This is my first polished Z that had to go over a vent. I was happy with the results.
One thing that's a must when doing a stripe, as recommended to me by people on this forum, 3m Fineline tape. I used 1/2" top and bottom and filled the middle with painter's tape. Fineline tape is thick, rubbery and gives you a perfectly straight smooth line. It comes off easily.
One thing I was not happy with was 3m painter's tape. It is too sticky. Lowes brand, Home Depot and Ace brands were all easier to get off. Stay away from 3M for the cheap blue tape.
The nice thing about the polished Z is it give you an area to tape paper to without touching freshly painted surface.
If anybody is interested in how I polished the Z before taping it over just let me know and I'll give you the step by step.
Last Edit: Jun 4, 2016 13:03:03 GMT -8 by nccamper
The Z stripe turned out great on that vent, see you were worried about nothing... What color is that on the bottom half? Some of the photos its look blue then in others is looks green. I'm going to be going with a light blue on mine. And I would love to know your step by step on the polishing Z stripe.
I see it near something blue and swear the color is blueish then see it in the shade and it looks greenish. The color we started with is called Seaside Manor but we altered it. I can give you the exact formula if you want it.
Here is my simple pictorial on my amateur system.
I took a 2" wide and 12' long board and held it on the camper to pencil my line.
I put a wider piece of Fineline tape on top and below the 2" Z area.
I polished it with Blue Magic. Being very careful not to get polish outside the white tape. Polish will keep the paint from adhering.
Once polished I use 1/2" 3M Fineline tape along the inside of the Z right on the edge of the white tape.
I remove the white border tape.
Fill the center with cheap painter's tape.
Carefully clean above and below the Z with Lacquer thinner to remove any hint of polish. Use a lot of rags, rotate them so you don't swipe more than one area with each portion of rag. Then do it all again with lacquer thinner. Then do it again with denatured alcohol. Be gentle with the tape, although the Fineline tape holds up very well to solvents.
Does that make sense?
Over the course of prep I washed the camper down with After Stripper Wash, Lacquer thinner more than once and Denatured Alcohol. I also tack rag it before painting. In between coats I sanded with 320 grit then 600 grit, blew it off and tack ragged.
The prep on painting was explained to me by the pros on this forum. Great advice but really boring work. It's the only part of restoration work I don't enjoy. But if you don't do it, you suffer later.
Last Edit: Mar 19, 2016 12:52:49 GMT -8 by nccamper
The piece of wood is to mark the 2" wide stripe. I places it on the camper and use it as a straight edge. I then lowered it around 10" to draw the rear lines. If you want, I can take a photo tomorrow. It's a dumb idea that worked. It let me visualize the slope down of the Z without drawing the lines.
It's Tyvek. I left it in place as a paint barrier then taped and in some places added plastic over it.
Somebody in a PM asked me about the durability of oil enamel paint. This was my guess...
Outside-maybe 5-7 years before needing repainted Under cover- maybe 15 years Inside storage, using the camper 1 month a year- indefinitely.
Stored outside and uncovered I would guess a $2500-$3000 professional automotive paint job over body filler may last 10 years if you don't bounce it down the road on long trips every year.
A $2500-$3000 professional paint job over new skin might last 20 years. Stored indoors? Forever.
Here is the 800 pound gorilla in the room: putty tape needs redone every (my guess) 15 years. Maybe 10 years in harsh climate. I think prying off the jrail, windows and vents will mess up a professional paint job.
Pick your poison.
I'm basing all my guesstomations on experience with cars, painting with enamel and with what an old time body man told me about filler on .32 aluminum. Not firsthand experience. So take it with a grain of salt.
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2016 8:41:11 GMT -8 by nccamper
Love the methodology of laying out your paint. You mention if the polish accidentally contacts metal you plan to paint it will resist adhesion; can one apply polish to the "Z stripe" after the new paint has already been applied as oppose to before? I'm really wondering if metal polish is bad for a new coat of oil based enamel paint
...can one apply polish to the "Z stripe" after the new paint has already been applied as oppose to before? I'm really wondering if metal polish is bad for a new coat of oil based enamel paint
I know a couple of people who have tried to polish after painting. They said it took twice as long and it was difficult to run polish exactly along the paint line. Like many brands, Blue Magic polish contains ammonia which I wouldn’t want on the paint.
Last Edit: Jun 4, 2016 13:17:40 GMT -8 by nccamper