can this be done with gelcoat?

I’m asking this question out of curiosity, not because I actually want to do it:

On cars, there is a variety of painting techniques. Metal flake, plastic beads (“pearls”), etc. can be added to the paint. There are pretty good examples at “House of Kolor”, as well as at other places. Can these techniques be applied to gelcoat? thanks.

NC Kayaks does a lot of that kind of thing.

sure, why not?

– Last Updated: Aug-27-15 10:57 AM EST –

Speedboat manufacturers have been doing it for years:

Imagine a kayak with "flip-flop" metal flake!

P&H offers metal flake
I have seen some P&H Cetus kayaks with what looked like metal flake to me.

Impex kayaks used to do this
There was a “metal flake” option you could choose at one time. I don’t think it was very popular as I’ve never see pictures of any kayaks with this color scheme.

you mean
adding micro ballons to gel coat ? I’m no expert but I think not. If you need micro ballons or generically ‘filler’ in gelcoat or want to go in that direction, you move into ‘putty’ or ‘filler’ which are not gelcoat. Gel coat is a coat like paint.

If the surface has a depression then the concave is filled with filler or putty. The filler or putty can be formulated by adding microballons to resin keeping the layup in one formulation…that is not buying a separate filler formulation.

For gel coat pop outs down to the fabric, I used the no sag super super glue (eg Permatex), method over Kevlar layup not bare Kevlar then covered with gelcoat. The popout doesn’t really quality as a concave surface or depression its just a popout.

The repairs have blended into the hull surface over time without appearing insufficient.

having written the preceeding
the obvious floats into view that the gelcoat already has filler in giving just the right smoothin’ consistency.

But that’s the factory formulation not the untested subjective garage method of ‘this looks good’

metal flake
Checkmate boats was famous for decades doing metal flake gelcoats. You can also paint over gelcoat and do most anything you want.

super glue
used here is on a rigid sea kayak. SG is brittle compared to ply or epoxy resins. For a river canoe, poly is probably best for all resin repairs.

Metal flake finish
is a common finish on squirt boats.

beat me to that one
some beautiful squirtboats out there. Always cracked me up how the prettiest boats are out of site in use.

one thing I’ve never seen though
is a chrome finish kayak.

Sure would be visible in sunlight!

Gel coat additives
Yes, several sources for metal flake and other additives for clear gel. Start with Express Composites and Sweet Composites.