Fiberglass and Gelcoat after paint strip/light sanding

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    Thanks for hanging out in the forum, Kevin.

    I have many of your Paintucation DVDs, and all are really informative. The color sanding video was fun, seeing such a young Kevin with more of an accent. 🙂

    But my question revolves around my 1980 Corvette I’m restoring (e.g.: SMC panels). I’m in the process of removing the original paint, what was left of it (someone actually painted parts of the car with a brush). While the paint was awful, the fiberglass was untouched. Original panels, bonding strips, and no bodywork anywhere.

    Once I remove the paint and lightly sand, I’m left with a nice surface, which is probably original primer or something along those lines. I’m for sure not getting to fibers. I don’t know if it’s gelcoat…it’s not black in color like Ecklar’s gelcoat (no idea if Eastwood sells gelcoat or what color it would be).

    Your fiberglass video suggests that gelcoat forms a temperature insensitive surface on which to apply paint. Paint won’t crack in the sun.

    In my case, if the car is essentially clean, is it wisest to gelcoat the car (3 coats as you suggest for repair spots), or go right to poly primer and block? I don’t mind doing the spraying, but I also don’t want to build up too much product over the fiberglass and lose the details in the body lines. But if not gelcoating would likely jeopardize the paint job, obviously we gelcoat the car again.

    I suspect the body I’m left with is clean enough to go right to poly. Sure seems like it, although I will admit to some paint cracking over some of the original bonding strips in the rear quarters. (That might actually answer my question…be safer than sorry).

    I know it’s hard to answer questions about a specific scenario without seeing the body in question. But in general, you would do…?


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