The gelcoat, which is mainly used in shipbuilding and yacht construction, also provides excellent protection for all fiber-reinforced plastic surfaces in houses and ridges. Its extreme resistance to weathering and its resistance to corrosion ensure a long and clean hold after painting.
Synthetic resin with hardener
If you want to process gelcoat, you should deal with its consistency, properties and reactivity to other materials in advance. Painting a surface with gelcoat is less like painting than sealing.
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The synthetic resin varnish of the gelcoat usually consists of unsaturated polyester and does not contain any fibers. Despite the lack of fibers, the dried-out paint develops enormous hardness and resistance to physical forces. The addition of silica thickens the consistency of the gelcoat, although confusingly, it is often referred to as thinning.
Additives and colors
After painting, the gelcoat can be polished and the surface can be given a stronger shine. Enriching the surface with cobalt can minimize the frictional resistance of the surface, as the polishing or sanding of the paintwork can be carried out more intensively. However, this property is not required for use in the home and garden.
Gelcoat is typically used as a laminate coating. Similar to the welding of cardboard or paper, the process is also known as lamination. While a layer of varnish is created on the laminate that dries on the surface, a connection between the polyester resin and the covered material is desirable for substrates made of glass fiber reinforced plastics.
In order to minimize later effort when touching up or repairing the gelcoat, it is often advisable to mix in color pigments in addition to the use of a transparent varnish. If the gelcoat and the surface match, any damage caused by scratches will remain almost invisible for a long time.
How to paint with gelcoat
- Gelcoat with silica
- Adhesion promoter
- Possibly color paste
- Brush or
- Brush roller or
- Spray gun
- Respiratory and eye protection
1. Processing temperature
The quality and the result of painting with gelcoat are very dependent on the temperature. Make sure that the processing temperature specified by the manufacturer as ideal is adhered to. This applies to the workplace, the materials and the tools. As a rule, the temperature is twenty degrees Celsius.
2. Respiratory and eye protection
Gelcoat has the hazard classes Xn for harmful, Xi for irritating and the hardener with C for corrosive. Before opening the vessels, put on breathing and eye protection and wear gloves.
3. Mix in hardener
According to the manufacturer's instructions, dilute the gelcoat with the hardener and, if necessary, with the color paste. Note that the color intensity decreases during the drying process.
Use the tool of your choice to paint the surface as thinly as possible. A gelcoat layer should not be thicker than 0.5 millimeters. Repeat the painting three to four times. Observe the manufacturer's information regarding the curing time.Tips & Tricks Make sure that you paint with a gelcoat that does not harden sticky.