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Old 04-10-2014, 12:32 AM   #1
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Clear coat peeling.

I have a 2000 CC Alure. It was stored uncovered in the hot southern California sun. The Clear coat has peeled on one side in spots and on the roof sides. the paint still looks good. Can the clear coat be removed and recoated with out a new paint job on that side of the coach. The rest of the paint looks like new.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:57 AM   #2
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Hi Ken,
Unfortunately a lot of the forumulations in that era were trying to meet stringent epa regs and the durability isn't what it should or could be. The structure of the clear finish is breaking down and deteriorating which is common. I'm finally starting to get some of that in one area on my '05. It also sits in the so-cal sun. It's a heartbreak isn't it?

It's not likely that you will be able to sand to prep the surface for a recoat without getting into the thin color coat underneath. It really needs to be sanded down and re-shot, basecoat-clearcoat. It is also difficult to blend into an old finish so spot refinishing may look like just that - a spot repair.

I recommend you seek out a few professional refinishers for their opinion and estimate.

Or were you thinking of doing the work yourself?
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:23 AM   #3
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Yes you can sand the clear off without removing the paint. Can't really tell what is painted and what isn't by the picture. Cost in the US will be between $3-5K to get it done. I had mine done in Mexico for $600 a few years ago.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
Yes you can sand the clear off without removing the paint. Can't really tell what is painted and what isn't by the picture. Cost in the US will be between $3-5K to get it done. I had mine done in Mexico for $600 a few years ago.
How do you do this? How will you know when to quit sanding? When you sand thru the paint?

And how will you feather the edge of where the clearcoat is peeling and where it isn't? In other words, how will you know if where you quit sanding isn't getting ready to peel?

IMO the clearcoat is at it's end of life and clearcoating over it is just inviting the new coat to peel off with the old.

I've been painting for about 40 years so I must be completely missing something.
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:34 PM   #5
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On my older rig, the roof curves and the side panels are a white color. On those sections, CC covered the white gel coat with Clear Coat paint. It lasted about 15 years in the California direct sun before beginning to peel badly.

Now, at 19 years, the clear coat over the teal base cost paint is starting to fail.

I have spent countless hours removing clear coat, cleaning the surface, masking, painting and polishing the new clear coat on the "sun side of my rig".

That effort was rewarded with about 3 years of life from the new clear coat.

I tried the Zep Wet Look floor finish on the bare Gel Coat of the rear of the coach after removing all the clear coat on the white areas. The resulting finish matched very closely to the good clear coat on the side of the rig. The finish was not as smooth as clear coat but retains its shine. From cleaning to completing 5 applications I invested about 4 hours.

I have just completed one year with the Zep Wet Look stuff and will need to apply the sixth coat this year. That will take me about 7 minutes after cleaning the surface for application.

Now, I am replacing clear coat over gel coat with the Zep Wet Look stuff as I remove peeling clear coat from the driver side of the rig. Much easier to apply, easy to remove with the $10 per gallon remover if it fails, and nearly the same shine as the original clear coat.

Stay tuned.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:47 PM   #6
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We use ZEP as well but there's no getting past having to sand the areas where the clear coat is flaking off. It's my rear basement doors that need to be re-shot...started sanding today.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
How do you do this? How will you know when to quit sanding? When you sand thru the paint?
Any good painter will know when he has gone far enough. I watched a guy sand all the clear coat off the brow of a coach and didn't get into the paint. The sanding was stopped at a point where there was a break in the body.

And how will you feather the edge of where the clearcoat is peeling and where it isn't? In other words, how will you know if where you quit sanding isn't getting ready to peel?
Y0u have to take it all off. In my case, the clear coat was sanded off of the gel coat and then the gel coat was painted the same color and then the clear was applied over it.

IMO the clearcoat is at it's end of life and clearcoating over it is just inviting the new coat to peel off with the old.
You cannot apply clear over a voat of old clear and have it last as you said. In the case of Country Coach, especially the OP's coach, part of it lookes painted and the rest is gel coat. The areas where he states the clear is peeling is gel coat. Ihis is based on my knowledge of the way CC made their coaches.

Some years ago, there was a guy looking to start a class action suit against CC because they advertised "full body paint" when in fact all they did was put clear over the gel coat. CC said that they considered clear as "paint". I don't know whatever happened, possibly the fella settled with CC

I've been painting for about 40 years so I must be completely missing something.
Had to do this so it would post.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:40 PM   #8
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That makes perfect sense, with two caveats...

First, the risk of sanding thru a basecoat prepping to over-clear again is very high. You're right, if you get lucky and maintain the color you can clear over it again. However a LOT of colors are metallic and as soon as you hit it with sandpaper it's all over - has to be re-shot.

Second, you mentioned sanding off clear to re-clear it, then you said you were sanding down to gelcoat to re-shoot color then clear. This is pretty much how it has to go. The good news is baring lots of fancy masking, shooting a basecoat of color is not difficult and all just part of the job. Then the clear goes on and (done right) looks like new again. Ideally enough gets put on that it can be wet-sanded and polished or buffed for a glassy-look.

As far as CC clearing over gelcoat, well....I'd have to mull that. I would be inclined to agree with them in that if the gelcoat is a 'color' of the paint scheme and you clear over it then it's the same as any other surface area that has color. In otherwords, there's no inherent protection to the finish with the base color - the clear is what creates the 'painted' finish. And there are lots of grades of clear - some much more durable than others.

Anyway, I think we pretty much agree - I hope I don't sound disagreeable. I just know from experience that once the surface deteriorates to the point of needing a refinish, you pretty much do have to start over. If there's some color left, or primer, then color coats can begin in earnest as soon as the surface is prepped - usually 500 grit or so. And cleaned well with prep-sol of course. Mask and shoot.

As a side note, this process of coating with floor polish is intriguing as hell. I would be inclined to try that on a mostly gel-coat unit before painting it. Sure is a lot less work. Would really like to see some before and after, or in application. I'll search youtube.

Cheers!
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:32 AM   #9
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Zep Wet Look applied adjacent to Clear Coat for a Test

"Would really like to see some before and after, or in application."

Well, I removed some Clear Coat that had covered bare Gel Coat and applied some Zep Wet Look in one of the panels for a comparison.

The below picture of the forward driver side of our rig shows:

a. Zep Wet Look section in upper left.
b. Clear Coat in upper center.
c. Bare Gel Coat on right side
d. 19 year old Clear Coat over a Green basecoat along the bottom but just above a ZipDee awning roll.







Zep is so much easier to apply and refresh than Clear Coat and gives a pretty good shine as well.

Next week I will try some Zep over Clear Coat and maybe over base coat as a further experiment since I have all the supplies and screwed up paint job at the moment.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:44 PM   #10
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Can we get a larger image of the comparo? Or a link?
That is fantastic!
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:03 PM   #11
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Can we get a larger image of the comparo? Or a link?
That is fantastic!
The pictures are hard because of room in my driveway to take the pictures and the reflections. The green base coat below the test spots has failing clear coat on it.

Note: The dividing line between the Zep and Clear Coat (Spraymax 2K) is at the blue masking tape markers.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d2...c/P1010550.jpg
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:33 AM   #12
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Ehhhh...my clearcoat is way too far gone to try the ZEP...gonna do three basement doors primer/color/clear.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:31 PM   #13
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Dean,
I tried the Zep wet look, and it looks pretty good. I'll try it on the rest of the peeled clearcoat this week. Just don't see spending $12,000+ at CC for a new clear coat when they offered me $25k in trade for the coach!
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:14 PM   #14
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I used the zep on my 14 yr old coach. (Gel coat, paint and tape, no Cc). Biggest bang for your buck and not a lot of work. You can do a 40 ft coach for less than 20 dollars.
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