Polishing Fibreglass Bodywork ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Detailing' started by scotjimland, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Over the years I've tried several car polishes on fiberglass bodywork, MER, Autoglyme, etc.. but never found one that really gave that *wow* effect..

    I had a Google and found this product.. looks good, but wondered if anyone had tried it or indeed know of another product that restores tired Gel coat to a high gloss again..

    BoatSheen
     
  2. fastpat

    fastpat Read Only Funster

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    Running a marina I see a fair few customers use this product, the key to success is to do it right and put in a bit of time and effort on the preparation, also buy yourself the right tools - it will pay for itself overtime. We did have one "retired" customer that used to buy tired boats at the beginning of the season, spend a couple of days with the BoatSheen, sail until the August Bank Holiday, and sell on for a profit.
     
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  3. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    I asked this very question to a friend who owns a car body shop and he said you cant without a lot of painstaking work. Whoever invents something to do this easily is onto a winner.
    Phil
     
  4. easygirl

    easygirl Read Only Funster

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    To get a shine back yiu will need an orbital polisher and some polish, doing a large area by hand is not really feasible
     
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  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes.. I have one.. used it to polish my RV with Autoglyme..

    it's the polish to restore the sheen to fiberglass I am looking for
     
  6. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Looking at the BoatSheen stuff it is used after a cutting compound. Which I guess is what fibreglass needs - something to cut through the surface a little way and get back to something which can be polished. Obviously not something to be done very often as you could go through the gel coat. You could just try a bit of T Cut in an out of the way place then a polish of your choice. Then decide if you need something stronger.
     
  7. steevie

    steevie Funster

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    I spent years making grp parts for various vehicles, and our moulds were made of the same stuff as the panels, only stronger, and with extra layers of gelcoat to enable constant polishing. First job when cleaning a mould was to strip off all the old wax and dust that had coupled with it from the atmosphere, with acetone or cellulose thinners. Then if the shine was poor, a gentle flat with very fine wet and dry, about 2000 grit. Then came a good polishing with rubbing compound such as flarecla with a proper vitrifier or purpose made polisher, and then another machine polish with just T cut. and then two coats of carnauba wax or similar by hand or sheepskin polisher. This had to be done often as the finished panel only gets its high quality shine from the shine on the mould. To get yours back to a good shine, I would suggest machine it with flarecla or similar compound, and then again with T cut, finishing with two coats of good quality polish. Gel coat is much harder than most paints, and doesnt burn or mark as easily with a polisher. It should then finish up like glass. It takes time and hard work, but will last a long time before looking so tired again.
     
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  8. jtp890

    jtp890 Funster

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    t cut is unsuitable for glass fibre
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Just done a bit of Googling and you are right. Too harsh apparently.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Why ?
     
  11. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  13. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    I'll add my 2p worth as well as wishing you luck!

    I did this myself in the Autumn of last year, it is hard work even using a rotary polisher.

    My roof was chalky and powdery and I'd doubt it had any attention ever since built.
    First of all and as has pointed out, T-cut is an absolute no-no, just acceptable for old single stage paints, totally unacceptable for modern paints and fibre glass...rich in ammonia.

    You can try Faracla, I did but what a mess - spatter all over the place and a pig to get off, it was a little hot when I did it which didn't help.
    But I had to get it done.

    You'll need to get rid of the dead layers first, I opted for 2500 grit wet&dry with lots of soapy water. Once done you'll have a good base to polish and protect.

    Traditional carnauba based waxes really don't last too long and if you want to avoid going through the whole process again a in less than a year.
    I favour synthetic sealants and one of my favourites and not just for fibre glass - its great on plastics, paints, glass and it lasts and lasts, water is still beading on my roof after being stood outside over the winter.

    2 coats will provide excellent protection (UV, bird poo, weathering etc) As an aside, it cleans as well as polishing and protecting...I recommend Klasse All in One. Even use when the surface is wet and the residue is a doddle to get off.
    I used 0.5 ltr from a one ltr container to treat a 7.4 m roof with 2 coats.

    Not available as an off the shelf product in local stores, but if IIRC
    I bought it from a company called Motorgeek in UK...if you ask nicely they'll give you free delivery. Google will help and if I could give a direct link from an iPad I would. If you'd like a number I'll dig one out.

    I'll try and qualify my recommendations by saying that I ran a modestly successful detailing business for rich boys toys in UK and Europe and have a fair idea of what works and what doesn't:)

    As said, hard work but the end result is well worth it

    David

    Edit to add: Motorgeek.co.uk
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
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  14. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I have been using Farecla gel coat restorer with wax on the front of my Hymer (and top rear) for a few years now. Definitely the best product I have found and it really does bring back the shine. I use an orbital polisher (a proper one like this, not a cheapo from Halfords) http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/kestrel-das6-dual-action-machine-polisher-cat10.html
    However, one can get pretty good results by hand with Farecla gel coat restorer and it's best to finish off polishing by hand anyway.
     
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  15. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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  16. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    IF it's fibreglass with a resin top coat you are polishing is no more complex than ordinary car bodywork .
    You do NOT need specialist polishes like manufacturers will have you believe !
    Beware Composite panels are completely different and must be treated differently or severe damage can occur !
     
  17. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    IF it's fibreglass with a resin top coat you are polishing is no more complex than ordinary car bodywork .
    You do NOT need specialist polishes like manufacturers will have you believe !
    Beware Composite panels are completely different and must be treated differently or severe damage can occur !
     
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  18. RS SPIKE

    RS SPIKE Funster

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    I decided to buy some of the Klasse All in One this week
    All i can say is what a FANTASTIC product thanks for sharing
     
  19. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    still thinking about it.. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
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  20. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Remember with an AOI polish which is All In One you have to work the polish really hard. The minute fragments within the polish which give the cut break down as you polish and the heat builds.

    When this happens the polish effectively reduces in its cutting ability so giving nearly the same effect as using two or three polishes. Each break down in the polish provides a lesser cut which means it refines the finish as you go,,

    The polish will go opaque as its near the end of its cycle. This is normal but keep polishing even though you may think the polish has gone and you need to add more. If you add more before the polish has gone through its full breakdown you effectively start again. In other words you will not get the best from your expensive polish. (y)
     
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