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Maintenance time is determined more by exposure conditions and wear factors than any fixed schedule. Here are some general guidelines:
In equatorial climates (Caribbean) a top coat should be applied about once per year.
In southern latitudes (Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas) top coat once every 1 to 2 years.
In mid-Atlantic areas (Chesapeake Bay) a top coat should be applied once every 2 to 3 years.
In New England, a top coat would be needed only once every 3 to 4 years, if the boat is not covered during winter storage.
Customers have reported extreme high wear areas like commercial flooring requiring a top coat about once per year.
Residential flooring or cabin floors aboard boats should only need to be top coated once every 3 to 5 years.
This modest maintenance schedule will renew the coating thickness and UV resistance and keep the finish looking new.
Wash if required to remove all salt and dirt. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Sand by hand with 320 grit paper to remove all gloss, oxidation and surface defects. Do not sand sharp corners or edges, but scuff with a 3M #7447 red ScotchBrite pad. Remove sanding dust and wipe with acetone or lacquer thinner, then follow with a tack rag.
Apply 2 coats to insure that there are no thin spots or missed areas (holidays). These 2 coats should be applied without sanding in between, approximately 1 or more hours apart. More coats must be applied when patching any damage. Build up any bare spots to the same thickness as the surrounding area. Allow to dry thoroughly. Sand the repairs and surrounding areas smooth. Apply the 2 maintenance coats as described above.
However, people continue to ask. Well, removal is quite easy. We have removed Bristol Finish several times to change stain colors, and it is not difficult. You may either sand off the coating with 80 grit paper, or use any commercial paint remover. Even gelcoat safe strippers will remove Bristol Finish when used with enough patience.
If there are areas that are damaged, small spots are easily sanded out. Please note that wholesale, complete removal will only be required if the minimal maintenance schedule is grossly neglected. If you take care of your brightwork by following the maintenance procedure above, Bristol Finish will not require removal for a period of 15 years, and quite possibly longer.
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