Getting gel coat to shine - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2017, 11:20 AM   #1
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Getting gel coat to shine

This should be an easy one.

Our Parkliner sat outside before we bought it, and I have never been able to get a good shine on it just with wax. I've got a good 6" variable speed polisher and three heads for it - compounding, next step up (can't remember the name), then finishing.

What do you folks use to get that high gloss shine back to gel coat? I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks!

Frank
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:25 PM   #2
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We used Barkeeper's Friend and Polyglow. I include one image that shows before and after. We are pleased with the results! You can see them on the second image. We still need to add the vinyl stripes to this side. The first image dates from last October while the second one is from a couple of weeks ago.

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IMG_1530.jpg   IMG_1790.jpg  

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Old 06-08-2017, 12:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
We used Barkeeper's Friend and Polyglow. I include one image that shows before and after. We are pleased with the results! You can see them on the second image. We still need to add the vinyl stripes to this side.

CindyL
How did you apply it Cindy? By hand or with a polisher? I'm interested in process as much as anything.

I keep Barkeeper's Friend in the kitchen for polishing silver and brass.

Thanks!

Frank
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:32 PM   #4
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3M Marine wax and restorer - apply with power buffer, then wipe down

Next Maquires Flagship Premium Marine wax applied, then buffed out with power buffer.

Do this several times over the first year, each application improves the shine. I'm in the process of doing my 1999 Scamp for the third time today. Just about to go out and apply the wax. Has made a tremendous difference. Between the times using the 3M product, I just use one of the spray on while wet waxes, then buff it off, does a pretty good job of shining it up between major waxing.

Lot of work, but works well.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
3M Marine wax and restorer - apply with power buffer, then wipe down

Next Maquires Flagship Premium Marine wax applied, then buffed out with power buffer.

Do this several times over the first year, each application improves the shine. I'm in the process of doing my 1999 Scamp for the third time today. Just about to go out and apply the wax. Has made a tremendous difference. Between the times using the 3M product, I just use one of the spray on while wet waxes, then buff it off, does a pretty good job of shining it up between major waxing.

Lot of work, but works well.
Thanks for the tips, that is what I'm looking for.

Ours is a 2012 egg, and I wonder about the "restorer." On the other hand, I've been using Nushine on it (https://www.amazon.com/Nu-Finish-Liq.../dp/B000BPSW7C) and not getting the results I want. I think I'll find these products and give it a whirl.

Frank
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
How did you apply it Cindy? By hand or with a polisher? I'm interested in process as much as anything.

I keep Barkeeper's Friend in the kitchen for polishing silver and brass.

Thanks!

Frank
I washed with Magic Eraser and a wet rag, using Barkeepers Friend mixed in the water. Kevin followed with Polyglow, using rags to apply according to the directions. He put on about 4 coats. Given the results we got, we would not do it another way. Our camper looks new now.

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:49 PM   #7
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which one?

just tried to find polyglow and all that came up was a 75 dollar kit. do you have to use that, or did you use just one of the products?
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:55 PM   #8
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This is what we used. However, keep in mind, we have a 28 foot Bigfoot Silver Cloud.

https://www.amazon.com/Poli-Glow-Pro.../dp/B00409S8AG


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Old 06-09-2017, 01:42 PM   #9
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Hope these links will help you if your gel-coat still has some shine left.





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Old 06-09-2017, 04:27 PM   #10
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thanks, Cindy!
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:41 AM   #11
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Name: Alvin
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Cleaning Fiberglass

I use Gel-Gloss one step cleaner and polish. Put it on with a damp cloth and remove it with a towel. Takes a little elbow grease but it works.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:18 PM   #12
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Name: Joann
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Fiberglass Shine

Had to share this Hallelujah moment. My fiberglass 2004 Dolphin was dull and I tried to polish it with lots of elbow grease and no success. I purchased Rejuvenate all floors restorer for my vinyl floors and it worked so great I tried it on the outside. It was just amazing and so simple I couldn’t believe it. I poured some in a bowl and dipped a dry microfiber cloth in it. Spread it on and couldn’t believe my eyes! No matter what I wiped it on it really looked new and shiny. Even the rubber around the windows and the dull headlights look amazing. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I did the whole 36 feet of my girl...and she shines like a diamond! Second coats even add more shine. Make sure you get the all floors restorer as there a many products in their line.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:00 PM   #13
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I created my own problem with this gel coat when we first bought the Parkliner used. It hadn't been used hardly at all, but was stored without a cover in NJ and when we got it, had these terrible black streaks all over it. I first tried dedicated Black Streak Remover. Didn't even touch it. I tried Purple Power full strength, no good. Finally I found if I used the green scrubby side of a yellow dish sponge, with a little elbow grease, I could get the black streaks off. Unfortunately, that green scrubby part of the sponge took the shine off too. That is my mission, to get the shine back. We not only have a Calmark Sunbrella custom cover for the trailer, we keep it under a carport. That eliminates black streaks in general. I find when we travel with it, any black streaks I get I can remove right away easily.

I think when I get the shine back it will be even easier to clean.

Frank
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:23 PM   #14
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Name: bob
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frank

frank you have to watch those scratch pads you can take your gel coat right off I have seen it done to kitchen stuff in hospitals. someone wants a better job grabs a 3m pad and bad permanent damage. you want to watch those buffers too they can melt fiberglass you have to be an expert with those things!

I even saw someone take a 3m green pad to a brand new s/s fridge one time damage was done forever. s/s is not forgiving at all!


I could tell many stories of things I saw in commercial kitchens in my 40 years career in institutional sales!


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Old 11-08-2017, 02:33 PM   #15
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I'm open to ideas. Again, it was a wet kitchen sponge, and I don't think I removed the gel coat. What would you suggest Bob?

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:49 PM   #16
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gel coat ideas

some people have great luck using liquid wax you can do a search here on this site.

ever seen those fantastic wax jobs on gym floors most use a product like zep sells I have seen it at home depot very reasonable I am thinking 17.00 a gal which will go a long way.

your rig isn't too old some of the guys have listed good stuff right here depends how much work you want to go to.

as new as your rig is I agree with you, you want to keep it looking new! whatever you do plan on hard work just no easy way!

bob
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:20 PM   #17
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In order to get the shine back you can use an automotive compound. 3m has a system where you use three products. Putting on floor wax is just covering up the damage. That would appropriate if the trailer was old and chalky.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:31 AM   #18
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Name: Joe
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Frank.
Normally there are two reasons for no shine, dull gel coat or no gel coat.
But your situation could be both

charlsara is correct floor finishes do a fantastic job when your gel coat is gone but if there is a gel coat left then progressively finer polishing compounds are the answer.
Step one should be something finer then the green pad you used. The object is to remove as small of a amount as possible of the gel coat to get below the scratches the green pad left. You have to remove more of any gelcoat remaining to get below the scratches.
Your green pad is on the order of "rubbing compound" so you want to start with something finer, a course "polish" and advance to a very fine polish. Then use some good wax over the entire trailer.

When I say Polish I'm referring to a polish only, no wax, leave that for later.
This process works very well for me on cars and the "Zep" finish on my Casita.

Here's a good link on the steps. Floor finish or poli-glo is a "restorer" that he mentions in the article.
Restoring the Shine to Fiberglass by Don Casey - BoatTech - BoatUS
You might find if the gel coat is totally gone in the some areas so you'll need to use a "restorer" in those areas and blend them into the good surfaces using polish.
Power or by hand buffing depends on your ability. The surface of my 18 YO Casita that has always sat out in full sun can best be described as looking like a "marsh mellow", bright white but no shine at all.
I use ZEP "wet look floor finish" available at Lowes or Home Depot sold in gallons. Once 6 THIN coats are applied and allowed to harden I use a 7" wool pad on a buffer and a fine automotive polish and the finish is as smooth as and as shiny as a brand spanking new trailer. You can then apply a wax so that it sheds water and possibly protects the restorer. But it must be stripped off and reapplied every few years.

If your unsure maybe you should leave the job to a professional, either automotive or nautical.

Joe
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