repairing small holes and chips on interior fiberglass cabinets - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:51 AM   #1
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Name: Tonnie
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Florida
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repairing small holes and chips on interior fiberglass cabinets

Well, I again ask those who are in-the-know a "how to" question...

How can I patch holes and chips in the fiberglass interior cabinets in my 1979 Scamp? They are small (1/4" or so) holes and chips down to something dark. Can I use a caulk of some kind and a bit of paint?

I realize that down the line I will need to do some permanent repairs on the outside shell and these places on the interior, and then paint with marine paint.

However, I'm not up for that right now... That will take skills and money I don't have yet.

At this point, I just want to fix things up enough so we can use it while I work in stages.

Thanks for any and all advice!
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tonnie View Post
Well, I again ask those who are in-the-know a "how to" question...

How can I patch holes and chips in the fiberglass interior cabinets in my 1979 Scamp? They are small (1/4" or so) holes and chips down to something dark. Can I use a caulk of some kind and a bit of paint?

I realize that down the line I will need to do some permanent repairs on the outside shell and these places on the interior, and then paint with marine paint.

However, I'm not up for that right now... That will take skills and money I don't have yet.

At this point, I just want to fix things up enough so we can use it while I work in stages.

Thanks for any and all advice!
I bought a small tube of epoxy gel coat patch for boats at a local marine dealer for $5 . It sticks well ,dries hard and can be sanded with 400 / 600 grit wet / dry sandpaper . I used it on interior and exterior chips on my Scamp. It holds up well to weather and is easy to use. It comes in white that is close to the color of the gel coat Scamp uses.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:50 AM   #3
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Name: Robert
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If the holes are deep, they will need to be filled. There are a number of "putty-like" epoxies available at most hardware and discount stores that work well. At this point could try just carefully sanding the epoxy and painting it. To do a better job, or to repair shallow chips, you will need some matching gel coat. If you plan to use gel coat, leave the initial filling slightly below the surface of the surrounding cabinet material. I am not sure where you will find an exact match to your gel coat unless Scamp sells one, but if it is basic white, most boating stores will have a suitable product. Apply a small amount and then place a piece of Scotch tape over it. This will result in an almost smooth joint to the original finish and require no sanding or further attention.

For a quick, less perfect repair, you could simply fill the chip with white silicone, using a blade to smooth it to the original surface as you apply it.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:00 AM   #4
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For a quick, less perfect repair, you could simply fill the chip with white silicone, using a blade to smooth it to the original surface as you apply it.
Using silicone caulk in this manner, on a surface that perhaps will be painted in the future, will cause headaches and heartaches! Google "Fish Eye" in paint.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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Donna D. is absolutely right don't use silicone. It's impossible to completely remove so paint can be applied later. Use epoxy resin that can be colored with an additive to closely match the gel coat color. (These are available in tubes at marine supply stores or on line in different colors.) Add the shade from the tube in the right quantity to the resin to achieve the match needed then add the hardener as instructed on the label when you are ready to fix the chips. The mix will be quite runny so use a small amount at a time and repeat with second and third batches until the fill is satisfactory. If you aren't comfortable doing this ask around for help with it! Ask a boater if you can, They can probably steer you in the right direction for help! Fiberglass boats take a constant beating and get lots of chips on them.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:40 AM   #6
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From my local home store I got fiberglass repair usually found in the appliance department. I had a few holes that were deep and needed multiple coats (it said to store the epoxy in the freezer to slow the cure between applications). I added less than a drop of red car paint (from a toothpick) to give the patch a pinkish hue. Works great on horizontal surfaces. Vertical surfaces might be a challenge as you'd have to get the gel in at that "almost hardened" stage, which doesn't penetrate the fibers (so it might not be permanent).


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Old 01-15-2017, 11:50 AM   #7
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Name: Tonnie
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Well, darn it, I guess I'm going to have to get over my FEAR OF WORKING WITH FIBERGLASS!

I've been using a lot of mental energy trying to find another solution (ANYTHING!) that might work instead...

I've fixed up quite a few old campers in the past, but none had fiberglass... So, all my experience has been with wood and laminate.

I guess the lesson here is if I want to do something with this little Scamp of mine, I'd better do it right the first time! Obviously, it's time for this "mature" doggie to learn some new tricks...

Once again the voices of experience are saving me from doing the wrong thing and regretting it later...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:54 AM   #8
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Red Green would use duct tape....
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:07 PM   #9
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Hey, I hadn't even thought of that!

The Scamp is saved!
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:10 PM   #10
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Name: Duane
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JB Marine Weld

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonnie View Post
Well, I again ask those who are in-the-know a "how to" question...

How can I patch holes and chips in the fiberglass interior cabinets in my 1979 Scamp? They are small (1/4" or so) holes and chips down to something dark. Can I use a caulk of some kind and a bit of paint?

I realize that down the line I will need to do some permanent repairs on the outside shell and these places on the interior, and then paint with marine paint.

However, I'm not up for that right now... That will take skills and money I don't have yet.

At this point, I just want to fix things up enough so we can use it while I work in stages.

Thanks for any and all advice!
In an old post someone recommended using JB Marine Weld. I bought the stuff a few months ago but have not used it. Has some good reviews though on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/J-B-Weld-5017...jb+marine+weld

If you do choose to use it please let us know what you think of it.

Preparation of the areas would be important and layering of the material in deep spots I think would help a lot. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:13 PM   #11
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Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I bought a small tube of epoxy gel coat patch for boats at a local marine dealer for $5 . It sticks well ,dries hard and can be sanded with 400 / 600 grit wet / dry sandpaper . I used it on interior and exterior chips on my Scamp. It holds up well to weather and is easy to use. It comes in white that is close to the color of the gel coat Scamp uses.

Steve gave the perfect answer.

There is also a marine epoxy called Marine Tex. It is white and any amount can be mixed to fill holes or scratches. Very easy to work with and makes a nice putty that works on vertical or horizontal surfaces. Just mix two lumps of the amount you want with a small tongue depressor, on a paper plate, and use like standard caulk with a plastic putty knife. This may be the same product that Steve mentioned.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:36 PM   #13
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I've done quite a bit of fiberglass repair on boats and cars and it isn't difficult. I'd remove the doors. Wash them well with soap and water and them wipe with alcohol. Grease is the enemy here. If the marks aren't too deep, more than an 1/8 of an inch, you can fill them with an epoxy filler from an automotive store. Allow lots of time for curing. Sand the entire door with 180, then 240 and then 400 grit sand paper. Take your time and ensure the entire surface of the door is smooth and there are no marks. Wipe off all the dust. Lay it on a flat, dust-free surface. Buy a can of spray paint in your choice of colors and paint the door using long, even continuous strokes. Start spraying before you get the edge of the door and continue spraying past the edge of the door. Overlap your strokes. Painting a horizontal surface eliminates runs unless you drastically over apply. Let the paint cure for a week to make sure it won't mark when you handle it. It will look like a new door be very durable and easy to clean. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #14
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Fiberglass chip repair.

From what you said, most of the chips are small. The Gel Coat and the Marine Tex are both good suggestions. In a previous life my wife and I lived aboard a fiberglass boat for years. Placing Scotch tape over the repair after applying the gelcoat or marine tex is a must. As you probably know epoxy ( gelcoat and marine tex) does not require air to cure. I used plastic wrap and rolled over the repair with a roller, dough roller works. If you notice too much product in the repair remove the tape or wrap and remove a littler preoduct and cover and try again. Try to avoid having any repair product outeside of the chip. If you take your time you can get it good enough to avoid sanding. Not having to sand is a big plus. Acetone is the product to remove and thin epoxy. West Marine stores are good places to find the products you need and their site has instructions in doing many types of projects.
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:26 AM   #15
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Thanks Steve!
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:28 AM   #16
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Name: Tonnie
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Thanks John
Thanks Michael
Thanks J Ron

Your input is just what I need!
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:30 AM   #17
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I bought a 1980 Burro this past summer. In close inspection inside I noticed what appears to be narrow white tape; I can see the "teeth" marks where it was pulled off of the roll. It is white and melds almost invisibly with the white gel-coat. I don't know what it is but it sure looks nice and easy. Additionally, it's hard and cannot be removed. If anyone knows what that is it sure is a nice and easy way to cover those random screw hole all old campers accumulate over the years.
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