PRESERVATION & REJUVENATION OF
FIBERGLASS GELCOAT (Smooth & Non-skid Surfaces)
NEW (or almost new) Gelcoat
Protect the surface from stains, weathering and oxidation by a coating of MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ On textured non-skid decks and surrounding areas use our NON-SLIP Superglaze™ This can also be used for routine touch up. For areas under aluminum fittings, grey streaks can be prevented by a localized outer coating of SILKENSEAL™ Try to avoid the use of abrasive compounds and polishes that can dangerously thin older gelcoat and prematurely age new gelcoat.
If the gelcoat is not brand new, there may already be slight oxidation. Therefore, use our ELIXIR™ with white scuff pad and/or paper towel. to remove this and to impregnate the surface with anti-oxidant and color-protecting additives.
Make sure that the surface is clean and dry before application of the resin coatings so that you are not sealing in any grit or stains.
Older Gelcoat [Step by Step instructions, shown HERE]
Older gelcoat oxidizes in such a way that the surface of light-colored gelcoat becomes partially broken down at the surface. This causes surface porosity that should be largely removed to reduce "soaking in" of our resin-based sealants, SIMPLY BRILLIANT Superwax™, MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ and NON-SLIP Superglaze™ (this is an aqueous emulsion of resins).
By contrast, darker colored gelcoat mainly oxidizes in the form of "pores" filled with chalky breakdown products so that these dark colored surfaces get a greyish cast that cannot be properly removed by abrasive compounding, even by wet sanding. Such deep down chalky breakdown products have to be chemically removed.
Our Original "3-Step Process of Gelcoat Restoration
Our Cleanser-Conditioners dissolve out this chalk so restoring depth of color and the anti-aging condioners slow down exidation return and nourish the gelcoat. This is the first step in our original "3-Step Process". The second step is a coating of SILKENSEAL™ to seal over the pores. This ensures that the liquid anti-aging conditioner (originally designed for use on vinyl) stays down in the pores so that it does not rise up and interfere with setting of the resins in our coatings. The final step is application of SIMPLY BRILLIANT Superwax™, with or without use of our SB Catalyst™ for more rapid setting. The micronized particles of synthetic wax also help seal the pores and add additional water-resistance. An optional outer coating of MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ can be applied later for extra shine and weathering protection. Go to our Online Instruction Book for more details
An example of the results obtained is seen at the bottom of the page and in some 20 years of testimonials.
The newer "Hawaiian-2-Step Process"
In 2006, we introduced ELIXIR™ that is even more potent at dissolving out gelcoat oxidation and is saturated with anti-aging conditioner that is NOT an oily liquid so that it cannot interfere with setting or our resin-based coatings. In fact, the SIMPLY BRILLIANT™ is still used but is actually part of the ELIXIR™ formula! As the product dries back into the gelcoat pores, it im pregnates them with a very strong solution of anti-oxidant, UV protectants and color-enhancing fluorescing agents. This product can be used on any color, leaving a self-sealing "waxed look" surface. Our tests and customer feedback show that protection against color fade and early return of chalky oxidation is superior to any other product from any manufacturer. This is the "first step" in our 2-step process.
The "second step" in the process is to apply an outer coat of MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ that gives astounding shine and extra protection against weathing. Again, use of SB Catalyst™ is optional.
Although SILKENSEAL™ is no longer essential to the restoration process, we sometimes include it in our kits because it can be used to touch up the shine, and to prevent grey streaks from aluminium corrosion. Also In severely porous areas, it can still be used to help seal the surface so that the MIRROR HARD™ does not soak it, leaving dull areas. Go to our Online Instruction Book for more details
A 31 year old Catalina 25ft Sailboat again being restored with our "Hawaiian 2-step Process" in May 2016.
Customer has used our products since 2002. See detailed testimonial HERE
Using MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ . This Beneteau 473 was treated from new without any abrasive polishes, just periodically washed down with water-diluted (1 in 1000) IG Pink™..The piciure at left was taken at 4 years and at right, at 7 years. In each case, after freshening the surface with more MIRROR HARD™
Dr. Willis's own 1990 Gulf 32 Sailboat.
BELOW: In 2012, after neglect for 5 years (sold and bought back) our boat was redone with "2-step process" Note use of MIRROR HARD™ on the polished bronze nosepiece. Surfaces still bead water 4 years later but now need redoing. See VIDEO