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Old 02-23-2010, 12:11 AM   #1
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Paint Questions

So I decided it is almost time to paint the bus. I have decided that I will most likely use Tremclad (Rustoleum) and spray it on with a HLVP gun. I did some digging through a box of paint supplies that I have in the garage that my dad had from painting cars. I found some urethane reducer, urethane activator, a bunch of Dodge Nitro Yellow-Green urethane paint (remember the first Dodge Neons that came out?) with activator, some enamel hardener, laquer thinner, some urethane clear with activator, a whole bunch of epoxy primer catalyst, and some cheap laquer thinner. Does anyone know if any of this stuff is compatible with the Tremclad (it is an alkyd enamel), I want to reduce it to spray it and add some hardener to make it more durable. I don't really want to buy more hardener if what I have is compatible. What is the difference between enamel harderner, urethane activator, and epoxy primer catalyst?
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Paint Questions



How about this?
Use a roller: http://www.rickwrench.com/index79master ... paint.html
Or, use a gun: http://www.instructables.com/id/Paint-Y ... Rustoleum/

So much simpler! Just use Rustoleum, and Acetone. Two ingredients. Tada!
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Paint Questions

Yeah, what Smitty said. I would be asking myself how old is the stuff. Judging by what you said about the Neon. It sounds pretty old. The hardners need to be completely sealed or they start to gel up after a while.

I can give you a simple explanation of the products you found.

1. "Enamel Hardner": That is used with a single stage paint job. Single stage is the color, hardner, and reducer all mixed together and applied to the vehicle. The hardner is what gives the finish depth and a nice hard shine.
2. "Urethane activator: I believe that has the same function as the Enamel hardner only difference is the paint is a Urethane paint (more durable than enamel) Enamel Automotive paint is getting phased out and replaced with Urethane and Base coat/ clear coat.
3. "Epoxy Primer Catalyst": This also has the same function as the hardners. Only difference is, it is used with a 2 part primer (primer, catalyst). There is usually NO reducer mixed with this primer. It is great for high build applications. (filling minor imperfections before color coat). It is MUCH MUCH better than the old crappy Laquer primer.

Assuming any of this stuff is still any good, all you would really be using is the "Enamel hardner" and laquer thinner. You would need to get some "Medium Reducer" which is basically paint thinner only designed for automotive use and for medium temperatures.

I doubt you are going to prime the entire bus first. But if you were, you could use the Epoxy Primer.

Brand names for paints, hardners, reducers, activators are usually not mixed. Example: If you have a hardner made by Dupont and paint made by Omni you would not want to mix them because they might not be compatible with each other, resulting in flaking or peeling.

Its very possible that you could use the enamel hardner with the Rustoleum paint and have good results and last several years. But no guarantee.

The best place to find out a lot of info regarding this subject would be WWW.AUTOBODYSTORE.COM. There is a wealth of info on the forums over there.

I would actually be interested in finding out if any of the hardners can be used with Rustoleum or equivilent. Automotive paint can run almost $100 a gallon. The hardener isn't cheap either but at least you could be saving a couple hundred bucks on the just the paint.

Keep us posted! GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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Re: Paint Questions

Yeah, probably best to stick to what I know works. Ultimately, I would shoot the whole bus with a urethane based automotive paint. I have used U-Tech 3.8 single stage polyurethane on a van that I had with great success, kept its shine for years! I just don't have a big enough shop to spray a bus in, and I don't think the neighbors would like me spraying that toxic crap all over the neighborhood. I tried brushing on some Tremclad (Rustoleum) and I absolutely hate how it brushes on. I will do a trial on an old trailer I have that needs a new coat of paint with my HVLP gun and see how it sprays, and if I can get the proper consistency using enamel reducer and enamel hardener. I'll save the urethane stuff for another smaller project some day.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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Re: Paint Questions

I sprayed my bus using Rustoleum with an HVLP gun... I mixed it down according to the instructions on the side of the can, simple really... mix down with 15% Acetone, it sprayed really well.

One caveat, the Rustoleum looked great the first year, still looked "good" the 2nd year, and by the third year I had oxidation forming on the surface. It's not the greatest stuff for a long lasting finish, a good quality automotive paint would be better...
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Paint Questions

I have heard that Rustoleum type products tend to get dull due to the lack of UV protection. Like I mentioned earlier, I would prefer to use a single-stage Urethane automotive paint, but I would have to spray it outside. Anyone have any experience on spraying paint with HVLP guns while minimizing overspray? Would I just use lower air pressure?
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: Paint Questions

After visiting my favorite auto body supply store, I have decided that I will proably use Polyurethane industrial paint to paint the bus. I can get a gallon of polyurethane for about $100, activator for about $25, and I already have a gallon of urethane grade reducer. Even at two gallons of paint, it will cost about $250 or so for paint. I am not painting the roof with this stuff though, I will probably roll the roof with white Tremclad (Rustoleum) because it will end up easier than trying to spray up there and who sees it anyways. Around the windows will be painted black, so really the only color that I need to spray is the front end, a small amount above the windows, the front and rear caps, and the sides and back below the windows. I may even get away with a single gallon if I am lucky. I am also thinking that I am going to take advantage of the body lines and spray the bus in sections rather than all at once. This may enable me to get away with painting it outside. I could probably use my moms back yard since she lives in a small town with LARGE yards. I think her yard is 75'x350' or so.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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Re: Paint Questions

I have some experience painting myself. And once you see how nice automotive paint comes out after curing. Its really hard to drop down a step and just brush or spray on a regular oil based paint without any hardner. Problem is that it can be costly.

But considering your not doing your roof, that will cut down on the amount of paint needed.

I believe the original school bus yellow paint is also Polyurethane.

HVLP guns usually operate between 15 to 20PSI.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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Re: Paint Questions

I would use the Polyurethane for the roof except that it is a LOT more money for an area that isn't really seen that well, and I want to roll it on instead of spraying it. I am not too worried about a bit of fading, or loss of gloss, but I also dont want it to run down the sides of the bus when it rains either. I have never heard of rust paint getting chalky, but I sure have seen latex house paint get chalky and run all over in the rain. I don't want that to happen, I would be forever washing it. Of course it would be easy enough to mask and roll on a fresh coat on the roof every few years or so.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:26 PM   #10
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Re: Paint Questions

The Rustoleum will get chalky after a while from the UV rays. And then you will start seeing streaks down the side of the bus. So its kind of a tough call on that one.
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