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Old 05 March 2013, 10:37   #1
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Flowcoat/Gelcoat/Topcoat/Nonslip confusion

Hi Guys

Can you offer me some advice on the above? I need to redo the decks on my project and am a little confused about the best way to do it, possibly because of the various names used.

Decks are ground flat and sanded so the plan is, one coat of gel coat (the one without the wax) and then one of Top coat (the one with the wax) to finish. But I then want to put a coat of non slip on the walking areas, will I have to sand these back? Is it better to mask off the areas that are going to have nonslip so that there is no wax and therefore not require sanding? Can I put the non slip onto the first coat (the one without the wax) and then add a top coat (the one with the wax) over everything including the non slip (all going to be the same coliur)? Does the pre mixed non slip have wax in it? Or is there a better way that I have not considered?

I have read various threads on here and even a book or two but still not clear of the best (easiest) way forward, I am sick of sanding.

Lots of questions I know but advice from the people who have done it would be most welcome.

Andy
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Old 05 March 2013, 15:46   #2
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I'll start things off even though I'm not a 'glass expert

If you put gel coat (no wax) down, it won't go off because air is getting to it. I don't know if putting flow coat (with wax) over the top will allow it to dry but it would be a mission to paint onto something wet and I don't see the point anyway.

I take it you're now back to fresh fibreglass on the deck? No bits of ply showing through or anything? I would suggest buying some non slip flow coat ready mixed (without hardener obviously) and just lay that down.

found this is my build thread but looks like I didn't go into much detail. This in the stuff I used though:
Gelcoats & Topcoats, Non-Slip Topcoats, Non Slip Grey Topcoat, - CFS Fibreglass Supplies

Its not difficult to apply, just spread it and stipple it with a big paint brush, just need to make sure the deck is clean first, no dust, oils etc, give it all a good wipe down with acetone.
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Old 05 March 2013, 18:51   #3
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Nor am I, but this is what I understand:-

Gelcoat will harden, but the surface remains tacky unless the surface has no air in contact with it. Flowcoating/topcoating (same thing) it will make the gelcoat harden properly.

Adding wax in Styrene to gelcoat makes flowcoat. The wax floats to the surface and seals it from the air during curing so it hardens tack-free.

Topcoat is another word for Flowcoat.

You can roller sugar onto the top coat as it's thick during hardening and dissolve it after to make a non-slip deck if you don't fancy loads more sanding

If you want to use anti-slip deck paint you'll have to remove the wax from the topcoat/flowcoat with a solvent (the wax will clog the sandpaper if you don't) ,sand it down and paint it with the anti-slip paint. Make sure you follow the paint tin instructions-it takes a week or more before it's hard enough to walk on.
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Old 06 March 2013, 03:04   #4
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Martini/Nos4r2

Many thanks for your replys. As I thought far to many ways to skin a cat, its just a case of choosing the best way for me. At lease I am a bit clearer abour the flowcoat/gelcoat/topcoat issue.

Nos4r2 what solvent would you suggest to clean the wax off with, Acetone?

Thanks

Andy
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Old 06 March 2013, 03:14   #5
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Yet another question, Polyester or epoxy?
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Old 06 March 2013, 04:29   #6
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Polyester.

Acetone will get the wax off,but not sure what it'll do to the gelcoat under it.

Xylene does it as well, and didn't seem to damage the gelcoat when I messed up flowcoating a seat pod last year.
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Old 06 March 2013, 06:43   #7
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As martini suggests, some ready prepared non slip flowcoat should do the job:

Non-slip flowcoat and topcoat - East Coast Fibreglass Supplies

First image shows a single coat after I had removed lots of old tatty treadmaster, sanded the old flow coat back with a sanding disk on a grinder, then masked around the edges. Second was also a single coat, after I had replaced the whole deck. Having flow coated the sides in orange, I masked off, cleaned with acetone and sanded then applied. Looked really smart:
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Old 06 March 2013, 06:53   #8
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Thanks Guys

I think my pool little brain is getting there!

Andy
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