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Old 04-01-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
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Cost to paint bus...

Has anyone actually gotten a quote to repaint their bus? I am curious as to how much it would actually cost to have someone professionally repaint an entire bus. I would get a quote myself but it seems everyone around here knows me and that I have the equipment to do the job myself. They just tell me to do the paintjob myself and that it would cost too much to be worth having them do it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:00 PM   #2
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

For my 6 row short bus I got 5 quotes ranging from $1800(Maaco) to $3500(Ford heavy truck sales and service body shop). Turns out a good friend of mine has a buddy at a body shop that is going to do it for $1500. My bus is only 24 foot long so a full size will be even more.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

$50 - $100.

http://www.rickwrench.com/index79master ... paint.html




It's what we are doing. Why not? It's already a school bus, it can't get any worse.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentedvw
$50 - $100.

http://www.rickwrench.com/index79master ... paint.html




It's what we are doing. Why not? It's already a school bus, it can't get any worse.
Do you realize how much sanding had to be done to get the paint smooth on that car? I have almost finished sanding my bus ONCE just to apply primer and there is no way I want to do it between each coat of paint. Especially when you are sanding out roller bumps and/or brush strokes. My plan is to sand with 220 grit, prime with urethane primer, lightly sand with 400 grit to make it smooth like glass, and paint with urethane topcoat (one stage, no clear needed). I may add some additional clear to the last couple coats of paint when I paint it to help get the 'mile deep' paint look, but not a separate clear coat on its own. That's just too much work for such a large vehicle.

No one else actually priced out having someone else paint their bus? Closest 'unofficial' quote I got was about $6000 to repaint my bus using the techniques I am using. Little bit of body work, but nothing major, mostly just sand, prep, prime, paint.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

I haven't priced out paint, because I'm going to go the full-vinyl route
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by scosol
I haven't priced out paint, because I'm going to go the full-vinyl route
You are doing a full wrap on a bus? This I gotta see...don't forget the pics. And the cost of doing it this way!
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Check Maaco or a local atuobody guy. I am planning on sanding down and priming our bus and then getting a quote to spray our bus one solid color. If it's not $300 and under, then screw it, we'll do it ourselves. I'm sure your frustrated by prepping, and I'm sure I'll be very frustrating when doing it, but it might be the most cost efficent way to go. Ask some buddies or family members to help one day.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

It will cost me more than $300 just for the paint for the bus! I just picked up another gallon of primer at $150 per gallon. I definately want this paintjob to last.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:38 PM   #9
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quick paint question here: What is the rule again... you can paint water-based paint over oil-based paint... or is it vice versa? I think I have gotten conflicting advice from Home Depot "paint experts" on this issue. Reason I ask is they sold me some Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water base interior/exterior primer which claims to work on galvanized metal (my window skins). I plan to paint my bus with Rustoleum paint, which I think is oil based. Will this combination work? Could I prime the whole bus with this? On the label it claims that it "may be used under and over any oil or latex architectural paint". I'm not sure what they mean be "architectural paint". The label also says: "use on all types of bare or painted surfaces including wood, drywall, cured plaster, concrete and masonry, aluminum, vinyl, steel, galvanized metal and PVC". What do y'all think?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:52 AM   #10
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
You can't apply an acrylic over oil-based paints.

Smitty
I thought it was just lacquer over enamel that was a no-no.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Both are true, the lacquer over enamel because lacquer solvents are too "hot" for the softer enamel, and the acrylic over oil base is because acrylics won't adhere to the oil based painted surface.

Smitty
I see...I learn something new every day. I guess I better keep an eye on what I am using. I have used an acrylic enamel for my bumpers and mirror brackets, and urethane primer on the body so far. I will have to check to see what the trim paint I am using for the windows is, but that shouldn't matter too much, I am not painting over them again.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

I have a question, since this is the current paint thread (I searched and found a few bits and pieces, but I'd like current opinions). What's the best brand to use for a rattle-can job? I don't have access to a paint booth, so when I get a bus I'll have to paint it outside. I have one of those call-the-cops-for-everything neighbors (and she lives on the downwind side of course), so I can't do anything that would result in a large cloud of toxic paint. Even spraycans are pushing it, but if I do a small enough section at a time it should be ok. I thought about doing the rolled-on Rustoleum, but I'd prefer a smooth finish.

I'm thinking either Rustoleum or Dupli-Color. I'll start with gray primer over the OEM paint and any bodywork I have to do, but I want to decide on the final coat first to make sure the primer is compatible. Suggestions? Any success stories that are a few years old?
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

It's been my experience that the spraycan jobs go on so thin, and there are so many variables, that it will never be uniform enough, considering the area you have to cover. It will look spraycanned on. Just roll it on! You don't HAVE to do it the way I posted.
Heck, you don't have to do it more than one coat either, if you are okay with smoothish but not showcar shine, then just apply it as the instructions on the paint can. It will take a few weeks to fully dry, but if you can wait that long to drive it, brush against it, then okay. Only problem I see is things like hinges. not sure what to do bout them.
There is a forum,http://rolledon.forummotion.com/forum.htm, and it's dedicated to stuff like this. I haven't seen any other bus people on there, but that would be a great place to ask more specific questions like this.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:07 PM   #14
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

And another downside to rolling...if possible, I'd like to only sand a bus once.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:01 PM   #15
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Okay, sorry to be dense here, but I'm still not sure what can go on top of what. I don't always see terms like "enamel", "laquer", "latex", etc. on the paint cans. So is there a crosswalk I can use here? Is latex always water based, and enamel always oil based? What is laquer? Okay... wait... actually, nevermind all that... it will just confuse me more.

Really I just want to know what primer I should use under the Rustoleum gloss white paint I plan to use as my topcoat.

Here is my plan:
I plan on using Duplicolor self-etching primer (enamel) on my galvanized window skins, then primer the whole bus with white primer (brand? type?), then coat with Rustoleum gloss white, then add Rustoleum hunter green accents/trim. I have an air-powered industrial sprayer from Harbor Freight and a good compressor. I know some here feel that primer is unnecessary, but since I'm painting white anyway, I'm just considering it the first of two coats to ensure good coverage, and cheaper than the top coat paint, and some measure of security regarding adhesion (especially if I don't do such a great job sanding and just in case the "no primer" camp is wrong ).

So back to my main question: What type/brand of cheap, Home-Depot-buyable primer should I use?

Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:02 PM   #16
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Instead of buying paint at the 'big orange store', do you have access to an auto body supply store? The cost of paint and primer may not be that much different. You have the spray equipment, you may as well use automotive paint.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:36 PM   #17
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkindt
Instead of buying paint at the 'big orange store', do you have access to an auto body supply store? The cost of paint and primer may not be that much different. You have the spray equipment, you may as well use automotive paint.
Good point. I suppose I should at least explore that option. I just don't want to make sure the paint I use is as hassle-free as possible. I would have been happy with a roller and brush paint job, but just got the sprayer for ease of application and to more easily get the nooks and crannies.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:41 PM   #18
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkindt
Instead of buying paint at the 'big orange store', do you have access to an auto body supply store? The cost of paint and primer may not be that much different. You have the spray equipment, you may as well use automotive paint.
Good point. I suppose I should at least explore that option. I just don't want to make sure the paint I use is as hassle-free as possible. I would have been happy with a roller and brush paint job, but just got the sprayer for ease of application and to more easily get the nooks and crannys.
Just tell them your plans and any competent auto body guy should be able to point you in the right direction. If you use enamel, it is worth it to get the hardener for it. Even Rustoleum works better with hardener added.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:28 AM   #19
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
You'll need to use a primer specifically for galvanized metal, otherwise you'll have problems.

Smitty
Smitty are you saying the DupliColor brand self-etching primer will not work? I just went to the Duplicolor website and found this product, which is probably what I need to get:

Weld-Through/Cold Galvanized Primer
Dupli-Colorģ Professional Weld-Through/Cold Galvanized Primer provides maximum corrosion resistance with a durable zinc-rich coating that can be applied directly to dry metal or galvanized surfaces.
  • Durable zinc-rich coating
    Provides maximum corrosion resistance
    Outstanding feather edging
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:38 PM   #20
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Re: Cost to paint bus...

That should work just fine. It is a self-etching primer made for galvanized and bare metal.
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