Removing paint from Ensolite - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-29-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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Name: Meghan
Trailer: '76 Scamp 13
Ohio
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Removing paint from Ensolite

Hi everyone! This is my first post, and definitely wont be my last. My husband and I recently purchased a '76 Scamp 13. The previous owner painted over the ensolite, but it appears that he used the wrong kind of primer. When aided with a hair dryer, the paint peels off easily. The ensolite underneath is in good shape, so we're trying to remove all the paint. It was easy work until we got to the parts where he didn't prime. The paint is adhered really well to those places! Has anyone found a solvent that will remove (latex) paint without harming the ensolite?
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Hi Meghan, to FiberglassRV. You've got me stumped. Sorry, I don't recall reading where anyone even tried to completely remove paint from ensolite.

The only thing I can point to is paint remover for fiberglass:
Marine Paint Stripper GL I have NO idea if it would harm the ensolite however.

Hopefully someone will pop in with suggestions.

Please keep us informed on your progress.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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Wow, Donna, you don't get stumped very often
Welcome to the group, Meghan! Sorry, but I am no help except as welcome committee on this question.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:28 PM   #4
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You might try Goof Off. Most paint stores and many hardware stores sell it and it is for removing paint spills. I'd try it in a hidden spot. It will depend on whether it is a latex (water based ) or oil (solvent based) paint. Your local paint store might have suggestions. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Riverport Rovers Boler Trailer Refit Part 1 - YouTube

This person used a pressure washer! See about 1:30 into the video. It looks like it worked well, but it could enhance the rusting and rotting of any steel or wood present.

On our Boler, I peeled off what old paint I could from ensolite and painted over the rest. If the old paint was sticking well in some areas, I tried not to drive myself crazy picking it off. My inner perfectionist had to be stifled...I just wanted to get camping! It has held up well for 2 years so far, and only looks funny on large uneven spots where the old paint was peeled off. It already had at least 3 layers...now has 4! extra R-value maybe?.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Name: Meghan
Trailer: '76 Scamp 13
Ohio
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I'll have to see if Goof Off was one of the many solvents my husband and dad already tried. Many of them just smeared the paint around, if anything. Plan B is to peel as much as we can and then paint. I tried a mouse sander, which was great in removing the paint from the 'hills' of the ensolite, just not the 'valleys.' Sanding the edges of the areas where the paint is stuck may help them blend underneath the new paint. It's too bad we may have to paint the entire interior...the old paint is only stuck in small areas around the windows and down under the dinette where he got lazy with the primer. I'm attaching a picture to show how it peeled off in sheets--this was definitely the largest!
Attached Thumbnails
image-2174816520.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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Meghan, to me... IMHO it's about expectations. A large number of members have older trailers (count me in!) and want something that looks new. I'm more concerned about... it's safe to go down the road, sleeping in a clean spot (my dirt is cleaner than THEIR dirt), it's dry and leak free ... and making a ton of memories along the way! I know if a half-A$$ed repair was done on the ceiling of the bedroom in my home... it would bug the 'EL out of me forever. But my trailer... that's a bit different. I hope you too find the middle ground and are able to enjoy every moment you use your Scamp.

Think about it, lots of folks the world over, camp in tents that are stained and a bit stinky and still have a blast. All of us are already waaaay ahead of that.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:25 PM   #8
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Name: Meghan
Trailer: '76 Scamp 13
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Looks like I'm going to need a bigger bottle of Goof Off! Thanks for the suggestion. It requires a fair amount of elbow grease, but we only have little spots here and there that won't peel. I wouldn't try to do an entire interior with it.

It's also cutting through some tough adhesive on our belly band (previous owner had affixed a red and white reflective strip all the way around!) Great stuff!
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:27 PM   #9
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If you plan to gut the pressure washer is the way to go. My interior paint was all peeling and cracked and would come off in itty bitty pieces. Pressure washer works miracles! I only did a small area before we tucked away for winter, but plan to start again here in a day or so.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #10
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
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Goof off has been working miracles for me--but only the original (no spray, etc). After Barkeeper's friend on the white furniture inside (is that plastic or fiberglass?), goof off took off the rest. Going to do it to the outside too. I am definitely going to have to find the middle ground with a wood base that does seem to have rotted in places here and there.
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