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Old 09-23-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
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Want to paint decals

I know there are some threads on this subject but I haven't been able to find any definitive answers to my questions. My bus is an '01 so,like many others the decals are faded, oxidized and peeling. I've searched for methods to remove the oxidation but none of them have produced any positive results. My next direction will be to attempt to paint them but I haven't been able to find any clear cut proven methods to prepare the graphics for paint and what type of paint to use. I've seen recommendations for plastic, rubber and oil based.

For those that have actually done it what was your method ?
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:32 AM   #2
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I don't know which threads you've seen but here's a link that may have more.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Pain...com&gws_rd=ssl
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LSC9901 View Post
I know there are some threads on this subject but I haven't been able to find any definitive answers to my questions. My bus is an '01 so,like many others the decals are faded, oxidized and peeling. I've searched for methods to remove the oxidation but none of them have produced any positive results. My next direction will be to attempt to paint them but I haven't been able to find any clear cut proven methods to prepare the graphics for paint and what type of paint to use. I've seen recommendations for plastic, rubber and oil based.

For those that have actually done it what was your method ?
Been there, done that, kinda... Years ago I had a scuff mark on a white decal on my Fleetwood PopUp. I used white paint for plastic, and it came out virtually unnoticeable.

There is a guy in my neighborhood that works out of his house restoring RVs.

For the exterior, he will meticulously clean the paint aluminum, or restore the gelcote for fiberglass RVs.

Then, the final step that seems to take forever is to repaint the vinyl decals. There is a lot of prep-work involved. Any rough edges are shaved off with a razor blade, by hand. Any cracks are filled in with tiny amounts of ordinary white Marine Tex epoxy. Then the time consuming part is masking them off to prevent damage to the walls underneath. Spray can paint made specifically for plastic is what he uses. I have seen different brands, based on the color that he is trying to match.

The results are usually impressive.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:47 AM   #4
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I did mine ------ see my post. No perfect but a loot better. Decals changed to paint
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:08 PM   #5
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Basically I am looking to just paint over the decals. Others have said they've done it but with no real specifics such as paint used or what was done to prepare the decal to retain the paint.
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:16 PM   #6
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Basically I am looking to just paint over the decals. Others have said they've done it but with no real specifics such as paint used or what was done to prepare the decal to retain the paint.
I would not paint over cracked decals or any decals. As one person said prep is the major part of painting. Decals can be removed, a lot of work but worth it.
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:46 PM   #7
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Basically I am looking to just paint over the decals. Others have said they've done it but with no real specifics such as paint used or what was done to prepare the decal to retain the paint.
Any spray can paint for plastic will work. Krylon is one brand, but there are others, and they each have their own selection of colors.

I mentioned the preparation above. Just clean really well, (I like using Simple Green), shave off loose and curled-up edges, fill in cracks with a filler of your choice, carefully mask, then paint.

From an athletics point of view, it's not going to look like new. However, if done carefully, it will look cleaner than it did with the cracked and peeling decals.
A follow-up with an application of 303 Aerospace Protectant, or a Zep floorwax treatment would be appropriate over everything after the labels are painted.


We are talking about 10 year or older RVs with cracked decals. Almost anything to fix them looks better than leaving them alone. The other alternative would be a full restoration attempt with complete removal of the original decals, and either a full new paint job or a gel-cote restoration polish and new decal replacement.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #8
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Some of the bigger decals on my '97 Aerbus had faded and cracked. I cleaned/ scrubbed them several times, wet sanded them, filled the cracks with an epoxy type paste for automotive purposes, then taped it off and applied a superior satin Valspar exterior house paint with a built in primer, matched to the original color. I was going to use a sprayer but I experimented with rolling it on and decided to go that route as it looked awesome. I then applied about 5 coats of polyglow to them, as well as to the entire RV. I am very pleased with the results and I don't think you can really tell. The only difference is that the original decal had a tiny amount of metallic in it and the house paint that I chose did not. The most difficult and time consuming part was the taping and trimming. That took much longer than I anticipated. But then again I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist. It's been almost 8 months and so far it still looks perfect. For the narrower decals that needed replacing, I did special order matching replacements but I chose to paint the large "swoopy" decals as the cost to replace those were extremely high. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:26 PM   #9
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So the physical condition of 90% of my graphics is just fine. There has been minimal rolling of the edges but my biggest issue is oxidation.

A major congratulations to those of you who have removed the old stuff and painted on new ones. That just isn't in the cards for me. i really just want to paint the decals but the prep is important to me. For anyone who has done it what grit sand paper (if you used it) did you use and what type of paint.

I appreciate the input from those who have done the job by removing the decal. I want mine to look better but I just do not have the will power or time to go that route. I am very willing to prep the decals, tape the decal and paint it. I'm fine knowing that it isn't the very best way to do it but at the same time I am not shooting for perfection. I want only to improve the oxidized look.

"Inthe70's" what type of paint did you use and how many coats did it take ?
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