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Old 12-15-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Covered Wagon Roof

I've been working on my bus conversion for a few years now. A few years ago I decided on making it look like a covered wagon and painted like it shows in these pictures.





I have been pretty satisfied with the results with the exception that for some reason the "canvas" roof has not held up very well with the paint having come off nearly 50% of the roof surface.

On the ceiling inside I installed canvas and the effect is quite good. With the wood floor and wood on the walls up to the windows and the canvas on the ceiling you can get the feel of being inside a wagon.

What I'm wondering about now is the idea on installing canvas to the outside roof. If you all have any suggestions or input on how best to accomplish this I'd appreciate hearing from you. Mostly I'm wondering about what sort of adhesive to mount the canvas and or what to seal and weather proof it. The canvas I was going to use is fairly light weight like is sold at home improvement stores as heavy duty painter's drop cloths.

I've thought about using bus coat to adhere it underneath and then seal it on top. I wondered about maybe using like fiber glass resin. White Henry's? I just don't know.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

Henry's Solarflex leaves a "textured" finish. Perhaps if you roll on the two coats (fuzzy roller) and the last coat is rolled on with a smooth foam roller, it will look more like fabric. I would suggest you buy a gallon and try it first on a piece of scrap metal or wood. As for it being "very white" Don't worry, road grime and birds will take care of that. The front and rear caps could be left as is. I don't think I would leave real fabric up there. Even with using fabric made for exterior use, it still requires special treatment.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

I'd have reservations about attaching fabric to the metal. It seems to me it would tend to hold moisture, and possibly excellerates rusting.

However, one of the strongest adhesives I can think about that might serve as a sealant as well is the old fashioned contact cement (like Weldwood). You would have to use quiet a lot, and paint the surface after it's dry, but it should work.

Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

Great paint job for sure.

Bonding with epoxy can be a problem. It doesn't flex. Don't think Buskote would bond the canvas to the roof good enough to avoid it all coming off in a sheet. I'm thinking, but I don't have an answer.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

This may be an off-beat idea, but find out what Disney World and other theme parks use to create their installations. They make all kinds of structures using some sort of rubbery plastic-like substance that they can make look like anything, including fabric.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
...
However, one of the strongest adhesives I can think about that might serve as a sealant as well is the old fashioned contact cement (like Weldwood). You would have to use quiet a lot, and paint the surface after it's dry, but it should work.

Good luck!
I'd agree with this - several coats of flat polyu after it's dry. Clear finish will let the fabric texture show, paint will fill up the texture and it'll just look like a thick coat of paint.

Might also look into what they used for vinyl tops - we all remember vinyl tops don't we?


Love the paint job ...
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
... However, one of the strongest adhesives I can think about that might serve as a sealant as well is the old fashioned contact cement (like Weldwood)...
Do not use contact cement. It does not hold up to getting wet very well. It WILL fail if it gets wet both often enough and long enough.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:18 AM   #8
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

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Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Do not use contact cement. It does not hold up to getting wet very well. It WILL fail if it gets wet both often enough and long enough.
That's one of the reasons a coating was suggested.

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:09 AM   #9
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

Cool looking bus. Do you have any pictures of the inside that you could show us?

Is that a campground that you stay at?
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Covered Wagon Roof

Personally, I think you are better off keeping with the faux canvas paint job. But if you are determined to put something that looks like real canvas on the outside I can think of a couple of ways to go.

First way would be to sculpt sections out of fiberglass and screw them on to the roof. You could even make a mold. Lots of information of sculpting and molding fibrglass on the internet.
Upside of this approach would be that you get a smooth surface that should be easy to clean, it's also light and you could make the roof look puffier. You could even create a void between the bus roof and the fiberglass roof that could be filled with spray foam insulation.

Another way would be to embed some type of cloth, maybe burlap, in many, many layers of elastomeric roof coating. I think you could put down a thick coat and then while it was still wet, embed the cloth into it to get a draped looked. Once that is dry, put like 6 coats over the cloth with a brush making sure the cloth is completely covered. I think this would work but i would question it's long term durablity.

Scratch what I said about burlap, you could use a synthetic shade cloth and embed that is elastomeric.http://www.gemplers.com/shop/shade-cloth-b
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