Tag Archives: gelcoat

How to Paint 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 repaint them. There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this.

You can use Gel Coat if your pool steps currently have gel coat or bare fiberglass. We offer two different brands Gel Coat by Sea Hawk and Ultra Plus Brushable Gel Coat by FGCI.

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

Pool Guard EHB

The second option would be to use the EHB Pool Guard Epoxy Pool Paint by National Pool Finishes. This product is self-priming, and it is formulated to give maximum protection as well as having fill qualities for imperfect pool surfaces. It is the only pool paint product we offer that is safe for application over fiberglass, and it comes in a variety of colors. 

Surface Preparation: Water blast the surface to remove all loose paint, dirt, oils and grease. Clean with a Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP). Etch the surface with a 15-20% solution of muriatic acid. Then thoroughly rinse with TSP & flush with plenty of fresh water and allow it to dry thoroughly. Allow 5 days for complete cure before filling pool with water. Add 1 day for every day of rain.

Both options are perfect for any do-it yourselfer and they will provide long lasting results if applied correctly.

Tips for Using Brushable Gelcoat

Brushable Gelcoat 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 a fantastic long-term durability and is available in a variety of colors. Here are some tips for successful brushable gelcoat application.

  1. Don’t add Patch Aid 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.

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.

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.