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Home Team Van Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:57 pm

davevickery wrote: Home Team Van wrote: Interluz Pre-Kote Primer and Interlux Brightside Poly
My top was in pretty bad shape with fibers showing thru everywhere. In fact the top was just plain fuzzy. The primer nicely filled in all the bad spots and the brightside went on top of that. It's been a few years now and the top still looks fantastic. You can make this job as hard as you want but a couple coats of each of the above will take care of you for a long time.

Looks like you have a white top. Which white did you get? How does it match the original color. It perfer not too glossy, and more of an off white if it's not going to match the original white.

I assume 1 Qt of primer, 1 Qt of poly is enough? Thanks

I went with the white(4359) and it is bright and glossy. I've used their flattening agent with this Brightside polyurethane on a boat deck before to help cut down on the glare and it definitely worked as advertised. I couldn't tell you how close to the original color it is as mine was in horrible shape. Plus even the nicest and newest Westy around here that I see has been out in the weather for over 20 years. It's hard for me to remember but yes I think 1 Qt of each did the trick.

dubbified Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:19 am

I have yet to see this on their site.. but is that stuff tintable?

If not, I may go Steel grey.. I've got a burgundy ride, so that could work out.

Home Team Van Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:50 am

I believe they only recommend mixing two of their Brightside colors to get another color. That may just be good marketing though, who knows.

dubbified Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:57 pm

Latest update.. pics of the exterior of the shell, washed and hit with orange cleaner and label remover.

So, I tried Motsenbockers waterbased paint remover which did loosen the adhesive which allowed me to remove the fuzz like you would shear a lamb, it came off in the same manner and stroke of the multitool with the scraper tip, it was amazing.

My first online video!

The issue, is the closer you get to the fiberglass top, I discovered the grey goop is really is baked on. It either takes serious chiseling or another level of remover.

I got most of the motsenbockers off with papertowels, then used Citristrip and a 3" brush from homedepot, left on overnight literally caused 85% of it to wrinkle, and debond.. what sight! I shoulda used that stuff FIRST

There was still need to use a painters tool to scrape off stuff that was really loose, tossing it in a bag. I also used a light orange cleaner to help removal.

I found that a good technique for the corners and round edges was to use rubber gloves and a Choreboy, or spun stainless steel ball really pulled off any fuzz/adhesive in the contours...

Final product:

I've moved on to the exterior now, stripping the paint and texture down to the bare hull.

My overall agenda is to remove all burgundy paint on the top and basket. The reason for this is I dont ever want to do this again, and I dont want burgundy showing after a scratch.

Once the stripping, deglossing is done, I will prime, let it cure, hit it with Oil based Homedepot texture... let it dry, reprime, encapsulating the texture in the primer level, then hit it with the primary color, providing a couple layers

I picked up the Interlux at West Marine, who pricematched the online costs, two quarts of primer in Grey @$24.50, two quarts of brightside Steel Grey $26.88, and one quart of black 26.88, two quarts of 202 16.89 and 333, 17.24.

I'm going to mix in some black for a darker color coat, however I'm still on the fence on whether to use a deglossing agent..

What do you guys think?

dubbified Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:20 am

So, another update.

My hands hurt. My back stopped hurting days ago..

The Harborfreight multitool has really saved ALOT of stress, but it can dig into the fiberglass unexpectedly, so caution is to be used.

The interior portion of the fiberglass top is clean as it gets, ready to sand/prime.

The exterior color coat is a real pain to get off, which has revealed some rather deep scratch/gouges into the fiberglass which I'm on the fence on how to repair.

Bondo or Fiberglass resin?

A note on stripping, I've a smaller bottle of Citristrip on the interior, a large bottle on the exterior. I'm finding the stuff is best left on for 24 hours, recoat and another 24 hours. It comes off, just takes a little time.

I've been using the multitool to "shear" 90% of the stuff, while following with a painters tool to scrape the rest.

This project sucks.

With that being said, Sonya has been my Ace and backup in this whole ordeal while projects try our coordination/communication. I've found her to be patient and very communicative about attaining the end goal... haha.

So far.. We've got the 80% clean on the primary shell, working on the basket and hopefully get this fully clean tonight.

My goal is to order the sunroof here in the next day, work toward getting primer on the shell interior by weekend.

MarkWard Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:50 am

Cracks need to be repaired with fiberglass, scratches and gouges can be filled with bondo or there is a bondo called duraglass that is a pain to sand, but will fill larger gouges.

A word of caution. Be sure the primer is compatible with the paint. I would go as far as to do a test on a peice of card board. I learned this lesson the hardway. That is one reason why I prime fiberglass with Duratec rather than risk a laquer or enamel based primer.

If you get it wrong, the paint will lay out really nice and then as it drys start to lift. That really blows. Good luck.

dubbified Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:37 pm

Ah, yes, Interlux marine precote, and brightside, compatible.

I did pickup some bondo from Homedepot, says it is compatible with fiberglass.

I was going to dremel tool out some of the gouge, and prep the fibers for filling, sand as needed.


davevickery Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:46 pm

I may wind up trying the brite side stuff, but the white looks a little too white and the other colors don't look quite right and hard to tell what the color will actually be from what I see on my monitor.

I really just want to use cans to spray paint it, but have it stick really well. It doens't have to be an awesome like new paint job, just freshen it up. Everyone seems to be going all out with their refinishing. Are their spray primers and top coats that come in cans that will hold up?


dubbified Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:59 pm

Everything I've seen is sprayable, a cheap HPLV would do well from some of the forums.

I'm going to roll it. Cant wait to see how it works out.. but it sounds ok.

dubbified Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:13 am

Well, it looks like we're going to be doing another "after school" special tonight..

Last night we stripped 98% of the primary top, right down to the fiberglass. I had to recoat around the skylight as there was a very thick coat there..

I cant say enough how well Choreboy works on getting the remainder color off, works great on corners/edges, and even flat surfaces.

Yet.. I can really see the marks I put into that sucker with the multitool.. UGHH!!!

My holdup presently, is the basket is coated so heavily in the burgundy colored "paint" its now on its third coat. It almost looks like it was "painted"
twice, most certainly due to the basket being a wear point. The factory hit it a little harder.

If you've ever chiseled dried on sticky/gummy brownie from a pan.. that's pretty much the consistency of this stuff. Its hard not to toss your weight into it.. but even harder when the resistance gives, and you have your weight into it.


The citristrip is really working, as long as you can remove the paint that has been softened, and then recoat, letting the chemical do the work is highly important.

Well, I should be done with the stripping tonight, on to the presand, dremel out of the scrapes, removing a little of the contaminated fiberglass, then going to wipe the fiberglass down with Acetone, and get my drop cloth setup.. going to wait until tommorrow evening to fill gouges with Bondo, I want to give that full time to cure, while finding other projects in the van..

Anyone have a good method to seal the holes to keep drips from occuring on the backside of the top while painting either side?

I'd think tape would be fine, but that would allow wet paint to seep into the hole, and dry. I'd like to avoid that if possible, course, I can reopen the hole if that method is ideal.

randywebb Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:37 pm

are the holes small enuff to seal with dum-dum, aka 3M Strip Caulk?

Terry Kay Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:38 pm

Stripping fiberglass with any kind of chemical stripper can be a big problem.
You'll find this out when you start priming the top.
The fiberglass is porus, will absorb the stripper, and when the primer starts bubbling, you'll know why.

Been there , seen it, done it and was really pissed.

It took all kinds of washing the glass till it was free of the chemical stripper.

And just because it ain't lifting today--doesn't mean a month from now it won't be.

Real bad idea to chemical strip fiberglass.

dubbified Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:05 am

Really.. Even with a Citrus stripper?

After all that work.... guess there is no turning back now!

I'd envisioned a multi step cleaning process, final clean with acetone, TSP, and pressurewasher, let it dry in a heated environment, wiped down with the Interlux solvent...

I'd imagine that should take care of it.

Terry Kay Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:05 am


I would suggest you call that citrus outfit, and find out what's going to make that stuff go into a neutral state.

More really---
I've experienced more dummies out in the real world chemical strippng more than one Corvette.

Guess what?

When they got all done, the paint rolled off of them, and they HOT WATER power washed the clear base coat, primer, sealer, off for a month before they even tried to get paint to stick again.

I've done it once on a Mack Hood.
Big pain in the arse.
A weeks worth of getting the crap outa the fiberglass.
3500 psi hot water pressure wash, plus baking soda washes in between.

Bad move--not much thinking on this move on stripping the pop top.
Plus--you using the Ronco Pocket Plastic Gaff to run it in there some more.
Who suggested you use the miracle Tile., wood, plaster & concrete tool?

Big Boo-Boo.

dubbified Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:16 pm

Evidently my laborous searches coming up with people from boating world to the All fiberglass body Corvettes, using the same exact stripper....

mean zip.

Highlight from another,
Regardless of what year you are stripping you should not use methalene chloride based strippers. It leaches into the fiberglass/SMC.

Citristrip is not Methlyene chloride based.

If there are remnants of a paint stripper, then anything you put atop of that will be an issue, sure. I'm totally with that. I'm even going to be ensuring the fiberglass is totally dry, going to give it days in between various cleanings to assure total decontamination. (I'm unsure others would do that)

Fiberglass is a wick, sure. A multi pronged approach to removing any oil or contamination from the remover is a good idea.

Is all this overkill, definitely.

Am I having fun? no, that is going to be when I cut/weld in a body panel, the Canvas also sounds like fun :shock:

j_dirge Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:40 pm

dubbified wrote: Evidently my laborous searches coming up with people from boating world to the All fiberglass body Corvettes, using the same exact stripper....

You can add me to the list who have used appropriate strippers on f/g and had good to excellent results.

A read thru on the topic in any "old boat" forum will give you all the info you need.
Typically a good cleaning will remove any residue.. and you won't have a problem.
(Be careful, though, of moisture.. I've used a dehumidifier along side to help remove as mouch moisture from the air in the work areas as possible. We don't all live in an arid place. Moisture has been my biggest challenge in applying finishes)

I did a non-skid deck (as an example) about 15 yrs ago. I stripped off some heinous pink/salmon paint... then recoated with a more neutral tan.
When I sold the boat 3 yrs later it still looked like new. I saw the boat again a couple yrs ago (it lives some 500 miles away now).. and it looked pretty good for 15 yr old PAINT that sat out in the elements 24/7. No peeling.

West Marine carried that stipper under its own name, 15 yrs ago. When applied to f/g, it did not soften it one bit. And as long as the resin was laid properly in the original piece (no/minimal voids) there is little risk in any material being left behind.

I have since used it on several projects. Sometimes it doesn't have enough oomph to lift paint well.. and it takes several applications where the ol' Jabsco stuff would peel multiple coats of paint.
But that is a small price to pay for being safe to use on polyester, vinylester, and epoxy resins.

Looking forward to seeing this project thru.. Am especially interested in the added layer inside of insulation.

cheers and best of luck in the project..

dubbified Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:23 pm

Good idea on that dehumidifier.. I actually have a household Homedepot version, and can totally drag it to the work site when I'm getting into cleaning stage.. I plan on using plastic to make a hanging ET tent from the garage ceiling, mostly to seal the area, so that idea will work!

I've got some pictures to take.. hope to get this into prime this weekend, but the process is slow. Still removing extra layers from the basket.

GreenMachineVW Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:23 pm

Just a little BUMP for dawna82, as this thread is now available, and THIS ONE closed.

Sure glad we got this cleaned up ...

dubbified Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:44 pm

I just wanted to say Thank you to everyone here.

I appreciate that we all do things differently, but come together here in hopes to inspire others, show our process and results.

I am glad we could continue this thread. Thank you R390!

So, my update...

The fiberglass camper top and basket are fully stripped.

It took two large Citristrip bottles from Homedepot, we used the black chemical gloves back in the chem/cleaner aisles.

While we did find some success with the Motsenbockers waterbased paint remover on the interior FUZZ.. it did absolutely nothing to the exterior burgundy paint.

Our process used was to clean with orange cleaner, dry, apply the citristrip, leave it on atleast 24 hours, scrape, try not to scrape into the glass, scrub with Choreboy.. course, I sped this up using the multitool from harborfreight, it can really dig into the glass if you're not paying attention to your angle. I figured there's going to be some pro/con to this.. being that its gunna come off with less effort, but I may need to contour, sand, or fill some nicks.

The final bits after you scrape are best cleaned up with Choreboy, this stuff removes EVERYTHING, slides accross the fiberglass vs digging in like sandpaper, does not agitate the glass if at all, probably the best device I'd used on such a project.

We would remove the loosened old material whether paint/adheisive, bag it, and recoat to get the next layer.. repeat..

I used 6 rolls of papertowels, the cheaper kind worked fine, also used some shop towels

I found that it took a layered approach, refining each time was useful.

The top is extremely porous now. We pressurewashed it after the citristrip, waited for it to dry.

We used T-shirt cloth and mineral spirits, used two quarts in the wipedown twice over 45 min per side, all sides, working the mineral spirits into the glass. If there was anything on there, its gotta be gone now.

Now that it's been sitting for 4 days while I've regained my sanity, and some arm strength..

I'm gearing up for tommorrow night, we're going to take it outside and strip it AGAIN with hot water and stiff dose of TSP.

Then we're going to wait 24 hours to let the glass dry.

I have 2x2 wood, sufficient to create a 8x14 frame, attach rope to the ends of the frame, using that as a hang point for the plastic dropcloth.

The floor will be tarped, and we're going to seal the 8x14 room best we can, so it is easier to keep dry with the homedepot dehumidifier I have for our condo.. and easier to keep it warmer with the 1500 watt electric shop heater.

I'm a tad on the fence with this next bit..

I've taken my dremel tool to the scratches, and performed some dentistry tactics.

I figured the glass strands were contaminated, so using the grinder/sanding barrels to remove some of the surrounding material would help the filler Bite in/grab onto the shell.

I have typical bondo with hardener from Homedepot, I think its gunna be returned in favor of a straight resin to fill the ground out sections.;sr=8-13

Here's where I am at today.. it almost seems all downhill from here.. whew!

Reason I'm thinking about ditching the bondo is that I am thinking resin may fix this better..

GreenMachineVW Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:58 pm

Man, I wish my top looked that clean and shiny! Glad we will get to see the end of the story, and that you did not let the Nay Sayers get to your head!

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