Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Front Bumper (part 3)

I finished the prep work and started painting.  And I've been to the snow a couple times, but I'll post about that another time.  Today is all about the bus...

Bumper Mounts
primer ready
In my haste to get through the bumper and steps, I forgot about getting the bumper-to-frame mounts cleaned up for paint.  Whether I paint them white or with a rubberized under-body, I haven't decided yet.  Some quick work with the 60- and 150- grit sandpaper and they were as ready as the bumper and steps.  I found the rust locations especially interesting: the spots where the mount touched other steel.  The spot on the end where they mate with the bumper had rust on the front where the bumper touched it, but not really on the back which was exposed to the elements.  Same case for where they connect with the body.  I'm considering adding a thin strip of rubber in between these mate-points (after painting), thinking that maybe the rust won't come back, or at least not as bad.

Final Sanding
primed, still wet
Using a bucket of dish-soapy water and some 600-grit wet-dry paper, I set to finishing the prep for the front bumper, steps and bumper mounts.  This was much easier than I thought it would be, and the resulting bumper looks and feels really smooth.  I had planned to hit these with steel wool, but I think it's good enough.  The top picture has everything right before I started in on primer.

Prime, Sand, Prime, Sand
Like the heading says, I laid two coats of primer (Kilz latex) and wet sanded with 600-grit between and after.  Like before, I added some dish soap to the water in hope of getting more dust off.  The end result looks and feels very smooth.  The minor scratches have been mostly filled in by the primer, though the nicks and dings are still there.  It's easy to get all perfectionist on this stuff!  Figure, this will never be a trailer queen or even a just-on-nice-days bus.  We camp.  We go to concerts and tailgate.  It's gonna get scratched, so let it be.  The picture that's second from the bottom shows the steps after 2 coats of primer, wet-sanding and then towel-drying.

wet-sanded primer example
drippy wet thinned paint
Once the final wet sand was finished, and the frame mounts, steps and bumper dried, I turned to paint.  The $50 paint job guy says to thin Rustoleum at 50/50 with mineral spirits.  I poured some paint into a dish and added roughly the same amount of spirits to try his method.  The paint did not respond terribly well at first, kind of glumping up.  After a couple minutes of stirring, though, it mixed to a uniform consistency.  Using a disposable foam applicator, I brushed all of the primed metalwork, inside and out.  Each piece was set on a drop cloth to dry, though that was probably a mistake.  Out of concern for boys running through the garage and messing with hanging wet car parts, I thought setting them down would be better.  In the end, between the cold, the thin paint and how I set them down, I'll have some sanding to do.  Still, the parts that aren't touching the drop cloth look okay (see bottom picture).  I think I'll omit the thinning next time, though it might work well in hotter conditions.

Next up, more wet sanding then more paint, more color sanding then polishing.  We'll see how far along I get before this post actually makes it out (I've been updating and re-updating for over a week:-) ).  More next time, and thanks for following along.

No comments: