Keeping gelcoat coated with wax from day one is the best way to prolong its life. Regularly waxed gelcoat (quarterly) can retain its gloss for 15 years or more. The real purpose of a coat of wax is to protect, however some of our cleaner waxes have some minor restorative properties if the gel coat is not too badly weathered. Most often though, an extended period of time has passed between wax applications, which allows the gel coat to weather and become chalky.
If the gel coat is beyond the restoring power of waxing, the next step is machine polishing. Polish is not a coating, but rather an extremely slight abrasive. Polishing removes the pitted surfaces rather than coating them. After polishing, we will then apply a coat of wax to protect the surface and improve the gloss.
Rubbing compound is simply a more abrasive polish, it is applied with a machine buffer and removes a very thin top layer of gelcoat, not to fear the average gel coat is 10 times thicker than the clear coat on your car. After the surface has been machine compounded, we then machine polish it to a shine, finally we’ll coat it with wax and hand buff it out. This process will restore the shine to fiberglass in almost any condition, providing the gel coat has adequate thickness and has not been compounded too many times in the past.