Dear RV Shrink:
Now you’ve done it. Since your column on removing weathered decals and painting them back on, my husband has been out buying painting supplies. Now my husband wants to be a painter. Is this really a good idea? Shouldn’t we just replace the decals with new vinyl ones? —Cautious in Claremont
My mother always said, “If somebody jumps off a building, does that mean you’re going to jump off a building too?” Meaning, of course, don’t be a follower. But I was always the first one off the building.
That doesn’t mean everyone should jump after me. I look at this project as a learning experiment. I have actually tried different materials in different spots to see what looks the best and what holds up the best. The jury is still out. If you can talk your husband into waiting a year, I can let you know how it holds up.
Besides the One Shot enamel paint, I also did a swoosh with Rustoleum oil based enamel in a rattle can from Ace Hardware. They both look fantastic at this point.
Much depends on how you have protected your coach. I have always used Poly Glow to protect mine. When I removed the vinyl the glass beneath is like new. I wet sand it a bit to give the paint a grip. Masking it is the hardest part. After the paint dries for a few days I protect it with several coats of Poly Glow, which gives it UV protection as well.
After removing several decals with an eraser wheel, masking, painting and protecting with PG, it looks great. I see no downside unless the paint doesn’t hold up.
My first choice was to replace the vinyl. I went to Winnebago, who sent me down the road to a company that sells all their old stock. Just one big swoosh was $70. A rattle can of Rustoleum is about $5.
I am guessing the paint will last longer than the vinyl, but to know for sure you will have to stay tuned.
Remember, the pioneers got the arrows and the settlers got the land. If you want to avoid arrows wait a year and I will let you know how this method has withstood the elements. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink