Well, let me start out by not sugar coating it, Wow was this a big job for my husband. We are incredibly happy with the final results, but it was a big job.
Under ideal circumstances it wouldn't have been such a long process, but in reality it look a long time.
1. If he didn't have to go to work already for 8 hours each day, you can't expect him to get home at 8:00 at night then go work some more (in the dark no less).
2. If it was smaller and fit into a garage the weather would not have been an issue, but she's 27ft.
3. If it was rainy, or too hot you couldn't work.
4. The product has to be used between 50 and 80 degrees, so you lose several months right there (we live in Wisconsin, so you lose 5-6 months from winter, then you lose a couple of summer months because it's in the high 90's.
So, between working, working outside, temperatures and winter months he did not have many good days, where he could work and accomplish a lot per sitting.
First, some before shots, while the fiberglass shell itself was in great shape, the vinyl graphics were really chipped, faded and everything lost it sheen. The Rubber stripping around the RV was also very dull and yellowish, so removing all graphics and stripping was the plan.
Here's how she looked on the outside when we first brought her home, so the first thing was a good bath. Here is a shot where the sides/front have been washed but not the top yet. She was really dirty on top. We purchased this from an elderly couple, the husband passed and the wife didn't drive and obviously being a senior wasn't going to climb the ladder for a good cleaning.
Now, some zoomed in photos of the graphics and rubber:
Yuck! To remove the graphics, I purchased 2 of the 3M stripping wheels that you attach to your drill. Initally we tried chemicals, that was a mess, then I searched for others options and found the 3M, it did make removing the graphics a pretty quick task. Once the graphics were removed, you could see the shadowing from the graphics. That's when I starting searching for the painting options: pay someone or do it yourself. Someone else: several thousand, ourselves: we thought about $1,500.
and now a couple of shots with the graphics now removed, hopefully you can see the shadowing:
Now you can see what I mean on the outside, the body is in good shap, but with the shadowing we also had dull and satiny areas. It's hard to tell on these photos but the color was not white, it was more an antique creamy white. We decided to do a crisp white and not stay with the antique white.
For our paint we used fiberglass yacht paint from Jamestown Distributors. We used Interlux Brightside White. This is a thicker, self leveling paint. You use a roll and tip method and the site has videos for you to watch first. When we saw people doing their own campers, yachts and motorhomes, we knew we could do it also.
The paint is expensive, but on the other hand, it's not compared to having someone else do it for you.
Like the cabinets, it was a multi step approach, Clean, sand, filler if needed, sand, wipe, primer, paint. Then sand, wipe, paint again, then repeat. With this product you decide how many coats you want to add, the more coats you add, the glossier and shinnier it gets. My husband did his initial test with the door, one coat, two coat, three coat, then when he got to the 4th coat, we didn't like the shiny look of it, we wanted a softer satin sheen, so then we agreed to 3 coats the max. Some of the others on the forum board said they went as high as 5 coats, 7 coats, etc. But they wanted that very high gloss, high shine, like glass on a showroom floor look. So it's up to you, we stopped at 3.
Here are a few photos during the painting process so you can see there is a color difference, but it's subtle:
You can see the color difference above the door here:
Side one, all done, 3 coats of paint. Hopefully you can see the sheen, you can see the fence showing in the image: The windows are still turned inside out and the compartment doors are still off in this shot. The old awing is still on, but it was great for shade, we'll replace that at the end.
All 4 sides are now done, so how did we do on our $1,500 estimate. Here's our total and how much supplies it took.
From Jamestown Distributors: Final Total was $940.24.
These purchases were for:
5 gallons of Interlux Brightside White
4 gallons of Interlux White Primer
1 pint of surface putty (for places where there were scratches from tree branches)
2 gallons of fiberglass solvent cleaner (to really clean good before painting)
2 pints of Interlux 333 brush liquid (thins the paint to allow for longer working time, a little goes a long way)
Hazmat handling fees: $20.00 (I ordered 4 times, each time had a $4.95 hazmat handling fee, this is included in the $940.24)
From Amazon: Final Total was appro. $50 w/shipping
2 - 3M Strip off wheels @ $22.00 each
I didn't keep receipts for this, but for a few rollers, a pan, a few brushes - I'll be generous and say $100.
POST UPDATE, I forgot a very important expense, I didn't pay for it, so it wasn't on my mind when I posted, my husband picked it up.
From Home Depot: Sand Paper: $200
2 packages 100 grit, 2 packages 120, 2 packages 220
Our estimate: $1,500, actual expenses: $1,290.24 and a lot of time! But it was so worth investing the time and saving several thousand. We would definitely do this type of painting again, but when we retire and are not trying to fit a job in at the same time. Unless of course the item was smaller than 27ft. Work, the size, not being able to work in a protected garage, weather wise, made it a slower process than we thought. BUT, we are extremely happy that we did it and love the results and would do it again and again.
Next Up: We'll move back inside and it's booth replacement next.