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Old 10-02-2021, 04:15 PM   #1
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Painting the bus - Rustoleum and $47 paint sprayer

Skoolie fam!
Just wrapped up painting the bus - the whole project went off without a hitch and we're super happy with the results and thought I'd share some of my experience for anyone getting ready to paint.

Taping the bus was a major pain - but painting it was a breeze.

We went with some off-the-shelf Rustoleum gloss enamel, almond color, and sprayed it on with this YATTICH paint sprayer from Amazon - only $47!! Originally we had planned to rent a compressor from Home Depot, and buy a cheapo spray gun from Harbor Freight - I'm glad I purchased the electric sprayer, as it can be used with interior, exterior paint as well as stain, clear coat, etc - basically anything that can be thinned down enough to spray through the nozzle. I will definitely be using this for future projects.

We used 5qts and 2.5 cans of spray paint to finish the bus - 7 windows / approx. 28ft with 1.5 coats of paint. The first coat went on thick enough that we were able to get away with a quick touch-up coat, and some spray cans for the details, and we're good to go!

I thinned the Rustoleum with acetone - approx. 1oz Acetone to 1qt Rustoleum paint. It sprayed on clean, with a nice little texture, but very smooth.

Tons of prep work was key - scuffing the entire bus, washing, cleaning with simple green and a final mineral spirits rub-down. For a used bus, I'd say she looks damn fine!
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Old 10-02-2021, 04:20 PM   #2
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That looks great man! Good choice on the almond color.
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Old 10-02-2021, 04:24 PM   #3
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That looks great man! Good choice on the almond color.
Thank you! We got really lucky that Rustoleum makes a color similar to what we wanted.
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Old 10-02-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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Looks good, did you scuff up the old paint surface before painting? We scotchbrite-ed the whole damned bus till our fingers bled, still on after 15 years.
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Old 10-02-2021, 04:56 PM   #5
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Looks nice, man, but you got paint all over your arm!

How big of a hassle was it to clean the sprayer?
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Old 10-02-2021, 05:01 PM   #6
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Hahaha
Cleaning the sprayer actually wasn't too bad. I got the sprayer paint can really clean and then put all of the nozzle pieces inside with mineral spirits and awished it all around until the mineral spirits stayed clear, then ran clear spirits through the gun into a bucket.
Kind of tedious but not too bad, nothing will be so bad after all that taping. 10 hours of tape, my nose was burning after from all of the adhesive smell - next time would deff wear a respirator for tape even though it feels like overkill.

We did scuff the whole bus! Scotch Brite pads and a sander for where the words were painted, just to get the whole surface smooth.
Prepped with simple green and mineral spirits before painting so I think we got some good adhesion!
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Old 10-02-2021, 10:05 PM   #7
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That's fantastic, BG...it looks really nice and we all appreciate you sharing what/how you did.
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Old 10-03-2021, 02:47 PM   #8
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Looks good, did you scuff up the old paint surface before painting? We scotchbrite-ed the whole damned bus till our fingers bled, still on after 15 years.
Scotch Brite has different scouring pads. Which type did you use, do you remember? We won't be painting for awhile, but getting info now so we're ready.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:48 PM   #9
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We used the green, something a little abrasive so we didn't have to push so hard, wet with soap and water helps also.
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Old 10-03-2021, 04:11 PM   #10
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We used the green, something a little abrasive so we didn't have to push so hard, wet with soap and water helps also.
Thanks Did you purchase from a regular store like Walmart or a ssd specialty auto type store?
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Old 10-03-2021, 07:27 PM   #11
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Same as Sportyrick mentioned - we used the green 3M pads. I got them @ Lowes, and went through a whole 5 pack + 2 extras I think.
We also picked up a cheap mouse-style sander from Harbor Freight for $19, and used the red scotch-brite knockoffs they sell to help with some of the scuffing.
We used 220 grit sand paper with the mouse-sander to smooth the surfaces where we removed the lettering.
A decal-removal wheel was a lifesaver (2 of them) to get off all of the adhesive reflective tape.
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:16 AM   #12
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I'm getting ready to paint and was looking at sprayers. So perfect timing on this post! I just ordered the same sprayer and it will be here on Wednesday!
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Old 10-05-2021, 01:08 PM   #13
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I'm getting ready to paint and was looking at sprayers. So perfect timing on this post! I just ordered the same sprayer and it will be here on Wednesday!
Nice! It was a great find for me.
It goes on a little thick, and there is a bit of texture but I didnt experiment much with thinning the paint - just got it to the point where it was spraying and looking good for me and ran with it.

Note: the little sucker straw inside the paint can can fall off easily if you knock the gun around too much, you'll see what I mean. Once I figured it out I had no more problems, just don't slam the gun down or spin it around like crazy

Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions!
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:24 PM   #14
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Bear, I have the same bus and will be painting soon. Thanks for the post, it'll come in handy. Did you paint it outside or use a booth?
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:38 PM   #15
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Bear, I have the same bus and will be painting soon. Thanks for the post, it'll come in handy. Did you paint it outside or use a booth?
Good question!! I sprayed outside with not too much wind but there is definitely some overspray! Nothing crazy, but the old Tacoma was downwind and definitely got a dusting, it all rubbed right off so nothing catastrophic. .. but next time 10/10 would move my daily driver out of the way hahaha

Just take your time and do a perimeter check before you spray, if it is really windy I would wait. Make sure your neighbors aren't down wind, just in case.

For reference:
--Trash can upwind approx 10ft away got no paint on it.
--no paint on my house approx 12ft away, and none on the wall around my yard 6 to 10ft from the bus.
Even the ground around the bus is not too bad, but we have pebble gravel all over.
--Tacoma down wind approx 10 ft to rear bumper, 20ft to front bumper, got dusted - everything rubbed off of the windshield and some even came off today when it rained. (I need to repaint the truck anyway so st this point to more paint I have on it the better to protect from rust)
--Cell phone resting on the tire, covered in paint. But it all came off with mineral spirits. Don't be like me, don't paint your phone 3 times in one day.
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:45 PM   #16
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Quick ps.
Wear a respirator, face shield (or safety glasses at least) and paint coveralls. Backspray isn't crazy but it is better to be fully protected than to have paint all over yourself.
Maybe even some ear protection or headphones for some music - the sprayer isn't super loud but it does get old after a while.
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Old 10-09-2021, 06:34 PM   #17
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Great post and quite timely. Preparing to paint our bus. Thanks for all of the tips.
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:56 PM   #18
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Looks Awesome. Can't beat the price. How long did it take for actual spraying part? I do mine probably inside friends shop figuring how long to borrow space
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear Gerschafer View Post
Good question!! I sprayed outside with not too much wind but there is definitely some overspray! Nothing crazy, but the old Tacoma was downwind and definitely got a dusting, it all rubbed right off so nothing catastrophic. .. but next time 10/10 would move my daily driver out of the way hahaha

Just take your time and do a perimeter check before you spray, if it is really windy I would wait. Make sure your neighbors aren't down wind, just in case.

For reference:
--Trash can upwind approx 10ft away got no paint on it.
--no paint on my house approx 12ft away, and none on the wall around my yard 6 to 10ft from the bus.
Even the ground around the bus is not too bad, but we have pebble gravel all over.
--Tacoma down wind approx 10 ft to rear bumper, 20ft to front bumper, got dusted - everything rubbed off of the windshield and some even came off today when it rained. (I need to repaint the truck anyway so st this point to more paint I have on it the better to protect from rust)
--Cell phone resting on the tire, covered in paint. But it all came off with mineral spirits. Don't be like me, don't paint your phone 3 times in one day.

Hope you have the time to answer a few quick Q's.


I've never used anything but spray cans with Rustoleum, so I am not familiar with its spray characteristics.The paint must of dried quick if the overspray only dusted the car from 10 feet away. I looked at the Amazon adv. Which nozzle/spray pattern did you use? What was the temperature when you sprayed and how long did it take to tack over? Did you paint any of it in full sun? Did you have a problem with bugs and dust sticking to the paint? runs? What was the relative humidity? Did you start at the top of the bus or the bottom? Did you filter the paint? Clogs?


Could you post a few close up pics of the finish, both the good spots and any problem areas?

I guess that was more than a few, please answer what you feel like.

I like the color. It would make good camo out here in the desert.
Thank you.
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:59 PM   #20
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Looks Awesome. Can't beat the price. How long did it take for actual spraying part? I do mine probably inside friends shop figuring how long to borrow space
Actual spraying maybe took an hour. Maybe 1.5 hours when I slowed down at the end with a spray can to get the details / hard to reach spots. It was fast.
I let it sit overnight and then hit it again with a light second coat later the next morning. I think the paint calls for 12hrs dry time between coats, I definitely needed a second coat in some spots, but not all. Primarily to cover where the lettering had been before.

I let it sit about 36 hours before I got up on the hood to take the tap off of the lights, it took a while for the paint to fully harden.

I also forgot to add hardening catalyst to the paint. I've seen others mention this and intended to use it, but between driving to 3 Lowe's each day and everything else going on I just forgot
I think it will be fine for us though, ill keep a spray can in deck for touch up
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