Polishing Fibreglass Bodywork ? (1 Viewer)

scotjimland

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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
 

Paddywack

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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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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
 

easygirl

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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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scotjimland

scotjimland

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will need an orbital polisher and some polish

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

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DBK

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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.
 
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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.
 

funflair

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I have used this a few times and found it good, ok by hand as well, you have to be careful with a machine polisher as too much heat will damage the surface.

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scotjimland

scotjimland

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Thanks for the replies and suggestions.. think I'll buy the Farcela and polish with Broken Link Removed


will post back with before and after pics when done..
 
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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
 
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JeanLuc

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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) Broken Link Removed
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.
 

Charlie

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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 !
 

Charlie

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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 !
 

RS SPIKE

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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
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
 

Charlie

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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
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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Hi all ...... I am a bit confused as what to do next. I have use the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax (profile range) on the major GRP panels of my Burstner 660. (i.e. the front & rear)
It needed two applications to get a decent finish that I was satisfied with, this may be because I am doing all by hand !

Now because the Farecla product states "gel coat restorer & wax", I don't know whether to apply another 'pure' wax coat ? I feel it needs it ....... but I don't know what product to use.
Should I use the Farecla UV wax ? Collinite ? Autoglym HD wax ?
Whichever wax I do use, I will want to use the same wax on the painted aluminium sides & roof of the vehicle after I have polished with Autoglym super resin polish.
 

Lenny HB

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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 !
Agree, most marine polishes are just re-branded auto polishes sold at a premium, however do check if using an auto polish you must not use anything containing silicon on GRP.
 

funflair

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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 !

Fibreglass is a composite in that it is fibreglass and polyester resin it will have a polyester Gelcoat on the outside surface and it is this that you are polishing. Not sure what you are referring to when you say a composite panel. One big difference with a fibreglass panel with Gelcoat is that it will be thicker than your average paint coat, after saying that though you do still need to be careful. One potential problem polishing gelcoats is if there are any small air bubbles under the gel these can blow up with heat from polishing and then will sink when it all cools down but by then you have taken the top off so you would get a hollow or even go through it.

Martin
 

Charlie

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Fibreglass is a composite in that it is fibreglass and polyester resin it will have a polyester Gelcoat on the outside surface and it is this that you are polishing. Not sure what you are referring to when you say a composite panel. One big difference with a fibreglass panel with Gelcoat is that it will be thicker than your average paint coat, after saying that though you do still need to be careful. One potential problem polishing gelcoats is if there are any small air bubbles under the gel these can blow up with heat from polishing and then will sink when it all cools down but by then you have taken the top off so you would get a hollow or even go through it.

Martin
I am fully aware of what we are polishing when working on fibreglass .

Composite panels ? Well not all the panels on motor homes and caravans are fibre glass. So may not have a surface suitable for any kind of polishing.

I have said many times I have No experience in polishing these panels so cannot comment on either what they are made of or how one would polish them if at all.

I always say to polish at low speeds and that applies to ANY thing being polished. Do that and it should be safe. I have polished quite a few Jet Skis and boats with fibreglass hulls and never once had an issue . Polishing requires misting with water to get the polish to break down and work and this will further cool the surface.

My Paint thickness gauge does not work on fibreglass so I use a surface laser temperature gauge to monitor heat build up.
It's like everything else. If you don't know don't do it and if unsure Ask.
 
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funflair

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Charlie, sorry I was just trying to clear up the confusion as fibreglass is indeed a composite panel.

Martin

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Presumably then, the Burstner GRP front & rear panels are a Gel coat finish (i.e. not painted), as when I used the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax product there was virtually no colour transfer to the cloths I was using ?

So, if I may please ........ referring to my question above Re: which wax to use on the GRP surfaces after Ive applied the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax ? Any offers ..... ?
 

funflair

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Presumably then, the Burstner GRP front & rear panels are a Gel coat finish (i.e. not painted), as when I used the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax product there was virtually no colour transfer to the cloths I was using ?

So, if I may please ........ referring to my question above Re: which wax to use on the GRP surfaces after Ive applied the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax ? Any offers ..... ?

Well it can get complicated, if it's a White Burstner it could well be just Gelcoat and if you are happy with the finish after the Farecla just apply a wax for further protection, my only experience is Autoglm HD from your option list. If the Burstner is Gold or Silver I would suggest that it is painted anyway, when you say there was no colour transfer to the cloth confuses me as I would have thought that you were using the Gelcoat restorer because the finish had oxidised and gone dull so this would/should rub off onto the cloth.

Martin
 

Charlie

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Charlie, sorry I was just trying to clear up the confusion as fibreglass is indeed a composite panel.

Martin

Yes I understand. It's my interpretation and difficulty in separating fibre glass and the other types of materials used when building the vehicles.

I think the thing that should be made clear is there is a danger when polishing just about every type of surface on MHs.. Be it paint, fibreglass , or whatever else they use in the construction . You are quite correct in that a gel coat is nearly always far thicker than the lacquer on vehicle paintwork. All require care and patience to ensure heat is kept down and damage risk is kept to an absolute minimum .
Heat is one danger but the wrong choose of compound/ polish or indeed the wrong pad are also the other major considerations.
 

Charlie

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Well it can get complicated, if it's a White Burstner it could well be just Gelcoat and if you are happy with the finish after the Farecla just apply a wax for further protection, my only experience is Autoglm HD from your option list. If the Burstner is Gold or Silver I would suggest that it is painted anyway, when you say there was no colour transfer to the cloth confuses me as I would have thought that you were using the Gelcoat restorer because the finish had oxidised and gone dull so this would/should rub off onto the cloth.

Martin
Presumably then, the Burstner GRP front & rear panels are a Gel coat finish (i.e. not painted), as when I used the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax product there was virtually no colour transfer to the cloths I was using ?

So, if I may please ........ referring to my question above Re: which wax to use on the GRP surfaces after Ive applied the Farecla gel coat restorer & wax ? Any offers ..... ?


I'm confused by your mention of colour transfer ? Colour transfer is usually only found when polishing single stage paint which is a colour coat with No lacquer over the top. EXTREME care must be taken if this is the case !

I can't see how you would get colour transfer when polishing fibreglass.... Please tell me you are not polishing decals ?

On wax use Colinite 476S ....
 

funflair

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The gel coat has the colour in it, if you polish this it would be the same as a single stage paint.

Martin

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