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Old 07-13-2019, 09:14 PM   #1
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May not paint the floor... Bad idea?

My bus had almost no rust on the floor - it's from california and not that old. I just treated what little surface rust was there with ospho. I am in Oregon, and its wet here, but I will have nice dry heat from a wood stove to deal with moisture (I hope).

I would strongly prefer not to put any chemical product inside the bus that is not necessary... So Im thinking, do I really need to prime / paint the floor before insulating?

If I do need to, what do you think is the least chemical and VOC laden primer or paint that will be suitable?
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:31 PM   #2
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Rust requires 3 things. They are steel,oxygen and moisture. Remove any one from the mix and there will be no rust. Paint helps seal the steel against oxygen and moisture. Well, except for water based or latex based materials which by being water soluble will permit rust. Many single stage automotive paints have zero VOC but read the fine print. Best advice? Move to a hot desert clime.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:05 PM   #3
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Just make sure you have several tons worth of A/C working before you make that geographical relocation!
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #4
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We're researching floor paint options at the moment, and feel the same as you regarding VOCs. Still learning, but apparently paints marked with a GreenSeal are standardized to fairly strict standards regarding both VOCs and a long list of toxin. Might be worth looking into:


https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-...voc-paint2.htm
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
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ForestGarden, I am in the same camp. I have a nice clean galvanized floor with one small- 6" area of mild rust from the A/C condensation. I treated it and will seal that with paint but can't see the need for painting shiny galvanized flooring.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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I wouldn't be too concerned about the VOC load for a small scale, one-n-done job. VOCs first became regulated for the general public in, where else, Kalifornia. And that's where the regulatory train jumped it's tracks...
Given the climate and mountainous basins, VOCs are photo-reactive, and do contribute to smog. But the pittance contributed by household products is statistically insignificant to the vanishing point. The gas-a$$ culture there is the real culprit.
I firmly believe in erring on the side of caution, but there can be too much of a good thing...
If you can't rig a ventilation system while painting inside, respiratory controls are called for. Considering your climate, the paint should be done off-gassing within a day or two. Once cured, I don't think VOCs in the enclosed space are gonna be a worry point.
But read the associated MDS to be certain. Err on the side of caution, doncha know...
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:27 AM   #7
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Much appreciated, HazMatt! Will do on all counts.

On a related note, I think I'm pretty much sold on epoxy primer for our floor. Still a big-time noob regarding paint, but from what I can tell, it seems to best solution (anyone & everyone who knows better than me feel free to speak your mind!). From what I read though they can be pretty nasty compounds to apply, so boning up on my PPE needs. I think once they're cured, however, they're relatively inert (again - correct me if I'm wrong!)

Would it be a true statement that catalyzed paints (those mixed with a hardener prior to application) will generally off-gas less than non-catalyzed paints which rely solely on solvent evaporation to cure?
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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Epoxy primer will emit voluminous amounts of noxious fumes while curing.
After 48 hours or so, the odor is relatively harmless if the substrate you've covered has been exposed to air or ventilated in your case.

Whatever you eventually use to topcoat over the epoxy base must be compatible.
Not sure how well epoxy primer will stick to galvanized flooring without some degree of surface prep, but you can find more on the subject either on here, or wherever you source the material. (assuming your floor is galv. finished?)
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:07 PM   #9
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Much appreciated, HazMatt! Will do on all counts...

...Would it be a true statement that catalyzed paints (those mixed with a hardener prior to application) will generally off-gas less than non-catalyzed paints which rely solely on solvent evaporation to cure?
iDe nada!
I went way overboard, buying an expensive white automotive gloss that was mixed with hardener to roll onto the exterior. With the vagrant breezes, I hardly noticed it's piquant bouquet at all, so I demured from donning my 1/2-face cartridge respirator.
For your interior; I'd start by propping open the E-hatch, crack open the windows if there's no broadside breeze, with the back door fully open.
2 or more fans would be optimal, but one would suffice, blowing from the front to the back, and staying upwind from your work surface.
Depending on application method, i.e. brush or roller, you may have to simply hold your breath while painting in the rear corners, and may be OK once you're out of those eddy zones. However:
If you smell the stench, have your respirator, loaded with VOC cartridges, at the ready! (You likely know a paper dust mask is completely useless.)
The respirator's discomfort is immediate & short-term, compared to the potential for long-term, chronic pulmonary damage...
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:47 PM   #10
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If it were me I would give it a coat of rustoleum primer. Wear a respirator and ventilate well. Let it dry and ventilate thoroughly. Donít worry about it after that. Youíll never be able to fix it if it rusts.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:08 PM   #11
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If it were me I would give it a coat of rustoleum primer. Wear a respirator and ventilate well. Let it dry and ventilate thoroughly. Donít worry about it after that. Youíll never be able to fix it if it rusts.



Alright... I think you're right and it's best I at least prime it.


Next question!


I cleaned the floor before using ospho, but not soap or anything. Since I have already used ospho, should I clean it with soap or other de-greaser (recommendations?) before painting? Also I've read mixed things about painting directly over ospho... I bought some Rustoleum Primer and wondering if I need to neutralize or wash off the ospho residue... there was not a whole lot of rust to "convert" so I'm concerned there may be a lot of acid left over.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:42 AM   #12
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SPI epoxy goes to great lengths to persuade their customers to not use ospho at all for the simple reason that it will cause problems if not thoroughly removed/nuetralized before painting, and apparently many people don't/won't. Note this is just one type of paint from one manufacturer, so others are possibly more ospho-friendly. We're going to use ospho, but plan on erring on the side of caution and neutralizing in the manner SPI recommends no matter what paint we go with (unless, of course, the paint we choose says you'll get better adhesion directly over ospho). Best to read the documentation of the paint you choose. They're all different.

Ospho Neutralization:

How to neutralize Ospho | Southern Polyurethanes Forum


Also, at least with epoxy, from what I've gathered there's no need to topcoat at all using it in the manner we are (as a rust-preventative that will never be seen or UV-exposed). Again, that may or may apply to other paint types. We'll just be applying primer as well.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
Epoxy primer will emit voluminous amounts of noxious fumes while curing.After 48 hours or so, the odor is relatively harmless if the substrate you've covered has been exposed to air or ventilated in your case.
Thanks Pete! When I was referring to off-gassing, however, it was more in keeping with the OP's (and my) concerns. Not so much off-gassing during application or immediately thereafter, but the months (years?) down the road as it continues to release VOCs in smaller concentrations.

In this context, I'm curious if my assumption is true... all else being equal, are catalyzed paints you mix prior to application a better bet in this regard than paints that don't require a hardener (meaning they cure entirely by the release of solvents). Intuitively, it seems this would be the case. But I'm not sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
If you smell the stench, have your respirator, loaded with VOC cartridges, at the ready! (You likely know a paper dust mask is completely useless.) The respirator's discomfort is immediate & short-term, compared to the potential for long-term, chronic pulmonary damage...
You don't have to sell me on a respirator. I'll be wearing it (and gloves, and a paint suit, and goggles), along with forced-air ventilation, no matter what, and at all times. I've put way too much time & effort endangering my life in other ways to let paint take me out

I actually knew a kid in grade school who went from smart to stupid, instantly and permanently, in the 5 minutes it took him to huff paint in the boy's bathroom. He literally walked in one person and came out another. So sad to see.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:47 PM   #14
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Leave Floor Galvanized?

As a couple others have mentioned, what's the thinking of painting instead of leaving galvanization if it's still in good shape, or reapplying?

Did the original manufacturers choose to galvanize instead of paint for a particular reason?

I'm about ready to make a decision as to what to do with the floor of my 2008 BB Chevy Cutaway and the floor is great aside from a couple holes, my thinking being if its survived this well, with holes for 12+ years, why not patch holes and leave galvanization if intended use period for me isn't more than 8 years?

Am I being a stupid newbie?

Cheers!
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:49 PM   #15
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Nothing wrong with asking questions, but in short, you should do something like painting, sealing or otherwise protecting the floor metal from rusting. Manufacturer only do what is necessary to make it last through the warranty period.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:51 PM   #16
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The main thing you need to do to preserve your floor for the future is to stop any leaks (roof, windows, hatches, lights etc.). If you do that and your floor still has a healthy galvanized coating, you could probably leave it unpainted and be OK. On the other hand, painting a floor isn't hard or particularly expensive, so why not?
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:42 PM   #17
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The main thing you need to do to preserve your floor for the future is to stop any leaks (roof, windows, hatches, lights etc.). If you do that and your floor still has a healthy galvanized coating, you could probably leave it unpainted and be OK. On the other hand, painting a floor isn't hard or particularly expensive, so why not?
Copy that! I read on another thread that the common floor painting process involves removing galvanization and then prepping and priming/painting with rustoleom that takes forever to dry. I'd be open to a shorter process. Any ideas?

To your point though, if I plug up any holes, roof/windows etc., then there really shouldn't be any water on the floor and if there is, I feel like I'd have bigger problems like mold/electrical shorts and such. I'm trying to balance my timeframe of the next two months to wrap this project up and how in depth I want to go with everything.

Cheers!
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:22 PM   #18
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Copy that! I read on another thread that the common floor painting process involves removing galvanization and then prepping and priming/painting with rustoleom that takes forever to dry. I'd be open to a shorter process. Any ideas?
Galvanizing is an anti-corrosion process so I'm not sure I understand why you'd remove it, except that it's difficult to paint. But you can use self-etching primer (SEM is a good one) on galvanized, followed up with ye ol' Rusto (which does take at least a day to dry, longer in colder weather). Or, since it's an anti-corrosion coating just leave it and build your subfloor over it.

No personal experience here, sorry - all the galvanized coating on my floor was long gone, along with much of the floor itself.
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