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Old 05-10-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
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Painting a bus. Why does it seem like so few actually prep?

Okay guys and gals, as I go through my research on building a Skoolie (I think I have found the type of bus I want to get now, just need to find the actual bus!) I am seeing a lot of threads here, and youtube videos where people simply start slapping paint over the factory school bus yellow without so much as hitting it with any sort of wax remover, deglosser, and / or sander.

How on earth are people getting even passable finishes without doing any sort of prep work? Are they just not showing the work that went into prepping it for paint? Are they using some sort of self etching paint that doesn't need additional prep work (although I would suspect you would want the surfaces to be wax and tar free!).

How is this happening?
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:25 PM   #2
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I can't imagine even bothering with a few rattle cans without proper prepping (?).
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
Okay guys and gals, as I go through my research on building a Skoolie (I think I have found the type of bus I want to get now, just need to find the actual bus!) I am seeing a lot of threads here, and youtube videos where people simply start slapping paint over the factory school bus yellow without so much as hitting it with any sort of wax remover, deglosser, and / or sander.

How on earth are people getting even passable finishes without doing any sort of prep work? Are they just not showing the work that went into prepping it for paint? Are they using some sort of self etching paint that doesn't need additional prep work (although I would suspect you would want the surfaces to be wax and tar free!).

How is this happening?
I'm doing quite a bit of prep work. Inside and out. Taking forever but it will last.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:38 PM   #4
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Speaking from painting farm equipment, if there is a good oxidization coat on the paint of the vehicle, paint will stick to that very well. It's not wise to paint over wax obviously.
Rattle cans will change the color of a vehicle but it's so paper thin you'll likely be washing through it with a few years. A good quality high gloss equipment paint is about the best to use. You can have it tinted if you don't like industrial colors. Other than that a couple quarts of of good quality high gloss house paint does pretty well, lasting about 20 years. You can see it's not a real paint job if you're close, but from 5 or 10 feet away it looks ok. I'd imagine my medium bus would take about 6 quarts but I haven't decided on a color yet. No $5k paint jobs here.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:47 PM   #5
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I spray-bombed mine (the sides that don't face an empty lot) just to keep the neighbors quiet. Once I've got it where I wanted, I intend to prep and paint with an HVLP gun with ACE Rust Stop by the gallon. Although I am using a self-etching primer on the roof before repainting it white.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:36 PM   #6
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ive seen some pretty darned good foam rollered paint jobs on equipment.. theres something they add to the paint cant remember what its called.. hardener?

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Old 05-10-2016, 10:39 PM   #7
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Yes..hardener makes a big difference in oil based paints. As the name implies...it does make the finish...harder. There is also Floetrol. It aids in (once again as the name implies)...making paint flow better. Between them, you can get an excellent finish with a roller or even brush. My dad, who was a painter by trade, painted all of his cars ('33 Studebaker, '48 Chevy & '59 Chevy) with a brush. And they looked great and the finish lasted for years. With a little homework and proper prep, it is possible to get an excellent finish with minimal equipment.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:40 AM   #8
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farm paint from atwoods, black is great to use but silver takes a special touch to get a passable finish with intermediate scraping to remove the fuzzies. there is a greater chance to get a mil or 2 finish on a rolled coat finish over spray gun work. highly recommend silver over white. anecdotal hand on the finish, bright winter day says white is 1/3 to 1/2 warmer than silver. stand next to the mistress while the suns going down and feel the radiated heat on the non sun side.silver works!
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:59 PM   #9
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We spent days with scrapers, hours of applying Goo Gone, and then a couple of days wet sanding. Rivet. Rivet. Rivet. We then sprayed on Rustoleum by the gallon, with hardener, for a pretty durable finish.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:10 PM   #10
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As someone who didn't do any prep work I can say its not a "passable" finish.
There are runs and uneven texture in some places. However I don't care because I did it to be legal not to look nice.
I am also chronically short on time and money. Over the last year I have worked on the bus around 24-30 hours in total and I have a bus that is painted enough to be legal every where, seats removed, wired, and have a kitchen built.
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