Fiberglass RV

Fiberglass RV (
-   Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners (
-   -   Ensolite Interior - Cleaning/Painting ?? (

Harvey 02-11-2011 12:13 PM

Ensolite Interior - Cleaning/Painting ??
My 'new' '84 Scamp 13' has the 'elephant skin' ensolite interior (no 'rat fur'). While very 'grungy' with lots of mildew & assorted other minor stains, it is pretty well intact & seems to be firmly affixed to the shell. The seam tape is mostly all missing but that is replaceable. The roof vent/escape hatch had apparently broken & leaked so the PO replaced the dinette floor, sealed the vent, & it is pretty well weather proof now. I've searched & read all of the threads I can find about cleaning/replacing or painting ensolite, sticky ensolite, etc., but not all my questions were defnitively answered.

I plan to temporarily remove all the inside cabinets, closet, seats, etc., clean the interior thoroughly, then paint the ensolite before reinstallation of 'furniture'. Wanna do the ensolite in either a light 'sand' or possibly very light gray color, perhaps even an 'off white' or ivory. Even if I'm able to successfully remove all the stains/mildew (doubtful??) I'll use a good primer/prep such as Kilz before painting. Is the Kilz in spray cans compatible with the ensolite?

I have a low pressure, high volume compressor & spray 'gun' so I may be able to use liquid Kilz or another anti-fungial under coat rather than spray cans (oh my aching hands)? Can anyone recommend a good paint that will cover the ensolite & stand up to RV use?

It's still winter here & I don't have an indoor, heated shop so most all work will hafta wait 'til spring but I figure I can start planning & acquiring supplies now, SonicScrubber, cleaning chemicals, etc.

Also have questions about repairing holes (drilled for screws'n such) in the fiberglass shell but I'll put those in another thread.

This is what a lot of the interior looks like now -

CliveAlive 02-11-2011 12:20 PM

Hmmmn ... Just from those photo's it doesn't look that bad of a job. I have used both a little diluted bleach and also Lysol spray and then rinsed that with plain water, very successfully.

Like you plan, I also used Kilz primer. Then I painted with Behr Interior Latex, semi-gloss. Standing up well so far.

Sam and Jess 02-11-2011 02:33 PM

Tilex, Tilex, Tilex. I was amazed what it removed that other things (bleach, TSP) had not. As far as that seam tape glue, I never got all of ours conquered (even with a grinder), and ended up caulking over.

That's about as far as I've gotten though. We're in the post-cleaning, pre-painting, waiting-for-spring stage too, planning to roll and brush on either Kilz (a product I've been happy with in so many other uses) or Zinsser Perma-White (one I see recommended a lot here). White is our ultimate goal, but I'm a little fussy about colors and will pick a Benjamin Moore latex to be the "just right" final coat. I'm eager to read any tips you get...

-- Jess

Donna D. 02-11-2011 02:37 PM

CHECK out Isaac M.'s solution to cleaning ensolite!!

Harvey 02-11-2011 05:05 PM

Thanks all...

Yep Donna, I'd read that thread & I plan to acquire a Sonic Scrubber or similar. I'll be very surprised if I'm able to get it as clean as I want, hence the plan to paint if necessary. I'm eager to get started on this project but our weather just ain't cooperating yet :p

As for the seam tape, I'll probably caulk where the seams have separated/spread a little & then use new tape (Scamp still sells it in rolls). I've read that some folks have had problems with the tape adhering properly but it is also said that 'hot melt' glue works real well. I've got a good glue gun & an entire (almost) bag of industrial strength glue sticks. I used the glue to stick the rope trim in the cabin when I built my teardrop trailer. That wuz in 2006 & it's still holding strong.

Randy D. 02-11-2011 10:34 PM

Cleaning Ensolite
4 Attachment(s)
Harvey, a couple of months ago I was wishing I had ensolite like yours. I had tried every household cleaner and solvent I could think of from Tilex to gasoline to remove old aheasive that had been applied to carpet the entire interior of my Boler. I seriously considered replacement but my last ditched attempt came through. I won't go into details because I may have come close to killing myself when I found that heating the adheasive a bit with a heat gun and then scrubbing with Varsol (solvent similar to mineral spirits) the adheasive would disolve. Anyway my point is this, if you get the worst stuff off, glue loose parts back on, caulk seams and in my case, cuts, prime and paint, you can get it looking really good. Here are some photos of mine before and after. I am totally satisfied with the result. I did exactly what CliveAlive mentioned above, Kilz primer followed by two coats of Behr interior semi-gloss latex.

Harvey 02-12-2011 07:24 AM

Thanks Randy, that's the kind of thing I wuz hoping to hear. The ensolite in my Scamp appears to be in good physical condition. It's all there as far as I can tell except under the rear window; apparently the PO removed that when he repaired the floor/table, & replaced it with something like auto carpet?? I think I can do something with that, may hafta get a small piece of new ensolite. There's only a couple of places where the ensolite seems to have come loose & they're not more'n a couple of inches so should be an easy fix. If I can get off the worst of the grime I expect Kilz & a good quality paint will brighten up the interior really well. Thanks again, you too Jess!

littlemisspippy 04-15-2015 08:22 AM

I plan to prime my ensolite and fiberglass with STIX primer then top coat with Benjamin Moore Aura eggshell. I did a test patch last night directly on the ensolite with no priming and it looks great - good adhesion and coverage. Some dripped on to the fiberglass and after smearing it around then checking 1/2 hr later I was very surprised at how well it stuck. You couldn't even scrape it off with a fingernail. Tempts me to skip the priming but I'll do it just to make sure! Topped off with new T-moulding in white it should look awesome!! I will post pics when it's done! Btw, am cleaning first with B.M. Oil & Grease Cleaner - if you are using TSP, make sure it is well-rinsed before priming.

David Tilston 04-15-2015 08:39 AM

Deirdre, We will want pictures.

dbir 04-15-2015 09:15 AM

I sprayed mine in a semi gloss white (well sprayed the whole interior) the ensolite looks fantastic, some of the fiberglass spots have scuffed easily.

I thinned the paint slightly with water, and sprayed using an automotive HVLP primer gun (found i had much better coverage and no streaks like a roller or brush.

RogerDat 04-15-2015 09:19 AM

Primer can also act as a sealer in addition to helping with adhesion. Acts to seal in stains or substances that might bleed through the paint. Some primers are specifically formulated with that "hiding" in mind. Kilz is one well known example of that feature.

littlemisspippy 04-15-2015 12:02 PM

Dale - did you prime first and if so with what? It looks FABulous!! Thanks RogerDat - I know priming is the right way to go - just wish I could skip the step to get it done faster LOL!!

dbir 04-16-2015 09:34 AM


Originally Posted by littlemisspippy (Post 515990)
Dale - did you prime first and if so with what? It looks FABulous!! Thanks RogerDat - I know priming is the right way to go - just wish I could skip the step to get it done faster LOL!!

I used a paint and primer in one (or so the marketing says) I'm not good at taking pictures as i go, but i have a few.

Original picture can be found here:

dbir 04-16-2015 07:53 PM

This is the paint I used.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.