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How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

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  • How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

    My buddy is wondering how he should go about painting graphics on his 20' bowrider. The boat is brand new and has a gelcoat exterior. What is the best type of paint to use? (he wants to spray the paint) What is the best type of spray gun? What material do ya'll recommend for the stencil. Thank you for ya'lls time.

  • #2
    Re: How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

    why not go to a sign shop and have vinyl stickers made? would be a lot easier than painting a new hull.

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    • #3
      Re: How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

      why not go to a sign shop and have vinyl stickers made? would be a lot easier than painting a new hull.
      That's for sure. Take them a sketch of what you want & dimensions & they can cut it in vinyl.

      If you want to try paint, I have used auto acrylic enamel (DuPont Centari) before - it gives a nice tough shine & you can get it in just about any color. For masking, I have used plain old clear contact paper a few inches wider than the design, draw the design on it & cut/peel. It gives a real clean edge when cut right & peels off easy. You have to use a real sharp exacto knife & don't press too hard so you don't gouge up the gelcoat too deep. Mask off all the outer areas with paper. When you un-mask, best to do it before the paint is fully dry or it might tear the paint film (you can go back over the cut edges with the knife for safety).

      See why vinyl is the way to go?
      ...cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced

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      • #4
        Re: How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

        I was also thinking about vinyl, just didnt respond. Makes more sense to me, way easier too.

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        • #5
          Re: How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

          I agree with ya'll. That seems like a bunch of work. Thanks again for ya'lls replies

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          • #6
            Re: How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

            Anyone have an answer to Shadetrees question? I, too, would be interested.
            Thanks
            jd

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            • #7
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              Re: How do I paint graphics on gelcoat?

              1.Complete acetone wipe of the area to be painted removing any wax or residual's from the gel
              2 Sanding or roughing up the surface with a 100 grit paper ( only the surface area to be painted)
              3. Think's a little bit more........ yep vinyl graphic's..... painting large area's is one thing but highly detailed graphic's would be a real pain, very time consuming, using boat paints would take forever, As a example it usally takes 3 seprate coat's to get a final finish and each coat take's a 24 hour period to dry ...that's 3 day's just to get one color.. and then you have to get the line's to match up (height) i dont know of a boat paint that can be colored sanded effectively as to eliminating the seam's. And i dont believe you can clear coat 2-part urethane's
              Stickly a opinion your mileage may vary.

              Horsepower is how quickly you can get to the wall
              Torque is how far you move the wall"

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