Can You Fiberglass Over a Gelcoat? Complete Guide

A Gelcoat is a liquid applied to the fiberglass to protect it, hardening it and giving it a glossy, smooth appearance. Applying the Gelcoat is simple, but a few steps need to be followed to ensure success.

The only recommendations you need to grasp are gathering all of the necessary items and tools for the entire process to facilitate your work and apply a proper coating. If this is your first time applying Gelcoat, ensure that you follow the guidelines carefully.

This article elaborates on applying Gelcoat and the differences between gelcoat and fiberglass. The article provides further information relating to the application of fiberglass with a gelcoat. Find the best responses to the commonly asked questions on the same. Let’s get started;

Can you fiberglass over a Gelcoat?

Yes, there are several ways to fiberglass over a gelcoat. Here is a quick table on the various steps;

StepsFunctionEssential product
Getting the fiberglass ready.Cleans the fiberglass to prepare it for the gel application process.Check this fiberglass tape from Amazon.
Gelcoat application.The process by which the coating is applied to the surface.Check this Gelcoat from Amazon.
Completing the application.Contributes to the application’s completion by providing direction on how to proceed. 

Step 1: Getting the fiberglass ready

can you fiberglass over gelcoat

Fiberglass cracks can be filled with marine grade and polyester filler. Consider utilizing an epoxy filler in this scenario, as there is no suitable solution for use with the gelcoat. As a result, before using the gelcoat, check that the area you are coating is smooth.

Check this fiberglass tape from Amazon.

You can use sandpaper to remove any dirt accumulated inside gouged sections before scrubbing the region to make it soft. Leave the filler to set for a few minutes before rubbing it with sandpaper again. Utilize water and any solution to clean the fiberglass. Also, clean the surface with water and any other chemical of your choice.

If you want to know the sandpaper I use, check it on Amazon.

If the fiberglass contains dirt, the debris will attach to the gelcoat, making it necessary to rub the area with a rag and use a clean cloth to wipe. If you’re cleaning a larger surface area, consider utilizing a power washer because the cleaning process is quick and simple.

Check this power washer from Amazon.

Wipe the fiberglass down with acetone. It would be better to wipe the fiberglass to clear grease and wax after cleaning and before applying any other chemicals to the surface.

Get these acetone pads from Amazon.

This procedure is critical when gel coating old fiberglass because they always have some layers on their surfaces that need to be removed. After removing the old coatings, you may apply a new coat that will stick exceptionally well.

Step 2: Application of the gelcoat

Application of the gelcoat

Mix the gelcoat and methyl ethyl ketone peroxide in an open vessel such as a bucket. The chemical you are applying to the gelcoat is critical for its hardening. Consult the manufacturer’s guide for the precise amount to mix with the gelcoat to get a satisfactory solution.

Check for the methyl ethyl ketone peroxide from Amazon.

Bear in mind that the quantity of the chemical you use is proportional to the size of the gelcoat you wish to apply. If you want to customize the gelcoat with a different color, dye it. Please select the desired color pigment and blend it with the gelcoat according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for mixing the solutions.

If applying the gelcoat to a small area, apply it with a delicate brush. As a result, you need to dip the tool in the gelcoat and brush it gently on the fiberglass consistently. Ensure that the applying technique leaves thick layers so that the fiberglass beneath the gelcoat is not visible.

If you are painting a large surface, try using a gelcoat spray gun to speed up the application process. To operate the spray gun, coat the area with gelcoat, connect all essential components, and then maintain it facing the fiberglass to spray the gelcoat.

Get this gelcoat spray gun from Amazon.

Allow time for the gelcoat to dry completely before examining it. With your fingers, check to see if the gelcoat is completely dried. If the gelcoat has dried, consider reapplying it two more times for a robust gel touch.

Step 3: Completion of the application

Completion of the application

Polish the fiberglass surface using sandpaper to smooth out any uneven areas where the gelcoat has been applied. Consider utilizing specialized sandpaper for larger areas to ease working. After polishing the surface, use a clean, dry piece of fabric or cotton wool to wipe away the dust.

Use a piece of cloth to apply a rubbing component to the fiberglass, as the mixture contains particles that aid in removing all leftover particles and smoothing them. When dealing with a more complex mixture, an electric buffer is recommended. 

Apply wax to the coat to maintain it. Wax hardens and reflects the gelcoat, making it more appealing to users. Use a piece of fabric to apply the wax and then remove it once it dries.

Can fiberglass stick to Gelcoat?

Yes, the fiberglass will adhere to the gelcoat if you clean it thoroughly before applying it.

Can you put epoxy resin over Gelcoat?

Can you put epoxy resin over Gelcoat

Yes, one can apply epoxy resin over the gelcoat. However, this is not recommended, as the two chemicals are incompatible, and the gelcoat will not adhere adequately to the surface.

Check this epoxy resin from Amazon.

When making epoxy for the gelcoat, you need to take the following steps:

  • Allow sufficient time for the epoxy to set to a fine powder before sanding.
  • The amine blush can be removed by rinsing it with fresh water and rubbing it with a gentle pad.
  • Clean the surface with clean wipes to remove excess moisture and rinse well. Allow time for the surface to dry.

What can I use to cover Gelcoat?

What can I use to cover Gelcoat

To cover the gelcoat, try sanding it first to prepare the surface. You may choose to cover it with paint, but you should first inspect the gelcoat’s condition before painting. Use a gelcoat finishing as it is the ideal gel to apply to surfaces because it is a resin with a finishing ingredient that dries to form a hard shell-like coating.

Check for the best gelcoats from Amazon

The gelcoat layer is beneficial since it shields the ultraviolet rays and any chemical reactions that may occur. However, due to the high quality of automotive paint, you may also use it on fiberglass; however, the preparatory process is more difficult.

Are Gelcoat and fiberglass the same?

Fiberglass and gelcoat are not comparable. The gelcoat is not a finish coat for any product; rather, it is applied to the surface and needs to be cured to create an end product. The fiberglass contains a resin that, when applied over the gelcoat, creates a sophisticated and smooth shining surface to which you can add whichever color you wish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What purpose does the gelcoat serve on the fiberglass?

Answer: The gelcoat on the fiberglass is critical as it aids in hardening the surface layer and preserves the fiberglass by providing a shiny and smooth finish. Therefore, ensure that you have appropriate tools when working with gel, as it is beneficial.

  • How can the gel coating be repaired?

Answer: If your gel coating is old, you can fix it, but it will require additional considerations. On applying the gel coating, opt for an air inhibitor to assist in keeping the glass’s shiny appearance while making it robust and long-lasting.

  • How is fiberglass resin distinguished from polyester resin?

Answer: To tell the difference between fiberglass and polyester resins, look at the material, as fiberglass is a common textile that comes in a variety of formats. Polyester resins are one form of resin that works by imbedding the fiberglass resin. Additionally, an epoxy resin functions similarly to polyester resin.

Wrap up

The article above demonstrates how to apply gelcoat to fiberglass, demonstrating how the skin protects the glass from certain concerns and how it significantly contributes to the glass by rendering it shiny and adding an aesthetic sensation to the surface. Ensure you go through the article keenly to understand the same better.

Consult the guide to understand how to apply the gel to the surface while adhering to the guidelines and the appropriate amount to use. Choose to properly mix the solutions, considering the extent of the surface you’re applying. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when adding the mixtures as you prepare the solutions to apply to avoid using fewer or more chemicals that will harm them.

About Me

This is Cody Wingfield; I’m an author and a Freaky Campers enthusiast. My three favorite activities are Cycling, Rving, and Cooking for me. OutingX is a planet of mine where I will share my exploring history, story, freaky experiment, and personally gathered experience with you.

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