If you need further assistance with your inflatable boat paint project do not hesitate to contact our technical team Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 pm EST.

Using Webbing Solution

Webbing Solution is a clear liquid added to gelcoat to obtain spatter or cobweb effects. It is mixed with a gelcoat of one color and sprayed onto a contrasting colored surface.

Decorative effects produced by the webbing mixture will vary, and relate directly to techniques or gun adjustments. A fine hairline spider web pattern results from plenty of air and scanty material flow. Coarse and splotchy patterns are created by fuller material flow and decreased air volume. While our webbing solution is only tested with gelcoat, customers do use with paint achieving similar results.

The manufacturer suggests on the initial coat you add the wax and while gelcoat is still tacky before it comes to a full air cure, you apply the contrast color of webbing (which should have the wax added too).

If you are applying webbing over a fully cured gelcoat, sand with 150 grit, clean with acetone, and then apply the webbing.

Mix 2 parts gelcoat to 1 part webbing.
Mix proper amount MEK-P for the amount of gelcoat.
Shoot at 10 to 12 PSI.

Add to colored gelcoat to obtain desired webbing effect. Test in an inconspicuous area to determine satisfactory results

Testing for Compatibility of Topside Paint with Awlgrip Topcoat

SURFACE PREPARATION
COATINGS COMPATIBILITY & ADHESION
TESTS (ABOVE WATER ONLY)


Test One: Cross Hatch Adhesion (See diagram above)

  1. Select test area(s) on the surface to be painted. Thoroughly clean,
    de-wax and degrease this area.
  2. With a sharp blade, cut 6 lines vertically and 6 lines horizontally to give
    a box of 25 squares. The cuts must be deep enough to reach the
    substrate. On thick fairing systems this test may have to be done to
    several different layers.
  3. Apply 3M #610, #895 or #898 3M Scotch Brand Filament Tape (or
    similar type of packaging tape) over the scribed area, making certain
    that the tape is tightly adhered to the test surface. Do not use
    masking tape.
  4. With an abrupt yank, pull the tape back parallel to the surface. Pulling
    the tape straight up will give no test at all.
  5. Examine the test surface. If any square of old coating in the scribed
    area is removed, the adhesion has failed. All the failed layers must
    be removed.

Test Two: Solvent Resistance

  1. Saturate a cotton ball or small wad of cloth with one of the
    Awlgrip Topcoat or Primer Reducers (T0003 or T0006).
  2. Tape the reducer-saturated ball to the scribed area surface for
    30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes remove the cotton ball. If the reducer has dissolved
    or severely softened the old coating, the coating is incompatible and
    must be removed. If the scribed area has remained intact, allow a
    15 minute recovery period and repeat all steps in Test One again.
  4. If any square areas are removed, all the failed layers must be
    removed.

Test Three: Coating Compatibility
If the old coating is still intact after Tests One and Two, perform
Test Three.

  1. Lightly sand a small test area with 220 grit paper. Clean the sanded
    areas thoroughly with Awlgrip Wipe-Down Solvent (NA/AP:
    Awlprep T0008 ; EU: Surface Cleaner T0340) and using clean cloths.
  2. Paint a small patch of the surface with Awlgrip Topcoat. Do not use
    masking tape on the edges of the test application as the paint edges
    created by the tape will ‘print through’ and be visible in the finish.

How to repair a hole on the side of your boat

Repairing a hole on the side of your boat is possible by following this guide and using epoxy resins for wooden boats.

Begin by inspecting the hole for any cracks that extend away from the
hole and clearly mark the entire area that needs to be patched. You want to be sure to extend your mark out beyond the damaged area by a few inches.

Hawk Epoxy f2 Structural Adhesive Filler

Cut the marked area with a hand saw making sure the hole is beveled in order to allow layers of fiberglass to fill the hole. Measure the thickness of the hull substrate and multiply it by 10. This is the distance from the hole edges that the bevel needs to accommodate.

Use a power sander with a 50 grit sanding disc to bevel from the whole edge out to your mark. Fiberglass layers are going to be placed on the outside of the hull. Use a flat backing on the inside of the hole to keep the wet fiberglass cloth from caving into the hole.

Next cut six pieces of fiberglass bi-axle cloth with the first piece being the size and shape of the outer edge of the bevel. The final sixth piece being the size of the hole itself. Remember it is important to use fiberglass bi-axle cloth for hole repairs.

Wet out the beveled area of the hole with a mixed epoxy. Lay the cut fiberglass bi-axle cloth on a piece of plastic going from large to small pieces. Make sure to wet each piece as you place them on top of the next piece. When wetted out properly the bi-axle cloth will become transparent. Put the wet out pile of fiberglass bi-axle cloth into a piece of peel ply, with the small pieces down. Next, mix the Hawk epoxy f2 filler and hawk epoxy resin catalyst until you reach a soft butter consistency.  

Hawk Epoxy Resin Catalyst

Brush this mixture onto the beveled area of the hull and be sure to center your filler. Wipe off any extra leftover epoxy from the hull, squeegeeing out the air pockets and wiping with a clean cloth that has been dampened with solvent. This will be a lot easier than sanding it off later. Allow the patch to cure for the recommended cure time (overnight is typically sufficient) per the instructions on the hawk epoxy resin can label.

Once it has cured, remove the repair area backing on the inside of the hull. The repair area on the inside of the hull can be left untreated if it will not be exposed to sunlight. Remove blush with soap and water. Next sand off any rough areas on the outside of the hull with 80 grit sandpaper and then sand with 100 grit sandpaper the entire repair area so it is completely smooth (this may require a disc sander if it’s too difficult to sand by hand). You can dust off the area a clean cloth, air gun or brush it off with a clean brush.

F5 Light Density Fairing Filler

Prepare a batch of Hawk epoxy resin and catalyst. Apply coats to the repair area with wet epoxy, with the remainder of the Hawk epoxy resin mixed in the Hawk epoxy f5. Lightly mix filler until density is a medium thickness
with no sag consistency.

Next, spread the mixture onto the repair area and squeegee the area until as smooth as possible. Allow the area to cure until you can push the corner of the squeegee into the surface and only a slight indentation remains. Repeat the process with Hawk epoxy mixed resin and f5 light density filler, adding another coat of this mixture onto the repair area. Let this cure for 10 to 12 hours.

Remove the blush with soap and water and sand the repair area with a smooth 80 grit sandpaper.

To add color, mix another small batch of Hawk epoxy and introduce the liquid dispersion as this will seal and fill any low areas. Now that you have a strong and
sturdy hull side you are ready for paint!

What Is Zinc Chromate Used For?

Zinc chromate is used for a wide range of applications. It is an odorless chemical compound primarily used as an industrial paint coating. The compound is a beneficial coating because it is an anti-corrosive and an anti-rust primer. It is primarily used to coat aluminum and iron materials. Developed by the Ford Motor Company during the 1920s, it was historically used on aircraft by the US military during the 1930s and 1940s. It is also widely used as a paint coating for the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as, a coating for boats, due to its ability to destroy organic growth on the surface and to protect aluminum from corrosion.

Zinc chromate is on the hazardous substance list and regulated by OSHA because studies have shown that not only is zinc chromate highly toxic, but it is also a carcinogen. It has been cited by ACGIH, NIOSH, DEP, IARC, HHAG, and EPA.

What is zinc chromate used for

Duralux ZinKromate is a high-quality synthetic primer for use in light to moderate marine exposures. It is lead and chromate free so it is safe to use; however, it offers all of the performance and quality characteristics of zinc chromate without the health and application hazards. It has good chemical and corrosion resistance, dries fast, and allows single finish coat coverage when using a like-colored topcoat. ZinKromate performance primer adheres very well to steel, iron, aluminum, or partially rusted galvanized surfaces.

S-76 Strontium Chromate Tack Coat Primer is for use on properly prepared steel, aluminum, or galvanized steel. S-76 is an anti-corrosive strontium chromate-based primer that is specifically designed for underwater metal surfaces including hulls, running gear, and the lower units of outboards and I/O’s. It provides an excellent barrier to reduce the pitting of the metal from galvanic corrosion.

S-76 Strontium Chromate Tack Coat Primer

Stromate Chromate tack coat primer may be used on bare aluminum in conjunction with Tuff Stuff High Build Epoxy to form a barrier for the application of copper-based antifoulants.

If you have any questions about ZinKromate primer or Stromate Chromate tack coat primer, please call our technical expert team at 888-505-2313 Monday to Friday 8 am-5:00 pm EST.

Gelcoat Putty – Repair Spider Cracks And Fill Gouges!

There are many ways to repair spider cracks in boats, using our Gelcoat Repair Putty is an easy and fast way of doing it!

First, you will need to determine your spider cracks are only that, spider cracks. To do so, you will need to inspect the area for any sign of broken support. If the surface is steady and looks solid, then you have spider cracks.

In order to properly fix any spider cracks, you will have to open the cracks to fill them up correctly. This can be done by using a Dremel. Once the crack is open and it has a good size you can sand and clean the area. For cleaning, you may use acetone or soap and water.

Now, you are ready to use the Gelcoat Putty. Mix in a 1-1/2% ratio of MEK-P Catalyst into the putty and mix it properly. Use a putty knife to fill in the spider cracks. Once dry, sand the surface to a smooth finish.

Tip: You can apply gelcoat to match the color of your boat over the repair, or you can use our pigments to tint the gelcoat putty and complete the repair all at once!

Shipping Questions

How long will it take to receive my order via UPS Ground shipping?  The time to ship can be seen on most product pages and may vary by product. Most orders are placed before 2:00 EST. Monday-Friday is shipped the same day with a few exceptions that will be noted on the product page. Gelcoat/Resin materials along with any specialty colors typically ship in 2-4 business days. After the product leaves the warehouse, standard UPS shipping times apply. The map below shows estimated shipping times for items shipped via UPS Ground from our main warehouse In Florida, to destinations in the US. Please note that your order may ship from a manufacturer, or another warehouse resulting in less or more time stated in the map.

Not all items are stocked in the same warehouses, so you may get multiple tracking numbers if you order several items.

If you need exact delivery dates for your potential order or expedited shipping, please create an account and add all the items to your cart. Then email us or give us a call and we will be able to see the items in your order and determine exact delivery times and any expedited shipping rates if requested.

Do You Ship Outside of the US? No. We only ship to the continental US.

All Other Countries or outside the continental U.S.: Items can be purchased and shipped outside the US through the use of a freight forwarder. Items will be shipped through our designated carriers to the US freight forwarding company of your choice.  After you pre-arrange a freight forwarding company, they will provide the necessary documents for export, charge you for the freight to the final destination, and provide you with a US shipping address. We will ship your order to the US freight forwarder as you indicate on the orders’ shipping address. NOTE: We do not offer customer pickup for international shipments. Our carriers must ship to your designated US freight forwarder.

Do you have overnight shipping? This is not typically offered since the cost is about 3-4 times that of regular ground shipping and most of our items are considered hazardous material and travel via ground only.

Thinning Gelcoat and Using PVA

Gelcoat does not fully cure without first supplementing it with a surfacing agent or wax additive sanding aid. Gelcoat may be thinned for use in a Portable Preval Sprayer with styrene monomer. You can spray it with a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) before gelcoat reaches its gel stage (5-10 min.), or adding 1oz per quart of a wax additive sanding aid.

PVA or Partall Film #10 is a release agent that helps with removing parts from a mold or can be used as a surfacing agent when using gelcoat without a wax additive (sanding aid).

PVA is soluble in water making it easy to wash off. Applying can be achieved by spray or wiping the green liquid on with a sponge. It will foam slightly but dry to a clear, glossy shine. It can take 15-30 minutes depending on temperature.

For spraying gelcoat our FGCI brand does not recommend thinning.

If thinning is needed for gun/nozzle used then Patch Booster is an additive that will thin out gelcoat and not affect colors, such as acetone or styrene. This is added at 20-25% and the gelcoat will require catalyst at 2% so purchase an extra tube and omit wax (sanding aid).

Another thinning alternative is the Duratec High Gloss Additive. This is used with gelcoat for many reasons. Mixed at a 50/50 ratio this will produce a high gloss finish and will serve as a thinner for your gelcoat, that is why this is commonly used when spraying gelcoat. In addition, you’ll omit any additional sanding aid. After waiting a full 24 hours you can buff when cured, for a hi-gloss use 600 or higher grit paper and buff with Aqua Buff 2000 compound. Purchase an extra hardener as your gelcoat will need to be catalyzed at 2%.

Aqua Buff 1000-W and Aqua Buff 2000

If you are looking to remove some unwanted scratches on your boat or to bring back shine into your gelcoat, Aqua Buff is for you!

Aqua Buff is a polishing compound that we offer in two variations: Aqua Buff 1000-W and Aqua Buff 2000. It is mainly used as a way to remove heavy oxidation, sanding scratches, and swirl marks from gelcoat. There are no oils or polymers in Aqua Buff, so the surface you see is the true surface.

The Aqua Buff 1000-W is used for deep scratches and heavy oxidation. It has a blue-green color which is why is not recommended for white hulls. Use Aqua Buff 1000-F on white surfaces. Aqua Buff 1000-W removes 320 – 600 grit scratches.

Aqua Buff 2000 is used for finer scratches, swirl marks, and light oxidation. Use it to remove 1000 grit scratches and higher. Cleans and removes scratches from Fiber-Reinforced-Plastic parts, metals, and painted surfaces. It is strong enough for most uses and provides a shiny finish.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply a small portion of Aqua–Buff 1000-W or 2000 on the surface using a brush or microfiber cloth (stick to a small area)
  2. Use a spray bottle to mist the surface with water. Only use about a coin-size amount of compound per square foot.
  3. Immediately machine buff* with a clean, damp, compound pad.
    Use wool or wool/blend pads only.

*Use machine buffers that generate at least 2500 rpm for best results.

For the best techniques and tips on how to apply Aqua Buff please watch the video below.

Which Fiberglass Cloth to Choose?

Depending on the job at hand, we offer a few types of fiberglass cloth to choose from and different cloths are used for different jobs. They are available in different widths and are sold by the roll or yard.

Mat– This mat is used for parts and is great for not showing fiberglass patterns through gelcoat. Mat has many small fibers thrown together on a binder and is the most used, basic cloth. There is no specific direction to the fibers, making them strong and light. Sold in ¾ oz up to 2 oz thickness.

Woven Roving-This weave has long fibers weaved together like a cloth. It is extremely thick and durable making it heavier than other fiberglass materials. This often shows pattern through gelcoat and is used for heavy-duty items. Sold in 18 and 24 oz thickness.

Double Bias Non Woven- 1808, the first number is the woven roving thickness (18oz) and 08 is the mat thickness (3/4 oz). This is a combination of woven roving on one side and mat on the other, making it very durable and usually used for boat and house decks as it is very rigid.

Fiberglass Cloth– This is sold in 4, 6, 8 and 10 oz thickness and is very fine. While being rigid it is also used for anything that is see-through, such as surfboards as it’s thin, lightweight, and shows well with clear resin.

How to Gelcoat your Fiberglass Pool Steps

The finish of your fiberglass pool steps can fade after years of use and exposure to pool chemicals and the weather. If you notice that your pool steps are looking tacky it might be time for you to reapply gelcoat to them.

You can use Gel Coat if your pool steps currently have gelcoat or bare fiberglass for pool use. We don’t recommend the brushable gelcoat in pools because the chemicals can affect the gelcoat lifespan.

See the article How to Apply Gelcoat’ for more details on how to use gelcoat.

Tips for Using Brushable Gelcoat

Brushable Gelcoat, often referred to as gelcoat paint, is a specially formulated product that is made to be applied like paint and eliminate the need for spray equipment. It has excellent leveling, Water/Osmosis resistance, UV light Stability, great Gloss Retention, and fantastic long-term durability and is available in a variety of colors. Here are some tips for successful brushable gelcoat application.

Applying Gelcoat by Brush or Roller – (Use a Brushable Gelcoat) When applying gelcoat by brush or roller, we recommend the Ultra Plus Brushable Gelcoat. (other Gelcoats are best applied by Spray) The Ultra Plus Brushable Gelcoat is designed for self-leveling and is a much easier application. It allows for a much smoother finish and less time finishing the gelcoat. It is easy to use for the “do it your selfers’! Choose a good pure (natural) resin-resistant bristle brush with tapered ends. Avoid brushes that are either too stiff or too soft. For most work, a 3″ or 4″ wide brush will suffice. If there is a trim color, you should have a narrow trim brush on hand. Our Brushable Gelcoat comes with MEKP hardener with every purchase, but you may need more which you can purchase as an option depending on the application, temperature, and other environmental factors. Gelcoat needs to be applied evenly. We suggest a thickness of 18-20 mils to properly cure. The thickness of the matchbook cover is approximately 18 mils. If you’re not sure how thick it is, pick up a mil gauge. This is a simple, easy way to see the thickness of your gelcoat.

  1. Don’t add Patch Booster or Sanding Aid (wax). You don’t need to add sanding aid (wax) to Brushable gelcoat to have it dry tack free. The self-leveling technology added doesn’t require any additional products or additives.
  2. Proper gelcoat application requires you apply your coats about 15-20 mils thick. We offer mil gauge for purchase.
  3. Allow the gelcoat to cure overnight and then lightly sand it and buff it for an outstanding shine!
  4. Use Acetone for your cleanup. Just like other Polyester-based products, Acetone is the best cleanup material!
  5. The most important step: Adding the proper amount of Catalyst. We recommend 1.5%-2% Catalyst ratio. After adding the catalyst, you will want to mix for two minutes, preferably with a mechanical agitator (drill mixer). For your reference, here is the catalyst chart so you know exactly how much catalyst you need.

Tips
1 mL = 1 ccIf using wood mixing stick, place stick in resin before adding catalyst so wood doesn’t absorb catalystOnly catalyze slightly more than needed. Resin that cures still in the mixing pot is unusable.

Be sure to have a good strategy when applying your gelcoat. Once you mix and catalyze, you have about 15 minutes to apply the gelcoat before it starts getting hard or starts to “gel.” The actual working time depends on the amount of catalyst and how hot the working conditions are. Anything below 60 degrees, and your gelcoat will not cure, but as you get warmer and warmer, your working time will decrease rapidly. At 70 degrees, you get 15 minutes, but at 90 degrees, you only get 5 minutes. If you need more time to work, be sure to sit the can in some cold ice water to cool it down to 60 degrees to allow you a little more working time.

Here are some helpful tips on how to work with brushable gelcoat, especially during the warmer months.

  1. Cooling the gelcoat, by refrigerating the product to around 70 degrees, will give you up to 15 minutes of working time.
  2. Humidity can be another factor, so, make sure the mold and surrounding area is dry before applying your brushable gelcoat.
  3. Make small batches of gelcoat at a time and catalyze at 1 ½ % to avoid the material from getting hotter. When spraying the gelcoat, make sure you catalyze at 2 %. If you choose to use Duratec, please note, the product must be cool as well.
  4. If you seek to roll on the gelcoat, the product should be applied evenly at 14 mil thick.
  5. Do not apply gelcoat in direct sunlight.

Gelcoat Did Not Cure – What Caused It and What’s Next?

brushable gelcoat

For many “do-it-yourselfers,” applying gelcoat can be quite intimidating. It is not as simple as painting and can be somewhat difficult to work with. One of the most frustrating problems to deal with is a new application of gelcoat that refuses to harden and cure. When one of our customers has a problem with gelcoat not curing properly, it usually stems from one of the reasons below.

What Caused it?

Incorrect Surface PreparationGelcoat will only adhere to fiberglass, previously cured gelcoat, or polyester resin. Do not apply gelcoat to any paint or protective coating because it will not adhere. Existing paint will have to be removed.

In order to prepare the surface correctly, it must be sanded. The heavier fast-cut grits (40/80/100) are used to feather sand and ground out a routed area prior to filling. Also, they are used for the first sanding of gouges, scratches, and blisters. When sanding areas that have been filled with putty we suggest using 40 or 80 grit sandpaper, depending on how large the repair is. You should also feather the surrounding area of the gelcoat repair with 220/330. When sanding flat areas use a rubber block. Use 3M Abrasives for best results.

Next, clean the surface with or Acetone. All surfaces must be clean, dry, and free from grease, wax, oil, and other foreign matter. At this point, the repair is ready to spray or brush with gelcoat.

Not enough catalyst – Most gelcoat manufacturers list the amount of catalyst (MEKp) it requires on the side of the can. If you are unable to find a chart, you can use the two charts listed below. We recommend 1.5% – 2.0 % by volume. The Ideal range is 1.8% @ 77°F (approximately 12 drops per ounce of gelcoat.) If the gelcoat does not get enough catalyst it will not “kick” or begin to harden. Measurements need to be exact so you can be confident the gelcoat is mixed properly before applying it to the surface. If the measurement is off even slightly, the gelcoat could start to harden but not cure completely, leaving a tacky, non-sandable surface.

Too much catalyst – It is also possible to add too much catalyst (over catalyzing) to the mixture. This will cause the gelcoat to start curing in the can or while you are applying the gelcoat. It could happen when mixing larger batches of gelcoat since this is a chemical reaction that gets hot and cures quickly. Always mix in small batches. You should catalyze your material so that it cures as quickly as possible within your working time. Generally, mix one-pint batches. Under catalyzation slows down the curing process and causes fading and chalking in the final product. Double-check that the amount of catalyst you plan to add is correct for the amount of gelcoat you have set aside. Remember that gelcoat will react differently depending on the ambient air temperature. For warmer weather use less MEKp and for cooler weather use more MEKp to get the correct mixture. (See charts below.) It is always a good idea to keep your gelcoat at room temperature, especially prior to application. A good practice is to pour the mixed gel coat from the mixing container into another container used for application. This further assures that no uncatalyzed material is clinging to the sides of the pot.

Tips
1 mL = 1 cc If using wood mixing stick, place stick in resin before adding catalyst so the wood doesn’t absorb catalyst. Only catalyze slightly more than needed. Resin that cures still in the mixing pot is unusable.

MEPk Levels
Note the size and temperature variables.
For Darker Colors – use 2% MEKp


Did not use a surfacing agent – In order to cure properly, most gelcoat require the use of a surfacing agent on the final coat. The most common type of surfacing agent is Wax Additive Sanding Aid. This wax additive seals off the surface from oxygen in the air, allowing the gelcoat to dry tack-free. The recommended ratio is 1 oz wax to 1 quart of gelcoat. The first coat of gelcoat does not need the wax since you will apply a second coat. When mixing gelcoat for the second coat, though, don’t forget to add in the wax additive. All Gelcoats from the Bottom Paint Store comes with the MEKP catalyst and wax additive sanding aid, but additional amounts can be purchased. If you don’t add a wax additive to the final coat (or only coat) of gelcoat it will not harden. This is true even if you added the correct amount of catalyst.

Ultra Plus Brushable Gelcoat by FGCI is one exception to this because it does not require a surfacing agent/ wax additive, but still requires the correct amount of catalyst.  Just let it sit overnight to ensure it’s completely cured.

Not enough mils – For best results, apply the gelcoat to a wet film thickness of 25 mils. This will result in a cured film thickness of 18-22 mils. As gelcoat cures, it gives off heat in an exothermic chemical reaction. If the gelcoat is applied to thin, it will not reach the temperature needed and will not cure fully. A mil is equal to 0.001″ or one-thousandth of an inch. You can use a Wet film thickness gauge to find the thickness of your wet gelcoat. Press the edge of the gauge into the gelcoat until it touches the surface below. Look at the teeth on the gauge. The gelcoat’s current thickness is measured by noting the highest tooth with film on it and the next highest tooth with no film on it. For example, a mil gauge is labeled 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 mils. The only teeth with gelcoat on them are 10 and 15. So the gelcoat’s thickness is between 15 and 20 mils.

What’s Next?

Can I apply more gelcoat over uncured gelcoat? No. Applying more gelcoat will not help the first layer cure. Most likely it will need to be removed and reapplied.

What can I try to get the gelcoat to cure? Allow more time. If something wasn’t exactly right, the gelcoat may just take a few days to harden. If it’s not rock-solid in a few days, though, you may have to scrape it off and reapply it.

How can I remove the uncured gelcoat? Acetone on a rag can be used to break down the gelcoat. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape the uncured gelcoat away.

Read More:

Click this link to read How to Apply Gelcoat

Click this link to read Clear Coat My Bass Boat

Teak Oil vs. Teak Sealer – What’s the difference?

Well-maintained teak woodwork is highly prized and teak wood owners want to do everything they can to keep it looking great. However, the market is saturated with many teak products and it can be confusing to know which will work best for you. This article can be your guide to teak oil and teak sealer.

What is teak oil?

Teak oil has been used on boats and teak wood furniture for many years. Teak oils are usually made of tung oil or linseed oil with extra additives mixed in. The oil “feeds” the wood, in a sense, and accentuates the grain and color. Thus, applying oil to the teak gives it a warm and rich look. Many people choose to oil their teak because they like the beauty that oil can bring back. However, teak oil is very high maintenance. Teak Oil does not protect the wood, but it merely recovers the rich appearance that teak wood can offer. This method requires multiple coats of oil and the beautiful finish does not last long. Sunlight and UV rays carbonize the oils, turning the wood finish dark and gray over time. Gradually, the bright and warm look that you worked so hard to attain is lost once again.

What is teak sealer?

Another method of caring for teak wood is using a teak sealer. Sealers are different from oils because they do not “feed” the wood more oils or resins. Instead, they seal in the oils and resins that the existing wood contains while at the same time preventing contaminants and moisture from harming it. Sealer does need to be reapplied nearly as often as oil. It is best to keep a nice coating of teak sealer on the wood by reapplying every year.

Which teak sealer product should I use?

JustTeak™ is a marine-grade teak cleaning system that quickly and easily rejuvenates your teak. It will clean, brighten, and (using a sealer) protect your teak decking and outdoor teak furniture.

Part 1: Teak Cleaner

Renews your valuable teak, removing stains, greying and old coatings, whilst being gentle on your teak.

Part 2: Teak Brightener

Removes light stains and greying. Brightens teak when used in combination with JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner.

Part 3: Teak Sealer

Ensures a beautiful, natural finish that protects your teak from sun, rain, and stains. You will also prolong your teak from turning grey. Teak Sealer can be easily removed with JustTeak™ Teak Cleaner and Teak Brightener when it is time to re-apply.

Save 10% on our Teak Sealer Restoration Kits

What to Use on the Deck of My Boat?

Over the lifetime of any boat there will come a time when the deck needs to be renewed. You have a choice of non-skid additives, or paints that already contain a nonskid compound.  A non skid boat deck helps protect the surface as well as the occupants.

When looking for a non-skid surface you have many options. If your boat floor is currently gelcoat, you can re-gelcoat the surface with or without a non-skid additive. More information about gelcoat application can be found here. Gelcoat is more durable than paint and once a gelcoat surface is painted gelcoat will not adhere.

If paint is desired, non-skid can be added to our marine paints by Duralux and Awlgrip. Often an exact match can be found to your hull paint color. Find more topside paint options available and detailed instructions on adding non skid found in our how to section.

Customers painting the floor of a jon boat, frequently use the Aluma Hawk aluminum paint with a non skid additive. This paint serves as a paint and primer in one for your aluminum surface.

Interdeck boat deck paint is a non-skid deck paint by Interlux and offers an excellent slip resistant finish. It contains a fine aggregate and will apply easily on substrates. Its low sheen finish prevents dazzling that can be reflected by sunlight off decks. Interdeck is also easy to apply and available in numerous colors. The tough polyurethane resin protects decks against everyday wear and tear.

Depending on your paint choices, follow the manufacturers application instructions whether applying to aluminum, fiberglass, or wood to ensure best adhesion and slip resistance.

For cleaning the teak on your boat deck, JustTeak™ is a marine-grade teak cleaning system is designed to rejuvenate your teak quickly and easily. JustTeak™ will clean, brighten, and once sealed protect your teak decking. We have an application instructions video How to clean and protect the teak on your boat.

Antifouling Paint or Prop Glide for Outdrives?

Which method of protective propeller coating is best for your boat? While there is no right or wrong solution, there are a few things to consider before making your decision.

Important questions to ask:

  1. Do you haul and repaint your boat every year?
  2. Does the prop see regular use?

Antifouling Paint – If you answered NO to the second question, you will likely be better off with traditional antifouling paint protecting your outdrive. Slick film coatings need to see regular use in order to repel fouling successfully. And if you answered YES to the first question, the additional cost of slick film coatings may not be worth it for you.

Which antifouling products are recommended for outdrives? Here are two good options.

Option 1 – Apply Tuff Stuff epoxy primer (or similar primer) direct to the metal. Paint over with a copper free bottom paint such as Smart Solution. (It is very important to only use a copper-free bottom paint. Copper-based paints on underwater metals will experience galvanic corrosion.) This option guarantees the best protection and longest lasting coverage, but the paint will need to be recoated each season depending on prop usage.

Option 2 – Apply an aerosol underwater metal coating such as Barnacle Blocker or Pettit Barnacle Barrier. These are relatively inexpensive coatings that could provide a large amount of pay off.

PropGlide™ Propeller and Running Gear Coatings – If you answered YES to the second question above then you may want to give foul-release systems a try. These are non-toxic, slick coatings that prevent growth from attaching itself to the prop and running gear, thus improving your boat speed and fuel efficiency. It is important to note that for PropGlide to keep its slick quality and repel fouling, the prop needs to see regular use. Without the pesticide coatings of traditional bottom paint, a stationary prop is an easy target for barnacles and other organisms. While slick film coatings may not be the solution for all boaters, many have tried it and had great success. Note what some PropGlide users have stated below.

“For over a year, we at the Big Boat Shed ship repair and storage yard for vessels up to 60ft have been trialing out PropGlide. We have found it very user friendly and has a better finish when compared to its competitors. With our tropical humid conditions we could not have asked for a better drying time then what PropGlide offers. This allows us to plan prepare and execute any prop coating task with PropGlide such a breeze. PropGlide is now our main recommended brand for propeller and running gear antifouling coatings.” 3/8/2017

“We applied PropGlide to the propellers and rudders on our 42′ power catamaran in March 2016. We have found excellent results so far with very little growth appearing on the running gear. We have been able to maintain great boat speed, excellent economy and no vibrations unlike previous years with using other products. Our Applicator has even commentated how much easier PropGlide is to apply compared to its competitors.” Mick Malone 9/28/2016

Click this link to compare the price of Propspeed kits and PropGlide™ Propeller Paint Kits.
Click this link to read about Painting an Aluminum Outdrive

What Should be Applied to a Baptismal Pool, Water Fountain or Small Pond?

Usually, a baptismal pool is made of fiberglass and coated with gelcoat. The gelcoat can be either be restored or new gelcoat can be applied. How do you know which is best? New gelcoat is recommended if it is worn too thin or a new color is desired. Our brushable gelcoat is very user friendly and Sea Hawk gelcoat can be sprayed or brushed. See our article in gelcoat application for more details.

A water fountain or small pond is usually holding water so swimming pool paint is recommended. It is perfectly safe for fish once the paint is fully cured. Not sure which pool paint to use? Use this guide to help.

What Products Do I Use to Paint a Livewell?

A livewell is a tank found on many fishing boats that is used to keep bait and caught fish alive. It works by pumping fresh water from the surrounding body into the tank, as well as keeping the water aerated.

Most live wells on boats are made of fiberglass and usually coated with gelcoat. For more information on applying gelcoat see our How to Apply Gelcoat article.

In the case that your live well is aluminum you can apply Aluma Hawk, available in white, blue, grey, black, sand and jon boat green to the aluminum surface.

How To Mark Your Waterline for Bottom Paint

The waterline can also refer to anyline on a ship’s hull that is parallel to the water’s surface when the ship is afloat in a normal position. There are many reasons a waterline needs to be marked, it is a new vessel, the old paint has been blasted off for a new finish, or you’ve loaded it up with more stuff the original marking is off. Marking the waterline is often met with dread and getting the correct line for your bottom paint will provide stunning results. Getting it wrong, especially when paired with a boot stripe, will stand out like a sore thumb.

If your boat is new, the waterline should be marked on the designer’s drawing, if that is available. If not, you can take the measurements from a similar boat. If the boat has been in the water, even a few days, there may be some slight staining along the waterline (or just float the boat) that can be marked with a grease marker (best if it is full with fuel). Others have advised to throw sawdust in the water around the boat. Haul the boat and see where the sawdust has stuck to the wet hull.

Fine-line masking tape is ideal for this because it has some stretch and conforms very well to hull shape, especially if the hull has a lot of reverse turns. Don’t press the tape too firmly yet – you may need to peel it back for small adjustments. Once you’re happy with the whole line, press the tape firmly against the hull. Since the boat is already level, all you have to do for the second side is to set the level at the correct height and mark the stern with a piece of tape or transpose the wax crayon mark.

When the boat is aligned athwartships, set up the laser tripod, the exact spot is not critical providing the laser beam can see the whole side of the boat (if you can see it, so can the laser beam). Turn on the laser and adjust the height of the beam until it touches the marks you made at the bow and the stern. If it touches the mark on the bow but the stern is too high, lower the jack-stands at the stern or raise those at the bow—vice versa if the stern is low. Double-check the spirit level in the cockpit to make sure you’re not tilting the boat.

Can I change the color or tint my paint?

For most paints, in order to guarantee efficacy, the only way we recommend changing the color of  paints is to mix like paints, ie. Mixing Aluma Hawk with Aluma Hawk. We do not recommend addition of “universal” tints or pigments into our products. Many customers desire an antifouling paint in a deep, dark blue and this can be achieved by mixing blue and black.

Gel coats and resins can have a tint added, no more than 1 oz per quart, which can limit the effect. Another option is to mix two gelcoat colors, such as white and red for pink.

Application of Topside Mega Gloss by Blue Water

Learn how to apply Mega Gloss Gold and Mega Gloss by Blue Water Marine Paints

mega glossPrepping & priming for topside work
Mega Gloss by Blue Water Paint provides a beautiful aesthetic finish, and also provides protection against – sea, rain, wind and sun.
Blistering UV rays will degrade the surface of fiberglass and prematurely age your vessel. Moisture can also cause as many problems for wooden vessels and metal boats.

  • Clean and prepare the hull by first washing with soap and water and finish with fresh water. Then wipe the surface with a rag that has been dampened with Naptha.
  • After preparing the surface, sand with 220-320 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper. Remove sanding residue by wiping with a rag that has been dampened with Naptha.
  • Apply 1-2 coats of Mega Gloss Primer, and 2-3 coats of Finish Paint. Sand between coats with 320-400 grit. If the paint is peeling, cracking or generally showing signs of separations over the whole area, you need to remove the coating.

Applying topside paint
• Stir the paint thoroughly using a stir stick. Stir the can occasionally during work.
• Application methods for all paints include brush,roller or spray.
• It is best to paint on warm dry mornings – cold weather retards the drying of paint and dampness will spoil the gloss.
Brush – Long flexible bristles are best for gloss paints. Apply by brush, spreading with horizontal strokes before finishing with light vertical strokes. To minimize brush marks, hold the brush at a 45° angle.
Roller – A good gloss can be obtained using a high density / small cell foam roller. This will minimize the formation of bubbles in the surface. It is best to roll in one direction and tip off in another direction.
Thinners can be added as you work to maintain working viscosity.
• Pour the amount you expect to use in 30 minutes into a separate container.
• Once topcoat painting is complete, it should be kept dry for at least 24 hours, and 7–10 days should be allowed for full curing to take place.
• Do NOT use or incorporate any flow control agents like Penetrol®.

Topside paint hints / tricks
mega glossMega Gloss™ can be made to be a non-skid texture for decks by the addition of Non Skid, by adding to the paint and applying 2 coats.

Application of a topside primer will provide additional depth of color, adhesion and durability.

  • The best method is to apply with a roller, and then tip off with a large brush with long flexible bristles.
  • Use a diagonal brushing method at 45 degrees, followed by horizontal and then vertical strokes.
  • The best roller is a solvent resistant foam roller, which will reduce bubbles.
  • Use a top quality fine line masking tape for good crisp lines and no residual glue left on the hull.

Why do the majority of boaters paint with 1-part paint?
Alkyd enamels, and modifications of alkyd enamel technology, have been the work horse products in the marine industry for approximately fifty years. Generally, they dry reasonably fast, are easy to apply and have very good weathering characteristics. More alkyd enamels are still used than any other enamel type.

Can topside paints be applied to below water surfaces?
Most topside coating systems if constantly immersed or kept wet will tend to blister. Provided the boat is only put into the water for a few days then a topside coating can be used below the waterline.

What’s the best way to get a good finish with topsides paints?
You must lightly sand the surface and then use a good roller or brush. Thin when needed for proper flow and performance