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WakeGirl

Help with detailing dark gel coat

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WakeGirl

I have some experience with using rubbing & polishing compounds, but this is my first boat with dark gel coat so I'm not sure if there's a different product that I need to use. In the past, my routine was to use 3M's Finesse It II to do some light cutting & on other lighter colored boats, this technique has worked great. I always follow with a good wax & get that "wet look". Well, with the midnight blue gel coat, the Finesse It is turning it sort of a milky color, taking away the rich blue of the color. The sheen is still bright & shiny, but the color is milky, sort of cloudy. I tried some Meguiar's swirl remover that I happened to have & that helped restore the color, but not completely (I can still see a line between where I've buffed & where I haven't). What am I doing wrong? Should I be using a polishing compound with a dark-colored base? I've got a couple other polishing & rubbing compounds on the shelf & every one of them does the same thing which is what leads me to believe it's the color of the compound. But no amount of buffing takes the milkiness out of where I've hit it with the compound.

This is absolutely driving my nuts, somebody please help. Crazy.gif

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skistud1

I use a polish also made by 3M before I put on the Finesse called "Perfect It". This product does come in formulations for either a dark or light colored hull. This product in my opinion has "cutting" properties marginally greater that the "Finesse It" Mine is white with yellow / black accents I went with light. Having a dark colored hull makes your job more difficult to to dark showing imperfections more readily. I assume you are putting on the product with a random orbit buffer? If not, that is the only way to go. I have seen other products marketed that claim to remove the cloudy haze that can develop.

I'm probably not going to tell you anything you don't already know, but to improve the finish start with the least abrasive (Finesse It, which wasn't enough cut) try a polish with a little more cut (Perfect It) and then work your way back down with the Finesse the wax. 3M also makes a heavy duty compound as well that you may want to consider, you will need a polish with at least a moderate amount of cut and not a "finishing" polish.

My past experience has so far been limited to scratches in the gel coat with great success. Good luck!

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88Skier

I use Collinites Fiberglass boat cleaner and their Fleet paste wax. The cleaner removes oxidation and swirls and light scratches. The paste wax is excellent. They make a liquid wax that is good also but I prefer the paste. It's a 2 part system and a PIA to put on. Takes about 2 hours to do the Skier or Sportster but, it shines and holds up better than anything. Get some help for your VLX.

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SacRiverRat

Tracie...

Isn't your boat brand spankin new?!? :unsure:

Stop lovin on it sooooo much- you're rubbin the gelcoat off ;)

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srud
Tracie...

Stop lovin on it sooooo much- you're rubbin the gelcoat off ;)

ROFL.gifROFL.gifROFL.gif

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WakeGirl
:lol: I knew someone would comment on that. In reality though, we've put almost 50 hours on the boat since picking it up Sept. 30 & have yet to do any kind of "rubbing on the gel coat" - it's looooooong past due.

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bigD

I've used the pro grade 3m stuff for along time, my last custom paint job on a car was dark blue and my truck is GM indigo blue. the 3m perfect-it with matching pad should look great and give you the wet look before you wax. don't forget to spritz with a water bottle occasionally as you polish to keep from gumming up or over heating, thats how I do it anyway.

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mrothwell
I've used the pro grade 3m stuff for along time, my last custom paint job on a car was dark blue and my truck is GM indigo blue. the 3m perfect-it with matching pad should look great and give you the wet look before you wax. don't forget to spritz with a water bottle occasionally as you polish to keep from gumming up or over heating, thats how I do it anyway.

What kind of pad is best to use? I've got a 10" random orbital, but not sure what's the best pads to use. Also, can you do the whole boat with one pad? I've always hand waxed, but my current boat (not as well cared for as my last one) needs more attention this year.

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WakeGirl

Well, after going to numerous stores & talking with 3M as well, I think that I found the solution. This stuff is made for dark colored paints (don't know if that part actually makes a difference or not) & it has less cutting properties than the Finesse It. The problem that I was having is that the dark gel shows every little mark & the Finesse It was a bit too abrasive for how new the gel is. I guess I'll have to fall back on that one when it's worn in a bit. :lol: Since all I needed was something to clean the gel & remove the water spots (CLR wouldn't even make a dent in these spots), the Finesse It was probably overkill. Anyway, this Perfect-It Polishing Glaze is great - very forgiving & easy to use even with the drill attachment (using the grey non-cutting pad):

http://products3.3m.com/catalog/us/en001/a...ler/output_html

It doesn't do much for scratches, even small ones, but hitting those spots with heavier cutting compounds & then coming back over the entire area with this stuff turned out to be a good technique on the dark gel.

I feel like I've got to learn this all over again. With lighter colored gel, you can get away with fewer steps. Not with this darker stuff. Crazy.gif

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88Skier

Collinites is non abrasive.

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bigD
[

What kind of pad is best to use? I've got a 10" random orbital, but not sure what's the best pads to use. Also, can you do the whole boat with one pad? I've always hand waxed, but my current boat (not as well cared for as my last one) needs more attention this year.

I use a pneumatic polisher about once a year just to clean up the paint a bit or any scratch or swirl mark repairs . I don't know what pad I have but I'm pretty sure 3m has a pad called perfect it to match the polish I save a couple of bucks on pads and buy an equivalent generic at my local NAPA paint store.

I have an orbital buffer but I still hand apply wax I just don't seem to get the show car finish when I use the orbital to wax.

post-149-1147926957_thumb.jpg

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WakeGirl
Collinites is non abrasive.

I looked for it but couldn't find it anywhere around here (ah, the joys of living in a small community).

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CarveItUp

Tracie,

Where do you get your supplies here in town? Anyplace particular that you like?

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WakeGirl

Industrial Finishes over on Wilson is good. The blond guy in there that helped me today was familiar with not only the products, but with gel coat as well. That's a bit rare in the paint supply industry, & he steered me right with that glaze.

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CarveItUp

Cool...thanks! Can't wait to see the shine on your boat!

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obski

I found that using the 3M Perfect-It II Rubbing Compound followed by 3M Perfect-It II Foam Pad Glaze after finishing the wet sanding works great. That is what I finally ended up using on my last boat for the Polo Green parts. I haven't needed it yet for the new boat, but I know it is only a matter of time.

Here is the discussion regarding this from last year.

Edited by obski

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WakeGirl

Well, I used the Perfect It II Foam Pad Glaze that I found yesterday & that obski referenced. I almost gave up yesterday, it was just such a big job that I was ready to take it to a shop. But then as I sat, rested & watched basketball, the thought grew in mind of all of the minimum-wage kids that would be crawling in & out of it....I couldn't take it. I went back out & finished up the driver's side & then tackled the rest today. The driver's side was by far & away the worst - using the transom guard has really saved the rear & the port side never takes much of a beating, so it went pretty quickly. I even managed to beat the thunderstorms that rolled in, got her back in the garage & waxed up. It looks great, not perfect but really good.

Now I can sit back with a cold one (wish I had some Tokillya :)) & enjoy the satisfaction of knowing it was done right. And, I'll be prepared for the next time. I love that feeling. Yahoo.gif

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88Skier

Collinites is non abrasive.

I looked for it but couldn't find it anywhere around here (ah, the joys of living in a small community).

It is hard to find and I couldn't even find their web site to give you a link. I ordered some through a local marine dealer last year. It was in one of their catalogs. One can of paste wax and two bottles of cleaner lasts 3 or 4 years.

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FijiRob

Zymol's product called HD Cleanse works really well to bring out the dark colors. It's like adding lotion to dry skin. The stuff works great and it has no abrasives. I use it on the boat and the CFO's dark blue car.

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ricnvic

my boat is the same color as wake girls and I'm having a hell of a time getting the hard water spots out. I've tried "meguiars"hard water remover, vinager and water and scratch remover, and no Luck. I'm going crazy, I have not used CLR yet but mabe that is my next bet. Anyone got any Ideas? I want to get these off before I wax, and I want to wax before this weekend.

Also I used wax cleaner and scratch remover and it has helped with the haze on the boat but it is still Dull. Will the wax bring out the shine? I'm about to give up and take it some where and have it done.

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WakeGirl

Hey Rick,

I was very close to taking it to someone else. Believe me when I say that I feel your pain.

I used the LCR on part of the boat & it worked, but that part had a decent amount of wax on it beforehand. Try it & see, it won't hurt. Otherwise, I had really good luck with this stuff on the other parts of the boat that had little to no wax & were holding on to those water spots for dear life:

3M Perfect-It II Foam Polishing Glaze (dark)

You can use it with a polishing kit that attaches to your drill, make sure to use the grey, non-cutting pad. This makes it go much faster & a bit less painful to the body than rubbing by hand. This is a very light compound that's just designed to clean the gel/paint along with removing light swirl marks, so it's pretty forgiving stuff when used with a non-cutting pad like I mentioned. It will bring back the shine & depth of color to those spots that you've hit with the scratch remover, but you may need to work those areas a bit longer than the rest. Both the kit for the drill & the compound can be found at automotive paint supply stores, just make sure they carry 3M (I swear I should own stock in 3M with as much of their stuff that I buy Crazy.gif ).

One thing that I think I'm learning about dark gel is that you have to have to have to keep a lot of wax at the base to keep the water spots from reaching the gel itself, because once it's there break out the polishing gear. I received my shipment from Babe's today, can't wait to put their stuff to the test in this battle. Yahoo.gif

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