How to Paint Your Fiberglass Decking
Fiberglass decking is used extensively due to its strength, appearance, durability, cost effectiveness and waterproof features. With time (usually 8 to 10 years), however, fiberglass decks usually grow aesthetically unappealing as the paint fades off/chips away and they get outdated in terms of modern renovations or improvements. Therefore, painting your fiberglass decks for the first time or for repairing purposes are both compensating projects which are only moderately challenging.
Step 1 - Prepare your Deck
In order to go about your painting project, cover the corners or edges of the deck’s area that you plan to paint with masking tape and cover the rest of the floor, hardware and other objects with plastic sheets which can be held together with duct tape. Now, wash the area thoroughly, using liquid soap and warm water (preferably) and once it is completely dry, use other chemicals like MEK or acetone in order to wipe away any grease, lubricant or wax stuck on the surface.
Step 2 - Sand the Area
To make the specified area compatible with paint, sand it using 80 grit sandpaper along with an orbital sander. Once sanding is complete, prepare an epoxy paste, as per the directions mentioned on the packet, and apply it to the particular parts which have damaged fiberglass. Once the epoxy has gone dry, (leaving a hard and durable surface), sand it again with 80 grit sandpaper.
Step 3 - Application of Primer Paint and Sanding
Using a paint roller, apply the epoxy primer paint (two-part) which is an easy mixture to make by following the instructions provided on the packet. Once the specified area is dry, sand it using 220 grit sandpaper and the orbital sander. This procedure would be followed by wiping it away with a cloth soaked in acetone after which wash the area with water.
Step 4 - Apply the Paint
Before proceeding, you must see to it that the area to be painted is completely dry after which 3 to 4 coats of marine epoxy paint (mixed with the paint’s solvent) should be applied using a paint roller. However, make sure that the place in which you paint is spacious and well ventilated so as to avoid inhaling any harmful fumes. Once the paint has been applied, you may remove the masking tape and other protective material (plastic sheets) obviously. However, define a clear-cut boundary for the painted area so as to protect it from being used before it is fully dry. Now apply automotive paste by waxing it in circular motion and once it is dry, buff the area with an orbital buffer. To achieve the best results for painted decks, it is recommended that you wax your boat at least once every year and in paints, you use dark colors to alter the appearance of your deck.