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Old 09-20-2021, 04:26 PM   #1
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Gouges and scratches fill in recommendations

Help please- we removed some old decals from our Evergreen Everlite travel trailer.
It is composite siding and we have new decals for it, but made a mess taking them off. They were very dry and we heated and used goof off, but my husband used a metal instead of a plastic to get adhesive off. What can anyone recommend to fill in the gouges and scrapes before putting new decals on? Someone told us to get fill n glaze, but that appears to be discontinued. Thanks for any input.
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:21 AM   #2
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3M Putty Cote
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b40067524/

Very smooth and creamy, easy sanding.

Any auto body paint supply will have it, or a similar knock-off brand.

I will apply it with a razor blade on a small pit or scratch.

Don't pile it on, there should be little to no putty on the panel surface, just fill the scratch.

Several thin passes allowing the putty to cure with light clean up sanding in between coats if needed.

If the scratches you're working with are contained under the new vinyl decals, 180#-220# grit sandpaper is the finest (as well as the roughest) you'll need to use.
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogie_ View Post
3M Putty Cote
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b40067524/

Very smooth and creamy, easy sanding.

Any auto body paint supply will have it, or a similar knock-off brand.

I will apply it with a razor blade on a small pit or scratch.

Don't pile it on, there should be little to no putty on the panel surface, just fill the scratch.

Several thin passes allowing the putty to cure with light clean up sanding in between coats if needed.

If the scratches you're working with are contained under the new vinyl decals, 180#-220# grit sandpaper is the finest (as well as the roughest) you'll need to use.
180 and 220 is way to course to use on the gelcoat that is on Fibron Sheeting. Since the OP unfortunately used a metal scraper he has scratches in the gel coat. The only thing that will fill and last on gel coat is gel coat. Yes. You can put putty in it, but with time it will fail.

The proper way is to get some gel coat from a boat supply. It is two part mix. Sand around the gouge with 1200 or finer wet or dry sandpaper with a flat sponge sanding block. At the gouge, turn the block on edge just a little to open the gouge up and bevel it just a bit. Apply a light goat of gel coat into the gouge, allowing it to cure. Again wet sand with 1200 paper. Do this two or three times until the surface is flat and smooth. You should not have any gel coat more than 1/4 inch wider that the gouge. And you while you will lightly sand outside the gouge, the concentration should be to get the gouge level with the surrounding surface.

Then go from 1200, to 1800 to 2400 sandpaper, working your way out from the repaired area. Since this is going under decals an exact color match is not needed. But I have fixed deep gouges in boats for years this way. The toughest was getting the color match exact, so a 1 inch wide gouge from a boat dock was invisible. Done correctly, all the new material is in the damage, and none over the undamaged area. After 2400 sanding a light buffing is all that is needed. I have spent hours tinting gel coat to get an exact match. On a camper with decals you just need to be close enough ti does not show through.
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
180 and 220 is way to course to use on the gelcoat that is on Fibron Sheeting. Since the OP unfortunately used a metal scraper he has scratches in the gel coat. The only thing that will fill and last on gel coat is gel coat. Yes. You can put putty in it, but with time it will fail.

The proper way is to get some gel coat from a boat supply. It is two part mix. Sand around the gouge with 1200 or finer wet or dry sandpaper with a flat sponge sanding block. At the gouge, turn the block on edge just a little to open the gouge up and bevel it just a bit. Apply a light goat of gel coat into the gouge, allowing it to cure. Again wet sand with 1200 paper. Do this two or three times until the surface is flat and smooth. You should not have any gel coat more than 1/4 inch wider that the gouge. And you while you will lightly sand outside the gouge, the concentration should be to get the gouge level with the surrounding surface.

Then go from 1200, to 1800 to 2400 sandpaper, working your way out from the repaired area. Since this is going under decals an exact color match is not needed. But I have fixed deep gouges in boats for years this way. The toughest was getting the color match exact, so a 1 inch wide gouge from a boat dock was invisible. Done correctly, all the new material is in the damage, and none over the undamaged area. After 2400 sanding a light buffing is all that is needed. I have spent hours tinting gel coat to get an exact match. On a camper with decals you just need to be close enough ti does not show through.
You're too late.
I've done it this way many, many times over the years with great results lasting for years.
Heck, I've even painted over 220 prep that looked fantastic. Sometimes wonder why I use 400 for final prep.

And the Putty Cote has worked perfect for years also in this type of application.

Blending in gel coat without top coating is not what we're doing here.
Using fine grit paper would be a superfluous waste of time.

Unless the OP is some type of sanding masochist I would urge him use grit I recommended.
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:23 PM   #5
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Smile Gouges and Scratches

Thank you for replying. I will let you know what worked!! Rained in Virginia yesterday and overcast today so waiting to work on it.
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