How to Restore the Gelcoat on a Fiberglass Pool Slide

By Jay Kurz

Pool slides are commonly made with fiberglass or coated with fiberglass gel coat. Fiberglass gel coat is a finishing paint as well as a protective layer. For outside applications, gel coat contains additives that provide protection from ultraviolet rays. After years of sun exposure and wear and tear, the gel coat on a fiberglass pool side can become dull and discolored. Gel coat can be restored back to its original finish fairly easily with supplies found at a marine supply store.

Put on a respirator and sand the entire surface of gel coat with a palm sander and coarse grit sandpaper. Sand the gel coat until it is smooth and dull. Once the entire surface is scuffed go over the surface again with fine grit sandpaper.

Clean the sanded surface with a rag and acetone. Remove any gel coat dust or grease that may be on the surface. Any grease or oil residue left on the surface will cause the gel coat to bubble up and bond improperly.

Mask off the edges of the area to be gel coated using painters tape. Also mask off anything in the adjacent area to protect it from overspray.

Mix the gel coat with the hardener following the instructions on the containers. Use a small bucket and a stir stick to thoroughly mix the gel coat.

Apply the gel coat with a felt roller in an even, heavy coat. If the gel coat does not cover the surface in one coat, let the first coat begin to harden and apply a second coat. Let the gel coat harden.