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Old 07-07-2015, 09:41 AM   #1
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Poor mans paint and body repair job

Hi
I might get a lot of people here telling me this won't work and that folks who try it might wind up in trouble because they tried this so I have to tell you that this is only an experiment and not to try it at home without rational adult supervision.. I am on a fixed (broken) income and don't have the thousands it would cost to have these repairs done.

Problem: RV Mechanically sound but body suffers from rot and delamination. There are also several spots where the body panels are damaged. One was bad. The original clear coat was coming off below the body line and the exposed color coat was ruined where it happened.

Answer: Find an economical replacement paint and make it work without shelter in 90f and 80%+ humidity with rain in the afternoon. Repair the damage. Paint it so that it looks better than the damage. Low expectations were met and exceeded by a vast margin!

I am sorry that I did not think to take photos of the painting at all stages. I really did not think about it. This represents about a month of hard work outdoors in 90f and 80% humidity and I lost the ability to think early on. I hope that this will supply a few laughs and perhaps even be of use to some folks with more time than money.
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
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FWIW I would look at the paints they sell to boaters with Fiberglass hulls. There is a lot of interesting stuff in that market that will take a beating and can be hand applied.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:02 AM   #3
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Good to know you did it. Any info on how you did it?
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:03 AM   #4
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Here is the damage. A hydrant was near the exit of an alley and I turned too sharply. The laminated panel was already rotted underneath so it crumbled badly.





I had to pull out the internal metal frame, straighten the lower trim and remove the rotten luan ply. The internal repair of the laminated panel is covered in another post to come later but it involves bracing and injecting Medium density foam. Approximately half of the outer panels were rotten and had been repaired earlier. After that came a coat of 2 part resin with the West System adhesive added., a sheet of glass woven mat and another coat of resin. Then a variety of strips of matting in critical places and more resin. Over that went a layer of 2 part filler. After sanding I used the West System fairing filler made with 2 part Epoxy. More sanding then a touch up filling cream and sanding. Repeat as needed. The wheel arches had cracks which were repaired with Epoxy and the adhesive additive, matting and Epoxy. Several other places around the RV were cracked or dented. These were minor and got the adhesive epoxy and woven mat treatment. The front bumper was hideous! It has a number of small cracks from sun damage in the top surface. I sanded, deepened and used the same treatment with one sheet of matting and then fairing and paste. Wish I had a picture. Everything was cleaned and scuffed to be ready for paint.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:04 AM   #5
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For on the cheap for painting by folks who can't paint to save their butt we suggest the harbor freight detail gun with the swivel paint cup.

It works with small compressor and easy to clean and is always on sale for about 10 bucks.

Fill with a syringe without needle so no mess from pouring paint and you mix in the bowl by adding thinner also with same syringe.

Mix thick and it barely sprays but less runny...

Comes out real nice.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:04 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

Kahoona,
There are probably MORE of us with limited ("broken" as you put it) incomes than there are those who are "in the chips" in this wonderful community. I admire your inventiveness and persistence without even seeing the improvement you were able to accomplish.

More power to ya, pal !! Don't worry about insensitive clods laughing at you... Karma is a real biotch! The fact that YOU are happy with your results is all that matters.

Now... Tell me in detail HOW you did it... What PRODUCTS and STEPS? I'm in the same boat as you in every respect.

Thanks for posting!
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
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The Paint:
I was able to trace the original "Sandalwood Plum" paint to its original intended use. Sadly the originals were hard to find and way out of my price range. Custom mixed would have been $250 a pint and I would have needed four of them. Eventually I wound up at an ACE hardware that matches paint with an optical reader. Good news- easy to do, UV stable, weatherproof, enamel gloss $16/ pint and mixed on the spot. Bad news- Acrylic enamel. Water based. I did some checking. ACE's Clark + Kensington is the only one that works with the system but it was rated well by Consumer reports. This stuff guaranteed for a long time on a house and is expected to hold up when slapped on over dirty siding. I got some.
I used a rattle can primer and then scuffed it with 220 as recommended. I sprayed the paint with a HVLP sprayer thinning 10% with water and keeping the paint flow setting at max. Air at 40lbs. It sprayed slowly but that worked for me. It went on thich. Only one coat was needed. it needed to be sprayed thick to level out. There is a thin line between thick enough and creating runs. It takes concentration.
The final result was a tough, almost rubbery paint job which dries and hardens inside of a week or so. The gloss was good after I got the hang of it. I resprayed some of my earliest work. The color is much lighter when first applied but it darkens with some time. I had planned to stop there but I decided to go with a clear coat on the bumper because of abrasion from wind, rain ans road grit. I liked the result so much that I am doing the entire RV.

Here is a shot of the damaged area after color coating. The whits area is a reflection. I should have pulled out the bent area more and I still might. I could jack it from the frame and add a brace. It is greatly improved though.

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Old 07-07-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW I would look at the paints they sell to boaters with Fiberglass hulls. There is a lot of interesting stuff in that market that will take a beating and can be hand applied.
Good to know. I have some experience in fiberglass boat repair. I shied away from the professional boat paint because of the toxicity when using them but the one part stuff you are talking about would be fine.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:34 AM   #9
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I investigated clear coats and the possible problem interactions between water based and solvent based. Some work together and some don't. Transparently though it is common practice to cover one with the other but research is needed because some combinations don't work. In this case the paint has to be fully dry or the moisture be trapped ruining the clear and preventing full curing of the Alklyd. I waited a week for the first areas and am waiting for the rest of it to dry fully before finishing the clear.

The Clear:
I wanted to avoid using a 2 part. In reality it would have worked just fine but that is hindsight. I checked up on one part clears and found an entire brotherhood of folks that spray Rustoleum when restoring cars and love it. Rustoleum has an automotive grade clear and it is compatible!

The problems:
Spraying solvent enamel in 90f and 80% humidity is not so good. Sometimes it cures so slowly it never dries. It can also bloom or turn white right after drying. Rattle cans sprayed at 90f tend to produce tiny grains of paint that dry before hitting the surface and stick like hard dust to paint job.
The bloom is caused when the spray chills from solvent evaporation in the heat and attracts water from the humidity. It becomes damp and turns a creamy color after it is sprayed which never goes away. If the slow drying is present you might have to wait a month to sand it off. Rustoleum is thinned with Acetone which evaporates faster and chills more. You can use mineral spirits but they can dry too slow.

The answer:
I looked at the charts on the Weatherunderground and found a sweet spot most days at about 10:00 where the rising heat reduces the humidity but is cool enough to spray still. That is below 90f and 70%. I use an HVLP air gun set at 30 lbs with the paint volume knob 1 1/2 turns out. I overlap each stroke 50%. I thin with 50% Acetone and add a 10th of a capfull of Japan Dryer to each pint. It is an old FL Keys trick. Be careful. Too much is bad. Recoat in 5 minutes, dry to the touch in 15 min or less. Rain won't hurt it after that. I do three or four lite coats using just enough to level itself. Each coat is heavier. It is easy paint to shoot. It is a very forgiving paint mix. You Yankies could omit the Japan Dryer but I love not having to worry about the never dries problem if it rains and dust and leaves won't stick to it after 15 minutes.

Here is the passenger side with the color coat on. All of the caulking and patching was done first. I used a paste finish filler to fill all of the tiny pits and things. I am only doing the Plum below the line for now.



A section of the front bumper after clear coating. This bit convinced me to do the rest.



Here is the front curb side after clear. It is hard to see it because of reflection and shadows but it looks great. There is one run though.



Here is the front of the wheel arch curb side. You can see where I could have filled a pit on the bumper but hey! The surf sticker says "Too old To fat Don't care"



Closer shot of the road side showing the louvered jenny hatch. It has to dry several more days before clear. You can see where it rained and washed roof crud down.



Yard sale compressor. Cost %30 then another $20 in parts to make it right.



Garden cart and work surface. I pile the days materials in it, push it out to the RV and then back to the garage if it rains.



Here is the back. This has not been cleared yet. The color coat came out well though! For comparison there is a finished wheel arch that has been cleared.



I'll add some finished pics as I go.
Have fun!
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good man View Post
Kahoona,
There are probably MORE of us with limited ("broken" as you put it) incomes than there are those who are "in the chips" in this wonderful community. I admire your inventiveness and persistence without even seeing the improvement you were able to accomplish.

More power to ya, pal !! Don't worry about insensitive clods laughing at you... Karma is a real biotch! The fact that YOU are happy with your results is all that matters.

Now... Tell me in detail HOW you did it... What PRODUCTS and STEPS? I'm in the same boat as you in every respect.

Thanks for posting!
Hope that the info helps. We'll be driving it a couple of thousand miles or more next month or two so I will be able to tell you if the paint stays on. I'm glad to answer questions. I like you guys! The other RV site I belonged to for so many years would have just told me to take it to the dealer and that this would never work.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahoona View Post
Hope that the info helps. We'll be driving it a couple of thousand miles or more next month or two so I will be able to tell you if the paint stays on. I'm glad to answer questions. I like you guys! The other RV site I belonged to for so many years would have just told me to take it to the dealer and that this would never work.
VERY WELL WRITTEN and VERY HELPFUL... KahoonaMan! Your results are OUTSTANDING! Again, Hats Off to your ingenuity!

From what I see, the only way that paint will be coming off is if you put your beautiful rig on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral and go interstellar at warp speed !
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good man View Post
VERY WELL WRITTEN and VERY HELPFUL... KahoonaMan! Your results are OUTSTANDING! Again, Hats Off to your ingenuity!

From what I see, the only way that paint will be coming off is if you put your beautiful rig on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral and go interstellar at warp speed !
If I can figure out how to do that I'll gladly get better paint!!
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
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Looks good to me. - I plan on doing the same thing to my Mirada next year, maybe do one of the newer paint schemes.

Is the wall on yours rotted under the frig? I fixed mine. I think this is a very common problem if people would look at their frig access door, they could prevent it from happening.

Repairing Delamination and water damage | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB


I also have some rot on the bottom behind the rear tires where they used that cloth as the sealant.

ALSO - Did you look at your front wall separating above the drivers die wheel.

http://www.2001mirada.com/emergency-exterior-wall-repair/



..I see you have a spare tire mount on the back, how is it secured?

..
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #14
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Looks good to me. - I plan on doing the same thing to my Mirada next year, maybe do one of the newer paint schemes.

Is the wall on yours rotted under the frig? I fixed mine. I think this is a very common problem if people would look at their frig access door, they could prevent it from happening.

Repairing Delamination and water damage | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB


I also have some rot on the bottom behind the rear tires where they used that cloth as the sealant.

ALSO - Did you look at your front wall separating above the drivers die wheel.

Emergency Exterior Wall Repair | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB

..I see you have a spare tire mount on the back, how is it secured?

..
The vent at the top of the fridge leaked and rotted a large section or the wall. That is the only section that I haven't been able to repair well. I believe I will try your method there. T have some additives for epoxt that turn it into a thick mealy glue that holds well. It would be good on the replacement wood. The window seals went. The aluminum trim at the bottom of the long walls is designed to collect water when it rains and trap it so that it wicks up from the bottom. I had no idea about these things and one day I noticed something wrong and started looking. By then we has about 30% delamination. I'll be posting the repair soon.
The rack is held with nuts. There are 4 threaded bolts(?) that come out of the back. I assume they are mounted to the wall frame.
Mine also had the separation of front cap and wall section but I noticed it early because it made that noise that a styrafoam cooler makes when you drive. The squeaky noise drove me nuts so I first tightened all of the bolts then when it happened again I got the next thickness up and shot 5200 wherever I could get it before tightening them. This was on a trip of course. I am glad I caught it early. We spend about 25% of our trip time fixing problems and hunting parts.
We were once locked into out RV when the door lock broke. I didn't have the bits to remove the latch mechanism so we pulled off at an ACE hardware, climbed out of the windows and went in and got the tools and a stepladder to get back in. We tried to get a locksmith but no luck so I eventually got it apart and removed the latch. We got along with the deadbolt till I got home and got replacement parts. Always fun!
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