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Old 07-16-2017, 09:46 AM   #1
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the boys will call Thomas' color "Or-eh-Gahn-Oh"

We've three boys* who are all into Brit-TV, especially Top Gear, and jokingly will use British pronunciations for things. Aluminium is a favorite, as is a name for an Italian herb ....
We found our paint yesterday, Rustoleum's 2X Satin Oregano. I can hear it already "No Mom, it's Or-eh-GAHN-Oh." Stinkers.

If we weren't parking Thomas in the front yard of our home - in a small, woodsy, typical New England neighborhood I'd consider other brighter colors - but I'd like our neighbors to speak to us.

At any rate, we weren't thinking spray cans but sprayer and a good oil-based-for-metal paint. But were in Home Depot looking at spray cans for a project the hubs is doing for the game club's range and the color jumped out. Bought it and one other darker camo-ish green. Also stopped at an auto supply store for some spray "chrome" to see how that would look.

I liked it. The finish is surprisingly nice ... maybe the trick with spray paint is good surface prep, smooth & slow strokes, and in an open area? Who'd've thunk? Multiple coats won't hurt either. Always been rushed and small space before, hmm.

Even the chrome is decent. It's not shiny-glossy, it's more like a pewter finish - but lighter in tone. That would probably be better to coordinate with the satin-y medium green than high-gloss chrome.
The hubs wants to do the bumpers in black as they are now but I'm not seeing it. We'll be doing the roof in that reflective white (whose product name I'm blanking on) and four colors seems too much.
My thought with the chrome is to do the grill and the rims in it, possibly bumpers, too. There are a batch of small orange lights around the top of the bus that we've decided to keep for night visibility and the housing of those good use a good coat of spray, too.
The grill isn't a separate piece so "chroming" it is extraneous bling but I feel like if we don't do it on its own the front end may look too "army." (Not that there's anything wrong with that, just not what I'm going for.)

Only other exterior "decor" I'd like to do at this point is to get replacement decal/plaques for the Thomas & International logos. Thought about painting a mountain range along where the School Bus lettering was on front and back but want to live with the rest first then decide. Yup, artsy-fartsy type her. But like a smart girl I married and engineering nerd who knows how to use tools ... I just have to steer him away from his Red Green tendencies on occasion.

Other than removing most of the seats and giving it a good clean out as we've done we aren't doing anything with the inside this year. Next year is gut, spray foam, and line; Pergo floors, birchwood luan ceiling, wainscotting walls. Will decide stain colors later but the ceiling will stay the palest warm-colored stain possible.
Have read debates back and forth between laying down plumbing and wiring before and after finishing off the inside. We're thinking after. We live in the cold north east and really only have the warm half of the year to do construction so it's all to be in usable stages. The first couple years Thomas will pretty much be a tent on wheels.

Pics of the color samples later today if I can get a chance!

* two early teens, and one well into his 20s - who yes, lives at home but pays rent, helps out with whatever is needed, and is well on his way in a good tech career (great kiddo, not a cellar-dweller!) He thought we were nuts for getting into this project but when we told him in all sincerity that we trust him enough to borrow the bus for his own camping adventures his tune changed a bit.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:34 AM   #2
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I'm confused as to whether you are painting the bus by hand or if you're using a sprayer? Also are you going to prime first?

I'm at pretty much the same stage as you; I'm pretty much all primed (I rolled on the primer) but I can't decide if I'm going to roll on the final paint or spray it.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:06 AM   #3
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Spray cans - pain in the butt with all the shaking but can't find anything near the color wanted otherwise. We had been looking but seemed that we'd have trial and error mix ourselves or have to spend big money on having it done for us. Also this is a quick and easy touch up. No primer but it's a really nice thick paint. The surface was well cleaned with a light rubbing of acetone, a gentle sanding, and was washed and dried with light soap and water just before paint. Did a two coat sample area yesterday and today the color (and "chrome") are gorgeous.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:29 PM   #4
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close-ups of the Oregano & "chrome" are in my photo album
The spray paint is a "paint + primer" ... not sure what the difference is from just a paint. Saw someone here had said that a good spray paint can work quite well if applied carefully, but you may want to touch it up in a few years.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:44 PM   #5
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buy yourself a spray finger trigger... and then always try to paint your bus ion the same wind conditions... if you paint part of side A and its no breeze.. then go back next day and theres a breeze.. you will have trouble matching the paint spray pattern... temperature and humidity play a part in how paint sprays on.. thats why rattle-canning a whole bus is tough at least to get even coverage..

when people use a gun they typically shoot all of one color at a time.. so the weather and environmental conditions are the same for the whole shoot...

-Christopher
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
buy yourself a spray finger trigger... and then always try to paint your bus ion the same wind conditions... if you paint part of side A and its no breeze.. then go back next day and theres a breeze.. you will have trouble matching the paint spray pattern... temperature and humidity play a part in how paint sprays on.. thats why rattle-canning a whole bus is tough at least to get even coverage..

when people use a gun they typically shoot all of one color at a time.. so the weather and environmental conditions are the same for the whole shoot...

-Christopher
Great tips! Thank you!
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrsaLunar View Post


close-ups of the Oregano & "chrome" are in my photo album
The spray paint is a "paint + primer" ... not sure what the difference is from just a paint. Saw someone here had said that a good spray paint can work quite well if applied carefully, but you may want to touch it up in a few years.
It's hard to see in the picture, but is that the chrome on the black stripe?
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:22 PM   #8
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It's hard to see in the picture, but is that the chrome on the black stripe?
Duplicolor Chrome Finish.
That is a test swatch only and quickly done, it will be covered by the green - the chrome is for the grill and a couple fixtures.

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Old 07-17-2017, 03:55 PM   #9
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Wow that chrome looks real nice.
I'm real interested in what brand and type of chrome paint that is and where you got it.

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Old 07-17-2017, 07:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tobeamiss View Post
Wow that chrome looks real nice.
I'm real interested in what brand and type of chrome paint that is and where you got it.

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It's Instant Chrome Finish from Dupli-Color, we found it at Advance Auto.

The "Oregano" spray paint for the body of the bus is a paint + primer, but I think I'll do a spray primer under this on the grill
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