What's the best way to get gelcoat off fiberglass???

I trimmed and sanded mine, then washed it with water and dish detergent, dried it, then started painting.

Why would you want to remove the gelcoat?
There is no need to, the Gel coat is the base for your paint. Just give it a good soapy bath to remove any mold release or other contaminates, sand, prime, paint....
I think you might be getting your terms mixed up. Gel coat is the top layer (sometimes resin)that is layed down to catch all the knooks, crannies and basically detail that otherwise fiberglass would never pick up do to weaving restraints.

Perhaps you are referring to mold release or something else gooey that got on there ?

OR, maybe you wanted to increase the flare of your helmet by removing the gelcoat, overall thinning the areas, stretching it and then going back with the FG to reinforce ?

either way, I am mixed up !
If it feels sticky or tacky, it may have been run from a silicone mold. The surface that was in contact with the silicone, doesn't cure properly, and may need to be washed away. If this is the case, wash with acetone, continuously changing rags, until no more of the color comes off. Only improperly cured gelcoat will be removed. When the properly cured gelcoat is exposed, acetone will not desolve it, and the rags will will no longer be removing any material. Hope this helps, and good luck on your helmet :D
Yeah,definitely got my terms mixed up guys :lol: I meant the sticky residue,but was looking for a fancy term,.....guess I should've just said "sticky stuff",....but then you guys might think I love my new helmet TOOOO much :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Last night I used some rub-n-buff on my armor for the first time, it looked great! I was in the other room with the door closed (so my 10 month old wouldn't inhale the stuff) SO then I told my wife that I had to wash my hands because they were covered in sticky goo she told me "Are you sure you are working on your armor in there?" :lol:
Thanks for the help everyone. I made the error of thinking the mold residue that was oily and sticky was the gelcoat. I just washed my helmet really well with soap & water and it was off.
This thread is more than 21 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.