5 Tips on how to use Brushable Gelcoat

Brushable gel

Brushable Gelcoat is a specially formulated product that is made to be applied like paint and eliminate the need for spray equipment. It has excellent leveling, Water/Osmosis resistance, UV light Stability, great Gloss Retention and a fantastic long-term durability. It comes in many different colors and can be bought online or in our stores! So, let’s talk about some tips on how to get the most out of the Brushable Gelcoat.

  1. Don’t add Patch Booster or Sanding Aid! You heard that right, you don’t need to add sanding aid to Brushable gelcoat to have it dry tack free! The self-leveling technology added doesn’t require any additional products or additives.
  2. Proper gelcoat application requires you apply your coats about 15-20 mils thick,
    mil-gauge-2
    Mil Gauge

    using a mil gauge.

  3. Allow the gelcoat to cure overnight and then lightly sand it and buff it for an outstanding shine!
  4. Use Acetone for your cleanup. Just like other Polyester-based products, Acetone is the best cleanup material!
  5. The most important step: Adding the proper amount of Catalyst. We recommend 1.5%-2% Catalyst ratio. After adding the catalyst, you will want to mix for two minutes, preferably with a mechanical agitator (drill mixer). For your reference, here is the catalyst chart so you know exactly how much catalyst you need.

BONUS TIP: In the hot Florida weather, working time is tough for any gelcoat. So our FGCI Pro Tip is to chill the gelcoat down to 70 degrees before mixing. This way you can get a bit longer working time.

 

DID YOU KNOW: That FGCI Colormatches gelcoat? We can make as little as a gallon to nearly any sample you have. Call us for details!

  1. catalyst-chart-copy

FGCI Product Spotlight: Tuff Coat

ftl-demo-boat-5Every once in awhile, we get really excited about a product or product line we bring in. To say we were giddy with our latest product line would be an understatement. With that, let’s talk about Tuff Coat!

So, you may be wondering ‘what is Tuff Coat?’ Tuff Coat is a rubberized non-skid coating you can apply to many different surfaces from concrete to fiberglass, even aluminum. Instead of the other non-skids that wear off quickly, or are really hard on your feet, this product is extremely durable, and the rubber makes walking on it very easy.

Now that you are thinking that it sounds like fun, it’s time to talk about the application. Applying Tuff Coat is actually very easy!

 

Step 1: Surface prep. You will want to scrub your surface with soap and water to remove and dirt and grease. The folks at Tuff Coat say the product is only as good as the surface it adheres to, so make sure it’s cleaned. If you are applying to concrete, use a concrete cleaner like ZEP or Simple Green. Make sure you don’t use a solvent, as that can leave a residue.

Step 2: Primer Application. Tuff Coat offers two kinds of primers. The first is the CP-10, which is a 1:1 epoxy primer. This is mixed in equal volumes with a drill mixer and mixed for 2-3 minutes. It is recommended you roll it on with a 3/8″ nap roller or paint brush. You have a pot time of 90 minutes, so make sure you only make what you can spread. This product will be ready to go in 6 to 48 hours, depending on how hot it is and how humid it is.

The other primer is the MP-10 Water based Metal Primer. This is good for any metal application and is a single-stage mix. Again, you will want to stir with a drill mixer and apply the same way. This product is ready to go in 1-4 hours depending on the temperature and humidity.

Step 3: Apply your Tuff Coat. Once you choose which color you want (they have quite a few) it’s time to apply the Tuff Coat. You need to mix with a drill mixer in a bucket, slowly moving down from the top. You may need to mix several times to keep the rubber suspended in the material. When it’s time to apply the product, apply with a Tuff Coat specific roller (it’s the only way to properly distribute the rubber coating) and apply with 2-3 coats, applying at right angles with each coat to ensure a proper covering. The product can also be sprayed with certain sprayers for larger applications.

It’s that easy! Below we have some pictures of a demo boat we did, and I also included a great how-to video that shows how it’s done. And with all of our products, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us, Facebook us, send us a Tweet, or give us a call at 1-800-272-7890 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

 

tuff-coat-4

Tech Question: “Can I Gelcoat or Epoxy in the Cold?”

cold

I woke up this morning to the outside being much colder than my warm bed. It hurt to get out of bed and touch the tile floor. When I got going, I threw an extra jacket on and bundled up my daughter before heading out the door. It’s December, and this kind of weather is expected, and even welcomed in Florida. As hard as it is to get up and going, it can be even harder to go and gelcoat or work with Epoxy.

Businesses don’t stop just because it gets cold, and that is even truer in Florida. So, we get a lot of calls from people looking to make a gelcoat repair, apply a layer of epoxy or even laminate a pool or boat in the cold. “Will this work in the cold?”

With Epoxies, they are very sensitive to temperature. Anything 50 degrees and below will not work. You will also notice them very thick and very slow to cure out. It is problematic for Clear Casting and Table Top because the material is so thick, those bubbles can work their way to the surface.

 

drum-heater
Our Drum Heaters.

Gelcoat has the same magic number; 50 degrees. Anything below 50 degrees and the gelcoat will not cure. The farther away you get from 70 degrees, the longer it takes to cure; meaning at 55 degrees, you could be looking at days before it gets hard.

 

So, what do you do? The only answer is you need to add heat. Everyone has tips and tricks they’ve picked up on how to work through the cold. Our techs recommend setting the epoxy in a bucket of warm water for a half hour. We also sell drum and pail heaters that will keep your material warm. For small spaces, you will want to apply heat through a heat gun as well. I’ve also seen pool and boat manufacturers put a heater behind the plug to ensure the part is toasty warm before working.

Whatever the technique, you will need some heat, because like me on an early, cold December morning, gelcoats don’t like the cold.

 

A Glossary of 122 Industry Terms –

In the world of gelcoat and resin, like every industry, there are terms used that are considered common-place. We have an extensive glossary to help with those terms. Have some others you think we should add? Message us and let us know!

A

Accelerator – An additive to polyester resin that reacts with the catalyst to speed up polymerization. This is required in room temperature cured resins. See Promoter.

Acetone – In an FRP context, acetone is primarily useful as a cleaning solvent for removal of uncured resin from applicator equipment and clothing. Very flammable liquid.

Additive – Substance added to resin mix to impart special performance qualities, such as ultraviolet absorbers, flame retarding materials (antimony trioxide, chlorinated waxes).

Air-drying – To cure at room temperature with the addition of catalyst but without the assistance of heat and pressure.

Alligatoring – Wrinkling of the gelcoat film that resembles alligator hide.

B

Bag molding – A technique for forming and pressure-hardening plastics or plastics laminates by means of air pressure, vacuum and/or heat in a flexible or semi-flexible bag or autoclave, usually in connection with a rigid die or mold.

Barcol hardness – A determination of surface hardness of a polyester using a Barcol Impressor.

Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) – The catalyst used in conjunction with aniline accelerators or where heat is used as an accelerator.

Bi-directional – An arrangement of the reinforcing fiber strands in which half the strands are laid at right angles to the other half, a directional pattern that gives the maximum product strength to those two directions.

Binder – A resin soluble adhesive that secures the random fibers in chopped strand mat or continuous strand roving.

Blister – A flaw or air pocket between layers of laminant or between the gelcoat film and the first layer of laminant.

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