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Steve 1962

Restoring the colour of a fibre glass dome

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I've had my dark green Pulsar dome for nearly seven years and I've washed / polished it most years, but recently it's started to look very faded and dejected.

I've tried various polishes and waxes but after a few weeks it always goes back to worse than before.

Now I've found some colour restorer called Owatrol Polytrol that says it's good for bringing gel coat back to life.

This stuff has good reviews and the best price I could find was on Amazon (about £25 per litre delivered). One coat took about a quarter of a litre. I'm going to wait for this coat to dry, then give it another wipe over, so I reckon it'll be about half a litre for the whole job.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00E3VACQE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here are some before and after pics of my efforts today...it was really easy to apply and looks fantastic, but the true test will be to see how it looks in a couple of month time. Watch this space.

By the way -Polytrol is a yellowy brown colour, so isn't suitable for white fibreglass.

Hope someone finds this useful.

Steve

1458223108_domebefore.jpg.3c36d0ef2f557af372fd6468787feece.jpg1736679568_domeafter.jpg.698b3658606fbe59d218b75cc77dd89e.jpg2091213506_owatrolcan.JPG.f99668b1b37637bc2dd918967d540675.JPG

Edited by Steve 1962
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I shall keep this link for future reference. Thanks and well done on a fabulous restoration job ?

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Hard to believe that's the same observatory.

James

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2 hours ago, LeeRich said:

I shall keep this link for future reference. Thanks and well done on a fabulous restoration job ?

The OP said it may not be suitable for white domes

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1 minute ago, Astrokev said:

The OP said it may not be suitable for white domes

Well spotted Kev, I got way too excited looking at the sheen Steve regained and didn't read the last bit ? thank you ?

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Wonderful - looks like new again :thumbsup:

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Hi @JeremyS

I just washed the dome off then brushed the Polytrol on and wiped it off as per the instructions.

It’ll be interesting to see how it looks in the morning.

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That looks truly amazing Steve. Anyone have any suggestions for restoring a white dome?

Steve  

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1 hour ago, sloz1664 said:

That looks truly amazing Steve. Anyone have any suggestions for restoring a white dome?

Steve  

Step 1 - paint it green ?

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Haha @hughgilhespie!

Thanks for that Hugh.

It was actually easier than Photoshop - although something I've learned is to make sure that it's done in the morning so that it has time to dry / soak in before the dew comes down. The last panels that I did on Thursday didn't have long enough to dry and were a bit milky in the morning - but I found yesterday that a wipe of the milky bits with white spirit followed by a wipe of Polytrol restores the shine.

I (and more importantly Mrs L) am very happy with the way it looks.

Did you get your USB woes sorted??

 

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@JeremyS

I'm very pleased with the way that my dome has come out with Polytrol

The two lessons I've learned are:

Don't try to apply too thicky - mine worked best in the places where it was a bit thinner and "soaked into" the surface. It went a bit matt, but I've applied a second wipe over and it's now got a nice sheen all over.

Make sure you allow enough time for it to dry before the dew comes down - I found that it goes milky if gets damp before it's dry.  This wipes off with white spirit and can be resealed with another coat.

Hope you're pleased with it

Steve

 

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3 hours ago, Steve 1962 said:

Don't try to apply too thicky - mine worked best in the places where it was a bit thinner and "soaked into" the surface. It went a bit matt, but I've applied a second wipe over and it's now got a nice sheen all over.

Thanks Steve. Is it still OK to apply the first coat with a brush?

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Is it still OK to apply the first coat with a brush?

Yes - that's what I did!

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Just done the Polytrol treatment. Thanks for the suggestion and advice @Steve 1962!!

 

Here's the before and after....

 

IMG_4069.JPG.f4a7ce496ebf928519ec8fc6f668464b.JPGIMG_4084.thumb.JPG.c0bba29180781a202da0a59aab532f9f.JPG

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Lovely ?  What a difference!

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This is the time of year when we restore our yachts to their former glory - so we are well used to getting fibreglass back to A1.

The coloured fibreglass is a pain  - green as above - blue is even worse and red is the worst of the lot.

The problem is oxidization.

Products like Owatrol Polytrol give an easy and almost instant result and should last about a season.

For a longer lasting solution and really the only solution for white fibreglass is to remove the oxidization.

We use various cutting compounds used wet with an electric rotating sponge head but for small areas like and obsy you can do it by hand with a wet sponge.

The best product is this stuff - https://www.3m.co.uk/3M/en_GB/company-uk/3m-products/~/3M-Perfect-It-Fast-Cut-Plus-Compound/?N=5002385+8709313+8709338+8710722+8711017+8711413+8724076+8743656+3293211323&rt=rud

The order of events is wash (with strong detergent)- cut ( 3M Fast Cut) - polish (Good quality car polish) - wax (anything with Carnuba wax in it).

The International range of products is also very good and available is smaller bottles.

Wash

Cut

Polish

Wax

Its not as laborious as it sounds and even immersed in salt water and battered by the weather the above should give about 3 seasons before needing doing again.

Happy to help anyone who needs help with GRP.

hull-01.thumb.JPG.4d17b7c1bf0df3ee3aed71c78eaa19ea.JPG

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The good old 2.1 metre Pulsar Dome is looking incredible after it's makeover. It looks like new :)

Steve

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2 hours ago, Skipper Billy said:

The order of events is wash (with strong detergent)- cut ( 3M Fast Cut) - polish (Good quality car polish) - wax (anything with Carnuba wax in it).

Yes I was advised that by a boat yard. I used Boat Sheen cutting agent and their "Best Brazilian Boat Wax" which contains carnauba wax (my wife thought it odd when I said I was giving the dome a Brazilian!). I used an electric polisher for both applications and it comes up a treat.  I can see myself in the reflection. I have done this several summers but by the following spring it needs doing again. Maybe I am doing something wrong. 

I have to say that even if I had to do the Polytrol every year, I think I'd prefer it as it's quicker and less arduous than the waxing, even with the electrical polisher.

Edited by JeremyS
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