Paint canoe gel coat or other solution

I removed the red paint the previous owner had put on the upper half of a canoe.

I used an power sander for this.

Not sure it was a good idea, but now it’s done.

I tried to damage the gel coat as little possible.

Now, there are some very thin traces of red paint remaining and the gel coat is white everywhere the sander passed as you can see on these photos

My question is:

Should I try to get rid of all the red and then use a power buffer to get the gel coat shiny again and, hence, never have paint peeling again or should I just paint the canoe?

Thanks for your thoughts

sanding exposed fabric then recoat that area with gelcoat…West Marine has a small tube.

When a carefully inspected hull is covered with gelcoat then repaint with Krylon.

first coat is roughin in…after dry a finer ‘touching up’ brings the plan into focus.

this is art not final judgement.

tho with a power sander…

What white?
I’m seeing green and it does look like you’ve sanded right through the gel coat if that is what it had on it. If you are serious about fixing this boat, you’re going to have to seal off any exposed fabric and sand it out smooth, but from the pictures it looks like you’re going to have the fabric pattern telegraphed through whatever kind of finish you apply, unless you coat the whole thing with a filler.

The finished boat should be nice and heavy.

There’s more to it than that

– Last Updated: Nov-03-16 12:13 PM EST –

The remaining red paint is in low spots. In order to sand it out, you'll probably end up sanding through to the glass in some areas, which will require re-coating and the likelihood of getting a good color match is low. You could try to remove the remaining paint by hand sanding just the low spot or perhaps lacquer thinner will remove it.

Getting the gloss back requires a lot more than just a buffer. You need to sand the surface to at least 800 grit (1500 is preferable), then buff it out with rubbing compound, followed by polishing compound. It's going to be a lot of work, but as long as you haven' sanded through the gelcoat, it should look nice.

The other option is to prime and sand the surface, then spray or "roll and tip" on a good quality boat paint like Interlux Brightsides. That would be faster and easier than sanding and buffing out the gelcoat and would allow you to select any color you like. As another poster pointed out, the weave is going to show unless you fill and sand the surface.

The bottom line is that it's up to you to determine how much time, labor and expense you are willing to spend on this boat.

Looking more closely at the photos, it appears that you sanded this with 40 grit, which means you've got a LOT more sanding to do to get rid of the scratches that the coarse abrasive left behind. IMO, this was a serious mistake that really limits your options. It also appears that you may have sanded through the gelcoat in a few spots along the gunwale.

Given this, I'd say your only realistic option is:
1- Sand with 80-100 grit on a soft pad to ensure that the entire surface is abraded.

2- If you want a smooth finish without the weave showing, apply filler to the surface and sand it smooth. If you don't care about the weave, prime it.

3- Wet sand, re-prime, re-sand as necessary to get the desired surface finish. This should be done by hand, not with your detail sander.

4- Paint it.