* * HELP PLEASE * * How to Remove Old Paint on Ensolite - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
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Name: Tracey
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* * HELP PLEASE * * How to Remove Old Paint on Ensolite

I just bought a 1973 Boler 13' and the previous owner tried to hide the mildew area with some type of eggshell paint. Lucky for me it is only the top corner bunk area. But any advice on how to remove the paint safely without damaging the ensolite would be most grateful. I wish I know whether it was acrylic or enamel paint used.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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I repainted the inside of my Trillium. I used a flat latex on the ensolite and it covered all with a good looking finish. I painted the seam strips and all.

Ron
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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Thanks Ron. But what about removing paint as I plan not to paint the ensolite. The mildew hide over paint was done poorly with paint put on way too thick and wrong colour. So I have to strip it somehow safely.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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I would think that trying to remove the old ?? paint wouldbe a lot more damaging to the ensolite than just painting over it. At least you would have it all looking the same.

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:34 PM   #5
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It would probably be helpful to establish if the paint is latex or oil based.

You could dab an small area with a solvent such as acetone or lacquer thinner and see if the paint dissolves. If it does it's oil based.

Knowing what type it is might help find the most suitable paint remover. But as others have said, it could also damage the ensolite. I think it would be a trial and error process.

Ron
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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Try kilz made by zinsser or another sealer it will cover up the mildew very well. I've used it many times and it works very well.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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You may be able to GENTLY sand down the thick places with a fine sand paper and a light hand. Wear a mask, it could be lead based paint! Then color match the existing ensolite and paint with a pouncing motion to further duplicate the texture of the existing ensolite.

I would not like the thought of leaving that mildew under there either, but Kilz or Bulls-eye primer will keep the mildew from coming through if you must cover rather than "rid".

I use a mixture of 1:1 acetone and xylene to strip paint from fiberglass but it would probably goo up the ensolite finish. You could try testing various strippers in inconspicuous places (like in the closet or under the sink) - just depends on how much there is to do and how ambitious you are feeling. Hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction.

Cathy
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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I have used a lot of strong solvents on our Ensolite & never damaged it (pure acetone, goop off, denatured ethanol, varasol), mineral spirits) It is very hardy stuff. I would try mineral spirits or another solvent before sanding. Sanding it may take off the vinyl on the Ensolite leaving the black foam which is underneath visible.

I understand not wanting paint & once you get the paint off, to get the mildew off I found that mineral spirits worked best and I also used Tilex with bleach which worked remarkably well (not at the same time...months apart). If you are nervous about the solvent type try it on a non visible area first (under the sink, in the closet).

I never melted my Ensolite while removing paint, glue mildew or stains with strong solvents and it looks great now!
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:04 PM   #9
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Tracey, there are some very good, low toxicity paint removers out there. Many are soy based and will effectively remove latex or oil based paints. For example, a product called Soy Gel paint remover. The 'big box' hardware stores all carry these. Talk to the folks in the paint department to help you locate the products. There won't be fumes with these that will gas you in the camper like a methylchloride product (traditional paint stripper).

Before you repaint, I highly recommend Kilz primer. They have two versions. I prefer the one that is shellac based over the latex based. One probably performs as well as another.

Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:06 AM   #10
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Thanks Steve. I will look for it when I'm in Seattle.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:38 AM   #11
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I would look for a paint that is recommended for use on vinyl.
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