Category Archives: Coating

Tips for Clear-Finished Wood

By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

The beauty of naturally finished wood on a boat is appealing to many boat owners, but the maintenance of clear wood finishes is an ongoing task. One way to reduce this task is to stabilize the moisture content of the wood with epoxy. Residents in Michigan or Florida may need to varnish their clear-finished wood surfaces yearly. In this article, we share expert tips for applying epoxy and fiberglass to wood surfaces for a clear, bubble-free finish.

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Preparing to Fair

By Greg Bull – GBI Technical Advisor

Those new to the process of fairing a boat’s hull or deck are quick to mix up a batch of fairing compound, WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy with a low-density filler, and apply it to the surface, so they can start sanding right away. My experience in boat repair and construction has taught me the importance of making a fairing plan and selecting the correct materials before any epoxy is mixed.

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Applying Epoxy on Vertical Surfaces

By Greg Bull — GBI Technical Advisor

Why can’t I apply epoxy to vertical surfaces? This is a question Gougeon Technical Advisors are asked all the time. Our response? Why, sure you can! You just need to apply it in thin coats using a foam roller. I’ll provide some tips for preventing sags or runs when coating vertical surfaces, achieving a thin coat, and choosing the best hardener for your working temperature.

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Several small parts coating by Russell Brown

Coating Small Parts

By Russell Brown — Port Townsend Watercraft

Pre-finishing parts with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy before installation is a technique that was popularized by guess who? The Gougeon brothers. It can save time and increase the quality of the finish. Coating small parts can also be a challenge, but it’s much easier if the parts are held in a way that provides good access for roller and brush coating. Continue reading

Water beading on a bright finish topcoat.

The Art of Choosing a Topcoat

By Rachael Geerts – GBI Composites Materials Engineer

You’ve just finished your epoxy project and it looks great! But you don’t want the sun’s UV rays to start degrading the epoxy. So, like the smart individual you are, you look into applying a UV stable topcoat over the epoxy so your project will last for years to come. You look at your options, go down a few rabbit holes, and come out much later asking why is it so difficult to select a UV stable topcoat for my epoxy project? Continue reading

varnish over epoxy

Clear Coating with 207 Special Clear Hardener

By Terry Monville — GBI Technical Advisor

Not that long ago, clear coating with epoxy meant that you were finishing a natural wood canoe or kayak, or the teak toe rails on your boat. Today, WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener is used for clear coating in many different ways. Regardless of the project, there are some basic techniques to follow when epoxy coating and a few pitfalls to avoid. Continue reading

Tom's canoe hanging in the tech shop

Refinishing a Wood Strip Canoe

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

About 30 years ago, I built an 18′ wood strip canoe. At the time, my family was young and I could only work on it intermittently. Over the course of six months, I had faired my mold frames, applied the redwood strips, faired the outside of the hull with a keen eye and applied the fiberglass cloth. Two months later I decided to take it off the mold to fair and fiberglass the inside. To my horror, the exterior hull bottom had a big dimple in the middle when removed from the forms. I immediately knew the cause. The humidity in my garage had skyrocketed since the outside of the hull was finished with fiberglass and epoxy. The unsealed inside of the hull had probably gained 4-5% in moisture content since the outside was fiberglassed. Continue reading

rudder and dagger board

Sunfish Wood Restoration

By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

During the fall of 2016, I took a technical call from a customer who owned a Sunfish Sailboat. He lived in the area and was looking for help repairing a few minor gel coat cracks and restoring his wooden daggerboard and rudder. I told him I would be happy to help because this would be a good opportunity to write an article about using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the wood restoration part of his project. The mahogany daggerboard and rudder had weathered over the years because of only being varnished. Continue reading