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Old 03-25-2015, 12:20 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Painting

Hey everyone I'm brand new to the skoolie network and have recently bought a 1999 Thomas short bus to convert. I have gutted all the seats at this point and ready to do the interior paint.

My question is the prepping. Do I need to rough up the interior metal that is already painted white and prime it or can I just go over the paint. I am planning on rolling the paint on the inside but spraying the outside when I get there. Any suggestions on this? I could spray the inside if necessary.

When I get to the exterior paint do I need to sand the whole bus down before I paint over the yellow?

I have read many mixed reviews online of some people sanding and some people not sanding both seem to work but I want to do what will look best.

Any suggestions on the paint I use for both interior and exterior? After reading it seems that the rustoleum paint from home depot is the best.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks

Zack
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:55 PM   #2
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Welcome.
Yes, I'd sand the body down for paint adhesion. If you don't you'll likely have that typical look- the flaking off paint revealing the yellow underneath. Sign of a hasty conversion in my opinion.
I'd roll the whole thing with Rustoleum. Good stuff at $25 a gallon.
What are your plans for the floor?
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
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In my experience sanding has always been a good idea when painting anything. On the other hand sanding the whole bus, even a short one, is a major chore.

The general principle behind sanding is you're giving the paint a greater surface area to hold on to. I've noticed a lot of buses have flatter paint either intentionally or due to exposure. Sometimes this means its more likely to show existing flaws in the paint. Most modern day rattle cans do a good job and provide nice cover without sanding so long as you take your time and put down a nice even coat. Then again, sometimes it doesn't, that's why I sand. IMO it looks way nicer that way.

Either way I would definitely degrease the bus before paint.

When I get my shorty I see myself sanding down the areas around the letters, decals, and rails while giving the open areas a light scuffing. That's what I'd do, YMMV.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:03 PM   #4
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Thanks!

Do you think I need to sand down the whole interior as well before painting over the white?

I was wanting to turn the seats that were in the bus sideways like benches but turned out to be more tricky than I thought unless I bend the seat frame so I might do wood benches on each side. I am thinking about the hardwood laminate flooring for the floor. It is pretty durable and 100% water resistant. Any suggestions on the seating or flooring?
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:07 PM   #5
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The interior probably can just be scuffed.
The exterior lives a much harder life.
Are you getting the stock flooring out?
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:11 PM   #6
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When you say wood benches, I think of something along the lines of this guy's build.

Also, Auburn WA, nice. I plan on actually starting my build up there as well. My lease is up in Arkansas in 2 months.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:44 PM   #7
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Thanks guys!

- What would you recommend for degreasing the bus? Just paint thinner?

- I will probably take the time and sand the whole exterior if it will make it look significantly better. I will scuff up the inside as well. Do I need a certain type of sand paper for this and on the scuffing should I just use a metal brush?

- You guys would recommend rolling the paint as opposed to spraying it on both interior and exterior?

-I was hoping I could just remove the metal trim on the floor that was there for the walkway between seats and then just lay the laminate hardwood on top of it. Not sure if that will work or not?

- Yes benches just like that but I was thinking about using the seat cushions I have from the other seats and then using the backs of those as well but I also know that those seats can be worth some money so I could sell them and use the money to go a different route?

And its actually Auburn Washburn School District in KS. I'm doing the build in MO.

Thanks again for all of the info really helps!!
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:59 PM   #8
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I use my desktop in the living room on the TV. I misread some things. Oops.

For degreasing, I use mineral spirits. There are paint specific degreasers available too but they're not too different.

You'll probably want sandpaper for auto applications since they're a bit more resistant to build up. I'd go with an 600-800 grit. For rough spots sand with a lower grit 200-400 and work your way up. Exact grit you need will depend on what paint you use.

Roll or spray, it's your choice really. Spray is generally used outside and roll on inside but, when it comes to bus conversions, tradition kinda goes out the window.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:19 PM   #9
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Thanks!

I am planning on using this paint. How would I figure out which grit I need?
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:21 PM   #10
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Thanks!

I am planning on using the rustoleum professional high performance protective enamel paint. How would I figure out which grit I will need?
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:31 PM   #11
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There is a product called TSP used for prepping for paint. It works well, it's cheap available at Home Depot in the paint department. It has been banned in some regions of the country due to environmental concerns but if you are planning this for the outside of your bus, I would think mineral spirits or acetone are way worse to wash down a storm drain. I think painters call it sugar soap or something like that. We used it to clean our bus and it did a great job with little work involved. It is a non sudsing cleaner which is kinda weird to work... mainly it seems like when you wash your car and the soap stops foaming you know you need more soap.... well this stuff doesn't make the foam, but it does work! Make sure you protect your eyes.
Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:10 PM   #12
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As said above, The painter that's painting my project said to wash with TSP using a scotch bright pad....washed and scuffed at the same time.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:27 PM   #13
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Awesome!! I will look for that. Did you guys sand down your bus as well then use the TSP? If so what did you use to sand it down and what paint did you use?

Thank you!!
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:38 PM   #14
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...was told to use roughest scotch bright pad and TSP, no sanding needed. The scotch bright pad comes in different colours for different grits, you can rinse out the pad while washing 15 years of age, sap, etc.

Note, if you don't sand and it peels, it's even $#!ttier to it the second time, my $.02
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:52 PM   #15
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TSP would be perfect for a bus. Wouldn't think you'd need any sanding unless you have rough spots where trim or removed rails were. Doubt you'll need to though.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #16
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Gotcha that makes sense I will try that tonight!! Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #17
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There are chemicals that chemically etch the metal for painting.

No sanding needed.

There is no way your going to sand all the little hard to get corners and such.

Nat
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:48 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info natster! Do you know the names of these products and where to get them?
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:51 PM   #19
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It Fully depends on what kind of paint you will be using.

I would do some reading on Google.

Nat
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:11 PM   #20
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There is also a common hardware/paint store product called "Liquid Sandpaper" that works well for deglossing prep work. But only as long as the paint you intend to cover is well bonded and not peeling or flaking. That...you gotta' sand or strip.

I've used it many times exactly as indicated above...in conjunction with a scuff pad. Doesn't take much work at all. But like TSP...it is not something you want to use as mouthwash or pour into your potato patch when done. Observe the manufacturers recommendations. Use chem proof gloves and keep it out of your eyes too.
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