Fiberglass color restorer?

Red boat sits on a lake all summer. Even though it is protected, still the color fades. Best product for restoring color to the fiberglass?

That’s not “fading”, that’s what is known as “Oxidation”… depending upon the degree, you’ll need a good rubbing compound and some elbow greese… there are products out there now with UV inhibitors in them to help slow that down.

Start with the Meguires brand, and work from there.

Yes, the chalkiness (oxidized remnants) is probably what you consider ‘fading’. Your boat’s ‘gel coat’ cannot be enhanced, but there are multi-step treatments that can get the chalky leftover from the oxidation out of the gel coat.

As mentioned Meguires makes a series of marine-grade treatments to remove the oxidation, renew the shine and then protect the gel coat (color impregnated fiberglass top layers).

Sun is the enemy. The part of the boat that have the most direct perpendicular angle to the sun are going to oxidize first. This is one reason darn near every surface the faces up is white, because this hides the oxidation/chalk and white also resists it better (or so it appears).

Do NOT quit before the final protective step and be SURE that the last protective step has UV protection, and re-apply, re-apply and re-apply.

You can get great results, And lacking UV protection, watch it oxidize in just weeks!

Protect protect protect!

Marine Supply person checking in.

I have had very good luck with 3M’s Imperial Compound, their number 6044 (qt) it is a very good compound with ceramic abrasives. They refer to the abrasive as a constant diminishing compound, instead of a mineral abrasive, this is ceramic, and as it is worked it gets smaller, and smaller, producing a finer and finer cut. I use one of their Hook-it compounding pad on a makita variable speed polisher, after compounding I switch to their hook-it Polishing pad just skim the surface and remove the haze left over, very very lightly. After compounding the entire boat I apply a good quality paste wax with UV inhibitors from 3M as well, I like their Ultra Performance Wax, but their liquid waxes are good and they just introduced a Scotch Guard Liquid wax I have not used yet. I apply several coats of wax and reapply halfway through the season. Wax is your friend, it becomes the sacrifical layer.

Meguiars has been mentioned and they also make good products, I like the ease of the Imperial compound and doing things in two steps, compounding, waxing. I would caution against the “One step” products. Trying to remove Oxidation and waxing at the same time may work for some, but it has a flaw in principle. When removing Oxidation, that residue has to go somewhere, with a seperate step you are asured that is removed. If you take a rubbing compound (abrasive) and add wax (sticky substance that should be left on surface) you end up with a product that does not do either very well, the wax traps the oxidation residue and the abrasive is not useful enough to do the job very well.

There are other products on the market that are sold as “Color Restorers” these are nothing more than a petroleum distalate that will evaporate overtime and add little protection. The Faded Fiberglass will look good for a while but will not last.

The Boat I have done the most compounding with is a 1973 Sailboat, it has a white hull and dark blue Boot stripe, and top accent stripe, the first time I used the 2 step method above after the boat was neglected for at least 10-15 years was mirror surface I could see my reflection in. The customers I have turned on to the products I have mentioned have not complained and have ordered more.

Is it just me or does the OP read like a haiku?

Skipper -

I like the sound of that 3M stuff… will check into it, thanks!


Thank you Skipper I was looking for a professional opinion.
Red boat fades pinkly
Glare of sun ruin finish
Buff, sell quick, buy white

dahfisheroo was out last night helping get my dad’s boat ready to sell, have you had any luck getting yours in ship shape condition? Inquiring minds want to know.

Picking up the 3M high gloss today (A gallon of it, I’ll have to find some friends and their boats.) We’ll start working in it this week/weekend. There is a fiberglass boat restorer about 10 miles down the way, I called him, trying to find the 3M imperial. He said that was more for autos, not a gel coat. We ordered the high gloss from him. He offered to do the whole thing for $300. Talk to me on Monday, see if at that time I think it would’ve been worth the money, instead of me doing it.