Color-matching Gelcoat is a major challenge.
Achieving a technically precise color match is almost impossible. Fosters Yacht Services have many years of color matching experience. To achieve a great looking touch up to your fiberglass boat, we need a technically precise color match.
Sometimes color matches that are a shade or two in color variance may not be noticeable on a large surface of a boat.
The precise color match of the boat depends on a number of factors including.
- What time of day it was applied
- The temperature it was applied at The batch of gelcoat used, as each batch differs slightly.
- The age of your boat, as boats aged, the gelcoat fades, so even when they purchase gelcoat from the factory the color-match isn’t perfect.
Gelcoat is a resin that has a high amount of pigmentation, which is what gives the boat its color. Gelcoat is a very tough finish, but it is susceptible to cracking, chipping, and flaking due to age, wear and tear, and accidents at the dock.
Color matching Gelcoats with pigments can be tricky
First, Clean the surface so that you can be sure you are matching to the true color.
Make sure you have good lighting; natural light is the best source for color mixing.
Using a colored Gelcoat as a base, (for example mixing a mid-blue we will start with a white and slowly introduce dark blue until you notice the color getting close).
Every so often dab a small amount onto the part to check your progress. Once the desired color is achieved, mix a small batch with catalyst and apply to the edge of a scrap piece of white board or paper to check the color match.
Apply mixed gelcoat to the area to be repaired.
Fill the repair area slightly higher than the surrounding surface to allow for sanding then spray gelcoat with a PVA curing agent.
Peel off the PVA. Wet-sand the cured gelcoat with 320-grit wet/dry paper on a soft sanding block. Confining work to the immediate repair area, continue wet-sanding with 600-grit paper until nearly even with surrounding gelcoat. Finish wet-sanding with 1,000-grit paper; then buff out with rubbing compound followed by a coat of wax