Exterior Painting Questions - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-13-2021, 11:17 AM   #1
Member
 
Name: Jason
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Newfoundland
Posts: 31
Exterior Painting Questions

Hey everyone,

Iím considering painting the exterior of my Triple E Surfside. Iíve done absolutely zero painting of fibreglass, or any other vehicle for that matter. I would like to buy a sprayer and do it myself. Iím not looking for showroom quality or anything, would just like to freshen it up, with a nice glossy finish. Iím looking for some start-to-finish input on the following:
- do I need to sand existing paint before starting?
- do I need to use something to help the new paint stick to the old?
- what type of paint works best for fibreglass trailers?
- do I need to use a thinner if using sprayer?
- do I need a clear coat after I paint?
- I have a 3 gallon, 100 psi compressor. Will this do the job?

Any other tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
JasonGill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2021, 11:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,632
I recommend a large dust-free building with a air filtration system and tons of lighting.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2021, 12:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Ontario
Posts: 1,262
Registry
Gelcoat or paint?

Ours has Gelcoat and you can buy it by the gallon, colour matched with wax pre added, thickness set for painting on or spraying on. If not pre waxed gelcoat requires a special sprayer to adds the wax as it's applied. Make sure it is clean we washed ours like you would if prepping a boat first; for the areas we have worked on. Very light find sanding between coats to make finish smooth maybe needed in spots. Last checked it was about $280 a gallon in Toronto plus tax and shipping. They offer spray cans that can be filled for those of us without your sprayer. For deeper divots you can make a paste and fill in layers till flat and sand smooth prior to spraying it. They have kits for small fixes you can try to colour match as well at marine places.

Glenn Baglo is right about keeping thing clean and need for lighting.

Hope this helps
__________________
Our postage stamp in heaven.
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2021, 07:30 PM   #4
Member
 
Name: Jason
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Newfoundland
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Ours has Gelcoat and you can buy it by the gallon, colour matched with wax pre added, thickness set for painting on or spraying on. If not pre waxed gelcoat requires a special sprayer to adds the wax as it's applied. Make sure it is clean we washed ours like you would if prepping a boat first; for the areas we have worked on. Very light find sanding between coats to make finish smooth maybe needed in spots. Last checked it was about $280 a gallon in Toronto plus tax and shipping. They offer spray cans that can be filled for those of us without your sprayer. For deeper divots you can make a paste and fill in layers till flat and sand smooth prior to spraying it. They have kits for small fixes you can try to colour match as well at marine places.

Glenn Baglo is right about keeping thing clean and need for lighting.

Hope this helps
Wow, pricey stuff! Thanks for the info.
JasonGill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2021, 09:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,359
re: your compressor, you left out the most important number, CFM. I've got a cheap compressor that can do 120 PSI but it can't keep up with a air tool for more than 20 or 30 seconds, then has to run for a minute or two to build pressure back up.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 05:16 AM   #6
Member
 
Name: Jason
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Newfoundland
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
re: your compressor, you left out the most important number, CFM. I've got a cheap compressor that can do 120 PSI but it can't keep up with a air tool for more than 20 or 30 seconds, then has to run for a minute or two to build pressure back up.
Canít find it written in mine anywhere, but when it do a search for Campbell Hausfeld 3 gallon compressor, the spec says 0.5 SCFM at 90 PSI, 0.7 SCFM at 40 PSI.
JasonGill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 06:17 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,121
Registry
Painting is one thing. Gelcoat refinishing is another, very expensive. Paint or gelcoat restoration is warranted if the gelcoat is severely weathered, or if there has been extensive repair and patching of the fiberglass. With paint, there’s no going back to a gelcoat finish.

If it’s just dull, you can do a lot to bring back a shine with Meguiar’s Marine/RV Fiberglass Restoration Kit (around $40 on Amazon). Others de-oxidize and follow with Zep high glass floor polish. It has to be stripped and reapplied every year or two. Maybe try before committing to paint?

Lots of threads about painting. Type of paint is important. It has to have some elasticity to allow for the flex of the fiberglass without cracking. Prep is key to a good result: filling and sanding, removing windows, vents, and exterior hardware. And yes, a clean environment when applying.

Roll-and-tip using Interlux Brightside (one-part marine paint) is a common low-budget approach and gives good results provided you do good prep. Limited color choices. Can be mixed but not custom tinted. This might be preferable to a low-budget spray.

A good quality spray is better, but I’m not sure what kind of paint is typically used. Some people do all the prep and let a professional do the actual spraying because they have better equipment and a paint booth.

Consider incorporating a chip-resistant coating on the lower front of the shell.

I’d recommend a search of old threads. The “site search/google” option at the bottom of the search menu gives best results.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 07:39 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,693
Registry
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of threads discussing painting FG trailers. I'd do a search via google and learn from others that have done it.

Myself, I am in the polish the gelcoat instead. First, it takes a lot less effort and time. Secondly, its a lot cheaper. Third, properly maintained, gelcoat can last forever. Paint is something that eventually has to be redone.

To properly paint one of these trailers, you should remove every window, hatch, vent, etc. Paint and then properly reinstall everything.

The other choice is to spend half a day cleaning and polishing.

Now I considered buying a Hunter Compact. That trailer needed LARGE patches in the shell, lots of work. And it had old paint that had failed. So if I bought it, I figured a lot of sanding, stripping, and then repainting (and of course patching too). In the end, I passed on the project, no regrets.

First picture is before polishing. Second picture is after. Later I did the belly band so it looks a little different now. Zep floor polish, over 2 years ago. I'll probably refresh next year. I should have polished AFTER doing the belly band, as the sanding/grinding/fiberglass work marred some of the polish. Polish LAST is my lesson. IMHO, for a 44 year old trailer that was neglected for decades, its looking pretty good!!
Attached Thumbnails
B2FB0C8C-0611-4505-98BF-5386233041DB.jpg   AAF177EF-A144-4C73-92D7-24C305EB5121_1_201_a.jpg  

thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 07:51 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,121
Registry
Agree, though it took me two hard days to do the Meguiar’s 3-step process on my 13’er. That included a very thorough initial wash with Barkeepers Friend to remove black spots on the roof. Half a day for a badly weathered trailer seems optimistic to me. But maybe I work slow.

Now that I have a garage for the Scamp, next time I may try the Zep. Looks good!
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 11:03 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Allen
Trailer: in the market
Quebec
Posts: 15
If you never spray painted anything ever I would hire an experienced painter. No pro would ever consider using gelcoat it is just not cost effective. I have painted hundreds of fiberglass boats & always used two component urethane paint. Best & easiest to spray is Awlgrip brand but lesser expensive products are out there that work very well.
if you don't need a showroom finish use a brush or roller with flow out reducer , I have had excellent results this way also. But if you have no clue about products & how to use them , well good luck & it will get real expensive when it goes wrong !
thekas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 12:24 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,359
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekas View Post
No pro would ever consider using gelcoat it is just not cost effective. ...
HUH? the marine repair pro who repaired a gouge and hole in my E21 used gelcoat over several square feet, matched the factory gel so perfectly I can't tell where his repair stopped. he had a vintage 36 foot sailboat in his shop (fiberglass hull, wood deck), getting the whole hull totally redone with gelcoat.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 01:51 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Allen
Trailer: in the market
Quebec
Posts: 15
For me using gelcoat is not cost effective as experience rules when it comes to cost effectiveness. Small repair spots of a couple sq.ft maybe but to repaint a whole boat or trailer, not for me. Just need to do price check to compare. Also labor cost using epoxy primer & urethane topcoat is very fast & efficient compared to working with gelcoat. My 40 years experience in the composite trade.
thekas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 01:55 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,359
then why do boats (and our FG trailers) use gelcoat? taken care of, it lasts the lifetime of the hull.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 07:07 PM   #14
Member
 
Name: Jason
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Newfoundland
Posts: 31
Thanks for all the tips everyone. Youíve all been really helpful. I think Iím gonna try the Billís polishing approach to try and bring it back to life, at least for this summer. The trailer really doesnít have any damage to the original finish, other than a couple scratches on the front, so a nice cleaning and polishing may do the trick until I can gather the funds for a new paint job. Hereís a pic of the trailer last week when I first brought her home.
Attached Thumbnails
31290766-B8EA-475B-BE58-718CDAB4F587.jpg  
JasonGill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 07:16 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Ontario
Posts: 1,262
Registry
Gelcoat

[LIST][*]Agree

Myself, I am in the polish the gelcoat instead. First, it takes a lot less effort and time. Secondly, its a lot cheaper. Third, properly maintained, gelcoat can last forever. Paint is something that eventually has to be redone.

The other choice is to spend half a day cleaning and polishing.

Now I considered buying a Hunter Compact. That trailer needed LARGE patches in the shell, lots of work. And it had old paint that had failed. So if I bought it, I figured a lot of sanding, stripping, and then repainting (and of course patching too). In the end, I passed on the project, no regrets.

First picture is before polishing. Second picture is after. Later I did the belly band so it looks a little different now. Zep floor polish, over 2 years ago. I'll probably refresh next year. I should have polished AFTER doing the belly band, as the sanding/grinding/fiberglass work marred some of the polish. Polish LAST is my lesson. IMHO, for a 44 year old trailer that was neglected for decades, its looking pretty good!![/QUOTE]

Agree with you Thrifty Bill; and you can colour match Gelcoat over a patch. Scratches and dents repairs are easier to do later as well.
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2021, 07:49 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Borden's Avatar
 
Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton Ontario boler
Ontario
Posts: 1,262
Registry
Polish and repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonGill View Post
Thanks for all the tips everyone. You’ve all been really helpful. I think I’m gonna try the Bill’s polishing approach to try and bring it back to life, at least for this summer. The trailer really doesn’t have any damage to the original finish, other than a couple scratches on the front, so a nice cleaning and polishing may do the trick until I can gather the funds for a new paint job. Here’s a pic of the trailer last week when I first brought her home.
Agree with Bill; For repairs you can get kits small and medium with 3 colours bottles to colour match at marine supply stores, takes a little practice literally 3 drops mix with some base in tray to later add to final mix, tint is strong.

In trays with lids, if not to hot, will keep a bit. We use very small throw away plastic dishs with coffee stir sticks. Small final batches is a good idea as it takes practice to get gelcoat, wax and tint right.

It is the wax that makes it harden so we added it last.

A purchase of min 1 gallon to get it pre colour matched from polished sample.

Remember to give it a good polish first as it will change back to the original colour when oxidation is removed. Ours went from egg shell white to soft yellow.

They have pint up to 1 quart for small repairs

Note: "other colours" We had to also get brown tint separate to match the Boler. Needed 3 drops to two table spoons of gelcoat base mix no wax, then added about 3 drops to final colour mix. We used mostly yellow but your mixes will be different. Have fun
Borden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 07:46 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,121
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonGill View Post
Thanks for all the tips everyone. You’ve all been really helpful. I think I’m gonna try the Bill’s polishing approach to try and bring it back to life, at least for this summer. The trailer really doesn’t have any damage to the original finish, other than a couple scratches on the front, so a nice cleaning and polishing may do the trick until I can gather the funds for a new paint job. Here’s a pic of the trailer last week when I first brought her home.
Good call, and I think it’s going to look great after you de-oxidize, polish, and wax. I see nothing in the picture that would indicate it needs paint. In fact, I think paint at this point would hurt rather than help its value.

Wax on, wax off!
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 12:50 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Roy in TO's Avatar
 
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
Posts: 5,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Last checked it was about $280 a gallon in Toronto plus tax and shipping.

Hi Borden,
I sent you a PM about this. I'm interested in talking to you about it and getting the source.
Roy in TO is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
paint, painting


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
questions, questions, questions cathybr Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 06-22-2017 10:47 PM
Painting the exterior Ken James Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 108 05-17-2017 05:55 PM
Professional Exterior Painting in Vancouver? lisalisa Modifications, Alterations and Updates 8 03-04-2012 11:39 PM
Painting the exterior - truck bed lining? kimb Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 11 04-24-2010 07:39 PM
Questions about painting exterior Chris J Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 02-23-2008 10:29 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.