EPDM Coatings
Desert Valley RV Park
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems rvupgradestore.com Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Top coat peeling off - can I reapply it?  (Read 4689 times)

powerjen

  • ---
  • Posts: 16
Top coat peeling off - can I reapply it?
« on: June 16, 2006, 10:39:15 AM »
Dear All

On my 1992 National RV the top clear coat which protects the fibreglass & plastic is peeling off.  It's a bit unslightly, I'd say probably 60% of it has come off.  Now, can I get some new clear gelcoat and just paint it onto the bits that have lost their top coat?  How can I blend the old in with the new? Or should I just leave it and not mess about with it??  :)

Thanks very much!

Jen
« Last Edit: June 16, 2006, 02:15:30 PM by powerjen »

Ray D

  • ---
  • Posts: 1973
  • Jasper
Re: Gel coat peeling off - can I reapply it?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006, 11:30:10 AM »
Wow! That's an interesting problem. I don't have the problem but I will be very interested in the answer. Fifteen years ago, I could have answered your question. Technology, most likely, has changed in that time. I am not at all up to date on this subject.

Just for the heck of it, here's the answer from 1992. At that time, a complete recoat would have been the solution, if a solution was wanted. With 60% damaged, it would have less expensive to redo it all, than to "spot" it. Worse, it would all have to be sanded down to feather the edges where the clear-coat was missing, which would have damaged the color coats, as well. Therefore, the solution would have required a complete recoating, including the color coats!

I would be scared to death to estimate the cost today, and I have no idea at all. Back then, the cost would have exceeded the value of a 15 year old coach, by a multiple. I would guess two or three times the value of the coach, back then.

That was then. This is now. Powerjen, like you, I await the advice of those who know.

Ray D
Boise, Idaho. U.S.A.F. Vet. Damon Challenger, Workhorse/Vortec, 2005 towing a Suzuki XL-7, 2003.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 39180
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Gel coat peeling off - can I reapply it?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2006, 12:27:19 PM »
If it's peeling off it's unlikely to be gel coat because gel coat ages by oxidizing, not peeling off. If it really is gel coat and is oxidized, a light rubbing compound or polisihing compound will bring it back to life. I like the 3M fiberglass restorer and wax that you can purchase at WalMart or any marine store (WalMart is cheaper). It contains a carnuba wax that will leave a protective finish.

If you're seeing peeling, it sounds more like a clear coat, like they put on automotive paint finishes. I don't know a good fix for this, but maybe someone else does.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

powerjen

  • ---
  • Posts: 16
Re: Top coat peeling off - can I reapply it?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2006, 02:11:08 PM »
Hi

I'd done a bit of reading and thought it sounded as though gel coat fitted the bill, but I know nothing about these things and bow to people who know!!!

It is like a kind of clear lacquer over the top of the fibreglass that is flaking off, you can pick bits off it and has leftthe fibreglass dull and flat where it has come off.

I'm so glad I found this forum!

Thanks

Jen
« Last Edit: June 16, 2006, 02:15:56 PM by powerjen »

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44083
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Gel coat peeling off - can I reapply it?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2006, 02:26:08 PM »
I agree with Tom - it's a clear coat, not gel coat. Gel coat is actual fiberglass resin, whereas clear coat is a paint, either lacquer   or an acrylic.  You could get an estimate wherever they re-paint RVs, boats or fiberglass cars.  Don't expect it to be inexpensive or even reasonable, though.  There is a lot of surface prep (labor) involved as well as the actual sporaying of te finish.

If you want to do it yourself, lightly sand the edges until no more clear coat peels off. You may find there is no place to stop, though.   I would try starting with 220 grit silicon carbide sandpaper (the black stuff) and wet-sand it  (dip sandpaper in water as you work) and finishing with 320 grit. But test a small area first and check for scratches when using the 220 - you might have to use 320 all the way if the 220 proves too coarse.  You can buy automotive clear coat in spray cans in automotive stores or buy it in bulk at an auto paint store if you have a spray gun of your own.   But it takes more than a bit of skill to do a decent job.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Chet18013

  • ---
  • Posts: 1505
Re: Top coat peeling off - can I reapply it?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2006, 08:45:19 AM »
I agree with Tom also. It's prpbably a clear coat. The same thing is happening at the roof line of our Beaver. If you can make some it flake off with a fingernail, it's clear coat for sure. A good wet sanding and feathering of the area with a 440 or 600 grit wed/dry paper will get it ready for spraying a new clear coat layer. Make sure that you put down at least 3 coats of the new clear coat.

Chet18013
Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel