Saturday, July 7, 2012

Painting progress

Big visible progress yesterday.  I had near perfect weather – warm but not really hot (maybe 75 or 80 max) and a hint of  a breeze to keep me cool and the bugs away.  I finished up taping the gray in the morning, taped all the windows and then started throwing silver paint at the curb side.  That took a lot of paint but I had already figured out that the whole bus was going to take more than I had so Marilyn was online to bring some back from P.A.  Once the paint was on I stripped the tape and covering on the stripes (see photo below) and then started spraying clearcoat.


I could have done a better job on the clear if I wasn’t so paranoid about making runs.  I should be putting on a slightly wetter coat because what I am getting is a very lightly stippled surface.  Tonight I’ll find out if I can buff that out with 1500 grit – I believe I can in the places where it is worst and overall the clear is pretty good just the way it is. I put extra coats on the door and around the entryway where little dirty greasy fingers like to touch and I wet down the lines between the 3 colours so that the ridges between the colours pretty well disappeared.  Of course spraying the clear revealed that I had nowhere near enough of it either but fortunately Marilyn was still in P.A.


The right way to do those lines between colours would have been to lightly sand them by hand until they disappeared.  The problem with that is twofold – first it takes a lot of time and its really effing hot right now; second if I go just a few thousands of an inch too deep with the sanding then I lose the line and have to reshoot the paint.  Not gonna happen.  At some point I may – in fact very likely WILL – resand the whole bus lightly to scuff the clear and smooth the lines and then add a couple more coats of clear.  I figure after we’ve used it for a year or so there will no doubt be some road dings to touch up and I can already see how I could improve the graphics with very little effort.  By next summer I’ll no doubt have forgotten how much work this really is and maybe be ready for round two.

Today I taped the graphics on the rear and road sides and shot the gray on those sides.  Tomorrow – weather permitting – will be another big day which should see the silver and clear on the back and road side.  Then I’ll just have the front and the forehead portion over the ticket window and door to deal with.  The front doesn’t have a lot of surface but it will be a major PITA to mask and paint.  The graphic on the back and front will be the same so I wanted to do the back before I did the one that will show in every campground we park in.  Getting rid of that stupid “Freedom” across the forehead was just an added bonus from doing this whole project. 

There’s also a bit of stainless above the bumper that has been painted red.  The red looks good there but doesn’t stick very well because it gets shot blasted with road gravel.  My solution to that is some spray-on rocker guard with red over top of it but that will take some time.  I have been deliberately ignoring the front until everything else is done but I think I can get that panel off so that I can work on it on the flat.  Then I’ll have a couple of days of putting everything back together and I’ll likely have some lights that don’t work when I get all done.  The nice thing about a bus (or a boat) is that you are never short of something to do.  Sort of like owning cattle in that respect but without the shit to spread.


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