Remove ensolite or paint over? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2016, 04:05 PM   #1
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Name: Kelly
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Remove ensolite or paint over?

Hi All,

I just bought a 1977 Scamp and am trying to determine how to deal with the ensolite. It it kind of bubbling/coming off the interior wall in some parts. I can't tell if it would be better to try to remove and replace the ensolite, remove it and paint the interior with something like marine epoxy, or try to paint over the ensolite. You can see in the photo on on the left side of the picture under the window that there is some bubbling going on. What is underneath the ensolite and does anyone have any tips on what to do when your ensolite doesn't seem to be adhering to wall very well?

Thanks!

Kelly
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:09 PM   #2
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I'll leave it to those who have done it to chime in, but I wanted to congratulate you for being probably the first to ask the question, before starting demolition.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:14 PM   #3
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Peel it back clean and reglue with contact cement.
Clean the worst area as best as you can and decide if you can live with it.
Use a medium course bristle brush, good quality soap, rinse really good and towel dry.
Replacing the interior is a huge job which I certainly wouldn't want to do.
I'm pretty sure just paint on the wall would create a condensation problem inside.
I'm against painting the interior under almost any circumstance although some people have had success with it.
I'm assuming your interior ensolite is the same as my 74 Boler interior.
Fred
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:23 PM   #4
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I think painting it would turn out butt ugly.
Take your time and do it right.
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:31 PM   #5
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I haven't done it either, replaced it... but have read enough to know it can be a difficult and expensive proposition. Just look at those compound corners! Like Glenn, I congratulate you on asking first!


Quite a number of members have had good luck getting the ensolite reglued and very clean (using a number of different easily obtained cleaners) then used good paint.


Best of luck in your decision!
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:02 PM   #6
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Name: Kelly
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@Glenn LOL I try to do some research to make my life a little easier!

It does seem like redoing the ensolite is a huge job. I may try to peel it back and re-cement. Thank you all for the input!
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:14 PM   #7
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Name: Dale
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Painting it is fast and easy, makes the ensolite look like new. I thinned with water and mixed well, then sprayed through a basic HVLP gun, was about 20 minutes per coat, 3 coats total inside.




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Old 03-07-2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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Reglue, and paint, but first pull all the old tape off the seams and fill joints level with arcrylic latex caulking. Then dab with a sponge or rag to match texture.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:41 PM   #9
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dbir: Your pictures really look great. Nice job.
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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I would never recommend replacing the ensolite, it is a ton of work. As mentioned carefully peel back any area coming off and reattach with a high quality contact cement or better an automotive headliner adhesive. Then first try cleaning, I have heard very good results with magic eraser.

If you have to paint preparation is very important to prevent a disaster later. I also recommend using and interior/exterior latex paint. The reason for this is the inside of you trailer is exposed to the same temperature extremes and moisture extremes found outdoors. Also latex paint is permeable to moisture so any moisture trapped behind the paint will dry, enamel paint can trap moisture and if moisture get behind it bubbles can form. Here is the method I used to paint my interior, no problems or issues entering into year 5, that includes a yearly scrubbing of the inside. Cleaning & Decorating the Interior
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:01 PM   #11
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Name: RogerDat
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Stuff cleans up well, I would scrub with a brush as Fred suggests, I found LA Totally Awesome worked well as long as I rinsed each section well to remove all the dirty cleaner.


You will need the surface really clean and well rinsed in order to paint because painting over dirt and grime don't work all that well. I'm betting at that point you will be like "why bother doing anything else?"


I would be a little suspicious of water leak having been responsible for the bubbling up. Removing to re-glue involved working from an edge, I used a plastic putty knife for some of the work and a metal putty knife to slice right against the surface when the glue was sticking especially well. Water running down behind ensolite will leave a trail you will be able to spot when you have it lifted.


Suggest working in sections rather than whole big areas. Stuff will contract a bit and is easier to replace if still held up and in place by the other 2/3 of the sheet.


Without foam insulation there will be a tendency for the walls to want to sweat condensation. Although some have stripped the ensolite and just painted I personally would be reluctant. Even more reluctant to try to cut all those compound curves into any other covering.


You need to see it clean to know what you have, and even if painting it is not a wasted effort. Then the caulk in the seams or you can buy the white foam stick tape. Better to go after market than to buy the Scamp stuff. I used the seam tape from Scamp and had to add 3M 77 spray adhesive to every piece eventually, it just fell off otherwise.
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:18 PM   #12
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We previously had a Boler that someone had painted the ensolite. The paint was then starting to peel and what an enormous job to get it all off. I am definitely in the camp of give it a good clean and don't paint it.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:08 PM   #13
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The white stuff on Ensolite is vinyl. If you use a vinyl based paint, then I imagine that peeling would be less of a problem.
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
We previously had a Boler that someone had painted the ensolite. The paint was then starting to peel and what an enormous job to get it all off. I am definitely in the camp of give it a good clean and don't paint it.
It's possible it peeled because the surface may not have been thoroughly rinsed after using chemicals. Just like any painting, it's all about the prep.
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