Tag Archives: repairing fiberglass boat

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

Applying gelcoat to a fiberglass deck is a great way to protect the surface from UV damage and environmental elements. Gelcoat is a clear or tinted resin that is applied to the surface of the deck, creating a protective barrier. The gelcoat will need to be reapplied every few years in order to maintain its effectiveness. When applying gelcoat, it is important to use a natural bristle brush in order to avoid damaging the fibers of the deck. In addition, gelcoat should be applied in thin coats in order to avoid runs and sags. With proper application, gelcoat can provide many years of protection for your 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.

Repairing a Fiberglass Boat

Repairing a fiberglass boat is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with the right materials and some basic knowledge, you can easily repair gelcoat cracks and holes. The first step is to clean the area around the crack or hole. This will help to ensure that the repair area is free of debris and dirt. Next, use a gelcoat patch kit to apply a thin layer of gelcoat to the damaged area. Once the gelcoat has cured, sand it down until it is flush with the surrounding area. Finally, apply a fresh coat of paint to protect the gelcoat from UV rays and weathering. With some patience and attention to detail, you can easily repair gelcoat cracks and holes yourself.

Be Prepared for your Gelcoat Project

Using gelcoat can be an excellent solution for repairing and renewing fiberglass-based surfaces. Gelcoat is sometimes referred to as marine paint for fiberglass, however it is not a paint, so if you are unfamiliar 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.