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Is It Better To Spray Or Brush Gelcoat? What You Should Know

Is it better to spray or brush gelcoat? The answer is that spraying gelcoat is generally the preferred method for the best finish, but brushing can work well for small repairs and touch-ups.

Why Spraying Gelcoat is Better

Spraying gelcoat with a spray gun gives you the smoothest, most even finish. A professional-looking spray job is hard to beat. Unless you’re just doing small patches, it’s worth investing in a spray gun rather than trying to brush on gelcoat over larger areas.

Some key advantages of spraying:

  • Smoother, more uniform coverage
  • Faster application, especially on bigger jobs
  • Avoids visible brush strokes
  • Easier to apply in thin, even coats

So if you want that slick, glossy look, spraying is the way to go. It takes a bit of practice, but the results are worth it.

When Brushing Works Well

That said, brushing gelcoat still has its place, particularly for:

  • Fixing small dings, chips and scratches
  • Gelcoat repairs in tight corners or awkward spots
  • Quick touch-ups and patching

Brushing gives you more control for detail work. And for minor fixes, setting up the spray equipment is overkill. Just keep in mind, brushing uses more product and the finish won’t be quite as smooth. Use foam brushes and toss them when you’re done.

Other Gelcoat Application Tips

Whichever method you choose, proper prep is key:

  • Sand and clean the surface thoroughly
  • Apply in thin layers, building up gradually
  • Allow proper cure time between coats
  • Wet sand for an ultra-smooth final result

With spraying especially, it’s critical to get the right gelcoat-to-catalyst ratio and spray at the correct pressure/distance to avoid defects. But when done right, a fresh coat of gelcoat will protect your pride and joy for years to come!

==>> Also read: Is it better to spray or roll boat paint?

The Bottom Line

So in summary, spraying is best for most gelcoat jobs and will give you the nicest finish by far. But for small repairs and quick fix-its, brushing works great.

Weigh the size of the project, and consider investing in a simple spray gun if you’ll be doing a lot of gelcoat.

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