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Thread: Painting the RV... on the Cheap

  1. #1
    Founding Member NIUPonyBoy's Avatar
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    Painting the RV... on the Cheap

    I've been looking to get the lower portion of the RV painted for a while. Any non-professionals that have quoted me have said I need my own compressor and paint gun etc etc and then they will do it... in my yard.

    I decided I want to try my hand at it. What do I need to have a basic cheap painting set up. It is fiberglass and aluminum.

    I known I will have to sand off all the existing gel coat and make the surface all even etc. What else?

    I don't have a problem with working on anything mechanical but haven't don't painting before.
    The only perfect people drive Power Wagons.

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    Founding Member jevchance's Avatar
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    What do you have for a compressor? You need a decent compressor to push enough air to spray.

    If you don't have one, you could look at an inexpensive turbine system.

    If you have a decent compressor, you'll need at least 1 spray gun. The Devillbiss Starting Line kit would get it done.

    Either way, make sure you're getting clean, dry air to the gun.

    You'll want an orbit sander or better yet a dual action sander (if you have a decent compressor) to save a lot of sanity while sanding.

    You'll need a good bit of sandpaper, and some paint. You can use the stuff at the auto parts store or get good stuff from a local paint supplier.

    Basically the process is to sand it down smooth with the proper grit (you'll probably do something like strip with 80, then smooth with 200, 400, see paint instructions for correct scratch). Then you spray with sealer, paint, clear.

    That's just a paint job. It gets a bit more complex if you want to do some body work/smoothing.
    "Terrible, terrible, the way we have all bent to the yoke; the affection we have for the harness about us." - Isaac Asimov, The Dead Past

  3. #3
    Check with Exo. I think it gets tricky when you start painting aluminum. Other than that, Jev covered the basics.
    "Don't quote me boy" - Easy E

  4. #4
    Go to home depot and steal some spray can caps of similar colors for comparison and try to remember which color is the closest.

    When you find the color buy a case of spray cans in this color. Get a paper bag and spray into the bag, inhale from the bag. At that point you should start painting reapplying the inhalation method periodically.

    Take pictures upon completion and post here.
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  5. #5
    Parts Swapping Guru SATURN5's Avatar
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    Nice RV or cheap RV? I'd scuff with scotch brite, wipe clean and roll on the paint... (about the only way to paint cheap).
    84 SVO

  6. #6
    Founding Member NIUPonyBoy's Avatar
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    It's a fine RV, just an older gasser....







    So not an expensive one, at all.

    I do not have a compressor.
    The only perfect people drive Power Wagons.

    POWER WAGON; genuflect and bow your head you unworthy piss-ant and pray to whatever God you believe in to have mercy upon your soul and your inferior pile of rusted crap car.

    -'There is nothing more dangerously evil than a "well educated" liberal.'

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    Parts Swapping Guru SATURN5's Avatar
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    I'd seriously scuff it and roll it.... Anything else would be big money. Plus taping it off, covering the whole thing in plastic/overspray.
    84 SVO

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    Founding Member carpediem50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SATURN5 View Post
    I'd seriously scuff it and roll it.... Anything else would be big money. Plus taping it off, covering the whole thing in plastic/overspray.
    that.
    "That stolen lemur bit one of your prostitutes right in the face. She can't go to hospital because she's, quote, tripping balls"

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  9. #9
    Parts Swapping Guru SATURN5's Avatar
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    A plus, rolling it will leave some texture to the surface which would help hide those nasty areas on the cargo doors.

    Or go full urban assault and bedline the brown.....
    84 SVO

  10. #10
    Founding Member carpediem50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SATURN5 View Post
    A plus, rolling it will leave some texture to the surface which would help hide those nasty areas on the cargo doors.

    Or go full urban assault and bedline the brown.....
    What bedliner do you use on stuff? I know you use it quite a bit.
    "That stolen lemur bit one of your prostitutes right in the face. She can't go to hospital because she's, quote, tripping balls"

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  11. #11
    Founding Member NIUPonyBoy's Avatar
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    I'm just planing on doing the basement area (where it is that gold/tan color).

    I had a fleeting thought of doing a full body in a two color pattern (gloss red and a flatter black) but that is well outside my skill set and patience level.

    I did think of doing spray can bedliner tan down there but wanted to try something a bit nicer.
    The only perfect people drive Power Wagons.

    POWER WAGON; genuflect and bow your head you unworthy piss-ant and pray to whatever God you believe in to have mercy upon your soul and your inferior pile of rusted crap car.

    -'There is nothing more dangerously evil than a "well educated" liberal.'

  12. #12
    Parts Swapping Guru SATURN5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediem50 View Post
    What bedliner do you use on stuff? I know you use it quite a bit.
    Both harbor Freight and Rustoleum spray can stuff is nice, finer grain bedliner (sand) that seems fairly durable. I used Hurculiner on the truck frame, has chunks of rubber in it, and I wish I had used the Hf/Rust type instead.

    Mind, neither is tough like Rhino style stuff.
    84 SVO

  13. #13
    Founding Member carpediem50's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of doing the bed of my truck, and wondering what to use because I'm not forking over a fucking grand for Line-X. Sorry to hi-jack, John, but maybe this will be useful for you too.
    "That stolen lemur bit one of your prostitutes right in the face. She can't go to hospital because she's, quote, tripping balls"

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by SATURN5 View Post
    I'd seriously scuff it and roll it.... Anything else would be big money. Plus taping it off, covering the whole thing in plastic/overspray.
    This times 100

    And the gelcoat areas - you won't get them right no matter how much sanding you do. You actually would have to go back over them with bondo and sand and sand and bondo and sand. The gelcoat stuff is tricky to mess with - if you sand too much on it, you get down to the rough stuff, which is worse than rough gelcoat.

    Roll it. Seriously. Roll it. Or bedliner. If you do bedliner, they actually make a glossy coating for it. But a roll with a good outdoor enamel and you will be set.

    If you want to get fancy, pull all the bay doors off and it might make things easier. Then again, it might not.

    To spray it yourself or have someone do it outside is going to be a nightmare. You need a BIG compressor and a GOOD water separator or you will be spraying water about 1/3 of the way through it. Not to mention the amount of plastic and tape it will take to mask from overspray. And dirt/dust/bugs.

    Did I mention roll it?
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  15. #15
    Parts Swapping Guru SATURN5's Avatar
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    I'd use Hurculiner for a truck bed. Rolled on. The spray stuff is great for bumpers, roof racks, stuff like that. Bobby did the lower half of his Cherokee with the spray stuff and it's held up for a year pretty good given the amount of trail time.
    84 SVO

  16. #16
    Founding Member NIUPonyBoy's Avatar
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    I use the rattle can bedliner cheap stuff on the PW yearly. It is on the rock rails, they are rusted to shit every year. I don't want to have to do that on the RV. Again this is nice enough old gasser, I don't want the paint to be a constant fuck with thing. But I also cannot stand looking at how it is right now.

    So if I roll it, what kind of rollers woukd you suggest?
    The only perfect people drive Power Wagons.

    POWER WAGON; genuflect and bow your head you unworthy piss-ant and pray to whatever God you believe in to have mercy upon your soul and your inferior pile of rusted crap car.

    -'There is nothing more dangerously evil than a "well educated" liberal.'

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NIUPonyBoy View Post
    I use the rattle can bedliner cheap stuff on the PW yearly. It is on the rock rails, they are rusted to shit every year. I don't want to have to do that on the RV. Again this is nice enough old gasser, I don't want the paint to be a constant fuck with thing. But I also cannot stand looking at how it is right now.

    So if I roll it, what kind of rollers woukd you suggest?
    I think the issue that you're going to have is that you are painting aluminum. It is hard to get paint to stick and lay out correctly on it. I would see what Exo has to say about that first, and then go from there. Otherwise, Linex or the like, might be a good option.
    "Don't quote me boy" - Easy E

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  19. #19
    That looks awesome!
    "Don't quote me boy" - Easy E

  20. #20
    Founding Member BadAndy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe T View Post
    Go to home depot and steal some spray can caps of similar colors for comparison and try to remember which color is the closest.

    When you find the color buy a case of spray cans in this color. Get a paper bag and spray into the bag, inhale from the bag. At that point you should start painting reapplying the inhalation method periodically.

    Take pictures upon completion and post here.
    I enjoyed this post.
    Self-improvement is masturbation.Self-destruction is the answer.

  21. #21
    Founding Member carpediem50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadAndy View Post
    I enjoyed this post.
    Its always good when people make posts about subjects in which they have extensive, personal experience.
    "That stolen lemur bit one of your prostitutes right in the face. She can't go to hospital because she's, quote, tripping balls"

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  22. #22
    Founding Member jevchance's Avatar
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    I've heard a lot of good things about Raptor Liner, but again that is spray-on.
    "Terrible, terrible, the way we have all bent to the yoke; the affection we have for the harness about us." - Isaac Asimov, The Dead Past

  23. #23
    saved to favorites...clear coat is going to hell and a handbasket and the desire to pay for a actual repaint is not there. Will have to try this on the ground effects.

  24. #24
    Founding Member NIUPonyBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blksn955.o View Post
    saved to favorites...clear coat is going to hell and a handbasket and the desire to pay for a actual repaint is not there. Will have to try this on the ground effects.
    On what kinda rig?
    The only perfect people drive Power Wagons.

    POWER WAGON; genuflect and bow your head you unworthy piss-ant and pray to whatever God you believe in to have mercy upon your soul and your inferior pile of rusted crap car.

    -'There is nothing more dangerously evil than a "well educated" liberal.'

  25. #25
    They sell foam rollers for painting doors that do a good job of laying the paint down smooth with no lines. I don't know if they make them in full size rollers, but that is what I would use. Also, I would use a satin finish rather than gloss for better hiding.

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