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Old 04-07-2021, 04:40 PM   #1
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Year: 1991
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Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Going to roll Paint a bus roof. looking for tips

OK im going to paint the roof on my 1978 Superior white.. since I dont have a good place to spray paint without causing issues.. im going to roll it..



of course there are those elastometric paints.. however i want to learn about rolling and using hardener thr correct way..


so im thinking rustoleum with hardener..



1. which type rustoleum to use with hardener? (theres a zillion kinds)
2. what ratio of hardener to use?
3. best type / brand hardener to use
4. best roller type to use


paint prep wise im going to wash the roof with dawn liquid and hot water.. then go back over with TSP and water.. and then ill be palm sanding it with a 200 grit paper just to rough it up a bit and blowing the paint dust off with an air hose.



im starting with a roof because its the least visible.



id love to be able to use my airless sprayer but my storage unit has a ton of other vehicles in it so im well too close to other peoples stuff to blow spray paint.. even rattle canning is tough if there is any breeze.



-Christopher

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Old 04-07-2021, 05:57 PM   #2
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Christopher, PM me before you start.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:49 PM   #3
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I'm mildly interested in this as well, I would imagine many tips for painting a roof would apply to the rest of the bus and I too lack a suitable place to spray large quantities of paint.

I've also not heard of using hardener. Apparently it's useful so I would love to hear more. Also perhaps advice for areas where a roller is not able to get, like in between ridging.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
I'm mildly interested in this as well, I would imagine many tips for painting a roof would apply to the rest of the bus and I too lack a suitable place to spray large quantities of paint.

I've also not heard of using hardener. Apparently it's useful so I would love to hear more. Also perhaps advice for areas where a roller is not able to get, like in between ridging.

I figure ill use a foam brush in the rain gutter area.. while brush marks are possible, the angle at which the roof ias viewed from the ground should keep most of my brush marks hidden.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:03 PM   #5
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Rolling paint

I painted my bus using Rustoleum enamel paint and hardener. I have more details in post 6 of my build thread:


https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/i...tml#post395239


So far, the paint is holding up fine. I will say, my paint does have some texture to it; it is not a show paint job. However, it did create a decent 10 ft. paint job. Usually I'm the only one to notice. If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to use thinner coats, as I ended up with more runs than I would have liked. I used a fine nap roller, and brushes designed for oil based paints. I also would have scuffed some areas better. I have some paint peeling around the wheelchair door. I'm not sure if I didn't clean it well enough or not. Like painting a house, I recommend edging first with a brush, and then rolling the large areas. The picture shows a close up, and you can kind of see the texture.



Best of luck!
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoontz View Post
I painted my bus using Rustoleum enamel paint and hardener. I have more details in post 6 of my build thread:


https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/i...tml#post395239


So far, the paint is holding up fine. I will say, my paint does have some texture to it; it is not a show paint job. However, it did create a decent 10 ft. paint job. Usually I'm the only one to notice. If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to use thinner coats, as I ended up with more runs than I would have liked. I used a fine nap roller, and brushes designed for oil based paints. I also would have scuffed some areas better. I have some paint peeling around the wheelchair door. I'm not sure if I didn't clean it well enough or not. Like painting a house, I recommend edging first with a brush, and then rolling the large areas. The picture shows a close up, and you can kind of see the texture.



Best of luck!

THIS! and your thread post are what I need!. so esedentially you used one can of hardener to 1 gallon pf paint?


as for automotive quality paint job? im not going for that.. I have 2 busses with automotive paint jobs.. one is a urethane enamle paint and the other is a base / clear, both painted professionally and both have spots where paint is peeling or I needed to fix a rust spot / etc.. and I cant touch the paint up! since it is automotive if you brush on spots then its visible.. with base / clear it needs to be re-sprayed to look good..



if im successful in painting the white roof of the Superior and it looks decent then im happy.. while the Superior is a 43 year old rust-free bus so i dont drive it in the winter it is a driver.. not a show-piece.. Ill finish fixing it up nice and it will be a driver.. I had one show car once.. never again.. every time I went to a car show and didnt have it on a trailer everyone whimpered.. and here is me thinking why have something I cant drive? I sold it and bought the exact same car in something a little less perfect so people wouldnt cry that i was driving it when I went to the cruise-in..



your bus looks GREAT!
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:51 AM   #7
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Hi cadillackid


I painted my full bus in the same way that skoontz did. One can of Valspar enamel hardener to a gallon of basic Rustoleum paint. To get the colour I wanted I mixed 3 parts John Deere green to 1 part grey (or off white?).


Don't mix too much at once. The stuff will start to set up in 15-20 minutes or so and the paint will become thicker and stickier from then onward.



I rolled as much of the paint on as possible using a short nap roller. Using the "roll and tip" method helped to smooth out bubbles and spread out some of the runs.
Foam brushes took care of the finicky areas. In my experience, even the foam brushed areas could be smoothed out so brush strokes weren't too obvious by "tipping" the paint after putting it on thick with the brush.


Doing the roof you have the benefit of gravity being on your side! Runs should be at a minimal.


Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:34 AM   #8
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Oh, and if it were me I would alter this process a bit:


"paint prep wise im going to wash the roof with dawn liquid and hot water.. then go back over with TSP and water.. and then ill be palm sanding it with a 200 grit paper just to rough it up a bit and blowing the paint dust off with an air hose."


I typically do a basic cleaning; then do the sanding; then finish up with a good wash. I find that the fine dust can be difficult to remove. Maybe a compressor would do a good enough job. I haven't tried since my compressor doesn't have an air dryer and I didn't want to risk spraying water and oil mist over a freshly cleaned surface.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:02 AM   #9
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I'd go more like 300 grit.
Just some plain white rusto with some hardener. I'd go semi gloss or matte.
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Old 04-25-2021, 12:39 AM   #10
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I went with a home hardware rust paint, semi gloss, white and no hardener. I'm still happy with the job three years in but hardener sounds like a good idea.

I went dead simple on the prep, hosed it down good with a garden hose on a warm day then soap and water scrubbed on with rough mop followed by a very quick and light hand rub with soap, water and scrubby. Finished with a thorough rinse. I did not sand and have no regrets.

I used some plywood to turn my old pickup into a mobile scaffold, found it to be a very useful low tech solution.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Bird View Post
I went with a home hardware rust paint, semi gloss, white and no hardener. I'm still happy with the job three years in but hardener sounds like a good idea.

I went dead simple on the prep, hosed it down good with a garden hose on a warm day then soap and water scrubbed on with rough mop followed by a very quick and light hand rub with soap, water and scrubby. Finished with a thorough rinse. I did not sand and have no regrets.

I used some plywood to turn my old pickup into a mobile scaffold, found it to be a very useful low tech solution.

I was thinking of using my long handled roller and a step ladder to get the center of the roof and then the sides and edges are easy.. my end caps are getting painted with a different paint. since this is a somewhat restoration the end caps will be white with the black corners and the school lights stay.. Ohio-spec Superior Activity Bus is what im going for..



I havent gotten to the painting yet as work is busy right now and im still finishing the driver area of the interior.

-Christopher
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:03 PM   #12
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Spend time
Locating the white RV flexible
Paint it’s a specialty
Product but rolls on and has a great life expectancy

Sand the rust areas and wash it down with a good cleaner. I use
MEK over the rusty areas and any oily spots. Before applying product.
Cheers. Reflective coatings keep
Your roof from retaining heat. Insulating your tin can.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I was thinking of using my long handled roller and a step ladder to get the center of the roof and then the sides and edges are easy.. my end caps are getting painted with a different paint. since this is a somewhat restoration the end caps will be white with the black corners and the school lights stay.. Ohio-spec Superior Activity Bus is what im going for..



I havent gotten to the painting yet as work is busy right now and im still finishing the driver area of the interior.

-Christopher
Sounds like a good plan!
Please get pics!!
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:54 PM   #14
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My plan is to use 12 foot 2" x 6" which I happen to have on hand and build a scaffolding right through the bus. Also retrofitting a hatch and building solar racks so the effort will be for more than just the paint.
I was so accused of redneck engineering by my wife ...
I just smiled.
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
My plan is to use 12 foot 2" x 6" which I happen to have on hand and build a scaffolding right through the bus. Also retrofitting a hatch and building solar racks so the effort will be for more than just the paint.
I was so accused of redneck engineering by my wife ...
I just smiled.
Sounds like a good idea! Should make a good safety net while working on the roof. Only down side is you will be on your knees a lot doing the lower portions of the roof.
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Old 04-26-2021, 12:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I was thinking of using my long handled roller and a step ladder to get the center of the roof and then the sides and edges are easy..
-Christopher
Yes, I used an extension handle for most of the painting and a lot of the scrubbing.

For the cleaning/prep I found it easiest to get up on top of the roof to do the flatter portion. With a sturdy extension handle you can push down hard on your mop/sander and save a lot of back work.

I would advise against the step ladder for a couple of reasons
- more chance of falling
- I found it useful to keep reworking my paint, building up the thin spots and smoothing the laps and runs. It required quite a bit of back and forth as I progressed along the bus.

You could set up a chunk of scaffolding bout 8 feet long and move the bus along it as required.

I started painting by rolling on about a 4 foot wide strip end to end down the center of the roof. I did this while standing on the roof. I worked the paint out real thin along the edges so that it wouldnt run down the sides or create ridges. I let the paint taper out in a totally random fashion so as not to create a line or seam. When working by yourself you can be sure that paint is going to be pretty dry by the time you get the rest of the roof painted, especially on a long bus. Might take a couple of days.

With the top done in this fashion you can now work up from the side and continue rolling right up and over the center coat. You will know that you have no gaps up top and you can concentrate on making the most visible part of your roof nice and tidy.

I sure aint a pro and others may have a better way, all I know is that the roof came out lookin pretty good. Still haven't done the end caps and not sure if I want to bring the roof paint down below the windows but then none of that affects how she drives.
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