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  1. #1
    Junior Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics



    Hi All, I posted this on a mastercraft forum but figured I might get some more direct detailing advice here.


    I was set to polish the boat and went about doing some some small test areas. For the most part the gel coat is in good condition... swirls, mild oxidation, mild water spotting.


    Tried 3M Restorer and Wax and 3M Perfect it Medium with a Orange Pad with a Porter Cable DA. Painters tape down the middle to show original condition.
    Both got the swirls out quickly. Restorer was more abrasive....neither finished down to what I thought I was going to get, even moving to a blue pad.


    Tried 3M Finesse It with a blue pad after and although the gelcoat is nice and clean, it still doesn't appear to be "glossy", compared to the covered up section that still had the swirls in it. See pics. I also tried a microfiber pad in there as well somewhere without much of a difference.


    Next tried Meguiars Marine Premium Cleaner Wax with a blue pad. Not much of a change if any. Not opposed to using different products like Marine 31....in fact I have a lot of those products, but my polish had separated and I want to try out some new stuff.

    If you look at what was the covered area with swirls, it just appears like it has a higher gloss to me. Mostly, I am trying to understand what is happening as this removal of an apparent nice glossy layer has not been my experience when working on my autos. Are my eyes playing tricks on me due to the presence or absence of swirls.

    Thoughts? Advice?


    Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? -  Pics-_p2a3573_v1-2-jpgGelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? -  Pics-_p2a3573_v1-jpgGelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? -  Pics-_p2a3574_v1-2-jpgGelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? -  Pics-_p2a3574_v1-jpg

  2. #2
    Junior Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Hmmm....just read the thread about dulling the finish using foam pads.....

    I've got some LC yellows to try, but looks like I may be buying some Rupes Course Blue pads based on the advice there. Crazy that softer pads seem to dull the surface.

    Which is the product id for those blue rupes pads? Using a PC DA. Want to make sure I am getting the right thing. These look super rough and scary.

    Item ID: RU-BR150H, 5.25 Inch RUPES 135mm Coarse Blue Rotary Foam Pad

    OR

    Item ID: RU-150H-B, Rupes 150 mm (6 inch) Foam Pads

  3. #3
    Senior Member Markymapo's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    I just purchased the : RU-150H-B to use with an orbital polisher. Will see how they work in May when the boat comes out of storage. Mid P has a really good book on boat detailing (Marine 31). I am totally new to boat detailing, last spring was a real challenge. I did get a decent shine but it took work (boat pretty oxidized, wet sanded 1000, 2000,4000, then wool, then polish, using a mix of rotary n orbital). The exact sequence is in my book at the lake house with details on what I used.
    2018 CaymanS, 2016 BMW M4
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  4. #4
    Junior Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Markymapo View Post
    I just purchased the : RU-150H-B to use with an orbital polisher.
    Yeah. I think the other one is the rotary version. The RU-150H-B sure looks coarse though....hard to imagine it producing a glossy finish, but based on what Mike said it must.
    2019 Audi S6, 2017 GMC Sierra, 2004 BMW M3
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  5. #5
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Yes, exactly the frosted appearance I experienced but to the point that there was no shine at all, just completely dull. I think the only thing that will bring it back is wet sanding. Since then, the softest pad I can use is the yellow Lake Country cutting pad and even then I sense it could be a little too soft so I've ordered two of the Rupes pads that Mike Phillips recommended. They haven't arrived yet, I'll be trying them out next week but have high hopes following on from this experience.

    I've got a Makita Orbital with a 5" plate and I've ordered the 6" Rupes, hopefully they won't be too big.

  6. #6
    Junior Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Yeah, the guys on the mastercraft forum are saying I need to wet sand. Would really like to avoid that as the gelcoat is actually in pretty good condition....not chalky at all.

    Going to get the blue pads and see what happens. Any opinions from folks if the 3M restorer is abrasive enough?
    2019 Audi S6, 2017 GMC Sierra, 2004 BMW M3
    2006 Mastercraft X15

  7. #7
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    What part are they recommending you to wet sand, all of it or just the part that has dulled due to use with a soft pad?

    If it's not too oxidised and chalky then I'd be inclined to experiment on test area's. The idea is to start off light cutting then work progressively heavier until you reach the point you're happy with. If you do end up cutting then you can get cutting pads for the Orbital. I've never tried them personally but I'll try at the next opportunity. I'd use with a flexible backing pad so the cutting pad can mould with the contours.

  8. #8
    Junior Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    basically they are saying I didn't get a glossy finish because I didn't wet sand or cut hard enough because the boat is in worse shape than I think. So they think I should I should do the entire boat or what I want to look better. While it may be helpful to cut harder, the boat is in pretty good condition. Good enough condition that most people wouldn't even think it needs work.

    My plan is to take the blue pads I am buying and use a number of polishes I have on hand and also an additional one I am buying (Marine 31 heavy cut/oxidation) and see what kind of results I get. I think I would move to wool next.

    Current marine polishes:
    3M Restorer and Wax
    3M Perfect It - Medium
    3M Finesse It
    Marine 31 - Heavy cut and cleaner wax
    Marine 31- Color restorer (sample bottle)

    Coming: Marine 31 Heavy cut / oxidation
    2019 Audi S6, 2017 GMC Sierra, 2004 BMW M3
    2006 Mastercraft X15

  9. #9
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    I would've thought you have the right approach if that boat isn't that bad. There's so much advice knocking around in this business that you've definitely got to be selective about what you take on. It's quite amazing what can be achieved with a wool pad and some compound especially when they have diminishing abrasive. Now I'm not sure if they all work that way but 3M profess theirs do so basically you've cut the gelcoat and as you continue the abrasive diminishes to become finer and finer so effectively becomes a polish. You can actually stop and feel it, the grittiness has gone and becomes pasty.

    I'm looking forward to trying the blue Rupes pad out and using it in this manner to see the results. Keep us posted and I'll do likewise. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    Hi All, I posted this on a mastercraft forum but figured I might get some more direct detailing advice here.


    I was set to polish the boat and went about doing some some small test areas. For the most part the gel coat is in good condition... swirls, mild oxidation, mild water spotting.


    Tried 3M Restorer and Wax and 3M Perfect it Medium with a Orange Pad with a Porter Cable DA. Painters tape down the middle to show original condition.
    Both got the swirls out quickly. Restorer was more abrasive....neither finished down to what I thought I was going to get, even moving to a blue pad.
    Was this "blue pad" a soft foam waxing pad, like Lake Country sells?



    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    Tried 3M Finesse It with a blue pad after and although the gelcoat is nice and clean, it still doesn't appear to be "glossy", compared to the covered up section that still had the swirls in it. See pics. I also tried a microfiber pad in there as well somewhere without much of a difference.
    Being you're using 3M products, if the blue pad the convoluted 3M waffle pad, which is a soft foam finishing pad?

    A microfiber pad should have left a hard shine with marring. Always remember

    Fibers are abrasives

    The individual fibers will leave their own cuts in the surface, thus micro-marring (or holograms when using a rotary buffer). But even with marring or holograms, I would expect a microfiber pad to leave a hard shine. The Porter Cable is a great tool but also one of the weakest DAs on the market.


    1. We're you on the 6 Speed Setting?
    2. Did you mark your backing plate?
    3. Was the pad rotating when buffing?





    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    Next tried Meguiars Marine Premium Cleaner Wax with a blue pad. Not much of a change if any. Not opposed to using different products like Marine 31....in fact I have a lot of those products, but my polish had separated and I want to try out some new stuff.
    The Meguair's Marine Cleaner/Wax is actually a very good product.


    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    If you look at what was the covered area with swirls, it just appears like it has a higher gloss to me.
    [img]https://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/attachments/boat-and-marine-craft-detailing/68870d1582953164-gelcoat-polish-question-removed-swirls-but-also-deep-gloss-pics-_p2a3573_v1-jpg[/quote]





    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    Mostly, I am trying to understand what is happening as this removal of an apparent nice glossy layer has not been my experience when working on my autos. Are my eyes playing tricks on me due to the presence or absence of swirls.

    Thoughts? Advice?


    You found the other thread I was posting to where I explained that soft foam pads don't work well for creating a high gloss finish on gel-coats. This thread,

    Polishing gelcoat makes it go dull - what am I doing wrong?


    And as I shared there, my experience is soft foam doesn't work for abrading gel-coat to a high gloss. It's good for a non-cleaning wax or sealant to seal the gel-coat AFTER all abrading work is over, but not for any abrading step.

    Sometimes I don't like to share all my secrets or experience because what always happens is others take it and share it, (that's good), but they never cite where they got the info from. Not me. I NEVER steal other guys stuff. If I learn something from someone else and then share it, I give due credit where credit is due.

    That said, I have MORE PHOTO-DOCUMENTED boat detailing classes than anyone else on Planet Earth. When people pay GOOD MONEY to take any of my classes - I don't disappoint. These people travel from all over the United States of America and from other countries to LEARN how to detail a boat and do it right the first time.

    So here's what I show for REALLY bad or DEEP oxidation.

    1. Machine sand with Mirka Abralon.
    2. Cut out sanding marks with rotary buffer, TRADITIONAL WOOL CUTTING PAD - not the short fiber style you can use an an orbital polisher, using the Captain's Compound.
    3. Removing the holograms left by the fibers in the above step using the RUPES coarse blue foam pad on any orbital polisher and the Captain's compound. I use the BEAST for speed and pure grunt power.
    4. Seal the surface - Wax, Sealant or Ceramic Coating.



    It works every time. And I prove it with pictures like this,


    Boat Detailing Training - Before & After Pictures - The MOST DOCUMENTED HANDS-ON Boat Detailing Classes - Autogeek - Stuart, Florida




    BEFORE





    Here's what she looks like after I light up the side....







    Here's the results from my Test Spot












    AFTER

    And here's the final results....











    Two boats in horrible condition in this class. My class learned how to detail both inside and outside. See all the pictures here,

    Pictures: 2018 Boat Detailing Class at Autogeek with Mike Phillips





    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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