Hi Gang- I just looked at the pictures of Larry's Travco. Man, did he do a WONDERFUL job on that rig!
That's the way you WANNA DO IT, that's the way it SHOULD be done... BUT, I have to tell you that when my wife and I wanted to paint our old Landau, it just wasn't possible for us to get the rig under cover much less in a barn or garage (A MUST), to get that REAL PRO style paint job that we so wanted. (plus, I'm a cheap Skinflint)
SO, I'm lucky enough to have a pal in Youngstown, Ohio that is a professional HOUSE painter... He also knows a lot about what will stick to what, etc., so I called him and picked his brain for about two hours, and he told me to:
1) wash the rig with hot water while scrubbing it down with TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and a Scotchbrite pad. COMPLETELY RINSE ALL TSP OFF with a thorough rinse. You can use a pressure washer, it'll get all of the stains that might be on the rig.
2) dry the coach with clean Chamois rags, or blow-dry the rig with air... It's very important that the coach is bone dry!
3) Tape off/paper over all of the glass and chrome trim/bumpers with Painter's Tape and Kraft Paper.
4) Wipe the coach down with NAPTHA, and after the naptha flashed off, to paint that thang with 100% Acrylic paint... You can do this in small areas, one at a time if you have to... Just remember where you have wiped the surface with the Naptha... Use the Painter's Tape to mark your area off.
After all of the prep work, I used the slash cut brush to cut the coach in, and I would then "unload" the brush somewhere down the side of the coach, below where I just painted... This not only kept the brush clean, but also sort of "primed" the big areas for the rolling-out of the main coat.
Oh yeah... I had also used PAINTABLE Silicone caulk to fill all of the voids that were on the rig AFTER it was washed, dried and naptha'ed.
I used a brand of paint called Conco, available at Menard's, they can mix you any color you want...
One question that I never asked my Youngstown buddy was how much paint he thought I'd need, so I bought 4 gallons, thinking I'd probably have to return to the store for more.
Would you believe that I only used one gallon and one quart on the entire coach? I have enough paint left to do the whole thing over again, almost three times!
Anyhow, I opted to use a brush and rollers. I used a HIGH QUALITY 2.5 inch slash cut brush to "cut in" around the roofline and around the window frames. I used "smooth surface" NAPPED wool roller covers to roll the body out with. I found that those foam roller covers didn't want to allow the paint to flow out freely, or without bubbling.
It turns out that the paint has a slight texture to it, as opposed to being totally smooth as if I had of used a sprayer (which I think I'd like to try on another project), but to tell you the truth, people who've seen the rig have commented on how incredible it looks, and ya really can't SEE the texture left by the roller unless you're "right on top" of the motorhome.
Well, that's my 2 cents... I think I had maybe $175 invested in the whole thing, and that would have been less had I known I wouldn't need the extra paint.
Sure, it ain't a Pro Quality enamel spray job, but maybe with an airless sprayer it would turn out a lot smoother. But wow, what a huge difference from the old, dull, dirty lookin' beige, tan and brown Gelcoat that was on it when we picked her up!
BY THE BY... It lives outside on a storage lot, and even after sitting out all Winter it looks exactly like the day I painted it last year. Time will tell how long it lasts, but since I did the whole thing alone in about 2 days, I don't think it'd kill me to do it again in 4 or 5 years.
So, I hope that this post might be of some use to one of our fellow RV owners to consider. I think it's a good, cost effective way to brighten up the exterior of your rig for not a lot of money!
Chris in Columbus
I forgot... I ended up using Rustoleum Brite Aluminum Gloss "High Performance" paint on the window frames, and the next exterior project is gonna be painting the roof and A/C shrouds in Bright White 100% Acrylic. We're also thinking about painting some kind of white "Speed Check" down each side of the motorhome, maybe a long-tailed star, like you used to see on garage doors years ago...using the same Bright White as I'll use on the roof. (Lots of masking/tape work though!)
Thanks, Pat! It was sure a lot easier to do than I thought it would be... In fact, I waited till about a week after I bought the paint 'cause just the size of the thing was daunting! But after I had it cleaned up, it only took about 2 days to paint the whole shebang.
In fact, I sorta thought it was liable to either chip or pull off like a skin, but NOPE! It's stuck on there, but good! If I had to do it on another moho, I'd probably use an airless sprayer, but that way, you;d probably have to have the whole thing taped off and ready, so you could shoot it all at one time.... Those airless sprayers are a pain to clean.
A star graphic, sorta like this...