How to restore a faded gelcoat with Polytrol

How To Restore A Faded Gelcoat

It is a very common problem with boats for their gelcoat to become faded and to lose its shine.  This happens naturally from exposure to the elements such as UV rays, weather and pollution.

With this weathering, the surface of the gelcoat errodes and becomes chalky and dull looking. But do not worry, restoring your gelcoat is very easy and you can even do it yourself.

To bring back the colour and shine of your boat, we recommend using Owatrol Polytrol. It is perfect for use on fibreglass (GRP) gelcoats and will make your boat look as good as new!

Some people will opt to use a wax or polish, however, these types of products are often time-consuming to apply and take a lot of effort for them to simply sit on the surface and eventually dry out. Polytrol, however, penetrates deep within the surface and re-wets the dried out pigments, restoring their colour and shine. It also offers protection from corrosion and blemishes on metal.

Polytrol colour restorer before and after on gelcoat

Benefits of using Polytrol on your gelcoat:

  • Restores the colour and shine fo the surface
  • Negates the need to use wax of polish
  • Offers protection from corrosion and blemishes
  • Easy to apply and long-lasting

Keeping your gelcoat in top condition not only makes your boat more aesthetically pleasing, but it also offers it protection making it last longer.

Application of Polytrol

Polytrol is quick and easy to apply:

  1. Clean the surface thoroughly with either warm soapy water, or to be sure of an extra clean, you could opt to use Pura-Trol. However, if your boat has mildew or mould you will need to remove it with a bleach-based solution, or you could opt to use Owayell.
  2. Use masking tape or painters tape to protect the areas on your boat which do not need treating.
  3. Polytrol dries very quickly (usually in under 10 mins) so be sure to work in small areas as you do not want it to dry out.
  4. Take a lint-free cloth and apply the Polytrol to the gelcoat. Be sure to wipe off any excess Polytrol as quickly as you can as you may have an uneven finish if you fail to do so.
  5. Once it has been left for the right amount of time and you have removed the excess, buff the surface with a new lint-free cloth to bring out the shine.

Polytrol applied to a narrowboat

For the best results

To ensure that you have the best result possible when applying Polytrol, there are a few things you will need to take into account.

  • Do not apply the Polytrol in direct sunlight, nor if the gelcoat is hot to touch
  • Do not allow the Polytrol to dry out of the surface
  • Make sure to remove the excess Polytrol
  • Polytrol works by re-wetting and restoring pigments, so it will not work on white surfaces

It is hard to give an exact estimate as to the time Polytrol will last. This is because it depends on how much sunlight the boat is exposed to, how much weather it is exposed to, what type of environment it is in, how often the gelcoat is cleaned and more. We do like to suggest that you will usually not need to re-apply Polytrol for at least 12 months, but this depends on a lot of factors.

Once you find the gelcoat beginning to fade, simply repeat the easy application process the same way again.

We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any other tips, tricks or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

6 thoughts on “How To Restore A Faded Gelcoat

  1. Dear Sir
    I mismanaged the use of Owatrol restorer which I applied too thick and did not work properly into the gelcoat of my sailboat
    Thus even.even more dull finish. When trying to remove it or get it glossy I find it almost impossible to get it off. What substance shall I use to remove it and start from the beginning

    1. Hi there Dalton,

      I’m afraid we do not stock any wax finishes for gel coats. Apologies we could not be of help this time.

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

    2. Once this has been applied, can you apply a wax over it for longer lasting protection or must you leave it alone?

      1. Hi there Dave,

        There is no problem applying a wax to a dry surface after using Polytrol, but it could impede future maintenance applications if the wax coating outlasts the effects of the Polytrol.

        I hope this was helpful – feel free to give us a call: +353 1 830 2250 or email us at: if you have any further queries.

        All the best,
        The Owatrol IE Team

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