Gel coat painting - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2016, 01:05 PM   #1
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Name: pat
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Gel coat painting

Can I get away with an all surface acrylic enamel paint on a gel coat trailer or should I spend oodles more on a marine type paint ? The trailer has never been painted so do I prime or just do 2 coats ? Thanks !
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
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Name: Alan
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Gel Coat Painting...

Hey I don't have the answer to your question about painting but I sure hope you post the answers (if you get any) because I have the same questions about my 1992 Casita. It's looking rather dull...
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Name: K C
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Originally Posted by Alan Peters View Post
Hey I don't have the answer to your question about painting but I sure hope you post the answers (if you get any) because I have the same questions about my 1992 Casita. It's looking rather dull...
Fiberglass does get some oxidation from UV which is what causes that powdery surface on the fiberglass.

You can use Bar Keepers Friend to remove it.

I have found what works best for me is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponge along with soap and water. Only use gentle pressure with light rubbing. Gel coats are not super thick so you don't sand through it with the sponge or the Bar Keepers friend by using a lot of muscle power. Buy the regular duty sponge, not the more aggressive heavy duty one. It will take off the surface oxidation and also black streaks. That sponge is fast and easy with no chemicals needed. It will bring the shine back but then do put some type of wax on afterwards for UV protection to help prevent new oxidation from forming.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaghettiroad View Post
Can I get away with an all surface acrylic enamel paint on a gel coat trailer or should I spend oodles more on a marine type paint ? The trailer has never been painted so do I prime or just do 2 coats ? Thanks !
Hi!
If your gel coat is "sound," just clean and wax it as advised above.

Only paint your gel coat IF it is compromised in such a way that small touch-ups will no longer do the job.

Don't use any kind of acrylic paint. At the least or cheapest, use an enamel paint meant for cars and other metal such as Rustoleum (you can brush, roll, or spray it). If you choose to roll, use only the latex/foam type rollers, NOT the fuzzy ones! It's a good idea to do a thin coat of primer first over the gel coat that has been sanded with 80 - 100 grit. Then you need to sand (and wipe down, and dust carefully) between each coat, using sandpaper as fine as 1000 grit (can be less fine, but not coarse at all). You can "wet sand" with 1000 grit to get the finest, smoothest sand job...sand, sand, sand!

And as long as you're at it, you can "fair" any divots, holes, chips, etc. before priming.



You probably should remove the windows and paint clear to the edge of the fiberglass rather than trying to mask them off...

Hence, masking and painting is VERY labor-intensive. A marine paint, with marine primer (wood and fiberglass type) is better...

SO....if your gel coat is essentially intact, but merely streaky and / or dull, then clean it and wax it and enjoy it for what it is.

LOTS of other threads on this topic. LOTS of brands of paint advised, but probably no one will advise you to use any kind of acrylic paint unless you're doing a really crappy pre-sale cheat job.


And for anyone out there who HAS done an acrylic paint job on their rig and found it adequate, MORE POWER TO YOU! I don't write this to offend anyone, but it is my strong opinion that only enamel paints should be used--same as you'd use on a CAR or a BOAT.

YMMV : a little thing we write, which means "Your mileage may vary," which means, one man's meat is another man's poison, which also means one man's acrylic is another man's marine enamel is another man's gel coat only.

Wishing you the very
BEST!


We filled over 80 holes in our trailer, and went from dark brown to marine white with black trim. Photo shows some of why we painted ours.
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