How to Remove Heavy Oxidation From Fiberglass

Written by cheryl torrie
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How to Remove Heavy Oxidation From Fiberglass
You won't have to park your RV in the woods if you remove the oxidation. (rv,motorcoach image by Greg Pickens from

Removing heavy oxidation from fibreglass RVs, boats and cars is an important part of your RV, boat or auto maintenance plan. The dull surface appearance, oxidation, is caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays. If caught quickly it can be removed easily, but if it is left untreated for long periods of time, the gelcoat surface can permanently fade and require professional removal and repainting. To restore and retain the glossy shine that is inherent in fibreglass, it is necessary to remove the oxidation and expose a clean layer of fibreglass.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Soft cloth
  • Moderately abrasive polish or wax that is formulated specifically to remove oxidation

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  1. 1

    Dampen a soft cloth with a moderately abrasive polish or wax that is formulated specifically to remove oxidation from fibreglass and apply the polish to the fibreglass in an overlapping circular motion, working one section at a time. Turn the cloth over (when it becomes covered with the colour of the fibreglass) and dampen it with the polish as often as needed to cover the entire fibreglass surface area.

  2. 2

    Allow the polish to dry to a dull overall finish on the surface. This will take approximately 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Polish the fibreglass surface with a soft cloth in an overlapping circular motion to remove the polish and restore the shine.

Tips and warnings

  • Fibreglass restoration polishes and waxes can be found at any RV, automotive or marine supply store.
  • The fibreglass polish can be buffed off with an orbital or high speed buffer, if desired, but you will still need to polish it with a cloth to restore the shine.
  • The fibreglass polish cloth can be secured to a paint roller with an extension handle for hard to reach spots.
  • If the fibreglass shine is not restored after using the polish, you will need to do a wet sanding or contact a professional fibreglass restorer.
  • Wear chemical resistant rubber gloves and safety glasses when applying and removing the polish.

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