Saturday, December 15, 2018

I ride an old paint

There are spots on the hood of the Rolling Steel Tent where the paint has flaked off. It’s a common problem with cargo vans. According to a body shop guy, the gray epoxy-based primer is really good at preventing rust but it doesn’t get along all that well with the utilitarian white paint used on cargo vans. Sort of like coworkers who don’t like each other. Or a failing marriage.

I’ve done quick and dirty repairs on the hood with white spray paint. It looks okay from a distance, but up close it looks scabby in a way the says, “Poor and homeless.”

It would be nice to have a pro repaint it, but I don’t really have the money for it (unless there are folks feeling generous enough to click the donation button on the right).

Barring that, I need to sand back the the edges of the flaked spots so they blend in, then take a little more time applying the paint. I could do the sanding by hand, but it would go a lot faster if I had a random orbital sander. Mmmmmm, power tools.

I could rent a sander from a home improvement store, but I would need a cordless one, which they don’t have. So I considered buying one. I saw one for about $50. Not bad. Then I read the fine print on the box. “Battery and charger not included.” I guess they figure by the time you get a sander you already have one of their other cordless tools and you could just use the batteries and charger from them. Otherwise it’s another $50.

Well, since I already have a cordless Makita drill and impact driver I could get their random orbital sander. But it’s $99. No savings there.

So, it looks like I need to use good old elbow grease. Or just ignore it.


  1. Be glad you're not driving a Sprinter. Major rust issues. Owners have taken to calling the factory white finish "Arctic Whitewash".

    I vote hand labour. Something to make you feel all virtuous in the winter desert sunshine.

  2. "Glazing and spot putty" and "high build sandable primer" will make the task of leveling and feathering much easier if you are going to hand sand. The right products for the job versus way more labor than is needed when using the wrong products for the task.

  3. Paint the whole van with rhino Hyde and a brush. Color optional.

  4. Whatever happened to that event where everyone was gonna do build-outs, repairs and such? Did you hear about it?

    Mayhaps that's something the RTR folks could add to their event? I wouldn't mind putting in an hour or two to lend a hand.

    1. It was in November. Huge crowd of helpers and those seeking help. In fact, those seeking help were supposed to sign up in advance, partly to make sure there were enough helpers and resources and partly because there was limited time.