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I have messed with various schemes. Clear over a smooth sanded 400 color coat surface has peeled like a sunburn within ten years. 

Clear directly over wet color coat takes longer to peel, but it seems to fail on the most exposed parts.

Mixing 50/50 clear and color seems to give an appearance of depth on yellows snd light oranges but I wasn’t impressed

whenni went without about 99% clear on the last oupje coats on a red boat it looked glorious.... but when it was scratched I absolutely could not find a decent repair until I re-painted the whole damn side 

 

my opinion?? It simply isn’t worth fucking with the clear except for recoating those old Pearson hatches, and J-boat sliding hatches  where they made them with no gelcoat to let some light inside. 
in tgat applicstion, whenbtge fiberglass is annoyingly penetrating too many bikini bottoms, we tape the perimeter, add a bunch of flattening agent, roll or brush on so much it drips off the sides. 
thst repair seems to be good for 15-20 years 

 

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 We (friends who mess with this stuff) refer to Awlcraft and automotive 2 part acrylic urethanes as single stage. Color, profile and depth in one stage. Color sanding can yield outstanding results but requires maintenance to retain the shiny profile.

 2 stage in our simple minds means base coat/clear coat. A base coat is applied but requires clear coat to complete the process, base is flat. Not the same as clearing over single stage Acrylic Urethane. Neither option has longevity in the marine world.

   Our process (credit to Pete Conary/Yachtcoatings) yields magazine cover paint jobs that shine forevermore without color sanding (wetsanding clear is still color sanding.)

 50/50 clear mixed with solid color is the key. It is brilliant when mixed correctly.

 We apply 3 coats of solid color, followed by 50/50 mix. The big mistake is dumping clear directly into color, thinning and mixing hardener as one product.

 Thin and mix hardener clear and solid color separately then dump together.

 We use the same process spraying gel coat using Duratec high gloss clear but we thin with MEK. This process requires color sanding post spray but it's worth the effort, incredible results.

  Respraying clear over a pia but pretty damn simple on poles and spars.

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You might have a look at Alexseal. Somewhere between Awlcraft and Awlgrip in terms of hardness, more repairable / polishable. We had Alexseal and then due to Hurricane Sandy, had Awlgrip, thinking the hardness would be better. However, we much preferred the Alexseal. It seemed deeper.

 

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On 2/1/2021 at 4:53 AM, PeterRoss said:

 We (friends who mess with this stuff) refer to Awlcraft and automotive 2 part acrylic urethanes as single stage. Color, profile and depth in one stage. Color sanding can yield outstanding results but requires maintenance to retain the shiny profile.

 2 stage in our simple minds means base coat/clear coat. A base coat is applied but requires clear coat to complete the process, base is flat. Not the same as clearing over single stage Acrylic Urethane. Neither option has longevity in the marine world.

   Our process (credit to Pete Conary/Yachtcoatings) yields magazine cover paint jobs that shine forevermore without color sanding (wetsanding clear is still color sanding.)

 50/50 clear mixed with solid color is the key. It is brilliant when mixed correctly.

 We apply 3 coats of solid color, followed by 50/50 mix. The big mistake is dumping clear directly into color, thinning and mixing hardener as one product.

 Thin and mix hardener clear and solid color separately then dump together.

 We use the same process spraying gel coat using Duratec high gloss clear but we thin with MEK. This process requires color sanding post spray but it's worth the effort, incredible results.

  Respraying clear over a pia but pretty damn simple on poles and spars.

When you go 50/50 clear color you give the finished paint film the appearance of depth 

looks good 

unfortunately in future , when doing a repair , a touch up . this depth is impossible to match and the repair stands proud 

go simple 

 

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All paint repairs show to the critical eye, wont disagree it's tough to hide but that's the cost of appearance.

 OP can fight oxidation on Awlcraft using Awlgrip post paint cleaners and wipe on coatings like Awlcare.

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this project  topcoat was flag blue 70/30 

ratios  and technique are decided by the painter 

a typical shoot  is 3 times around ... 3 coats  sprayed ... straight paint , no clear 

on this job the painter didn’t like the finished product ... flow out .. so he sanded down and added  another finish topcoat  ... two times around , 70/30 

to use clear the background  coating must be solid color .. perfect .. or you  get shadows  with a semi transparent topcoat 

ask your painter for advice 

 

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