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Old 02-19-2021, 03:45 PM   #1
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Name: Niall
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Sanding and painting our boler

Hi guys,
I am looking to repaint my Boler, as it has a horrible thick green paint on it currently. The previous owner painted over the original gel coat.
I am wondering if I should sand the existing paint completely off, and if it is possible to do this with power tools i.e electric sander?
Or do I risk damaging the gel coat by doing this? Should I just paint over what is there, and if so, how do I go about prepping the existing paint to be painted over?
Please advise guys on the best route to go, and the relevant steps involved.
Thanks a million!!
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:43 PM   #2
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Is the present paint in good shape, no peeling, bubbles, smooth?
What type of paint is it?
What type of paint do you plan to use,, application?
Fred
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:10 PM   #3
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Name: Niall
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British Columbia
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It is in quite good shape, we just don't like the color. We intend to use Interlux or Rust-oleum Marine Paint on the finished item.
It is difficult to tell the type of paint that is currently on it, but it is quite thick matte paint. Almost looks like house paint..
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:58 PM   #4
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You could use a chemical paint stripper specifically formulated for fiberglass. Search this forum and other forums for the best strippers.
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niall View Post
It is in quite good shape, we just don't like the color. We intend to use Interlux or Rust-oleum Marine Paint on the finished item.
It is difficult to tell the type of paint that is currently on it, but it is quite thick matte paint. Almost looks like house paint..
Rub Methyl Hydrate (gas line antifreeze) on it. If it is Latex the paint
will start to deteriorate.
Latex doesn't sand worth a crap but I dont know if it will support a topcoat of what you want to use.
Me, I'd fire up an electric random orbital sander with about 120 grit paper to start. As soon as the original gelcoat begins to appear go to 320 grit and finish with 400.
It's a ton a work to take it down to gelcoat from where you are. Those masks we're all so fond of these days will come in really handy?
Good luck if you commit to it.
Fred
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:21 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
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Sanding serves two purposes. One is repair of surface imperfections which are otherwise likely to be highly visible after painting. The second is to rough up the surface of the paint to remove oxidation and promote adhesion of the new paint.
You don't have to remove ALL the old paint if it is adhering well without peeling, bubbling, blistering etc. Otherwise it needs to come off.
I'd recommend a random orbital sander as it is less likely to leave flat spots after sanding is complete. The lower the number of the sandpaper the courser the grit and the more aggressive the sanding and the bigger the scratch marks left behind after it is used. Sanding works best if you start with a course grit and then use successively finer grit. I often start with 120, especially if someone has used unknown paint or used a roller or brush to apply it. Then proceed to 240. If your surface is smooth you can proceed to 320. If not a coat of high solids primer works well to fill in scratches before using the 320 grit paper.
Spraying is absolutely the best means of application for good coverage and a smooth paint finish. You can use a roller or brush but this requires a number of coats, sanding to remove roller/brush marks between coats and a final sanding after the last coat with 1000, 2000 grit water paper if you want a shine.
I've seem many attempts to do this. Some of the results have been absolutely amazing, most not so much. This work isn't difficult but extremely labor intensive which can be discouraging to some folks.
Have you considered asking a local body repair shop about doing all or part of this work? They have the necessary knowledge and tools to do a good job and do it quickly. Compare their cost and time frame to yours and what works nest for you.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:33 AM   #7
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Name: Niall
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Thanks a million for the great advice! The labor doesn't bother us, and is ultimately where we are saving money on this project. Just want to be sure we are treating her correctly.
Thanks again guys
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:15 AM   #8
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I had the same issue but worse. It was painted green but slopily. They didn't even bother painting behind the solar panels they had mounted on the back of it. I can't tell you what you should do or what works best, only what I did. I used a paint stripper called smart strip that is supposed to be good for the environment and not too bad for you either. I made some mistakes like leaving it on too long in one spot and it took some of the gel coat off. I found leaving it on for about 4h works best except for the door where maybe only an hour is recommended.

Was it easier than sanding? I think so, but it still required lots of elbow grease as it had 2 layers of paint and the first layer required more scraping. Also, the smart strip is quite expensive and doesn't cover that much area. It cost me hundreds of dollars of the stuff where I live. Also, was time consuming. The top green layer came off easily mostly but the white layer was more work. Using a scotch pad and a plastic scraper I was able to get it off. It took me a while as I just did an area the size of a garbage bag at a time working outside when the weather was right. It then took about an hour to get it all off that area, which is about all I can do at one time. So ultimately took me 3 summers to do working occasionally on it. It preserves the gelcoat underneath if done right.
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:41 PM   #9
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Name: Michael
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I worked in an autobody shop in college. I spent many hours sanding off old paint. I asked why not use a stripper? They said they couldn't use paint strippers. They were concerned that they would remove more than they wanted to remove. If this happens you may need to apply filler and all the work that goes with that. There was also a concern that any filler underneath the paint may retain stripper residue which could interfere with the new paint. I've never used a stripper for this purpose so I can't say if it works or not.
If the old paint is adhering well I usually leave it in place. If the surface of the old paint is rough it can often be sanded smooth. The old paint acts like a filler and a primer. If the paint is really rough, use a course sandpaper for the first pass and then go to finer and finer grits until you get the surface you want.
It would be interesting to hear from others who have tried this and how it worked for them. There may be products that work well for doing this?
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:51 AM   #10
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Have you considered alternatives like Rhino that is used in truck beds? Tough, weather resistant and comes in various colors?
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:04 PM   #11
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Name: Sammy Joe
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I was in marine manufacturing through out most of my career. I also just finished doing a complete restoration on my 1976 ROBALO. I started it the week the pandemic started and did it in out community storage area. I had power (but couldnít use my air compressor there) so I did it out side. Sanding with a orbital sander that uses hook & loop discs that I bought on Amazon. I have acquired many different grits for various applications but for the painting on the gelcoat
I mostly used 120 to remove any old paint rust blends or over a filler repair.
Now the time to apply a good sand-able primer and let it cure overnight and 2 days will be better for it to adhere. I then move to 220 and do the complete boat and keep a pencil ready to mark any problems I run across. The sandpaper need to be changed out as it wears down and it will take you much longer to finish as itís cheep. I bought 25-30 of the 120 & 220 and a variety pack for the odds and ends jobs. Once you get the feel of the sander you will be able to cover a great deal of area. I can sand a 19í boat sides and transom 2 times in one day just taking my time and breaks along the way. Being new to doing it remember to take your time as one tends to get sloppy and hurrying up. Use your mask as there will be way more dust than you think . If your sander has a dust catcher empty it with a vacuum quite frequently as your paper will get clogged WAY quicker.
Now for the paint Products tried a new to me brand TOTAL BOAT on Amazon.for the majority of the job and used there WET EDGE EPOXY PAINT and PRIMER.
I also bought the rust oleum above waterline for some smaller parts and it went on well but took over a week to cure and that was a pain in the ass having to work around it without scratching it up.
I bought these at Loweís WHIZZ 4IN FLOCK MINI ROLLER 8PC. $14.95. And they are great. They leave a very smooth finish when you thin the paint like the instruction call for without having to tip it and just do more very thin coats I put 2 coats primer first then 6 coats on my transom ( as it takes the most abuse ) and 4 coats on the rest with one day in-between coats lightly sanding between
Them. Sounds like a lot but you will get faster as you go and the results will be worth it.
Also Iím detailing my camper and will be using 2000. Grit wet/dry sandpaper to remove all the oxidation from it. I use a spray bottle soppy water using enough to keep the surface wet . Then compounding it, polish and finally wax
Thatís my 2 cents worth ,Iím not a professional but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:17 PM   #12
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Name: Glenn
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The type of paint currently on an RV (latex, lacquer, acrylic, epoxy, polyester-based, etc.) dictates what type of paint you should use for your renovation. Applying the wrong paint type over incompatible paint will ruin your end result. I would use an orbital sander to get down to bare gelcoat and repair any scratches, holes, cracks, other imperfections, etc.in the fiberglass/gelcoat. I would then prime the roughened up gelcoat with a polyester-based marine primer, sanding between coats and finishing with 320-400 grit sandpaper as your final sanding. A marine grade topside paint that is polyurethane-based (and compatible with polyester-based primers) is then applied. My selection would be Total Boat Wet Edge Topside Paint available from the Jamestown Distributors website. It goes for about $95/gallon and is worth it. The advantage of this paint is that it can be applied easily by a do-it-yourselfer who doesn't have access to spray gun equipment. Using the "rolling and tipping" method (check out the YouTube videos) of applying the paint your final results will be very close to a spray-on finish. Another advantage is that maintenance of your new paint job will be very easy should you need to touch up any future dings or repairs to your RV.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:52 PM   #13
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Name: Michael
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Sammy Joe, you sound like the voice of experience, which is often the best teacher. Most folks don't realize just how much work is involved or they likely wouldn't undertake such a project. I've also found non-catalyzed paint can be slow to cure. Direct sunlight speeds up the process.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:10 PM   #14
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Name: Neville
Trailer: Trails West Campster
Washington
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Paint is not just paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niall View Post
Hi guys,
I am looking to repaint my Boler, as it has a horrible thick green paint on it currently. The previous owner painted over the original gel coat.
I am wondering if I should sand the existing paint completely off, and if it is possible to do this with power tools i.e electric sander?
Or do I risk damaging the gel coat by doing this? Should I just paint over what is there, and if so, how do I go about prepping the existing paint to be painted over?
Please advise guys on the best route to go, and the relevant steps involved.
Thanks a million!!
Personally, I would see if I could find some really good gloves, buy some Methylene Chloride, wet a cotton rag and wipe down a section of the paint. Do this outside, carefully and quickly. It will remove the paint. You might want to make a ball of the cloth and tie it to the end of a stick. It removes all oil from your skin or all paint on anything, Your choice. You will have a clear surface. The best paint to use is aircraft paint. You live in BC so you are within reasonable distance of Seattle or Port Angeles. The best and cheapest place to buy aircraft paint is Boeing Surplus. Get som 8W5 white surface epoxy primer and some Exterior paint which, if my memory serves me , is spec BMS10-79 or BMS10-126 707 grey is a nice color for a Boler but they also have whites that are good. Call before you make the trip, they do ship sometimes. Angeles Composite Technologies in Port Angeles could also have some surplus. Surplus is normally out of date but i have used this paint 5 years out of date. The biggest plus is it will stick on your Boler at 600mph. They are all two component polyurethane epoxies. for every can you get, you need the activator, gallon for gallon. You will never have to paint again except to change the color. Unitech In Hayden, ID is another possible source. If you would like any more info, feel free.
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:08 PM   #15
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Dont over think it. Keep it simple!
Sand the old stuff off and get some boat paint, roll it on and tip it over.
Fred
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:29 AM   #16
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Name: Eric
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Naill - Painting is mainly about surface preparation. At the end of the day you want a smooth surface to apply you paint other wise you will see every bump, ripple and crack.
GDB and Sammy Joe both make good points in their post.

Your description of thick paint makes it sound like latex paint. If it is the case you will find that it gums up the sand paper quickly. If it is latex you might find that stripping will be easier provided you use the correct product. Look to the boating world for advice on fiberglass compatible strippers.
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Old 03-10-2021, 10:34 AM   #17
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Name: wayne
Trailer: Casita
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by GDB View Post
The type of paint currently on an RV (latex, lacquer, acrylic, epoxy, polyester-based, etc.) dictates what type of paint you should use for your renovation. Applying the wrong paint type over incompatible paint will ruin your end result. I would use an orbital sander to get down to bare gelcoat and repair any scratches, holes, cracks, other imperfections, etc.in the fiberglass/gelcoat. I would then prime the roughened up gelcoat with a polyester-based marine primer, sanding between coats and finishing with 320-400 grit sandpaper as your final sanding. A marine grade topside paint that is polyurethane-based (and compatible with polyester-based primers) is then applied. My selection would be Total Boat Wet Edge Topside Paint available from the Jamestown Distributors website. It goes for about $95/gallon and is worth it. The advantage of this paint is that it can be applied easily by a do-it-yourselfer who doesn't have access to spray gun equipment. Using the "rolling and tipping" method (check out the YouTube videos) of applying the paint your final results will be very close to a spray-on finish. Another advantage is that maintenance of your new paint job will be very easy should you need to touch up any future dings or repairs to your RV.
Jamestown Distributors have great YouTubes that are easy to understand. The paint he references Total Boat Wet Edge Topside Paint was the best rolled and tip product I have seen. It was as close to a spray job as you will find. Like others I would recommend removing the old paint. It is a slow and methodical process to sand down to gel coat but you can do it. Patience is key.
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