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Buffing out the Gel Coat


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Hey Crew,

I am getting ready to restore that new boat shine to my skier. I am also removing the old malibu skier decals and the old ID numbers. I am adding new numbers and new decals. Does anyone knwo at what point should I put on the new decals? I was thinking after its been polished but before the new wax is applied. Does that sound about right?

Thanks,

Jer

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You are correct; after polishing and before waxing. Be aware --- If you remove the skier decals, you will have 20 years of difference in the amount of exposure to the gel coat colors. Unfortunately, you will NOT be able to polish that difference out completely, but you can get it close and you should choose new decals that will cover it with that in mind. I'd HIGHLY recommend doing a very solid job of polishing before you put the stickers on to try to make up this difference as best you can. Use the heavy cut, then a medium cut, then a smooth polish. The all-in-one polishes don't work well for this. There are a bunch of articles on restoring old gel coat that you could read. Some say wet sanding should be the start. I wished I would have spent more time with mine (87 sunsetter) prior to putting on the new decals because after the boat gets in the water a few times you'll see the differences (from up close). But it still looks better IMO than the original stickers. Good luck and post some pics if you can please.

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Great help guys. I just got the old decals off and yeah... it is a big difference. Should I do some wetsanding around the borders of where the decals were? There is alot of wax build up, sticker residue. Seems like wetsanding some would be better than trying to buff that stuff out. Thoughts?

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Did some wetsanding with 2000 grit. It is over the black part of the gelcoat and it is leaving very noticible scratches. I am hoping those scraches will buff out once I start with the restoration products? Is that the idea?

Thanks,

Jer

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With 2000 grit wet paper (that has soaked for at least 30 minutes) you shouldn't be seeing distinct scratches. After sanding the entire surface will have a hazy appearance though, and that's perfectly normal.

Once you're done with that go back up through your polishing compounds starting with a medium on a firm pad to restore the finish.

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