How to Match Gelcoat Colors
Gelcoat is a resin-based paint which is used for painting the surfaces of fiberglass. As many boats are made from fiberglass, gelcoat is typically used to renovate and restore the bodywork of marine vessels and other items located near water although it is not used exclusively on this type of work. Matching gelcoat paints is not an easy task but fortunately, there are various services and products available to help you find the perfect gelcoat color match.
Step 1 - Muse over Color Swatches
Using color swatches is a great method to help you match gelcoat colors. Color swatches are readily available from stores selling gelcoat colors and allow you to preview the shades and tones by taking them home to check against existing colors. Some color swatch websites are also available to help with matching gelcoat colors. You can muse over various colors and by clicking on a color, images of boats or other fiberglass-built panels or components will immediately turn that color. This is a fantastic way of getting an overall feel for various colors and is also a good way of becoming familiar with the names of different colors.
Step 2 - Use Color Matching Services
When trying to match gelcoat colors, you may require the assistance of color matching services. There are numerous services offering such assistance available. Companies such as Selec Touch offer precise color matching to suit your individual color requirements. Computer technology and color matching equipment feeds exact analysis data and provides an exact duplication of the color. Such precise technology will undoubtedly help you in your quest to match gelcoat colors.
Step 3 - Use a Gelcoat Repair Kit
Gelcoat repair kits consist of different color pigments. You can manipulate these pigments until you find a good gelcoat color match. Decide which color pigment provided in the gelcoat repair kit is most similar to the color you want to match.
Conducting a test patch is a good way to find the correct gelcoat color match. Apply a small amount of the pigment to an area of fiberglass. If you are not happy with the color match, you can add more pigment until you achieve a closer match. If the color is too dark, stir in lighter shades or white pigment to tone the color down. Alternatively if the gelcoat is too light, apply some of the same color pigment or a darker one until you find a closer match.
Unlike many other paints, gelcoat does not change in color when it dries. Bear this in mind so that it does not affect your color match.
Step 4 - Use a Color Match Kit
By purchasing a color match kit, it will enable you to find ideal color mixes. Rayplex offers a wide selection of color matching kits including the White-Gelcoat Repair Kit. This kit is specifically designed for matching gelcoat colors and achieves perfect color matches and professional looking gelcoat repair jobs. You simply place the color chart on the gelcoat to be matched and add a few drops of pigment. Keep on adding the pigment and mixing until you have found an exact color match.
Step 5 - Take Advantage of Fan Decks
Fan decks are another great method to match gelcoat colors. You simply hold a color sample provided on the fan deck next to the fiberglass surface and view the color through the hole in each sample until you are happy you have found a good gelcoat color match. Fan decks are similar to swatches but subtle changes in tone and shade are printed adjacent to each other to give a rainbow effect which helps find a good match much faster than conventional swatches.