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View Full Version : scratch removal and buffing process that worked for me


blackhawk
10-10-2013, 04:55 PM
I just recently purchased a 2006 X15. It was in good shape being garage kept, but it had some light scratches and did not have a great shine to it. I researched a lot and finally did all the work this past weekend. The result was amazing. I know that the proof is in the pictures and I will post some soon. I did take pictures when I finished, but it was almost dark at the time and the pictures came out terrible in the low light. Just thought others may be interested in the materials and steps that I went through. Disclaimer: this worked for me, for others, mileage may vary.

1) I started off wet sanding the worst scratches with 1200 grit, then followed that with 2000 grit. (use top quality wet sandpaper from NAPA or another specialized auto paint supplier)
2) I wet sanded very light scratches with only the 2000 grit sandpaper
3) I then used 3M-06044 imperial compound with a 3M-05719 100% wool pad over the whole boat to buff out the sanding marks. This stuff worked great. Probably didn't need to do the whole boat with the imperial compound, but with an 8"' pad, it doesn't take very long.
4) I then used 3M-05928 Finesse-it with a 3M-05711 blended wool pad over the whole boat. played around with the Finesse-it and it actually would take 90% of the 2000 grit sand marks out by itself. The boat really popped after this step.
5) I followed this up with 3M-09030 Ultra performance paste wax, that I applied by hand (because it was paste). I used this on my old boat, but I am really not sure how I like it. I let it sit on the boat for about 1-1/2 hours and it was a b*tch to get off. The next time I think that I will try the 3M-09027 liquid wax and use a pad to apply the wax. I had bought a 3M-05713 blended polishing pad that could work for applying the wax. I have always used foam pads to apply wax to my cars, not sure how well the fluffy pad would work.

I bought a brand new Dewalt DWP849X to do the boat. This is my first Dewalt tool and this thing was rock solid. It is specially designed for polishing and it comes with the correct Velcro backup pad that works with the 3M pads that I list above. That saved me $50 since I didn't have to buy the 3M back up pad. I bought all my supplies from Amazon except for the sandpaper. Total time was about 5 hours, but a lot of that time was experimentation. Pretty nerve racking sanding the gelcoat for the first time on the most expensive item I ever bought, besides my house. So, I went pretty slow and cautiously at the beginning.

I also found this sheet on the 3M website that lists most all their marine products. The chart labeled "Buffing Pad Characteristics" was very helpful on selecting my pads.

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?kkkkkkU6cwzkEOlkYOlkkLbTgWgKKKK3-

TN X-45
10-10-2013, 05:18 PM
We need pics!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

ctad
10-17-2013, 10:28 AM
I am in the same position. My boat doesn't have any oxidization, but doesn't really have a great shine. There are a few deeper scratches, but mostly light ones. I don't know if I'm ready to take sandpaper to it quite yet, but would really like to get that "new" boat shine back. As mentioned earlier, please post pics if possible.

blackhawk
10-17-2013, 11:47 AM
ctad - Don't let the sanding scare you. If you use the pads and compounds that I list, it will take the sanding scratches right out. I was a little nervous myself, but it worked great. Start out with 2000, buff it and see what I mean. After a while, you will feel more comfortable going down to 1200 grit.

I had a couple of deep scratches on my gelcoat. They weren't through the gelcoat, but for me to get them out I would have needed to sand them deep. It would have left a concave spot in the gelcoat. On those, I used the 1200 grit sandpaper folded into a V shape. This way I got all the scuff marks out and rounded the bottom of the scratch. Then the buffing pad could get down in there and smooth everything back up. The scratch is now the same color and shine as the rest of the gelcoat, which makes it much less noticeable.

I definitely will post some pics. I have the boat in storage a few miles from the house. I am going to get it this weekend to do the dreaded winterization. Supposed to be a nice weekend, so hopefully, I can get some good pics.

blackhawk
10-20-2013, 09:47 PM
I finally got some pictures today with the sun shining. The one picture of the rear was where the previous owner had about an 8 inch long scratch from a wakeboard. This was the one really deep scratch that I had.

BrianM
10-21-2013, 09:31 AM
If you use 3m Super Duty Compound on a wool pad there is no need to wet sand with anything finer than 1000 grit. It will remove 1000 grit scratches and finishes out somewhat finer than 2000 grit. Follow up with some polishing compound.

bhanson
10-21-2013, 10:12 AM
Awesome job, looks great. Bet you can't wait for spring! Winterized here in CO as well, and already jonesin' to get back on the water. Every year seems I want to hang on to summer a little longer.

blackhawk
10-21-2013, 02:15 PM
The 3M Imperial compound that I used claims to take out 800 grit scratches. I just wanted to play it safe. Plus, I didn't have a lot scratches to sand by hand.

Aric'sX15
10-22-2013, 11:33 AM
What pad did you use with the imperial compound?

blackhawk
10-22-2013, 02:59 PM
3M-05719 is the pad that I used for the Imperial.

Aric'sX15
10-22-2013, 03:49 PM
thanks!!!

blackTT
10-29-2013, 05:02 AM
Will this work on black? Or are there more steps to get that mirror finish!

blackhawk
10-29-2013, 09:04 AM
It will work on black just fine. 3M also has a 05713 polishing pad that is even finer than what I used. You could use the 05711 first and then go back over it with the 05713. That may even give you a better shine. 3M also make a black foam polishing pad, that may work well.

blackTT
10-29-2013, 09:02 PM
Did you use water at all? Just just yeh product straight on the boat?

blackhawk
10-29-2013, 09:29 PM
Absolutely no water when using the compound or polish. The slightest bit of water will keep the compound or polish from doing its job.

blackhawk
10-31-2013, 09:25 AM
Here is a very good article on reviving gelcoat. Pretty much follows what I did. I did learn a couple of things.
1) I mentioned in my original post that I used 3M-05928. I actually used 3M-35928. The 05928 is a true polish and the 35928 is a glaze. I called 3m and according to them the polish has more protectants but does not give the same wet look shine as the glaze. They both remove the same level of scratches and oxidation. What I learned is that if you have extreme MCOCD you could do Imperial Compound, Finesse-It polish, and then do Finesse-It glaze. 3M said that you could really skip the polish step and just go from compound to glaze. If your boat was really oxidized, it would probably be good to do the extra polish step.

2) I did not know about using a sealer after polishing, but before waxing. I am going to try that Starbrite product on my other boat this Spring and see how it does.

http://www.fiberglassics.com/restoration/restoring-gel-coat