Painting the outer shell - the frugal way...? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
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Painting the outer shell - the frugal way...?

My Jubilee is slowly getting into shape.
See Newbie from Mississauga with ???? who knows what?
The plugs for the new window is in. It's getting near the point of being prepped for the painting of the shell.
Call me cheap or frugal or whatever you want but, pro paint job just isn't in the budget. Still, we want it to look decent when we are done with it and we want the colour to match out TV - kind of old silver.
At the moment, the plan is to paint it with a roller. I was quoted $50 (Canadian) per litre (quart) of "good for fiberglass as well" automotive paint = some activator. Supposedly, I don't need a primer coat(?) From some other posts here, I figure (=hope) that I can do it with 2-3 litres but when I said that I want to paint with a roller, the guy behind the counter made VERY big eyes and just said something like "I guess it's possible..."
Aha, since you all like pictures and to give you an idea of the current "colour" of the Jubilee, I'm attaching a pix of the window plug in.
I appreciate any advice re painting with a roller or other simple means, source and type of paint I should use and any other idea. Keep in mid that I am in Mississauga, ON, Canada and the source needs to be local. I'm also cheap so... Well, you get the picture
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:39 PM   #2
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You can achieve excellent results by using the Roll and Tip method using paint formulated for fiberglass boats.
Everything you need to know can be found here
Restoration - fiberglassics.com
These tutorials were written by a professional and are both comprehensive and easy to follow.
Yes the paint isn't $5 per gallon - but for a reasonable expenditure you can come with a very good result and after all the prep work you do to make ready for paint it's a shame not to have a good looking finished product.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:53 PM   #3
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Thanks. Roll and tip looks a bit scary for automotive type of paint - I was told that it sets (cures) quickly and I am a bit concerned of, how much of the paint will I waste before I master the technique... I did talk to couple boat places and the prices for marine type paints are... well, just for the cost of the paint, I could have the whole job done for by a car body shop!!! I guess, I'm looking for an impossible - an idiot proof and cheap way to do first class job...
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew GPSMapNut View Post
Call me cheap or frugal or whatever you want but, pro paint job just isn't in the budget.
At the moment, the plan is to paint it with a roller.
when I said that I want to paint with a roller, the guy behind the counter made VERY big eyes and just said something like "I guess it's possible..."

I appreciate any advice re painting with a roller or other simple means, source and type of paint I should use and any other idea.
I'm also cheap so... Well, you get the picture
I have a photo of a 13' Burro that was painted with a roller. The person who painted it doesn't own that particular trailer now and she is presently traveling so I'll share what I remember...

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If you want a smooth automobile-like finish: pass on the roller, spraying is the only way to get that quality IMHO.
A roller will leave a texture in the paint, and the result on this trailer made a child exclaim, "It looks just like an Igloo Cooler!" That kid nailed it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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If you have an air compressor you can get tractor paint from Tractor Supply Company for around $30 per gallon and end up with a pretty nice paint job.I painted my VW Thing with it and it turned out real nice.It came out to $49.83 with the hardener and reducer.Here are a couple pictures of the finished product.

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Old 04-21-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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You can get pretty smooth with the weenie rollers. I painted a food concession trailer that way a few years ago. Maybe even better if you let it cure then go back and wet sand it even smoother and then clear coat it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:25 PM   #7
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Frederic,

"Looks just like Igloo..." Love the line! and kind of hope that mine will look at least as good Thou, somebody here had a better luck with a roller ref. Painting the exterior

Brian,

I don't think that the Tractor Supply Company has any Canadian presence.

All;
I have air and paint guns and a painter. The trouble is, the trailer is way too big too fit in our paint booth area and I hate the thought of having overspray all over the are where I'm working on it. I really can't safely seal it off. I'm lucky enough to have my boss brake the company rules and let me have the trailer at my workplace. I don't want to push my luck. Actually, my luck I could push but some things may make people look at it them very differently especially that, after all, I am a VP in our company so, I should lead by example and a good one to that. Yes, I know, I'm weird...
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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Andrew, here is a link to when I painted mine Just a note on painting your own trailer

I did the roll and tip method and I'm happy with the results. I just did a wax job on it to make cleaning up the bugs easier, and found 4 to 5 small runs in it. Most people that have seen it don't notice them, but if you want a perfect paint job, I would spray. Like the link says, I had about $250 in paint and supplies, but at least I know how to touch up the paint in the future. I ended up with three layers of primer to cover up the glass work I did, so I'm not sure if you can get a good coverage with 2 to 3 coats of what your using for paint. I went with Pettit paint because I was doing it by myself and wanted time to tip the paint (get the bubbles out). The other types would have dried way to fast and there was no way to roll out the paint and not get air bubbles in it, I tried.
Keep us posted on your progress.

Dan
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew GPSMapNut View Post
Brian,

I don't think that the Tractor Supply Company has any Canadian presence.

All;
I have air and paint guns and a painter. The trouble is, the trailer is way too big too fit in our paint booth area and I hate the thought of having overspray all over the are where I'm working on it. I really can't safely seal it off.
Tractor Supply Company = TSC stores up here.
TSC Stores

If you have a spray booth, can you build a cheap temporary extension to it? That way you can use the air flow / filtration of the booth. I'm thinking of some drop sheets, plastic (vapour barrier) and a frame like I used for my winter cover.
Wrapping a trailer for winter

Alternatively, given your location, I know there are marina's nearby. Most the cost of painting is the prep work. Have you priced out just a spray job at a Marina? They are familiar with the materials. If not, how about a body shop that works on big trucks. There should be something close to you.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Tractor Supply Company = TSC stores up here.
TSC Stores
Aha. Thanks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
If you have a spray booth, can you build a cheap temporary extension to it?
Unfortunately, no room for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Alternatively, given your location, I know there are marina's nearby. Most the cost of painting is the prep work. Have you priced out just a spray job at a Marina? They are familiar with the materials. If not, how about a body shop that works on big trucks. There should be something close to you .
Port Credit marina... absolutely nothing is cheap there. I am going to check a body shop that is close to my work. I was told that they do have reasonable pricing so, maybe they will do the paint job.

I tried some roll and tip. I'm just not any good at it. I will have to find a way to spray paint it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #11
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I painted mine with a roller and it still looks great. I painted the top crown first and was able to lean on the roof from a step ladder to reach the centre. Then painted the sides of the roof to the edge where it starts to curve down. Finally I painted the sides to the belly band and then the lower parts. Where I rolled the paint fully out it is as shiny as if I had sprayed it. The rest had some small runs. A touch of thinners, a light coat and more rolling would have been even better. The marine paint has a tendency to sag just a bit so that it eliminates the roller marks. Finally a gentle wisking with a dry brush removes any bubbles raised by the roller.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:38 PM   #12
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How about a $50 paint job using Rustoleum?
Paint Your Car With Rustoleum

Here's another: http://www.rickwrench.com/index79mas...llarpaint.html
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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You can do really good work with Krylon / Rust Oleum spray cans.
Back in my Scooter days at the annual Vespa Club rallies we had a Krylon King award for the best rattle can paint job and there were some amazing entries.

I'd be sure to research the veracity of those paints on Fiberglass. Perhaps with the right primer...but really, you'll spend as much on them as proper shell paint when all is said and done.

Considering all the prep work it takes to achieve a good result, the cost of paint is really a negligible expense...IMO.

EDIT: Just read the FA. Note that they strongly recommend a proper epoxy clear coat. Considering that Fiberglass flexes a lot more than sheet metal I have to believe Rust Oleum would not be a good choice for a camper - if you want the finish to last.

JMO
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:30 PM   #14
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You also could use a product called liquid mask
Take all the stuff you can't wash out

Spry the liquid mask an everything else
Spray and when your done rinse it all off with water
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