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Old 08-21-2014, 05:52 PM   #1
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Painting Outside

Has anyone ever painted the outside of their motor home? Mine is fading, decals are cracking and overall a dull finish. Ideas and costs if anyone has done this.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:14 PM   #2
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If it will help you, I painted the outside of my last coach, and 88 Itasca Windcruiser. In order to do a quality job, you must remove all of the outside hardware; Awnings, Lights, Chrome, etc. you must remove all of the vinyl decorations and the glue that holds them. You must then sand down the entire coach with fine sandpaper (80 grit or finer) After this, you must apply a double coat of quality primer that is matched with the overcoat that you plan to finish with. Lastly, finish with a top-grade Polyurethane two-part paint and if desired, a clear finish coat.
Cost to do this should run about $2,000.00 if you do it all yourself.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:00 PM   #3
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Although my coach is only 8 years old, the black decals were starting to peal, and the metallic bronze decals had faded to a tan. The fiberglass had done what they all do; turn an antique white, or slightly yellowed. Time to fix it.

My coach doesn't have the exotic, Newell-type of graphics, because no mortal man can do that in his driveway. The decals on mine were pretty straightforward, and easy to work with/around.

Started off removing decals. Mistake #1. Leaving them on there allows you to duplicate them easily. Otherwise, masking curves along 25' is a PITA that can't end well until you've done it a LOT of times. Leave the decals be, and just cut out the pealed parts and glaze those areas.

This is fiberglass, so you can use boat paint like Interlux. Bright, shiny, glossy, hard as nails, last a loooong time. Solid colors only, but single stage paint you can apply with a gun or by roll/tip method.

If you want a metallic paint, you pretty much have to use the tough paints to apply DIY. I chose background of bright white, and graphics are red and black.

No need to remove a lot of things, because most of my sections were bordered by drip rail or waist rail or a slide. Easy to mask off. For basement hatches, they are removed easily with 4 screws. (factory didn't remove to paint, but I did).

Still working on it, but here's some samples:
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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The silver is OEM paint, and didn't need anything done to it. If you go this route, use nothing courser than 220 to rough up the sides, and 320 between coats. Primer not needed for this type of application.

Cost of all three colors, sandpaper, etc. is about $500 for a 37' coach.

TIME is your biggest expense. Plan on a lot of man-hours to do it right. Triple digits.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:09 PM   #5
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WOW,nice job,looks very sharp
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:15 PM   #6
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Nice work


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Old 08-21-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
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Looks good Rick,

just removed all my decals off one side with "vinyl off" we'll do the other side in a next day or two,
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2013 View Post
Looks good Rick,

just removed all my decals off one side with "vinyl off" we'll do the other side in a next day or two,
What's your review of Vinyl Off now that you've used it?
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:47 AM   #9
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well my decals R 14 years old, some colors R easier than others.

I sprayed it on waited longer than suggested like 20-30 min, used a 3" wide window razor (on fiberglass) some of them come off in 3 foot pieces, some only 5-6", I then sprayed with simple green to clean up, then a quick 800 w/d paper with hose. one side took better part of day but it's clean ready for paint mask stencil's.

After paint I'll compound the unpainted surface to shine up with wax, I look at like doing my boat.

I used an 8 oz bottle on one side would used a bit less but sprayed too much in the beginning, only needed enough to wet the surface evenly.

Bottle was $9.

Before, tried heat gun etc, that was not the way to go, this was much faster
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #10
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Beautiful job , that is something to be proud of
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