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Removing Oxidation from Gel Coats

Posted by buda 
Removing Oxidation from Gel Coats
March 09, 2012 03:16PM
There is a very active chat topic on another forum discussing the safest, fastest and most effective way to remove oxidation from gel-coats.

What experience do you participants here have with restoring gel coats?

Bud Abraham
Re: Removing Oxidation from Gel Coats
March 09, 2012 03:46PM
It boils down to removing/abrading away the oxidized surface, but is usually only a temporary fix unless you use a product that can actually "lock in" the reconditioned surface. Unfortunately, wax and sealants cannot do this (atleast for very long). What I've found to work (permanantly) is Optimum Opti-Coat which is a Wipe On Walk Away (WOWA) procuct. It's a permanant coating that prevents air/oxygen from further attacking the gelcoat causing it to oxidize.
Re: Removing Oxidation from Gel Coats
March 09, 2012 04:32PM
The majority of the oxidized gel coat may be "washed" away by using an agressive water based cleaner-(plain old laundry detergent mixed in hot water) and a good truck brush.
Gel is tough, you won't hurt it.
The faster way is to use the ValuGard "A" product, it will take the majority off faster however you do have a cost factor to consider.
You will know if this is working as the ground around the boat will start to show the color of the gel coat in the water coming off.
This is not bad, all that is is dead/oxidized gel coat that one would spend a lot of time wheeling a rotary buffer on anyway.
Once you are satisfied that the majority of the dead gel is off, wash with a shampoo and rinse. What you have done is removed the majority of the oxidized gel, then get out the rotary buffer, do your "cut process", followed by an agressive polish and a "lambs wool pad" to polish.
What you have done is remove the 'sponge" that most attempt to cover up with a sealant or wax and as we all are aware, neither will stick for long on a sponge.
So, you got the oxidized gel off, it's polished, now put on your final product for gloss retention and protection.
Re: Removing Oxidation from Gel Coats
March 09, 2012 05:13PM
We used to use a yellow bug sponge/brick and Auto Magic Power Cut Compound with soapy water to scrub down dead Gel Coat as well as single stage paints. Worked very well.
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