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Old 07-18-2021, 03:55 PM   #1
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Artwork/Mural Style Exterior Painting?

Hi everyone,


Were slowly making progress with our plans and designs, and were now thinking about paintwork. Ive been looking through the forums and have found some really useful information on different paints (PlastiKote, Rust-Oleum, TCP Global, etc.), but I was wondering if anyone has designed artwork for their skoolie, and then used a gloss coat/sealer layer for protection.

When I found out about the School Bus Graveyard in Habersham County, GA., and the AWTY skoolie, it gave me the idea of maybe designing artwork for the sides of our bus, and I have a friend who has been an illustrator and artist for years who is willing to help. My DS is super into comics and my DD loves animals and wildlife, and I was thinking they could each design one side and then I could get help from my friend to finalize and scale their designs.

Cost would obviously be an issue, but I was thinking if we saved money with cheaper paints for the design, but then invested in a really good clear coat finish to protect it, then it would be something really unique and something special for our kids to do as well (and at this point we're unconcerned about resale value).

Has anyone done anything like this and if so, do you have any pictures, advice, or feedback you'd be willing to share?

Thanks!

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Old 07-18-2021, 05:51 PM   #2
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You might want to try asking the person who just posted this bus in the classifieds. This is a pretty sharp-looking exterior paint job.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:43 PM   #3
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Here is my custom paint on my jet boat project.

What I did for the checkered part was design it on the computer and then print it out full scale to trace it onto the boat in pencil and then hand painted it.

Another way is to use pinstripe tape to layout a design which you can untape and move around.

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Old 07-22-2021, 11:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips - some great ideas!
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuseliMom View Post
Hi everyone,


Were slowly making progress with our plans and designs, and were now thinking about paintwork. Ive been looking through the forums and have found some really useful information on different paints (PlastiKote, Rust-Oleum, TCP Global, etc.), but I was wondering if anyone has designed artwork for their skoolie, and then used a gloss coat/sealer layer for protection.
This is exactly what we're doing with our bus. My wife has already laid out the design. We'll prime and base-coat the bus with the large paint gun and then we'll air brush the artwork. Once it's all done, we'll clear coat the entire thing. We also will cover the top of the bus with white LizardSkin, for sound damping, insulation, and reflective properties.

Once all that is complete, we'll reinstall the rooftop A/C units, solar panels, and deck.

Painting a bus isn't that difficult. Most of what you can't reach is above the window line, so it can be painted pretty smoothly on the ground. It just takes a bunch more paint and more time. The worst part of it is finding a wind-free, dust free place to paint something that big.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Power Hungry View Post
This is exactly what we're doing with our bus. My wife has already laid out the design. We'll prime and base-coat the bus with the large paint gun and then we'll air brush the artwork. Once it's all done, we'll clear coat the entire thing. We also will cover the top of the bus with white LizardSkin, for sound damping, insulation, and reflective properties.

Once all that is complete, we'll reinstall the rooftop A/C units, solar panels, and deck.

Painting a bus isn't that difficult. Most of what you can't reach is above the window line, so it can be painted pretty smoothly on the ground. It just takes a bunch more paint and more time. The worst part of it is finding a wind-free, dust free place to paint something that big.

Good luck with your project!
Thanks!

Do you know what primer and clear coat you'll be using?

I need to speak to my friend about what she would recommend, but airbrushing would obviously be best. It could be wet sanded with a very fine grade to give a flatter overall surface for the best application of the clear coat. I just fear if my DS and DD wanted to do their designs using brushes, then the finished artwork would be too rough for the clear coat to work as effectively as it could.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:08 AM   #7
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Thanks!

Do you know what primer and clear coat you'll be using?

I need to speak to my friend about what she would recommend, but airbrushing would obviously be best. It could be wet sanded with a very fine grade to give a flatter overall surface for the best application of the clear coat. I just fear if my DS and DD wanted to do their designs using brushes, then the finished artwork would be too rough for the clear coat to work as effectively as it could.
At the moment, no. We have a really good paint shop that we'll be using for for primer, base coat, and clear coat recommendations. I can't see why this should be any different than painting a car, aside from the size.

As for airbrushing... Small parts (such as motorcycle tanks, fenders, etc.) and cars with extensive pinstriping and airbrushing have had no layering issues with the clear coat. The layer from an airbrush is so thin, it doesn't even stand out against the clear coat. Again, I can't see any reason why a bus would be any different.

If you have any concerns though, I'd just find a panel to practice on and see how it comes out. Or if you have a spare piece of sheet metal, even better. That's how my wife practices with airbrushing, pinstriping, candy colors, etc. Once she's done and satisfied, we just sand it off and start over.

Best thing you can do is talk to your local automotive paint supplier and see what they recommend for surface prep, paint type, and clear coat.

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:35 AM   #8
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We did some business-related graphics on an event vehicle and it's held up really well over the past 6 years. For the biggest logo image, I used a projector to cast the image on the side (in the dark) and used tape to outline it. For the more intricate, smaller graphics we got masks cut from an online supplier...that material is the blue-ish tinted stuff in one of these photos, below. After painting the different colors, we peeled the masking off while the paint was still wet. The paint was a two-part paint from Napa, which they mixed to match our color choices. We didn't clear coat it and, as I mentioned, it's still glossy and in great shape after 6+ years in the Arizona sun and thousands of road miles.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:40 AM   #9
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The biz stuff I posted above was super simple and fit with my total lack of artistic skill. Here's something I just saw posted on FB in the Skoolie Nation group...this is real skill!

Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 8.38.02 AM.jpg
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