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Old 12-02-2015, 12:01 AM   #1
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Exterior repaint alternate ideas?

1986 Winnebago Chieftain 27RT

I'm restoring/renovating this old RV and, of course, the paint is in pretty horrible shape. The clearcoat is peeling and the underneath is faded badly. I'd like to do something to give it a better appearance but having a professional painter do a proper job is too expensive for the value I'd get in return.

I was wondering if anyone has had any success in getting a coach to look better using another paint method.A friend of mine painted his pickup truck with enamel paint and a foam roller. No perfect, but surprisingly not terrible.

Anyone ever paint their exterior youself? What did you us and how were the results?

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Old 12-02-2015, 03:11 AM   #2
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I haven't done it yet... but plan to paint our old HR, or at least half of it, perhaps next summer after I finish the new siding. I've tinkered with the roll-and-tip method of painting using regular old oil based enamel paint (Rustoleum), and you're right, it works surprisingly well. The problem ends up being that the new rustoleum paints never gets very hard... probably because someone in some unnamed government organization decided that people weren't smart enough to use real paint, so they had to change to a "safer" formula. But I digress...

I plan on spraying the RV with regular automotive grade single stage acrylic enamel. I won't mess with base/clear... quite a bit of hassle for a novice, and I don't want the ultra glossy finish of clear coat anyways, as it will reveal all the imperfections in the new side panels. Probably go with some sort of eggshell or semi-gloss type paint. I'll build a temporary paint booth over the area of the RV I'm painting in the garage, grab a good respirator, and go to town.

At least I think this is what my plans are... I might say to heck with it and polish the aluminum to a mirror and pretend I own an airstream.


1994 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE - Engine Rebuilt and Restoration in Process
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:44 PM   #3
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Hi alvo.

I could be wrong but I really doubt your coach originally had any painted surfaces. Typically they would be fiberglas/gelcoat and vinyl stripes so if you have peeling clearcoat someone in the past painted it. The problem now is how solid is the underlying paint and do you want to risk painting over that and hope it doesn't all start lifting off from the new paint solvents. Just pointing out the possibilities.

If you want to proceed, look into marine enamel paints (e.g. Interlux Brightsides) as they contain more UV inhibitors than the average Rustoleum. Then Google "roll and tip" painting as Piker mentioned. I have not painted my badly faded coach but I've done a fair amount of research and this is likely how I would do it.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-02-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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If you are up for something completely different, look into getting it wrapped.
You can do any color or design you want. Look around at all the trucks you see with advertising on them - no limits.

It does cost like a paint job, but once the "wrap" is ready, it takes about a day for them to put it on. Typically, there is a warranty to go with it.

Just a thought!
Mike and Carla
1998 42' Overland Larado Diesel Pusher
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Old 12-02-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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If the siding is aluminum... It will have paint on it. If fiberglass, no probably not.

If it is paint, it's most likely not base/clear.

Regardless of what's on it, you should be able to paint it. Just remember that the end result is all about the prep work... Not just the paint itself.

Good luck!

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Old 12-02-2015, 07:12 PM   #6
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I painted my old MH with Dupont Nason single-stage urethane. Eastwood HVLP gun, only used 10 psi at the gun. Nearly all of the work is in prep. I took off old decal and painted all areas where old faded maroon paint and old decal was. Sanded old paint, put on primer, and sanded and then paint. Picture of middle of process showing some new paint and some of the old faded maroon paint.

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Old 12-02-2015, 07:36 PM   #7
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Definetly thinking of a wrap on the basement door and bumpers of my 2000 daybreak along with using a boat type fiberglass cut and polish of the endcaps. redoing the graphics after removing them from the sidepanels. Clean and polish out the sidepanels and update with non stock decals.

Might want to check out I-boats forum on 'glass boat restoration-rustoleum with a hardener or tractor paint
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:27 AM   #8
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Years ago, back in the 80's I used Interlux marine topside paint on a Porsche 914 I was restoring for my late wife. The end result was incredible and far nicer than the original factory paint job.

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Old 12-03-2015, 07:41 AM   #9
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We are the worst painter but have great luck with the 10 buck detail sprayer from harbor freight.

Fill with a turkey baster or other such thing and mix in cup with small amount of thinner to get pattern you like.

If a little thick minimum over spray and real real slow but less runs.

Use oil based paint from TSC as they have a good selection of equipment colors and the paint is of great quality.

Do buy extra as sometimes they change brands and exact match may be hard.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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Also of note is Valspar (spelling) had a product called galvanized metal primer sold at TSC that stuck to just about anything very well and took paint great

Also would take the fingerprint oils too...

Try to find it for your primer as it will work well on your base.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:23 PM   #11
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What I have may not be paint but it definitely is peeling.

It's going to require considerable prep work to make it come out looking reasonable nice. I have access to a power washer, so that's going to be the first step. Then likely wire brush and sandpaper to smooth out the layers.

The RV is 30 years old and looks 30 years old. The inside did too, although that's a lot easier to take care of than the exterior. I figure that by the time I'm done with everything except the exterior I will have spent between $5,000-$6,000 (including a new set of tires) and that's pretty much what I think it's worth, so spending a lot of painting isn't something that makes sense to do.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:35 PM   #12
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Scrubbed and rolled my roof with "Aluminum" Rustoleum and it came out pretty nice. (see my avatar at left)
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:23 PM   #13
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I have never painted anything like this before but saw another OP that used spray cans. Yes prep is a must I goofed with the taping and not getting all the wax off from the times I waxed it.
I have to redo it but I thought it looked good from a distance.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:14 AM   #14
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Hmmm, something is certainly peeling. Is the peeling actually part of one of the tape stripes?. WBO used to use lots of tape stripes and, back when we visited during our Winnie ownership, we saw that 3M had a tape factory right across the road from the WBO plant.

Originally Posted by alvo View Post
What I have may not be paint but it definitely is peeling....

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