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We're excited to announce the launch of our NEW Fiberglass & Epoxy Boat Repair & Building section on iboats.com! See more details!

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Interior paint or gelcoat?

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  • Interior paint or gelcoat?

    Hello-
    I recently bought a 1975 San Juan 21 sailboat. One of the previous owners thought it would be a good idea to use steel hardware for the exterior fittings, brush on a strong adhesive on the whole interior and completely carpet it. I ripped out the carpet, removed the hardware, and spent 75 hours with a hand grinder and orbital sander to remove the adhesive. Currently the whole interior is sanded and fair to 50grit with a quick passing of 120 grit. My question is: What type of coating do I use on the interior? Iíve done a decent amount of research and Iíve learned a lot, but everyone Iíve talked to has their own idea on which product is best.

    Iíve narrowed down my choice between two:

    1.) Pettitís Easypoxy, semi gloss white with a layer of Pettitís undercoat.

    2.)Gelcoat.

    Then there is the question of the right method to use. Brush, Roll and tip, or spray. I donít have any of my own spray equipment, but I may have access to one, although I donít know if there is a specific type of sprayer I should use. In the end, I want a product that is durable and looks decent. And my dilemma comes from the fact that I donít want to finish this project with the wrong product after all the time I have spent on the preparation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Iíve attached a couple photos of the interior.

    Thanks for your time.
    Attached Files


  • #2
    Re: Interior paint or gelcoat?

    There's not a right or wrong answer as to which product to use, it's up to you, plus you didn't say what you wanted the finish to look like.

    Since it was gel coat to begin with, or at least the area pictured was, I'd just use it again on that surface, it will hide imperfections much better than paint. Rolling it on will be the easiest method, but if you want a smooth glossy finish it will be a lot of work.

    Paint will be glossier, but show more of the imperfections and depending on the type used may cost less.

    No need to spray unless you want it to be smooth and glossy and if that's the case you have a great deal of fairing work to do.

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    • #3
      Re: Interior paint or gelcoat?

      Yes,if you roll out your gelcoat,as I suggest also,it will be rough looking.But as hard as a rock.And water tight.You can fill in a lot of imperfections with it.I did all the new wood in my Bass Tracker with it,I love it,the walking areas I just through some sand on the last coat,very non slip.

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      • #4
        Re: Interior paint or gelcoat?

        Starcraftguy1, can you post a few photos of your gelcoated interior? I'm curious about this myself. I'd really like to see a DIY finished product.
        1990 Bayliner Capri 2050 BR - (My first runabout; Never seen her in water) ***Restore on hold***
        Restoration status: Painting hull Watch my progress
        Progress so far: Teardown - Transom - Stringers - Deck - Paint - Re-power - Interior Panels - Seating - Water Trial - Upholstery


        The 10 steps of restoration denial - Which step are you?

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