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Old 04-27-2005, 06:26 PM   #1
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Getting ready to paint . . .

I'm getting ready to paint. Here's what I plan, please let me know what you think.

1. Pressure wash & scrub greasey parts with detergent.
2. Let dry for a week or so
3. Roughen with 3M Scotch-Bright
4. Paint. True-Value XO-Rust w/ Hy-Tech Ceramics applied with a foam roller and a brush where needed.

I'll paint the roof first and decide whether I want the ceramics everywhere or just on the roof, depending on the finish.

I'm thinking of an XO-Rust Almond & Hunter Green scheme something like this:





What do you think?
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:18 PM   #2
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Paint Suggestions

I think your paint scheme is very handsome. I like those colors together.

Quote:
1. Pressure wash & scrub greasey parts with detergent.
Check the instructions on the paint you plan to use. I saw some that recommended using TSP (Tri-Sodium Phospate) for a cleaner, some that recommended using soap and water, and some that recommended using ammonia.

I ended up using soap and water.

Quote:
2. Let dry for a week or so
I doubt you need to wait that long. Maybe just long enough to be sure nothing is going to drip down from under the rub-rails or some other place that could collect water. If you wait too long the bus will just get dirty all over again. It's amazing how much gunk is airborne, especially if you are near a street or anyplace dusty.

Quote:
3. Roughen with 3M Scotch-Bright
I think that would work fine, but a coarse steel wool worked well for me, and it was much less expensive.

Oh, but I sanded with 100 grit sandpaper (just regular cheap sandpaper, not wet/dry or anything fancy) before I used the steel wool. My bus had been painted with some cheap paint that, besides being an ugly almost-school bus yellow, was chalking pretty badly. I sanded down to "fresh" paint, THEN washed the bus, THEN used the steel wool.

Sandpaper is cheap, very, very cheap, in relation to the cost of paint and the value of your time. Use it liberally. Don't try to get every last possible useful stroke out of it. Use it until it stops cutting quickly, then toss it in a bag to use later on other things. Also, a 1/3 sheet Black and Decker orbital sander (not random orbit, just plain orbit) is what I used to sand. IT MADE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. You can really get some work done with that.

For the odd shaped areas, I used a fine steel brush on the electric drill, not trying to remove paint that was stuck on well, just trying to get the surface paint off.

Quote:
4. Paint. True-Value XO-Rust w/ Hy-Tech Ceramics applied with a foam roller and a brush where needed.
Again, read the paint instructions. I think other people have mentioned using the True-Value product, and I don't recall them having any problems. I almost primed mine (priming is not the same as painting, I know) with Rustoleum Primer for Rusty Metal because the guy at the hardware store said, "Oh, that'll work on a bus". After I bought the can, I read the instructions more carefully, and I discovered that Rustoleum does not recommend using that primer over paint or clean metal, but ONLY on rusted metal.

I ended up NOT priming mine. Once I sanded down a bit and saw that the paint underneath was adhering very well, I just painted right on top of that. I only spot primed two places that had some minor surface rust that I cleaned off.

PLAIN WHITE PAINT REFLECTS HEAT

Is the Hy-Tech Ceramics product you are using is a white roofing product, or a product that helps to cut down heat absorption? I wanted very much to use a white elastomeric roofing product (Cool-Seal, I think was the name) on my bus, but it was too expensive for me. I ended up using the same white enamel paint that I used on the rest of the bus. I'm pleased. I can't say how long it will hold up, but it certainly cuts the heat absorption greatly. The bus can sit all day in the sun with the windows and doors closed in 70+ degree weather and only be slightly warm inside. Before I painted it, it got uncomfortably warm under similar circumstances.

MINERAL SPIRITS

I reccomend using mineral spirits to wipe the bus down with as you paint. Wipe one 3' x 3' section to start with, and see how fast it dries. Then do another section about three times that large and let it dry while you paint the first. It dries in a few moments. You can just keep a some disposable shop towels and a can of mineral spirits beside you as you work along. The mineral spirits will make sure there is no residual grease on anything.

PAINT AREA

A 3' x 3' section at a time was about the size that was convenient for me to paint, especially on the roof where it's hazardous to be extending too much. From the center of the roof, I would paint a 3'x3' section along each edge, then move myself farther down the roof and paint the center section where I had been kneeling, and repeat the process. Work about halfway from one end to the center, then start at the other end and work back to the center, allowing yourself a path down one side of the roof to paint your way off the roof, so to speak.

SHOP TOWELS

You can buy disposable paper shop towels at Wal-Mart. They cost about a buck and a half a roll, but they are very durable, and I only used one roll painting my entire bus with two coats of paint. They look like paper towels, but they are blue and hold up 2000% better than paper towels.

ROLLERS

The rollers I used tended to leave little nubby pieces of lint in the paint, particularly when they were brand new and when I was going back over the paint after it had gotten somewhat tacky. I used the cheapest rollers I could find, and a better brand of roller might not lose fibers as easily. One thing that helped was to brush over the rollers briskly with my hands a few times before using them to get the loose fibers out.

Also, you might try using a very short nap roller "for smooth surfaces". I used a 3/8" nap roller "for semi-smooth surfaces" because it's what I had, but it seemed to leave quite a few air bubbles in the paint. I solved that problem (mostly) by "double rolling".

DOUBLE ROLLING

I don't know if this is a good or real technique or not. I would paint a section, then move on to another section and paint it. Then I would go back over the first section with the ***depleted*** roller that I had just finished the second section with -- the goal is not adding more paint, but smoothing the paint that was just laid down. The paint on the first section was a little tacky by that time. One thing this did was to pop any little bubbles in the paint. Another thing it seemed to do was to smooth the paint out even more, and allow me to catch any runny areas before they actually ran. The disadvantage to this was that if I waited too long to re-roll, the paint was really tacky and seemed sometimes, but not always, to pull some fibers from the roller. It's something you just have to experiment with a bit before you get the feel for it. I think it made a big difference in the finish on the bus, though.

BETWEEN COATS

Get some FINE steel wool and go over the first coat lightly AND wipe it down with mineral spirits again before you put on an additional coat.

That's about all I can think of. Hope it is helpful.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:56 AM   #3
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Thanks Eric!

That's a great primer (so to speak) on painting. It hit on several questions I had and would have just struggled through.

I must admit, though, I'm thinking I want to see if a voctec shop will shoot it for me, but I want to do three colors and trim in a fourth and they may not be keen on that.

It's either a strong statement: red and silver with black and the white roof (triboro bus style)
OR
Art-deco style with something like a white roof, pearlyshiny teal blue top, silver bottom, black trim and butter yellow flames... Or white roof, teal top, butter yellow mid and silver bottom section, with appropriate sectional overlapping (doors, emergency exits, front, etc.) So many choices. Photoshop to the rescue!

Hee hee. Butter yellow flames. That's funny.
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thanks Eric that's great info! The "ceramics" are the ones so highly touted on the "mean" bus site (hey, the called this the "looser" site just the other day! )

The Hy-tech web site has good info: http://www.hytechsales.com/insulating_p ... tives.html

I purchased a bag of these clay ceramic micro-spheres that I'll mix in with the XO-Rust paint from True Value. Enough for 5 gallons cost me $50. It's not so much the extra insulating value of these evacuated micro-spheres that helps, but the fact that they are highly reflective to long wave radition. So, in the infrared band, paint treated with these ceramics is even "whiter" then plain white paint.

They do purport the add a slight texture to the paint, I'll paint the roof first and decide then if the whole bus will get the ceramic treatment.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:27 PM   #5
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It seems everyone is getting ready to paint... This is a great topic, even for the folks who have already painted.

I am still battling weather to roll or shoot, but this thread is providing me with great information and answers to questions I didn't know how to ask.

For me, I think it is going to come down to weather or not I have an indoor facility to spray in. It looks as though I will have all the shooting equip, but the "owners" of the shop (my dad) doesnt want the whole shop to get a nice Ford Red coating. I may look into blocking off the old painting area into a large room with plastic walls, but the plastic may get pricy.

My deadline is June 5th for a finished paint job. I have to take this thing to Nascar at MIS in June and need it to be done (on the exterior) so I can put my windows in. So when it gets down to it, I may be rolling it much in the fashion that was discussed in this thread.

Thanks guys for contributing.

Oh ya, and get this. I called up Plasti-kote the other day to see if they would want to "sponsor" my bus project and supply me with some paint. In return I would put there logo on the bus somewhere. The guy totally went for it. Supposedly I'll be receiving 5 gallons of Tractor paint soon. We'll see if it actually shows up. Goes to show, "You don't ask, you don't get!"
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:13 PM   #6
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Smart Cookie!

That was a smart move on the paint! Five gallons should let you do at least 2 coats, maybe three. Make sure you send him a picture of the bus with the logo at a NASCAR event. If they know it's getting some exposure on your bus, they may be willing to be a long term patron.
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:43 AM   #7
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Hey Jake,

How about a 18 month report... How has your paint held up? Would you recommend using the XO Rust? Also, what about not sanding, just wiping? How did that turn out?

I'm looking at painting mine this weekend and still actively researching, hoping to make the "right" decisions.

Could I use a degreaser in my pressure washer instead of wiping it all down with degreaser? Something like this: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/ ... 70_738_738
or
http://www.pressurewashersdirect.com/ca ... 8d8076853c

Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:27 AM   #8
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The paint is holding up well, no issues whatsoever. I don't think that a degreaser in a pressure washer would work as well as wiping down with mineral spirits, but I've never tried it so who knows. Also, my paint was pretty dull, if yours is shiny you will want to sand it a bit to break the gloss.

I still only have one coat on the bus and decided to go another year like that since it looks just fine. I'm also pretty sure I will change the upper color to pure with and reduce the area of green to reduce solar heating - it got hot out in the middle of the campground by the beach!

Cheers!

Jake.
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