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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:37 pm
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hello,
I want to thin out my gel coat so that I can spray it. I'm really confused what I should use as there seem to be a lot of differing opinions on which product will do the best job without damaging the gel coat. From what I understand, styrene monomer seems like the right choice but I can't find many places that sell it up here in Calgary, and the places that do are all out of stock (I don't want to wait two weeks go get it. I want to SAIL!). There are people that say acetone will work, and others saying it will ruin the gel coat. What do you guys recommend?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:32 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Acetone will work, but it leaves an "orange peel" finish and the gel will be softer.

Styrene is nasty stuff. It's what gives polyester resin its smell. Several US states (California in particular) severely restrict styrene vapor emissions from industrial operations.

You can also use MEK, which you should be able to find at a hardware store. It evaporates more slowly that styrene or acetone which can lead to porosity in the gel.

Don't be impatient. Do it right.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Alright, thanks for the advice. I think I will just wait until I can get my hands on styrene and use that. I have a pretty large and powerful fan that I will use to ventilate the working area.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral FL
for the best results with gel coat it is best to thin with duratec high gloss. see my post here for an example.

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=43039

the directions for duratec tell you to use a 50/50 ratio, and no other thiner is required.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:34 am 
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Location: New Port Richey Fl.
I re-gelled my entire 18. Styrene as thinning agent. First coat 100% gel, second coat 75% gel 25% duratec, final coat 50-50 gel and duratec. Also added "sanding aid" to final coat only. Thin gel/duratec thin enough for good spray patern. Use MEK for hardening. 1% per volume 100% gel, 1.5% per volume 25% duratec and 2% per volume for 50% duratec. Duratec is great stuff tough and very durable

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