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Author Topic: Bus painting  (Read 4617 times)
Merlin
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« on: September 12, 2009, 07:18:48 AM »

This issue has no doubt been sliced and winnowed before, but now it is my next and hopefully last big project.  I'm too old to do it myself ... so says wife.  She may be right.

The obvious solution is to have it done by a professional bus painter.  There are many.  However few will allow us to stay in the bus even at night after the workers are done for the day.  I've checked and the prevailing answer is "There is a motel just down the road".

Narrowing my search for a painter with this limiting criterion may not be the best way to locate the best paint job, as you may already have surmised. I want it all ... high quality product AND being able to stay in the bus while the work is in progress.

Where are all those fabled out-of-work people who need a job?  I have a nice large parking lot beside a fully equipped shop.  If a professional bus painter were to appear with spray gun in hand, I'm certain I could work out a deal here. But I dream on, eh?

Merlin D. Moon
Dublin, Ohio
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 07:27:03 AM »

I believe there are two main reasons that the pros won't go for it.

First, the most labor in a good paint job is in the prep and masking.  They don't want that messed up by someone coming and going, opening windows, running the air conditioning, etc.

Second, fumes.  Paint fumes are deadly.  They wear protective gear while working with that stage, but then for a while afterward, the paint is going to be giving off unhealthy fumes as the paint cures.

I know motels are very undesirable to many of us, but I sure wouldn't want to be around those fumes or risk causing quality issues with a paint job I was spending thousands on.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 07:38:24 AM »

Merlin, He is a long way from you but the best in the business is Mike Wilson Springfield OR www.willyscustomconcepts.net 541-915-3866 he will let you stay in the bus expect for when it is in the booth for final spray.Another good thing about Mike he will honor his lifetime warranty with no hassles if ever a problem   


good luck
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 07:49:27 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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bcaddel
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 07:57:54 AM »

luvrbus
Do you know what a rough ballpark cost of one of those paint jobs would run or how long it would take?
Bob
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 08:08:28 AM »

Bob, you will need to call Mike he will work with you  do your own prep work and save a bunch of cash.
Bruce on the board here did all his prep work on his MCI under Mikes direction and it turned out great just give him a call  he is a very honset young man and does beautiful work and he takes a lot of pride in his work.    



good luck
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 09:09:05 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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John316
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 08:33:41 AM »

Merlin,

Just in case somebody recommended them, I want to say a word of caution. Don't use Star Jet, out of Columbus OH. Nick, had a good experience with them (I suspect that is because they know that he was important on the board here), but there are enough of us that have had awful experiences, that I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.

Star Jet painted ours, and it looks okay from about 60 feet. After that, if you look, it was a bad paint job, bad roof raise, bad panning, bad window installation, shoddy installation on our new front E front cap, and the list goes on and on (they should be very grateful that we don't believe in suing them, right now, we have all of our documentation, and we could win a nice settlement really easy, but we won't).

However, even though you are a ways away from the guy that Clifford (luvrbus) recommended, I would use him. It sounds like he does good work.

Another place, in Ohio, that we looked at was Ferber custom vehicles. I don't know anything about them, and I just did a search, and couldn't find them online...

God bless,

John
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 10:27:42 AM by John316 » Logged

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edroelle
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 08:44:37 AM »

There were a couple of bus/motorhome painters at the FMCA rally in Bowling Green this summer.   They had very good prices.  Numerous colors with 2 different techniques.  Both use masks for the stripes.  One was $8000 the other $13,000 AS I REMEMBER.  They are in the Elkhart, IN, area.

There is also Star Jet in Columbus, Ohio.   I saw one of their recent paint jobs and I thought it had a lot of orange peel.

You should also budget for a place to move into for the 3 weeks or so.  I think for your safety, you would not want to stay in the bus.

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI

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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 08:46:21 AM »

Nevarro Brothers in Algodones get very good reviews.  That's where we will go when I run out of other things to spend money on.  The word I have is that you can stay in the coach right up until it goes in the paint bay, with hookups.
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2009, 09:16:00 AM »

It is at least a year or two away before we can afford a new paint job so I hate to call and waste someones time, but it looks like I will need to budget at least $10,000 for a decent paint job if I don't plan to do any of the prep work myself.

We plan to retire in a couple of years so maybe I will have to work a a couple months longer to afford a paint job, but it sure would be nice to drive around with nice new paint on the bus like some of you guys have.
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Bob Caddel, Las Vegas Nevada
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2009, 10:02:26 AM »

Bob, call Mike he like bus people, I seen some good work from Algodones in the past but not on the jobs lately coming from Manual he wants all his money up front now around 8 grand for a 2 color paint job . 
You can beat that in the states and you get what you get with him no warranty of any kind. 
As for Star Jet I fought with Dick for several years on the original paint on mine I finally gave up and had Mike repaint it for me he could not even repair the paint but he did his best just to save some bucks and never charged me a dime because he could not do the repairs.So when the time came I took my bus to Mike and now I am 1 happy camper



good luck
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2009, 10:03:21 AM »

Hi Merlin,

If your not comfortable with StarJet, you can also try Custom Coach, also in Columbus. Now owened by Farber.

Here is the info.
Farber Specialty Vehicles
7052 Americana Parkway
Columbus, Ohio 43068
Phone: (614) 863-6470
Fax: (614) 759-2098

Nick-
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John316
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 10:28:20 AM »

Thanks, Nick. That is the one that I was looking for. However, I just had the "B" instead of the "F".

God bless,

John
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2009, 10:35:17 AM »

10-4 Clifford.  It looks like we will go right by Mike on our way south in a couple of months so I will stop for a visit and let him have a boo at the Frenchy-bus.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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mikelutestanski
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2009, 12:06:48 PM »

Hello:   We painted our bus in may and spent about 4 weeks doing the prep work (just 2 of us)..  Now you probably could spend that time living in the bus but once the final cleaning commences and the masking begins you should not be anywhere near the bus. The paints that are in use now are very dangerous and not conducive to long living.  The cure times may not be very long but its your life and your spouse..
     When you read the notice on the paint cans you need to look at the cfr and the tech notes.  If the can calls for a respirator with an outside air source you  need to not be there..   
   If the painter has a real good paint booth you will note that the air exchange is trememdous to remove the fumes in addition to the health of the operator..
    FWIW   be very careful about staying near your coach when it is in the paint shop.
   Regards   mike
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2009, 02:20:55 PM »

My coach was painted by Starjet in 1993 and still looks good.  That is not to say that Dick did some repair work on the paint a year later. 
My son just had Starjet paint his MCI 102A3 this year.  They did a very good job and he seams to be happy with what they did. 
You can always come to Lakeland, FL and get it painted.  Prices from $12,000 to $30,000.  This is for a 5 color paint job with the art. 
Starjet is about $8,000 with out any body repairs.
Jack
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« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2009, 03:04:49 PM »

Merlin, I saw some nice work on Eagle buses coming from Elkhart IN. bet you can get a good price there now since the downturn in the RV market.
I know Texas Custom Coach are having theirs painted in Elkhart now I don't know what happen between them and Star Jet.   



good luck
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2009, 04:12:10 PM »

Howdy all, just for clarification,what kind of paint was applied to y'alls coaches? Single stage or base coat/clear coat,can mean the difference of thousands of bucks between the two types and how long it takes to shoot it .
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2009, 07:08:43 PM »

We had our bus painted at Star Jet about a year and a half ago, It was 5 color base coat/ clear coat. We love the design and the way the colors turned out, but some of the prep work and things we discussed before hand didn't get done to my expectations. As far as cost it was around $11,500.00 and that included the fender flare's from R&M and new windshields. Jason
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Chuck Newman
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2009, 09:31:55 AM »

Luvrbus is right on about the Algodones crew.  I saw a 102 in Rickreall this year that was painted in 2008.  It didn't look very good compared to older (and less costly) paint jobs from Manual I've seen.  I think the owner paid about $8k, and they didn't do the graphics like the owner wanted.  He said Manual has a bunch of kids do the prep and paint now, while he just collects the money.

I talked to several folks at Rickreall that had coaches painted by Mike and unanimously they were happy with the results. 

Chuck
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Merlin
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2009, 11:52:01 AM »

Merlin, He is a long way from you but the best in the business is Mike Wilson Springfield OR www.willyscustomconcepts.net 541-915-3866 he will let you stay in the bus expect for when it is in the booth for final spray.Another good thing about Mike he will honor his lifetime warranty with no hassles if ever a problem   


good luck


I've revisited a ton of bus painting web sites since I originally posted my question.  Coupled with that info as well as the much appreciated replies here, I think we will make the long drive to Oregon.  We will be full-time traveling anyway so Ohio will no longer be our home base.  One bus photo on Mike's web site caught my eye.  Ironically it is the same one on your avatar.  I'm impressed!  SUPER looking paint and graphics design to say the least.  Is it PPG or DuPont paint and how many clear coats?

I will phone Mike to make the initial contact and get a feeling for his scheduling.  I may be one of his least "flashy graphics" customers so ... maybe the cost will not whack me too badly.

Thanks guys for the replies and guidance. 

Merlin D. Moon
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2009, 05:15:20 PM »

Merlin,

Check with this company. They have an apartment for you to stay in until the job is done. You don't have to worry about living in the bus until you drive it on down the road.
Might be worth opening a discussion.

http://www.xtremegraphics.net/
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Will Garner, Jr
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2009, 05:22:50 PM »

Merlin, What Clifford says is true about Mike. If you ever saw Cliffords Eagle up close you would be amazed at the amount of detail that was put into it. The picture does not do it justice.



Paul
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« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2009, 05:42:25 PM »

Hello Merlin

I have my 57 chevy at Bruce Knee's & Mike Merrill's in Delaware. Both are Busnuts, and do very nice work. For very reasonable prices. They painted both of their own busses and have done numerous other paint jobs. I hope They will do mine whenever I decide on my graphics.
They have my 2 door 57 chevy on a jig rotating around, replacing the trunk, rockers, reworking the suspension and prepping for the powerplant.
I am sure you can stay except paint day.
They have experience with PPG (my favorite)  Dupont (Mikes favorite) as well as cheaper alternatives.

I would call 302-542-4464 and talk to bruce & mike.

Bill
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2009, 06:44:20 AM »

Merlin, to answer your question I don't know what system he used but it is tough.
I have a place on mine were I had the 60's moment and forgot to lock my awning and scraped some paint so I will take my touch up kit he provides with each job and have him repair it.
You will love the way he does the white roof he started that process years ago when he was painting the Prevost at Marathon


good luck
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 06:49:46 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2009, 03:08:23 PM »

There is a man in Pa that does paint. his name is shoope. his father did paint on buses in the 80's
i spoke with him a few years ago. i will have to dig up his number if your interested
chris
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2009, 04:02:20 PM »

Merlin, since we are on the west coast we will have Mike paint our bus when the time comes.....have seen lots of his jobs and they are very nice.  Since you are in the east you might want to check out www.Phoenixpaintinc.com  Have heard some good things about them but haven't seen any of their work yet myself. Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2009, 06:23:06 PM »

There is a man in Pa that does paint. his name is shoope. his father did paint on buses in the 80's
i spoke with him a few years ago. i will have to dig up his number if your interested
chris
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Would that be John from Evolution coach out of White Haven, PA? If so, RUN!

God bless,

John
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