What makes SlideRenu® Coatings BETTER than gelcoat paint?

Developed nearly 50 years ago specifically for the marine industry, gelcoat is an outdated technology. Due to a government mandate, reduction in the use of styrene, gelcoat's chlorine and UV resistance has been greatly reduced.

Field-applied gelcoat fades within 1 to 2 seasons. The SlideRenu® system can last up to 10 years, dramatically increasing the time between having to recoat.

The SlideRenu® system, coupled with a regular maintenance program will extend their visual appearance and resistance to environmental elements.

SlideRenu vs. gelcoat test panel


Gelcoat paints are epoxy polyester resins that degrade at a much faster rate than our SlideRenu® coating system; ABC Primer™, ColorShield™ UV4 and ChloraShield™ UV115. This is because gelcoat cannot be formulated to utilize the most technically advanced polymer chlorine resistant resins, inorganic pigments, high-density UV blockers, adhesion promoters and gloss enhancers that are included in all SlideRenu® coatings. As a result, gelcoat prematurely fades, oxidizes, chalks, cracks and looks dull within 1-2 years!

Microscopically, gelcoat is very porous, soft, and shrinks when exposed to the UV rays of the sun over a long period of time. Gelcoat contains styrene, a hazardous cancer causing chemical that causes “blooming” or the loss of color in the gelcoat pigment. The blooming or oxidation process is the result of waxes, polishes, body oils and sunscreen lotions clogging these pores and reacting with the UV rays of the sun turning these surface contaminants into an acid which attacks the colored gelcoat pigment. Once gelcoat oxidizes, it is nearly impossible to restore the gelcoat surface to its like-new color appearance because the color pigment has been permanently damaged by the UV rays of the sun and chlorinated water.

Most gelcoat applicators use a gelcoat enamel or PUR/POLY gelcoat which has even poorer performance characteristics than the original gelcoat used by the OEM during the manufacturing of the fiberglass water slide. Some of the newly formulated PUR/POLY gelcoats use a “brittle” crystalline polyurethane system which is susceptible to cracking and turns yellow.

SlideRenu® ChloraShield™ UV115 and ColorShield™ UV4 are acrylic/polyurethane “pre-oxidized” resurfacing resin systems that have been formulated specifically to resurface sun damaged fiberglass water slides. SlideRenu® is the only company in the aquatics industry that manufactures a deep penetrating fiberglass adhesion product, solid color top coat, and clear UV and abrasion resistant coating system that has been specifically formulated for resurfacing dull color faded water slides. All other coatings, including gelcoat and epoxy paints, used by applicators to resurface water slides are off-the-shelf (not designed for chlorinated water) marine grade products that are neither UV stable, chlorine resistant nor suitable for complete pool water immersion.

All SlideRenu® coatings are custom blended with the most technically advanced materials available in the coatings industry and have been specifically designed to protect interior riding paths against UV degradation, chlorinated pool water, abrasion from bathing suits, rafts, inner tubes, foam mats, etc. ChloraShield™ UV115, used as a protective coating in the three coat system, is fortified with a 3rd component Chlorine Resistant Activator (CRA), to prevent hard water mineral deposits from clinging to the interior side walls of the water slide, thus reducing white haze buildup. The amount of the CRA component is increased or decreased for each customer depending on the hardness of their chlorinated pool water. This is proprietary to SlideRenu®

SlideRenu® has developed a proprietary clear and white deep penetrating fiberglass primer, Adhesion Base Coat Primer. The primer forms an very critical layer of protection from coating delamination. This nearly 100% solids content primer was specifically formulated to function as a tie-coat between the water slide surface and the SlideRenu ® finish coatings. It was also developed with specific adhesion promoters that form a very strong molecular bond to water slide surfaces that have been re-painted with gelcoat, epoxy, alkyd, urethane and latex paints.


Both gelcoat and SlideRenu® coatings typically require the same amount of surface preparation; cleaning, mechanical abrasion and a solvent wipe. SlideRenu® has developed a comprehensive step by step surface preparation and application process that all certified applicators must follow. As a result, we guarantee our workmanship for one year and the performance of our coatings up to 5 years.

sliderenu vs. gelcoat chart


Gelcoat doesn’t level out and cure the same way that SlideRenu® coatings do. As a result, gelcoat typically has a certain degree of surface texture or orange peel after it cures which usually requires the surface to be sanded, sealed and polished. This is a time consuming and a costly application step. Gelcoat is normally sprayed on in multiple coats to achieve the final cured thickness. Typically, 2 coats are required; another time consuming and costly application step as compared to SlideRenu® coatings.

Gelcoat must be uniformly applied at the proper WFT (wet film thickness) to allow for the initial sanding and polishing process, and still leave enough DFT (dry film thickness) to stand up to rigorous abrasion and polishing. If gelcoat is applied over 10 mils, the risk of excessive spider cracking increases significantly. Working within these sensitive application parameters demands that gelcoat be applied by experienced applicators with efficient operating equipment in order to achieve long lasting results.

SlideRenu® coatings have high self-leveling properties that significantly reduce orange peel and don’t require any rigorous sanding, sealing or polishing after they cure. Both ColorShield™ UV4 and ChloraShield™ UV115 can be brush and hand applied with minimal texturing although a conventional air or HVLP spray system is recommended to achieve a factory-like finish. Since all water slide resurfacing is not done under factory controlled conditions, airborne contaminants must be removed after the color coat is cured by lightly sanding the surface. To bring back the original gloss and to add an extra layer of surface protection against chlorine and rider abrasion, ChloraShield™ UV115 is applied as a final top coat.

Most SlideRenu® coatings have been formulated to achieve the recommended DFT thickness (7mils body slide and 11mils raft slide) and hiding/coverage in one application (except yellow, red and extremely vibrant colors).

SlideRenu® coatings, when properly applied, have excellent elongation characteristics and can be applied up to 20 mils without cracking or forming spider cracks.

SlideRenu® coatings are applied by certified applicators that are trained by an authorized SlideRenu® water slide technician and come with a 1 year workmanship guarantee against delamination. For water parks that have skilled in-house painting resources, SlideRenu® offers certification services to train in-house maintenance staff which can greatly reduce application costs. Our product guarantee is up to 5 years against fading, oxidation, loss of gloss and chalking.

All SlideRenu® products are environmentally safe and worker friendly, meeting the most stringent environmental standards, due to the near 100% solids content formulations. As with other specialty coatings, proper safety protection is required.


The soft organic gelcoat resins begin to break down immediately after application, and as a result, color and gloss retention suffers very quickly. As the oxidation process accelerates, color and gloss retention fails at an exponential rate. It is not uncommon for a new gelcoat water slide to look dull and weathered after 1 or 2 seasons!

SlideRenu® coatings have been formulated with the highest color and gloss retention ingredients in the industry. Its high color-depth of image and permanent WET-LOOK SHINE produces a very shiny surface. Since it is chemically impossible for SlideRenu® coatings to chalk or oxidize, gloss retention is maintained over the life of the coating, in most cases up to 10 years. Highly effective high-density UV blockers also provide an added shield of protection of the underlying colored pigment.

The high gloss and durability of ChloraShield™ UV115 is unmatched in the industry. Its hydrophobic properties make it nearly impossible for any surface contaminant to stick to the surface. Furthermore, its graffiti resistant properties make it easier to remove water shoe marks, leaf stains, bird droppings, and other hard to remove stains reducing maintenance costs.


Because gelcoat forms a soft film, routine compounding and polishing reduces gelcoat thickness by about 1-1 ½ mils per year. Waxing weathered, oxidized gelcoat slides does very little to enhance their appearance. In fact, using solvent-based waxes such as Turtle wax® or 3M Boat Wax products actually accelerates color fading.

SlideRenu® coatings are molecularly stronger than gelcoat resins and don’t wear out as fast. They have excellent mechanical properties even in the most extreme environmental conditions.

Water slides restored with SlideRenu® coatings typically don’t require any compounding or polishing which saves a substantial amount of money over the maintenance life cycle of the water slide. However, good maintenance practices recommend that a water slide be cleaned using a foaming soap, water-based degreaser, enviro-safe scale remover and pressure washer at the beginning and end of the season. Slide manufacturers also recommend that water slides be waxed at least twice a year; opening day and closing day. A third waxing may also be needed based on usage, weather and location.

SlideRenu® coatings accept most waxes but a nano-technology polymer wax bonds best with the compatible SlideRenu® polymer resins. SlideRenu® offers a complete line of compatible cleaners, degreasers, polishes and waxes to protect and extend the life or your water slides.


Gelcoat is very expensive to apply, averaging $15-$20/sq. ft. When the life cycle costs of gelcoat are added to the initial application cost, gelcoat costs about 2-3 times more than water slides resurfaced with the SlideRenu® 3-Coat Water Slide System. Over a 10 year maintenance cycle, SlideRenu® coatings can save a substantial amount of money over gelcoat resurfacing due to less maintenance costs and longer re-coat time.


SlideRenu is a water slide maintenance products and services company. We are the only company in the aquatics industry that manufactures a variety of protective restoration coatings, cleaners, scale removers, waxes, polishes and glosses which have been specifically formulated to restore the LIKE-NEW appearance to dull color faded water slides and aquatic play features. All of our products are environmentally friendly, worker safe and can be applied by your experienced, internal maintenance staff, seasonal employees or our certified applicators.