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Old 07-13-2019, 09:14 PM   #1
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May not paint the floor... Bad idea?

My bus had almost no rust on the floor - it's from california and not that old. I just treated what little surface rust was there with ospho. I am in Oregon, and its wet here, but I will have nice dry heat from a wood stove to deal with moisture (I hope).

I would strongly prefer not to put any chemical product inside the bus that is not necessary... So Im thinking, do I really need to prime / paint the floor before insulating?

If I do need to, what do you think is the least chemical and VOC laden primer or paint that will be suitable?
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:31 PM   #2
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Rust requires 3 things. They are steel,oxygen and moisture. Remove any one from the mix and there will be no rust. Paint helps seal the steel against oxygen and moisture. Well, except for water based or latex based materials which by being water soluble will permit rust. Many single stage automotive paints have zero VOC but read the fine print. Best advice? Move to a hot desert clime.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:05 PM   #3
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Just make sure you have several tons worth of A/C working before you make that geographical relocation!
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #4
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We're researching floor paint options at the moment, and feel the same as you regarding VOCs. Still learning, but apparently paints marked with a GreenSeal are standardized to fairly strict standards regarding both VOCs and a long list of toxin. Might be worth looking into:


https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-...voc-paint2.htm
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
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ForestGarden, I am in the same camp. I have a nice clean galvanized floor with one small- 6" area of mild rust from the A/C condensation. I treated it and will seal that with paint but can't see the need for painting shiny galvanized flooring.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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I wouldn't be too concerned about the VOC load for a small scale, one-n-done job. VOCs first became regulated for the general public in, where else, Kalifornia. And that's where the regulatory train jumped it's tracks...
Given the climate and mountainous basins, VOCs are photo-reactive, and do contribute to smog. But the pittance contributed by household products is statistically insignificant to the vanishing point. The gas-a$$ culture there is the real culprit.
I firmly believe in erring on the side of caution, but there can be too much of a good thing...
If you can't rig a ventilation system while painting inside, respiratory controls are called for. Considering your climate, the paint should be done off-gassing within a day or two. Once cured, I don't think VOCs in the enclosed space are gonna be a worry point.
But read the associated MDS to be certain. Err on the side of caution, doncha know...
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:27 AM   #7
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Much appreciated, HazMatt! Will do on all counts.

On a related note, I think I'm pretty much sold on epoxy primer for our floor. Still a big-time noob regarding paint, but from what I can tell, it seems to best solution (anyone & everyone who knows better than me feel free to speak your mind!). From what I read though they can be pretty nasty compounds to apply, so boning up on my PPE needs. I think once they're cured, however, they're relatively inert (again - correct me if I'm wrong!)

Would it be a true statement that catalyzed paints (those mixed with a hardener prior to application) will generally off-gas less than non-catalyzed paints which rely solely on solvent evaporation to cure?
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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Epoxy primer will emit voluminous amounts of noxious fumes while curing.
After 48 hours or so, the odor is relatively harmless if the substrate you've covered has been exposed to air or ventilated in your case.

Whatever you eventually use to topcoat over the epoxy base must be compatible.
Not sure how well epoxy primer will stick to galvanized flooring without some degree of surface prep, but you can find more on the subject either on here, or wherever you source the material. (assuming your floor is galv. finished?)
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Much appreciated, HazMatt! Will do on all counts...

...Would it be a true statement that catalyzed paints (those mixed with a hardener prior to application) will generally off-gas less than non-catalyzed paints which rely solely on solvent evaporation to cure?
iDe nada!
I went way overboard, buying an expensive white automotive gloss that was mixed with hardener to roll onto the exterior. With the vagrant breezes, I hardly noticed it's piquant bouquet at all, so I demured from donning my 1/2-face cartridge respirator.
For your interior; I'd start by propping open the E-hatch, crack open the windows if there's no broadside breeze, with the back door fully open.
2 or more fans would be optimal, but one would suffice, blowing from the front to the back, and staying upwind from your work surface.
Depending on application method, i.e. brush or roller, you may have to simply hold your breath while painting in the rear corners, and may be OK once you're out of those eddy zones. However:
If you smell the stench, have your respirator, loaded with VOC cartridges, at the ready! (You likely know a paper dust mask is completely useless.)
The respirator's discomfort is immediate & short-term, compared to the potential for long-term, chronic pulmonary damage...
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:47 PM   #10
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If it were me I would give it a coat of rustoleum primer. Wear a respirator and ventilate well. Let it dry and ventilate thoroughly. Don’t worry about it after that. You’ll never be able to fix it if it rusts.
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