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jpf411 08-09-2006 03:57 PM

Exterior Finish - Fiberglass bonnet - CLEAR COAT REMOVAL
We have figured out almost everything about how to finish the exterior EXCEPT..

How to remove the cracked and peeled clear coat from the fiberglass bonnet and then best way to paint it.

Anyone have any ideas?


the_experience03 08-09-2006 05:25 PM

I don't know about how it would work on the fiberglass, but to scuff the paint on my bus I just used my Mouse sander with 80 grit sheets. The 80 grit took off the paint fast and lasted plenty long. The 120 grit we started with (because I had them already) didn't work quite as well. If I were you, I'd use the 80 to take the majority off, then use 120 or finer to eliminate any swirlmarks in the the fiberglass. Then it's up to you how you want to paint. My fenders are just rattlecanned Inter-trash-inal Tractor Blue now. If you don't want to deal with the expense of a sprayer, but don't want to roll or brush the paint on you can find refillable spray cans. Thin the paint out (I can't say exactly what the right mixture for your particualr paint will be), screw the lid on, and pressurize with compressed air. The cans actually work surprisingly well as long as the tip is kept clean and the paint is thinned correctly.

jpf411 08-09-2006 10:44 PM

Re: the Clear Coat question
Hey buz_nut.. thanks for the reply. All good info which we will put to good use.

I'm still not sure how to deal with the Clear Coat on the fiberglass, though. Can that be sanded off with your method?

John and Linda :?

the_experience03 08-09-2006 11:18 PM

What was left of my clear coat certainly came off just fine that way. Make sure you wear some sort of lung protection as that stuff is nasty. If you want to go even cheaper than the mouse, 1/3 sheet sanders work great as well. I never liked my Mouse until I started using it on the bus. It is effective for doing big areas, but is perfectly designed for going around rivets, etc. Ok...enough plugging Black and Decker.

jpf411 08-10-2006 12:10 AM

Our solution to PAINTING
Buz.. thanks much..

As this seems to be a learning experience for everyone.. there is no real definitive literature on how do to this stuff... I think I will post my experiences here for all to laugh at.. I mean benefit.. or not... here's what I'm in process of doing right now:

1. Wet sand w/220 grit and/or Scotch Pads and/or 1/4-sheet sander
2. Bondo and primer the rust spots.. some sheet metal patches
3. Tack-cloth wipe-down to remove dust and pigment
4. Thinner wipe-down to dry and remove oil
5. Spray vertical surfaces with Truck and Trailer paint (From Tractor
Supply Co) It is BPS-brand Truck and Trailer Paint, an oil-
based enamel as follows:
1 Gallon paint + 4 oz Hardener + 8 oz Naptha to make a
spayable concoction. (These instructions are on the can)
6. Roller (short nap) for the top.

Ciao .. JOHN

lapeer20m 08-10-2006 03:44 PM

if you're gonna paint with rustoleam, make certian you use acetone to thin rather than mineral spirits.

jpf411 08-10-2006 03:54 PM

Thanks.. I'll put that on file about how to thin out Rustoleum.. We are using MBS from Tractor Supply Corp... it is a tractor and truck enamel.. made just for Skoolies!!!

This stuff goes on with either spray or roller and makes a great finish.. or so I hope.. I'll let you know next week .. we start painting on Saturday!

See above post for exact paint formula.


jpf411 08-11-2006 11:05 AM

CLEAR COAT REMOVAL - Found the method
Just an FYI about removing clear coat... after doing quite a bit of research (talking to auto body folks and paint manufacturers) and some trial and error... here it is:

The body folks said it has to be sanded off but....

I found that sand blasting with "soft sand" (play sand from Home Depot or Lowe's) the clear coat comes off quite easily, fast, and no damage to the fiberglass.

jpf411 08-11-2006 10:39 PM

First Coat of Paint
Today we applied the first coat of paint ..

The TSC BPS-brand paint has done quite well... finish is good - not great - since we are not experienced painters but it is very acceptable. Second coat in about 5 days.

jpf411 09-12-2006 10:33 PM

We found the solution to CLEAR COAT REMOVAL
We found it.... here's the way to get CLEAR COAT off.

1. Work on a cool or cold surface.. it tends to keep the clear coat brittle.

2. Spray with "Peeler" by Kean Strip from WM Barr & Company out of Memphis TN

3. We used the plastic top to the spray can as a scraper which was soft but stiff enough to pop off the clear coat.

Took about 2 hours to strip the bonnet and we did no damage to the fiberglass which is a problem with other methods like sanding.. which is pretty ineffective anyway.

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