By Roger Enderson
HOW TO REFINISH YOUR COACH
Proper preparation is essential to a good refinish job. Shortcuts
do not work . It is better to spend a little more time and money and do a job properly
than to have to redo it some time in the future, Nuff said.
The first thing to do is locate a good auto or aircraft paint
and supply store and get all the literature you can from them.
The next, and one of the most important things is a thorough
cleaning. First of all pressure clean all grease, oil, loose paint and road grime. Clean
the inside of all baggage bay doors as well as your engine cover to remove any grease and
oil that may seep out of anywhere.
This would be a good time to clean your engine if it needs it.
The next step is to wash it with a strong soap such as tide, that will remove wax and
whatever the pressure washer did not get. If you do not have to strip your paint wash the
entire vehicle with a good grease and wax remover. You will need heavy rubber
gloves and use a red 3-m scuff pad cut in half to apply the remover. This is the
time to replace any glass or gaskets. If you replace them later they may not seat in the
same place. I prefer to leave the glass out during refinishing.
If you have any peeling paint , strip the whole thing.
Before stripping firmly mask any chrome, stainless steel, and anything else that is not to
be stripped as stripping can discolor it. Aluminum foil works well for hoses, pipes and
things that are hard to mask.If you do strip your paint I recommend aircraft
paint stripper that can be bought at any auto refinish shop and is made for aluminum. I
would not use brake fluid as it can lurk in seams and under rivets and cause problems
later on. It is not compatible with paint. You wash paint stripper off with a hose on to a
ground cloth. It is a good idea to use an aluminum brush to get places, such as around
rivets, that did not come clean. If you have any urethane sealer or urethane of any kind
left on the metal it must be removed. A heavy duty pencil eraser will work for small
areas. For larger areas you can get a wheel from your refinish supplier that goes on a
drill. Be sure all urethane is removed as paint will not stick to it. The area can be
re-sealed after priming . After using the paint stripper and getting all the paint off
wash all the aluminum down with soap and water again. Remove all residue of the paint
stripper. Be sure to use a proper respirator as paint stripper can be hazardous to your
health, safety goggles and rubber gloves when using strippers, solvents or any paint
products. I like to use the disposable painters coveralls taped over the gloves at the
wrists when using any hazardous materials. Use plenty of air to blow out every nook and