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Removing bottom paint at home

Old 05-24-2019, 04:00 AM
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Default Removing bottom paint at home

This weekend I think Iím going to try to remove some of the bottom paint from my boat. From what I can see, itís got a blue coat, then a black coat, then the guy I bought the boat from put more black paint on some of it where the blue was showing, trying to make it look better to sell. Iíve sanded some paint off in areas already with a palm sander and it worked.

I have an orbital sander and a palm sander and a block sander, and also am thinking of trying the orange CitriStrip from Loweís. Iíve tried a pressure washer but that wasnít enough to get it off.

Goal would be a ďlike newĒ bottom gelcoat, but I doubt I can get there. Does anyone have any other tips or tricks or suggestions?
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:05 AM
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:28 AM
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Pay someone to soda blast it off.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:35 AM
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When I was a lot younger, I stripped a 31 foot searay. Used chemical strippers, sanders, pressure washer and as cheap as I am, I swore I would never do it again. It is a miserable back breaking process.
If you are of the mindset to go forward with it, use a chemical stripper but find one that is safe for fiberglass, Some of them will soften the gel coat.
IF you have the money, pay for someone to soda blast.

Do a search and you should be able to find a few discussions about paint removal.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:36 AM
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dustless blasting and barrier coat
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:14 AM
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I’m going to get a quote from a local place in Hampstead called Anchors Away boat yard but he mentioned water blasting, not soda. He wouldn’t give me a quote or even a ballpark without seeing it so I’m going to drag it 350 miles this weekend to get that quote, and depending on my level of sticker shock I’ll decide if I try to take it off myself. I’m not willing to put a ton of money into this hull because combining that with the 25” shaft motor on a 20” transom that I hate, the cost of raising the transom and bottom paint removal could just afford me a 25” transom hull with no paint.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:22 AM
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Iíve seen some hulls after soda blasting. Maybe it was done wrong I donít know, but it def was not a smooth surface. It left it fairly course and kind of beat up looking. I donít think there would be anyway to return it to clean gelcoat after that.

I use a da palm sanded with shop vac attached and 80 grit. Goes through it fast but itís pretty brutal work
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:24 AM
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Wear a respirator if sanding not some cheap dust mask
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:36 AM
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Not raining on your parade but most people, including myself start sanding their hull in an easy to reach flat spot while standing upright. If your boat is on a trailer, do yourself a favor and try sanding the hardest to reach spots first. This will give you a honest time line for doing the entire bottom. I like getting the hRd work done first so after all the BS involved, I know it's going to get better as I go forward. I had my boat blasted last winter, definitely left the bottom a little coarse feeling, but bottom was faired and 3 coated with barrier coT and then painted. All I did was prop off the boat on my trailer, they removed it, blasted, painted it, put back on trailer and I towed it home. I worked a couple hours extra here and there to pay for it. Best money I ever spent except for cold beer money. That's always number one.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:46 AM
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I started to "try" and remove the ablative paint on my old Grady. I eventually gave up and got a can of black spray paint to make the bottom uniformly slick(er). And now when I get a scuff or little paint missing off the bottom, hit it with the rattle can and it looks good as new(ish)!
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:47 AM
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I took on the task of stripping the bottom on my 24' this spring.it was miserable.I used a 5" orbital with vac attached and and a stripper blue bear af ........after about 15 hours in i hired a guy off fb to finish sanding for $250.
NEVER AGAIN
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:52 AM
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Your neighbors are going to love it when you get bottom paint dust all over there cars and stuff, lol. Go for it— let us know how it works out for ya.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:05 AM
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Just brutal work. Doing it on a trailer would be miserable. Im all for diy projects but that is not one you will ever repeat lol.

Why not just keep the paint? Touch it up if needed. Looks fine, protects the bottom if you want to leave it in the water for a week or two on vacation etc.
Every large boat is bottom painted. No big deal. Dont worry about impressing others.

Last edited by ultimatehometeam; 05-24-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Tinkerinmatt View Post
This weekend I think Iím going to try to remove some of the bottom paint from my boat. From what I can see, itís got a blue coat, then a black coat, then the guy I bought the boat from put more black paint on some of it where the blue was showing, trying to make it look better to sell. Iíve sanded some paint off in areas already with a palm sander and it worked.

I have an orbital sander and a palm sander and a block sander, and also am thinking of trying the orange CitriStrip from Loweís. Iíve tried a pressure washer but that wasnít enough to get it off.

Goal would be a ďlike newĒ bottom gelcoat, but I doubt I can get there. Does anyone have any other tips or tricks or suggestions?

I did it to my boat a few years back here is the thread with some info on what/how I did it

If you have a million or so dollars I will do it for you

Bottom Paint Removal
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:19 AM
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If its a boat you dont care much about (which thats what it sounds like) just hit up the boat where the paint is flaking bad.. I bought a gallon of black jamestown distrutitors ablative paint and it was like 75 bucks or so. Roll it on very easy process and looks good.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:28 AM
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That bottom paint job is costing you a lot of fuel and speed. Rough as guts--when antifoul gets to that stage, it's hardly better than having a dirty bottom. I speak from long experience with larger boats. Soda blasting was just becoming available at that time, good for glass hulls, we stuck with sand blasting for the ali hulls. I haven't personally seen the results of very hgh pressure water blasting on a fibreglass hull to remove antifoul back to bare--we were water blasting weed off the antifouling with them, but actual antifoul removal requires a much higher pressure.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:33 AM
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Not a horrible job w/ the correct equipment.

When I do this on my 2000 380 Searay Sundancer I use my Festool RO150FEQ and their HEPA dust extraction system.

It is a very clean process w/ almost zero exterior dust.

Even though, I always wear a dust mask and goggles, just in-case, because bottom paint is sooo toxic. Same also when bottom painting, but I then also add a space suit.

Take your time. On my hull I use their hard flat pad for one flat section section in the rear. The rest is done w/ their soft thick pad.

On my boat it takes a dozen discs to remove all the paint.

At that point I applied five coats of Interlux Interprotect 2000E epoxy barrier coat then bottom paint, all per the manufacturer's instructions.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:47 AM
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I have used the chemical stripper Aqua Strip in the past with good results. Enabled most of the bottom paint to come off easily with a putty knife, and then just had to go back for a final light sanding. However I was doing this in preparation to repaint, not to try and restore the original gel coat. The gel coat is typically sanded/roughed up prior to being painted with bottom paint. If your just going to sell the boat it would be much easier to roll/brush a fresh coat of bottom paint on it. My current boat came with bottom paint, and even though I trailer the boat it does not bother me at all.
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wingless View Post
Not a horrible job w/ the correct equipment.

When I do this on my 2000 380 Searay Sundancer I use my Festool RO150FEQ and their HEPA dust extraction system.

It is a very clean process w/ almost zero exterior dust.

Even though, I always wear a dust mask and goggles, just in-case, because bottom paint is sooo toxic. Same also when bottom painting, but I then also add a space suit.

Take your time. On my hull I use their hard flat pad for one flat section section in the rear. The rest is done w/ their soft thick pad.

On my boat it takes a dozen discs to remove all the paint.

At that point I applied five coats of Interlux Interprotect 2000E epoxy barrier coat then bottom paint, all per the manufacturer's instructions.
Here are some images of my bare hull w/ five coats of white epoxy, then two coats of Sea Hawk Biocop TF bottom paint (three coats at waterline and on transom).


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Old 05-24-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ranmar850 View Post
That bottom paint job is costing you a lot of fuel and speed. Rough as guts--when antifoul gets to that stage, it's hardly better than having a dirty bottom. .

This is mainly why I want to do it. The motor I have went 52-54mph on a clean hull, and on my hull I can only get 48. We are going to take a stab at it.

Trayder, your boat came out AWESOME and thats what I "hope" to end up with. Hopefully since my boat is so much smaller, and with 2 people, we can knock it out in a few nights.
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