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Old 01-18-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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Help! What kind of paint for FIBERGLASS bus?

Hello all,

Looking for a little assistance, please alert me if this has been brought up before (didn't see much). Just bought a bus, and first things first must paint it, ideally good the first time rather than just a temporary fix. Had planned to use Rustoleum Direct to Metal with a clear coat on top, but our dream bus ended up having a fiberglass body, with some metal pieces here and there.

My question: What paint should I use for a nice paint job on a fiberglass/metal body? We'd like the bus to be a solid color, so ideally using the same paint for both the fiberglass and metal parts. Is the rustoleum fine? Do I need to do any prep work besides removing decals/rust spots and power washing it beforehand?

Any help from those who have come before would be massively helpful!
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:28 PM   #2
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I don't remember the post, but someone with fiberglass bus painted his rig green. He listed the paint, as well as the %s of the different colors in the blend to get the shade he wanted. Someone with a younger, (or at least a clearer) mind than mine should remember. As many times as I read the post, I should, but I can't even find it after thinking I had bookmarked it. *&#@!
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1olfart View Post
I don't remember the post, but someone with fiberglass bus painted his rig green. He listed the paint, as well as the %s of the different colors in the blend to get the shade he wanted. Someone with a younger, (or at least a clearer) mind than mine should remember. As many times as I read the post, I should, but I can't even find it after thinking I had bookmarked it. *&#@!
Perhaps?
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/sp...prep-5927.html


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Old 01-22-2017, 09:58 PM   #4
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I think the build I was thinking about, for the paint, was from Goatherder.
good luck
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:39 AM   #5
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How many surfaces do you need the paint to adhere to?

Trick question : 1. THE PRIMER.

Okay, joking aside - find a primer that's compatible with fiberglass. I think there is a Rustoleum sandable primer designed for auto body work that will stick to fiberglass- just remember to rough it up pretty well before applying the primer coat. Look around on the Rustoleum website, or maybe give them a call and ask.) Then you shouldn't have any problems getting the Rustoleum paint to stick.

(I think this will do)
Auto Primers Primer Surfacer Product Page

I'd look towards a good primer over a clear coat any day. If the "back" side of the coat doesn't stick, the clear coat isn't going to save it. (The real problem is that when metal rusts, it expands - hence rust "bubbles" - and then it pops the paint right off the surface, and rusts beneath it.)
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:29 AM   #6
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rustoleum is a great product to paint just about anything. prep is the key to a good paint job.i got a oil based paint tinted to the color I want from lowes, its a Valspar product. I got some hardener to add to it. I'm using mini rollers to paint mine. everyone can learn how to paint a bus at the meetup in florida, no charge.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:19 AM   #7
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As someone that deals with finishes all the time, I would recommend heading over to your local Sherwin Williams or PPG store. Honestly, they both have the same types of products, but I have found in Nashville, that SW has more specialized "departments" for various finishes with folks that go out of their way to help.

Tell them what you are painting and they will recommend a finish. The various products on the market change so quickly so having the latest info can be helpful. I usually end up getting a good education about whatever I might be working on at the time from the staff.

Based on metal restoration work that I have done, the key two things are rust neutralization and proper priming.

RUST - I have used a product called Rust Arrestor before with good success. I should note that SW has various finishes that are specifically designed to arrest rust as part of the priming application. I have not used these before, but have heard really good things about the use.

PRIMER - I then use SW Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl Universal Acrylic Primer. It is water based which is nice on the lungs and it means being able to use one of the many different water based alkyd paints or acrylic enamels.

PAINT - You can go one of two ways here I think, automotive paint, which IMHO is more trouble than it is worth (fumes, cleanup, etc), or go with industrial coatings. SW has a great line called the Pro-Industrial series that I have used for many projects. I paint all of my cabinets with this series as well. It is really amazing stuff. It is water based, so no stinky fumes (other than ammonia, which is used as the solvent) and it is easy to clean up.

Specifically here are my two favorite products:
Pro Industrial Multi-Surface Acrylic - This is a great product that will stick to ANYTHING! I have painted over raw metal with no prep and this stuff is still holding strong after years in the sun. It is not as flexible as the Urethane Alkyd Enamel below.

Pro Industrial Urethane Alkyd Enamel - This is a really amazing product. Sprays super easy, can be thinned well for use with an HVLP gun, it is flexible and very durable.

Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:52 PM   #8
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Does anyone have any experience with Insulated Thermal Paint? I came across a video for Kournd ( a Russian Co), and it got me thinking that it may be a good alternative, or a good start.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1olfart View Post
Does anyone have any experience with Insulated Thermal Paint? I came across a video for Kournd ( a Russian Co), and it got me thinking that it may be a good alternative, or a good start.
I have looked at the tech behind this pretty closely and have found most of it to be rubbish, but that is just my two cents. The basis for much of the claims behind insulative paint comes from NASA's use of ceramic in the covering of the shuttle. The primary benefit being UV radiation reflection. Wikipedia has a pretty good write up on it - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulative_paint.

Color has the greatest effect on solar/heat reflectivity. Absorption of the remaining energy from sunlight goes into the paint itself. This is why it is important to choose a paint specifically based on UV resistance to breakdown. Most all exterior paints have this.

A much better solution would be to create a shade barrier between the bus and the sun. We are planning to do one of two things on our skoolie. We will either install a full length roof platform on the bus to "shade" the top - and use that to install solar or possibly a roof deck or I will come up with a canvas cover system much like a pool uses which will roll up at the tail of the bus. This will be much more effective in reducing daytime heating of the bus, in addition to interior insulation as air can then move between the roof and bus and dissipate.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:17 PM   #10
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I should note, there are ceramic coatings that do what the paint companies claim, but they are more of a powder coating system than something which sprayed or rolled on. Spray-on ceramic coating dramatically reduces external temperatures
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