Well, it’s been awhile since I updated this blog. I haven’t given up on the Magic Bus. Nope, not yet. The reasons are several fold. For one, life has not been helpful at all. It has tried everything it could to make it hard on me. Money, health, family, it never ends around me.
The other reason is that I have been working on more than one project on the Magic Bus. I have been painting, but I have also been building solar panels. I will be posting a blog on that soon, and that will be a good one. It hasn’t been easy.
As for this post, it’s about painting a van… So how did I do it? Ha!
The van was not a pretty sight when I bought it. Quite frankly, if I drank paint and urinated it onto the van, it would look better than it was. In other words, anything would be an improvement. Because of this, I decided to just brush and roll paint onto the thing. Not just any paint though, I wanted it to be durable. So I decided to use Rustoleum oil base enamel. It’s made to be strong and lasting. The problem was that it only came in a few different colors. None of them were ones that I wanted. My only option was to tint some white paint.
My first thought was to buy some tints and tint my own, but I bought it at Home Depot, and like they have tints. I would have to go to a real paint store to get something like that. Not to mention I need oil based tints. I asked the young girl working there, who knew nothing, if they have oil based paint they can tint with their machine, and she said they did. Behr paint makes oil based paints that can be tinted, but Behr is not Rustoleum. So with a little talking, I talked the girl into tinting the Rustoleum with the Behr pigments.
I picked out a color I liked, she did her scanning, and the machine started tinting. Now I don’t know if the paint that is made to tint with the machine has less in it, maybe. The machine had lasers pointing into the can, so I don’t know if the machine turns off automatically based on the readings from the lasers. What I do know, is that the machine did not turn off. The girl had to manually stop the process. She stopped it right when the paint bucket was completely full, and I mean completely. She was going to try to dump some out, but I stopped her. I knew that was going to end up a big mess, so I helped her scoop some out with a cup.
After we got it down so that the lid could be put it on, she popped it into the shaker and shook it. When it came out, it was not completely mixed. So she put it in again. After the second time, the paint was pretty much mixed and I got my color.
I then taped off everything I needed to protect with painters tape. I then used a brush to cut in every tight spot. After that, I used a roller and I rolled the paint on. It took several coats in some spots, but mostly just two coats. A gallon of paint was easily enough to do the whole van. In the hot Texas sun, it didn’t take long for it to dry as well.
I used just plain white on the top shell. The white will bounce off the light and protect it longer and will help keep the heat out. I am totally satisfied with the paint job. Like I said, anything was an improvement. At least now it doesn’t look like a total heap. I could actually use some fine sandpaper and smooth it down. Then I could polish it with standard car wax to look just like a professional job. I probably won’t, but I could.