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Old 08-03-2022, 03:20 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Rocky Mts, Colorado
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: GMC Thomas handicap shorty
Chassis: 1 ton, 3500 -duallies, Vandura
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Painting a 4 window Skoolie, like a pro

I'm looking for a good link or directions on how to paint my 4 window GMC Skoolie.

I've looked around but only saw cheaper paint jobs either with rolling it on, wizz-rattle cans or spraying with rustoluem, etc. I don't want that.

I want to do a nice job with actual car paint, a metallic green and then some silver highlights for bumpers , etc. I want to buy automotive paint with a good clear coat for protection and shine. I also want to buy an air sprayer, not a cheapy but not a pro style-high end one. I'm also unsure of how much paint I'll need.

Any links, suggestions would be kindly appreciated. And yes, I have painted other things in the past so I'm not a complete noob. And I've done my own bodywork as well. Cheers !

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Old 08-03-2022, 04:10 PM   #2
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The generic implement enamel I used 15 years ago still looks good. We sanded till our fingers bled, every square inch has to be roughed up for the paint to stick (and you know that). It's also easy to match that paint after some damage that your bound to get sooner or later.
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:16 PM   #3
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do you have an air compressor?
do you have a spray gun? hvlp?
have you ever painted a vehicle?
those questions or why some do the roll or brush stuff?
but if you have ever painted a vehicle you wouldnt be asking how.
with the right stuff it still takes practice.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:12 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Rocky Mts, Colorado
Posts: 23
Year: 1994
Coachwork: GMC Thomas handicap shorty
Chassis: 1 ton, 3500 -duallies, Vandura
Engine: 350 CFI, 4L80E trans
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
do you have an air compressor?
do you have a spray gun? hvlp?
have you ever painted a vehicle?
those questions or why some do the roll or brush stuff?
but if you have ever painted a vehicle you wouldnt be asking how.
with the right stuff it still takes practice.
Did you read my post? LOL

I am not "Up' on the all the newer paints, hardeners and options and basically wondered what most bus owners are doing as far as DIY painting their skoolies at a higher end level.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:16 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Rocky Mts, Colorado
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: GMC Thomas handicap shorty
Chassis: 1 ton, 3500 -duallies, Vandura
Engine: 350 CFI, 4L80E trans
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportyrick View Post
The generic implement enamel I used 15 years ago still looks good. We sanded till our fingers bled, every square inch has to be roughed up for the paint to stick (and you know that). It's also easy to match that paint after some damage that your bound to get sooner or later.
It will be a lot of work (by myself as well). What brand of enamel did you use? Clear coat?

I have everything needed (sanders, compressors, etc) to do my bus and I'll also use my sandblaster to get in the tight spots. Thanks !
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Old 08-03-2022, 11:03 PM   #6
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Lots of good tutorials on YouTube for painting cars

The only differences for painting a bus I can think of are you really don't want to go to bare metal if you can help it as then you are dealing with getting paint to stick to the galvinized sheet metal. You will also have to do some planning on what order to paint so that you can keep a wet edge without getting dry overspray.

For spray guns a cheapo harbor freight gun might be OK. I just got a 64 oz pressure pot spray gun so that I could have a larger reservoir and not have to be refilling as often. I'm hopefully going to try it out this weekend on the interior of the bus.

If using epoxy primer or catalyzed urethane top coat you will want a helper mixing as you are spraying so you can keep a wet edge. I don't think the cup on a gravity fed hplv gun would make it very far on a bus.

As far as paint a single stage urethane may be better for not showing dust and bugs if you don't have access to a paint booth and for durability from scratches from trees you might drive under.

I'm planning on painting my bus with a bed liner like raptor liner. By not being a shiny clear coat it wont draw attention to the imperfections in my sheet metal and any dust that gets in the paint will be less noticeable. I plan on hanging plastic in my shop but it won't be as clean as a paint booth.

Ted
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Old 08-04-2022, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
I'm planning on painting my bus with a bed liner like raptor liner. By not being a shiny clear coat it wont draw attention to the imperfections in my sheet metal and any dust that gets in the paint will be less noticeable. I plan on hanging plastic in my shop but it won't be as clean as a paint booth.
Ted
Have you calculated the amount of weight that will be added to the bus by using bed liner?

I'm thinking it would be a good roof coat but certainly not in black....LOL
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
Have you calculated the amount of weight that will be added to the bus by using bed liner?

I'm thinking it would be a good roof coat but certainly not in black....LOL
No black. Going for the Toyota sand color. My plan is to to thin it and apply with a hvlp gun which will give a thinner coat and a sand paper texture.

Ted
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Old 08-04-2022, 08:41 PM   #9
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Following.
I used Benjamin Moore super spec urethane alkyd gloss enamel on my 1st 5 window. Used a gallon for 2 coats with a Harbor Freight HVLP. It came out with a slight orange peel texture. I wasn't super happy with that but it's like a golf ball- those dimples improve aerodynamics That bus has gone and I'm inclined to use the same paint for my new bus but follow the paint instructions by using an airless sprayer for proper pressure. We'll see.
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Old 08-04-2022, 10:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbus View Post
Following.
I used Benjamin Moore super spec urethane alkyd gloss enamel on my 1st 5 window. Used a gallon for 2 coats with a Harbor Freight HVLP. It came out with a slight orange peel texture. I wasn't super happy with that but it's like a golf ball- those dimples improve aerodynamics That bus has gone and I'm inclined to use the same paint for my new bus but follow the paint instructions by using an airless sprayer for proper pressure. We'll see.
You know, I'm going to have to review the dimple thing. They improve golf ball performance by changing the aerodynamics but would it be beneficial on something like a bus?
The Myth Busters did an episode in which they explored the dimples. Perhaps they did something that might be useful.
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Old 08-10-2022, 04:05 PM   #11
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I've painted cars before and done it right. It's not easy if you don't have the venue, equipment and experience. I decided to go a different route on my skoolie. Probably spent $200 on rattle cans. Used leaves for stencils. Found that cedar and sumac work best. Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2022, 05:09 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Skoolie paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkdc View Post
I'm looking for a good link or directions on how to paint my 4 window GMC Skoolie.

I've looked around but only saw cheaper paint jobs either with rolling it on, wizz-rattle cans or spraying with rustoluem, etc. I don't want that.

I want to do a nice job with actual car paint, a metallic green and then some silver highlights for bumpers , etc. I want to buy automotive paint with a good clear coat for protection and shine. I also want to buy an air sprayer, not a cheapy but not a pro style-high end one. I'm also unsure of how much paint I'll need.

Any links, suggestions would be kindly appreciated. And yes, I have painted other things in the past so I'm not a complete noob. And I've done my own bodywork as well. Cheers !
Iím looking into this too. So far, truck bed liner paint looks good albeit expensive.
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Old 08-10-2022, 05:59 PM   #13
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I don't think much of the bed liner idea. I've heard it before. I haven't done a test but I imagine it would collect dust heroically and look like a rolling turd pretty quick. Also I would imagine it's susceptible to solvents. You can coat over proper paint, even rattle can, with 2K around the gas fill and such. Doubt if you can 2K over bed liner.
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Old 08-10-2022, 11:08 PM   #14
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Engine: 6.4 liter Mercedes MBE 900
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Epoxy primer, top coat with single stage urethane.
Obtain and follow all the literature that is applicable to the paint system you're using.
I used TCP Global for my paint. Four colors.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CbaTpIzL...d=MDJmNzVkMjY=
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Old 08-11-2022, 04:40 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Engine: 8.3 Cummins mechanical injection
Eastwood paint

Iím currently painting my bus. Itís big, probably 35 or 40 feet. Iím using Eastwood single stage paint, itís a catalyzed urethane so it has activator which is mixed in before spraying. I am using the slow activator since itís pretty hot here and that is working very well so far. My friend who paints a lot of things is doing it and he just has a couple of harbor freight guns. They are fine as long as you keep them clean. Before painting I scuff the yellow paint with sandpaper or a red scotch brite pad so it sticks better. Then I mask off the windows and put my paint booth over where weíre painting. Itís like a lean-to style paint booth that I lean on the side of the bus above the windows and itís about 8 feet long. Weíre painting in sections since itís easy to do with the bus panels. My paint is flat od green, so it isnít as finicky as something very glossy. It is all going great so far. The paint shown in the top picture is exactly one gallon.

https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-battlefield-olive-drab-3-1-single-stage-paint.html
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Old 08-11-2022, 12:11 PM   #16
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Trying to do a high-end paint job on a schoolie is going to be time consuming. It's going to take a lot more material to do that level of job. High end paint requires high level of body prep with very strict attention to detail.

Answer me this question. At how many feet from the bus do you want mistakes to show in your new paint?

If you say 5'. that takes 50% less work than a 1' paint job. If accept 10' that requires less work that a 5' paint job. It's all about time spent to paint. Remember your talking about a bus. Where it's going to spend most its life most people will not notice the difference between a 5' to 10' paint job. A lot of people wouldn't know the difference between a 1' to 5' paint job.
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Old 08-11-2022, 01:46 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Bellingham Washington
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Year: 2005
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Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: 6.4 liter Mercedes MBE 900
Rated Cap: 48 passenger
PhilipE,
You're absolutely right about the distance factor. I get a lot of compliments on my skoolie paint job.
And it sure isn't because it's "show car" quality.
What they're noticing is good gloss, nice details, (stripes, accents) and completeness (wheels, mirrors, bumpers painted) and four colors (2 body colors, roof white, wheels and bumpers silver).

It's a solid 10 footer.

I say, "It's far from good, but it's good from far."
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Old 08-12-2022, 09:56 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Simcoe, Ont
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3500
Engine: GMC
Rated Cap: 8 handicapped
Giving up

I've done 'good' paint jobs on smaller vehicles. Just cutting myself more slack these daze. No one left to impress since Mom died.
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:50 AM   #19
Skoolie
 
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Ross

Thats why I am asking the OP at what footage he wants it to look good. Once the footage is determined then advice comes easier. At 5' to 10' you're looking at a scuff and shot basically. He mentioned some blasting to be done. There you need bondo to repair/ smooth the blasted area. If he is working with a good stable paint job already without a lot of chipping. He could just burn it down with some 400 grit. Then shoot it.

Now on the subject of bondo. I do not use the polyester-based auto body putty. I use epoxy-based boat fairing compound. With age poly based putty likes to crack. If there is a crack on the covering paint it will soak up water and crack in cold temps. I have seen it crack in cold temps from panel flex. It has a narrow field of materials it can be used on.

Epoxy fairing compound. It is rated for application on wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass. In other woods that **** sticks to anything. It is a little harder to work than poly based. Poly based you can use a cheese grater file and semi level before it sets up. Don't try that with fairing compound. LOL

Epoxy needs a coarser paper to start with. It sands off harder.
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