Painted GRP

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by ericonabike, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    Leicester
    In a previous thread, I asked for opinions on local firm Tourershine, as I was looking to have the exterior of my van brought back to showroom condition. All experiences were positive, so they were booked to do the work this weekend. Then, out of the blue, the email below arrived:

    "Right, this is something I've never done in 6 years of business. Regrettably I'm going to have to walk away from your job. Reason being, we were in London today restoring a GRP Motorhome, like yours, this had been re-painted on both sides, with the same issues as yours.
    After a days work we were not happy with the finish because of the poor paintwork. We ended up not charging the customer because of this. I think yours would be the same situation. So because of this I don't want to waste your money or our time.
    Please understand its rare to find a motorhome that's GRP, that's been painted on the full sides and from now on it's something we won't be doing. If we cannot get a finish perfect, we won't take it on."

    My van, he had pointed out on first inspection, had had the grp sides and back painted at some point. This was news to me, but the evidence he pointed out showed that it was indeed the case. The defects in the finish were only evident after he had pointed them out, as the overall appearance of the van is very good.

    Am now feeling somewhat deflated and even concerned. Why would the van have been painted? What are the longterm implications? And what is the best method of looking after it.
     
  2. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    2,190
    Likes Received:
    1,971
    Location:
    somerset
    It may have been painted before because it was scratched or cracked.
    Repairing FG panels is simple as long as the correct primers are used .
    I actually prefer to repair and spray FG as there is never rust only resin problems which is simple to cure.
    Don`t worry , fuss over nothing.
     
  3. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,382
    Likes Received:
    488
    Location:
    Essex
    our vehicle which has a GRP habitation area, was painted by a professional painter in germany, by the builder of our vehicle.

    In fact the GRP panels have to be painted otherwise they start to break down with the sun, wind, rain, sand.

    I am sure you can get a professional paint company to do it. Maybe someone that does lorries or similar.

    Hope that helps
     
  4. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,407
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    I had several fibreglass cabbed trucks, Foden and ERF that were painted with no problems. They even stood up to pressure washers and road film remover.
     
  5. pneumatician

    pneumatician Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Burntwood Staffs
    Going off at a Tangent to your problem but points to bear in mind.
    Our van is basically a GRP Luton mounted on a Mercedes Chassis. In effect a boat on a frame.
    Grp boat owners know that one of the problems they are faced with is "Chalking" that is the Gelcoat starts to lose its colour and gloss with pale patches starting to appear the end result being a dull scruffly looking boat or in my case Van.
    This started on our van at about four years old it has had plenty of exposure to bright sunlight in warmer climes.
    I researched the web and found one solution was to coat the van with Polyglow.
    This I duly undertook at a cost of almost £100 for materials and approx two weeks preparation work. Prep the van back to a matt Gel Coat finish. Final gloss coats (5off) can be done in a couple of days.
    The final result is quite satisfying but it has to be repeated every year.
    After three reapplications and before the fourth I read an article about how they prepare RV's over the pond. Apparently they use Floor Gloss, at about £18 for 5L it looked quite attractive more so because the remover was also inexpensive and it also removed Polyglow cheaper than the original product.
    So last year I tried it. It looked good for about 2 months then was worse than ever before.

    So I approached a local boat builder who told me how to achieve the required finish.
    I already have experience with Motor Body work.
    Basically its back to basics with a 6" Sander / polisher (low Speed) using Faurecia G3 ( took one week).
    Finished with wax polish as many coats as you want. I used the polisher to polish the wax coat. Final result is great and just required a touch up and polish this year.

    If the paint is good on a painted surface the same approach can be used but care needs to taken to ascertain paint thickness and avoid heat build up.
    Heavy Duty Polisher, mops and G3 can be purchased for about £90 you provide the blood, sweat hopefully without tears.
     
  6. Emmenay

    Emmenay Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Anywhere
    I think I would prefer a painted surface as it would br easier to work with!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    Leicester
    Thanks folks. Reassuring. Will get the Autoglym out and see what I can do myself...
     
  8. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,232
    Likes Received:
    9,621
    Location:
    Dorset
    get an eastern european hand carwash to clean it then pay the extra for hand polishing with quality products.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. DM23
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    326
  2. crazeyslix
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    269

Share This Page