Paint for Old RV Exterior

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Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby jcliff » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:03 am

I have a new-to-me '71 Chevy Sportscoach RV. I want to paint the Man and few other little things on the exterior. She needs some sprucing up. Does anyone have a suggestion for paint to use? I don't exactly know what the exterior surface is made out of. I would like to have some color choices to work with. Anything all-purpose that would fit the bill? I have heard Rustoleum, but wasn't sure. Thanks!
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby Canoe » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:15 am

You're going to have to find out what the exterior surface is, so you can use an appropriate paint with the proper prep work, which might include sanding and will likely include degreasing to ensure that the paint sticks instead of any trace grease or oil (even from touching it with your hand) acting like a release agent. Cheap degreasers just dissolve the grease and spread it around, requiring repeated application. A good degreaser will actually remove the grease.

Keep in mind that for the base colour, lighter is cooler as it will absorb less heat.

I'm hoping that you can use something like the white elastomer roof coatings (around 3x thicker than paint) that are formulated both for water-proofing and for reflecting sunlight and heat away. Price can vary from ~$50 to over $200 for 5 gallons. Smaller cans available. Many manufacturers publish their reflection data so you can compare the performance of their different products, but some don't... A large portion in the price difference appears to be longevity, but you might just be paying for a longer warranty. The $80 for five gallon versions have practical reports just as good as the $200+ expensive stuff.

It goes on very thick. For his DIY trailer, prior to final assembly, FIGJAM applied this to pre-cut raw plywood panels laying on the ground. First spread using a 1/16th notched trowel, then spread evenly using a fuzzy (to keep it thick) roller with a long handle. In lower humidity, it dries in about an hour. Cured like it's 1/16th vinyl. If you spill a little and let it dry, it's like a sheet of rubber. He uses two coats and paints the edges too. It applied so well he didn't use any seam sealer when he assembled the panels of this trailer, but applied more of this paint to the seams instead. I've no reports yet on applying this to the sides of an existing RV of tradition RV materials – check the manufacturer for preparation and application method recommendations.

If you're wanting to add a touch of colur, Krylon spray cans stick to almost anything.
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby Canoe » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:16 am

for that elastomer paint, check out
viewtopic.php?f=286&t=39734
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby jcliff » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:21 am

Canoe....thanks for the info! At some point I want to paint the entire exterior, but for this year I just want to paint on a few decorations (Man, a few flowers, etc.) Can you suggest something I could use for just a few cosmetic additions?
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:41 am

You could still use the roof coating.

It comes in one gallon too.

Get some pigment or small cans of paint to change the white to the color you want.

This stuff sticks to everything.

The only prep I do is wash any dust or dirt off the surface.

Never had it flake, chip, or peal. 8)
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby jcliff » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:49 am

Okay....I looked up the elatomeric roof coating and it seems like it will work great. One more question figjam, I have powdered oxides that I use for my hand-made soaps. Do you think they would be ok to change the color from white?
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby Elliot » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:53 am

On my bus, I use Ace Rust Stop from the Ace hardware store chain. This is popular with the guys who fool around with old school buses. Word is, it is essentially generic Rustoleum. It is an oil-based paint, so requires lacquer thinner or mineral spirits for cleaning up. Good selection of colors.
As mentioned above, surface preparation is always important.
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:47 am

jcliff wrote:Okay....I looked up the elatomeric roof coating and it seems like it will work great. One more question figjam, I have powdered oxides that I use for my hand-made soaps. Do you think they would be ok to change the color from white?


Test a little.

It will take a lot of what ever you add to change the affectivness of the coating. 8)
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby gyre » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:40 pm

There's more than one type rustoleum.
Many.
I like the HD Aluminum.
Best you can use without special equipment.

I use epoxy ester for a lot of things.
It can chalk in uv, if that matters.
I used acrylic white on my trailer liner.
Takes a long time to cure, but supposed to be uv proof.
Good white.

I'm using cold zinc galvanizing on some racks.
Very rust resistant, can be coated.
Almost mandatory at weld points.
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:42 pm

Tempera w/ cheap brushes, or cheap spray paint from the local auto parts store w/ cardboard spray stencils.

Don't fucking overthink it.
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby gyre » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:48 pm

You can clean the epoxy with acetone when it cures.

Presents some interesting possibilities.
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Re: Paint for Old RV Exterior

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:55 am

You don't really need anything fancy.

Robbiedobs tagged our bus with this guy using some el cheapo Wal Mart black spray paint and a stencil back in 2010. I wiped the playa dust off the side of the bus with a wet paper towel.

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