How to Refinish Laminated Glass Recurve Bows

By Ryan Lawrence

Things Needed

  • 50-grit sandpaper
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 300-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits
  • Canvas drop cloth
  • Painter's masking tape
  • Water-based spray polyurethane
  • Tack cloth
  • Acrylic spray primer
  • Acrylic spray enamel
A refinished laminated bow can look as good as new.

A laminated glass recurve bow is composed of fiberglass that is finished with a clear sealer. If you'd like to refinish your laminated glass recurve bow, you have a pair of options: you can take down the existing faded or flaking finish and add a fresh layer of glossy sealer, or you can add an enduring, colorful enamel. Learn the proper way to eliminate the existing finish, or poor adhesion will inevitably lead to your finish chipping.

Preparation

Sand the existing finish from the laminate glass recurve bow, using a coarse, 50-grit sandpaper. Continue until the bow appears dull.

Smooth the fiberglass bow by sanding it with 120-grit sandpaper.

Wipe the laminate glass recurve bow with a rag dampened with mineral spirits. Set the bow on a canvas drop cloth and wait 20 minutes for the spirits to evaporate.

Cover portions of the laminate glass recurve bow that are to remain unfinished using painter's masking tape.

Refinishing

Coat the fiberglass bow with water-based spray polyurethane. Clear polyurethane finishes tend to sag easily. Prevent this occurrence by applying only a thin coat and by holding an 8-inch distance between the fiberglass bow and spray tip.

Let the polyurethane finish dry for two hours. Lightly sand the bow with 300-grit sandpaper. Wipe the bow with a tack cloth.

Add another coat of polyurethane. Let the bow dry for two hours.

Painting

Abrade the fiberglass bow to encourage adhesion. Sand the bow with 100-grit sandpaper until the fiberglass feels rough.

Coat the fiberglass bow with acrylic spray primer. Hold the sprayer 8 inches from the fiberglass bow.

Let the acrylic base dry for two hours. Lightly sand the bow with 300-grit sandpaper. Wipe the bow with a tack cloth.

Paint the fiberglass bow as you primed it. Use an acrylic enamel. Don't handle the bow for two hours.

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.