Follow These Tips To Choose The Right Buffing Compound For Your Gelcoat!

Gelcoat restoration is a seriously involved and time-consuming process. There’s a lot to think about – including making sure that you pick out the right buffing compound for your gelcoat. There are so many different products on the market. Which one is right for you?

At Chi Yacht Refinishing, we’re experts at yacht polishing and boat restoration, and we’re here to pass our knowledge onto you. With these quick tips, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect buffing compound for your gelcoat. Read on, and learn more about gelcoat restoration!


  1. First, Consider The Condition Of Your Gelcoat

This is one of the most important factors when it comes to picking out the right gelcoat. As a rule, the more corroded and stained your gelcoat is, the more “gritty” you’ll want your chosen buffing compound to be.

For example, if you have only a slight staining or oxidization problem, you can choose a very fine-grit buffing compound, because you’ll have to remove much less material in order to get rid of the stain.
In contrast, if you’ve got a heavily oxidized area of gelcoat, you’ll need a much more gritty buffing compound – or you may even have to use sandpaper, in addition to a buffing compound.


  1. Use 3 Buffing Compounds For The Best Results

For ideal gelcoat restoration, you’ll actually need 3 different buffing compounds.

  • A heavy-grit buffing compound – You can use a heavy-grit buffing compound to remove stains and corrosion from the most damaged areas of your gelcoat.
  • A medium-grit buffing compound – A medium-grit buffing compound will usually be ideal for most of your boat’s gel-coat, and should also be used on areas where you’ve used a heavier-grit compound, to help remove any scratches that are still present.
  • A “finishing compound” (polish) – Polishing compounds are technically the same as buffing compounds. They simply use exceptionally fine-grit formulas that leave behind no visible scratches.

It’s best to invest in all 3 of these buffing compounds for ideal results.


  1. Thinner Is Usually Better

More thin, “runny” buffing compounds are actually better – for one simple reason. They’re less likely to “clog” up your buffing pad. If your buffing pad gets covered in thick buffing compound, it’s going to be much less effective, and it will have a tendency to “slip and slide” out of your control, which can damage your gelcoat.

Most buffing compounds are quite thick. You can thin them out yourself with a bit of water. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this makes while buffing your gelcoat. The job will go faster, and you’ll have an easier time controlling your buffing tools.


  1. Avoid “Multipurpose Cleaner Waxes”

These products are quite tempting. They claim to clean, buff, and wax your boat simultaneously – which could save you quite a bit of time.

However, these products are not nearly as effective as purpose-built buffing compounds. They rarely restore the shine of your gelcoat, and provide sub-par protection compared to marine wax.

Restoring gelcoat is not easy, but there are no shortcuts. If you use a multipurpose cleaner wax, you’re risking the integrity of your paint job to save a bit of time and money – and that’s not worth it.


Got More Questions About Yacht Restoration Or Buffing? Contact Us Now!

At Chi Yacht Refinishing, we’re experts at gelcoat restoration – no matter what kind of boat you have! If you have questions about choosing buffing compound, or any other step of the restoration process, we’d be happy to hear from you. Contact us now!

Not sure if you’re ready for a DIY gelcoat restoration project? Not a problem! We can provide you with professional boat polishing and restoration services. We’d be happy to discuss our rates with you, and help you get your boat back in tip-top shape.