Hey folks, firing up a topic in here on paint since this section likely sees more eyes of folks building/or considering scratch builds. Iíve got a fiberglass foamcore build going in the popup section. Iím looking ahead at paint systems now so Iíll ideally have my decisions lined up by the time I reach that stage and it gives me some time to play with product samples. Anyways Iím thinking/researching myself in circles on paint system decisions and Iím curious what input you all might have. As mentioned the substrate for the paint is fiberglass (epoxy resin based, not polyester) and after fairing/filling work is complete Iíd likely hit it with a two part epoxy primer so that would be my base layer for the paint application. Whatever the paint is itíll need to be somewhat flexible or have flexitizer additive since the structure flexes some.
Iíve got three areas I need to address, which are Exterior paint, Interior paint, Bottom coating (looking at bedliner materials for this).
Bottom coating: If I go the DYI route verse having linex/rhinoliner shoot the bottom Iím thinking Iíd try the Monstaliner color product. Rationale is I can get colors (so Iíd likely do gray to blend with the aluminum flatbed), its UV resistant, and it doesnít have particles in it to make the texture like some DYI products the texture is formed by back rolling the stuff as itís setting up with a textured roller. A gallon of the colored product would run about $150 and looks like an weekend day type project. I havenít spoken to the commercial applicators but I figure having them shoot the bottom of my camper would probably be $400+, havenít looked at their color options either, however no labor on my part to apply it. Leaning towards the DYI monstaliner at the moment.
Exterior paint (lots-o-options):
Two part urethane systems (including marine LPUs [such as Interlux Perfection, Awlgrip, etc.], automotive acrylic urethane systems[lots of different grades], industrial urathanes [such as imron, etc.])- Most costly, best longevity/coating quality, would require a professional to spray it (spraying creates extreme health hazards). I havenít read enough on the health hazards yet to figure out if it can be rolled on with just a basic respirator or not but regardless I suspect the fumes would be intense which could attract unwanted attention/piss off the wifeÖ So mainly looking towards professional application for this which means itíd be costly (using an automotive system would likely be the easiest to find an affordable applicator). No concerns about recoating with the same or another paint system later. Itís a possibility in my mind depending on the cost. Aside from the cost another negative is I wouldnít be able to make spot repairs on it w/o hiring it out most likely. A perk is no labor on my end for application.
Water besed LPU with crosslinker (system 3 is the only one Iím aware of)- Sounds like the application can be quite finky, however there are no solvents to deal with so home application is definitely feasible. Lots of mixed info out there on this, from the folks that have had success the finished coat is reportedly quite solid, not quite to solvent based LPU standards but above single part stuff. Unclear if a two stage paint could go over it later. Pros: at home application, water based, likely will accommodate repairs at home. Cons: Tricky application potentially, $150 a gal range. I plan to get some samples to play with.
Single component polyurethane (interlux brightsides, easypoxy, etc.) Ė Not as hard to apply including spraying, likely somewhat smelly but not fatally toxic compared to LPUs. Good looking finish but not going to have the longevity of a two part system. Couldnít recoat with a two stage later w/o complete removal. Pros: at home application, likely will accommodate repairs at home, application doesnít sound too bad. Cons: Some smells to deal with, $100-140 a gal range, less lifespan. Iím leaning towards this as my at home application fall back if I donít get a good feeling for the system 3 product.
Automotive enamels w/ hardener- Havenít read into them a ton, for spray application might be able to spray at home. Not sure if theyíre better/worse than a single part polyurethane. Likely in the same cost category. Harder to touch up verse a single part polyurethane I suspect. Not a high contender at the moment (if went the professional application route I think Iíd go with a urethane system). Couldnít recoat with a two stage later w/o complete removal.
Marine enamels (rustoluem topsides, interlux yacht enamel, etc.) Ė Either spray or roll, cheaper cost (in the $50-90gal range), less lifespan than single part polyurethane, might be comparable in terms of touch up. Concerned I might not be happy about the lifespan a bit down the line for a limited savings. Couldnít recoat with a two stage later w/o complete removal.
A floor/porch oil alkaloid residential type paint (figuring a floor/porch would wear harder than other exterior oil based) Ė Rather cheap $25-45 a gal range, should offer easy tough up, should be easy to apply. Unknown how well itíd hold up or how well the finish would be, although Iím not looking for a mirror finish I donít want it to look like total crap). Generally feel like this is cheeping out a bit and Iíd regret it. Couldnít recoat with a two stage later w/o complete removal.
A floor/porch oil latex type paint (figuring a floor/porch would wear harder than other exterior oil based) Ė Rather cheap $25-45 a gal range, should offer easy tough up, should be easy to apply. Unknown how well itíd hold up or how well the finish would be, although Iím not looking for a mirror finish I donít want it to look like total crap). Might not wear as well as the oil based version. Not a high consideration in my head currently. Could only recoat with water based later I believe.
Note: I skipped epoxy based paints since they chalk under UV exposure.
Interior paint (referring back to the above systems in brief):
Two part urethane systems: Seems way overkill of interior, smell issues likely, touch ups not generally feasible, too glossy. Ė Not really a consideration.
Water besed LPU with crosslinker: Shouldnít have smell issues, touch up feasible, a bit costly but a possibility depending on how hard the application is, perhaps overkill.
Single component polyurethane: Might have smell issues, flattener can be added to dull down the gloss, should clean well and wear well. Possibility, perhaps overkill.
Automotive enamels w/ hardener: Not really a consideration to me.
Marine enamels (rustoluem topsides, interlux yacht enamel, etc.): Might have smell issues, unclear if any advantage over a single part polyurethane (other than cost). Some possibility.
A floor/porch oil alkaloid residential type paint: Might have smell issues, probably not a good as a single part marine polyurethane but not dealing with the UV/weather exposure to the same extreme. Should touch up easy. Possibility.
A floor/porch oil latex type paint: Probably wonít have smell issues, hopefully clean okay, application and touch up would be quite easy, hopefully would wear okay in the lessoned elements of the interior. A possibility.
So after all that long winded typing what Iíve got rattling in my head at the moment is to get a quote for an automotive acrylic urethane application and to play around with some system 3 LPU and single part polyurethane paint for the exterior. For the interior see what Iíve learned from my playing around for the exterior and potentially consider playing around with some latex floor/porch paint as well (application ease, touchup ease, low smell, low cost, etc. are all favorable but concerned about getting locked into a latex applicationÖ).
Any comments from the wealth of knowledge out there?