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Old 10-29-2015, 11:57 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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prepping the ceiling, black epoxy

Hey all! No pictures for now but we've been making some progress. Sealed some major holes in floor, all panels are out, walls were painted and insulated, now we are at painting the ceiling.
I am stumped on what to do about black tar-like epoxy on the ceiling and how I should paint it... Wire wheeled as much of it as I could, but don't know if I should leave the epoxy be and paint over it or remove it first. It's not at all uniform and is hard to paint over. Too sticky still to sand. The walls were a nice flat surface so I scraped those as clean as I could before painting, but I can't see the happening with the ceiling. Any one else dealt with this stuff?
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:46 PM   #2
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Don't paint over it... It's called "Asphalteum" . Paint stripper will remove it. But be careful not to get any on you.
See my thread entitled "Roll Your Own". See Moopy's thread too to see what a ceiling improperly prepped can degrade to.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:15 PM   #3
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Nasty stuff Asphalteum and a bear to clean up but worth the effort as it appears to hold moisture. As noted, most solvents will take off the remaining film. I used a product called "Paint Prep" and while I went through a lot of rags & paper towels, it did a great job.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:07 PM   #4
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Some folks (ok, only one comes to mind) find that stuff has become brittle and chips away fairly easily. Several have done paint stripper as recommended by EastCoastCB. In my case, I used a heat gun to soften it, scraped most of the bulk away with a metal putty knife, then made a few passes with naphtha to wash away the remaining film. (naphtha is a solvent found in the paint department, sometimes called VM&P or varnish makers & painters naphtha) It's a bear no matter which way you do it.

It wasn't until I was nearly done with mine that I remembered I had a nephew who was looking for summer jobs to save up for a school trip this year. D'oh! Should have hired him to do the job instead of doing it myself.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:28 AM   #5
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I had a feeling everyone would suggest solvent! Happy I asked and didn't go ahead. I had no idea what I was up against. I'll try to scrape as much as possible before my arms break off, then solvent what is left. Luckily theres little rust if any on the ceiling from what I can see. Do you think a blow torch would work as well as a heat gun, or is it over kill?
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:14 AM   #6
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I can't remember now, I may have tried my butane torch, but a paint roller with stripper makes really short work of it.
I tried acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, goof off, various other stuff... and this was by far the easiest way. At first we were KILLING ourselves scraping and wire wheeling it. Tried every possible angle grinder and drill attachment and drank many beers sweating away at it.
Then bought the paint stripper and got more done in a couple days than in the previous month.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:55 AM   #7
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Considering the season is cooling off and your location says NY, EastCoastCB's stripper recommendation might be a better choice for you. When I used heat it was on near-100 F days in July/August; the ambient being much cooler now it could be difficult to heat the gunk enough. The lower temperatures might allow the stripper to work better before it evaporates away, too.

A hair dryer definitely is not enough, a harbor freight heat gun on low worked for me in the summer, and a torch.. I dunno. Don't really want to set it on fire, I think. For a torch to work you'd probably want a "rosebud" type head that makes a big bushy flame rather than the sharp flame one would use for soldering, brazing, or welding. A weed burner on low, perhaps.

Maybe pick up a small can of stripper and test both methods to see what works in your environment. The "best" method seems to vary from bus to bus, place to place, and personal preferences.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:00 PM   #8
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eastcoastcb, found your rec. for stripper and I'll give that a shot. You think one can would be enough, or should I get a couple just in case?

and familywagon, with our highs < 60, scraping seems a bit impossible at this rate. Would interior paint cure well at this? Your probably right about burning it, I feel like the smoke would rebond instantly into crevices anyway. And weed burner? bic, zippo, or those mini torch things? That seems hardly enough heat...
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Probably two cans... The gallon jugs, right?
Wear really good rubber gloves, gauntlet type. And long sleeves, pants and shoes for sure. Use a face sheild and glasses and start by putting one good "coat" on each patch of the tar. Don't waste time "working it in" too much, just get one good coat of even coverage being careful not to sling it all over.
After about ten mins, do another coat the same way but maybe a bit thicker.
After another ten mins you'll be able to get it off with a flat metal scraper. I found 4" to be a good size.
Keep good ventilation, the fumes are potent but you'll be ok as long as you have em open.
Like I said, I wasn't gonna leave it after seeing the moisture it was trapping, and it was killing me removing it mechanically.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:21 AM   #10
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Ummmm... that's not the kind of weed I was thinking of burning! There's a type of huge torch called a weed burner. It's a wand about 3 feet long, has a hose maybe 6-10 feet long, and usually is fed direct from a 20 pound barbeque propane gas cylinder. It only takes a brief flame to heat a plant enough to rupture its cells and prevent water moving through it, thus it dies. Often used to kill weeds along ditches where a spray-applied herbicide would be bad.

Also used where lots of indiscriminate heating is needed.
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