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Old 03-19-2007, 10:56 PM   #1
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What's the best way to sand the paint off?

I've been sanding on my bus FOREVER with an orbital sander and 100 grit sandpaper getting ready for some paint! The hood took a really long time. It seemed to be the only part of the bus that had clearcoat on it and it was peeling. So, I've got the hood sanded and the sides sanded sort of. On the roof, it appears that the bus was painted yellow, and then they went back over it with white. I'm guessing they did it at the factory since it had big "Carpenter" decals on the roof. The white is peeling in a few places, but where it's not peeling, it's not sanding very well either. The roof is going to take FOREVER. Is there some sort of chemical I could pour on it to help out or what? Maybe a different kind of sander I could try? I'm painting my bus on the weekend of the 31st. I am hoping to have it all prepped by then. Any ideas? Or should I spend another 10 hours with the orbital sander? I can't feel my arms anymore.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:33 PM   #2
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Considering the low to medium quality paint folks seem to use on skoolies (no offence, paint is expensive, or "I don't see Baldwin on it anywhere") I personally don't plan to do more prep than will be noticed (at a distance, or "can't see it from my house") in other words, why do more than you need. Just rough it up a bit to allow new paint to bond. If it is flaking or peeling, spend a little more time on those areas. Just my opinion, I aint no pro. Could ya tell? The other option might be to find a low bridge 1/32" lower than your roof . . . line it up well . . .stand on it Maynard! . . .Watch out for the bumps!!!!!
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:38 PM   #3
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I'm using some good quality DuPont Imron aircraft grade paint. Very nice stuff. So, I figure I'll try and make it look somewhat nice. Well, about as nice as an old school bus painted black with flames can look.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:39 PM   #4
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I used a little B&D Mouse sander with the 60 grit gravelpaper things they make for it. A Brillo pad also works well as you can just rinse and reuse. I didn't have to rough mine up for the paint to stick.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Painting a bus is hard work

Wow, after reading these posts, I thot I must add my views. Painting is difficult but not rocket science. The important part of painting is clean, clean and clean. It is not nessary to remove the paint. If any top coat paint is tough to remove, think how good a base coat it would make. Removing all the paint is just for very special situations and egos. The sanding is just to smooth the paint and make for a good connection to the old paint. Those who would sand with 100 grit paper are creating even more work. A correct sander is required for a fast good paint job. Ebay has all the tools and paint required. The bus doesnot need to be completely primered unless is a show bus. I have used lots of machinery or farm implement paints with great results. It is not necessary to remove all the paint. Using primer is good but the very expensive product is not required. Even the rattle cans will allow for adhesion. Final sanding should be done with 240-320 grit wet or dry paper. Just 10-15 sheets should be enough paper for a scuff down before painting.
Grey primer is my choise. Using the new hvlp spray guy saves lots of paint and materials. While taping is realitively easy, care is a high priority as clean up or redo is a waste of supplies and time. The lighter the color the more imperfections can be hidden. Black or bleu is the difficult colors. Frank
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:22 PM   #6
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My insulated roof paint wouldn't stick until I sanded it ROUGH with that 60 grit. I guess it's trial and error with whatever you're using.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:43 PM   #7
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Insulated paint

For those who have applied white roof coating. If the paint/coating is not very shiney and smooth, the roof surface will quickly gather road dirt. With any dirt on roof, the reflective ability is lost. Most insulating qualities are also lost. This type coating was originally used on mobile homes and had some short time value. As time passes the dirt deposits negates most temp changes. The best coating to light and temp reduction is shiney and smooth.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:06 PM   #8
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I cannot for the life of me remember the brand I used, but it dried shiny. I still need to do a few more coats, but it required several months of setup. The manufacturer actually recommended waiting a year between major applications.
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Old 03-21-2007, 01:31 AM   #9
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I brought this up briefly on another forum where it rudely got shot down (with blank ammunition), but I've been researching ceramic microspheres as an additive to paint, so I'll put in my 2 cents worth since you're talking about roof coatings a little bit.
3m makes a whole series of ceramic microspheres that have low thermal conductivity. For $9.75 you can buy enough for 5 gallons of paint- virtually any paint- and come up with a superior coating for your roof. It improves flow characteristics of paint. It increases the R value as an insulator, it increases reflectivity (it's one of the components added to reflective paint), it increases bouyancy (in case you find yourself not only stuck in the sand but floating out to sea), and if you happen to sink won't be crushed until about 4500 feet underwater .
Have I used it? No, but I'm buying some tomorrow. When I look at different companies touting the superiority of their insulating product, they all start sounding the same- they all use ceramic microspheres. I saw on "This Old House" they were talking it up as an additive to flat paint because it makes it possible to scrub. I guess normal flat paint you can't clean like that.
Supposedly it wouldn't change the drying time or method of application, etc. of your Imron.
Anyway, I'm off my soap box...
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:14 AM   #10
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paint prep

you can use a wet 3M scotchbrite to rough up the exterior, different colors are different grades of abrasiveness, put it on a drill and it goes faster than by hand. If you look around there are roof coatings that already have the ceramics added to them for reflective/insulating qualities. sportyrick
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:48 AM   #11
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Has anyone uses a pressure washer to get the old paint off. It seems like when you use one on a car and try NOT to remove the paint, it always DOES! Maybe a steam cleaner would be better. After you are done, go over with sand paper. I have not tried this, but I will be trying the pressure washer on my bus.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:50 AM   #12
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #13
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Discolor paint

I saw a skoolie parked on a beach in SoCal while I was driving and could not stop to ask questions, but the yellow paint was very faded it caught my attention and it did not look bad, does anyone here knows a way to fade the yellow paint?


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Old 09-12-2018, 02:05 PM   #14
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I saw a skoolie parked on a beach in SoCal while I was driving and could not stop to ask questions, but the yellow paint was very faded it caught my attention and it did not look bad, does anyone here knows a way to fade the yellow paint?


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Park it in a sunny spot by the ocean for a couple years.
It will "patina" nicely.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:13 PM   #15
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Hey CB, I knew you would answer quick, that is a good suggestion since a I'm getting close to retire soon, but I was hoping for a magical chemical that would speed up the "patina look" faster.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:24 PM   #16
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Hey CB, I knew you would answer quick, that is a good suggestion since a I'm getting close to retire soon, but I was hoping for a magical chemical that would speed up the "patina look" faster.
IDK how to "faux-tina" a bus, but there are probably lots of articles and forum posts out there from the rat rod crowd.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:44 PM   #17
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I sanded mine with a mix of grits before paint. The spots where I used 120 look great.60 you can see the swirls. If I did it again. Would go over the whole think with prob 220.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:33 PM   #18
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The problem with a nice faded yellow is that you may end up making involuntary donations to the local constabulary. It's a violation of the law enough places to flippantly say everywhere.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:29 PM   #19
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The problem with a nice faded yellow is that you may end up making involuntary donations to the local constabulary. It's a violation of the law enough places to flippantly say everywhere.
Do you personally know anyone ticketed for yellow paint?
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:34 PM   #20
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I seem to recall a member here was recently ticketed for just that. Regardless, we know it's the law, and I would never recommend counting on a trooper to just give you a pass on it.
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