One last kick at this, update posted here
- the advice I got here to prime everything first was well founded. I think I already stated that it would have concealed the texture of the underlying graphics. I don't believe priming was necessary to hide the underlying paint.
- any fool can do this (as long as the paint doesn't fall off Friday as soon as I get up to 60 MPH). I don't have any fancy tools - everything I used came from Peavey Mart, Walmart, Canadian Tire or Princess Auto. I certainly don't have any previous experience or skills. I did have some previous experience with West System and in many ways I think that was likely more important than painting skills - if the fibreglass repairs don't hold then the whole exercise was for naught.
- it takes way longer than you think. WAY longer. Sanding sanding sanding. I bought a lot of sandpaper - I've kind of lost track and I've got a lot left over but I probably bought 800 or 1000 discs. Velcro backed paper is wonderful.
- control the exhaust from your airsander. I couldn't figure out where the oil spots were coming from and when I did figure it out I immediately put an exhaust hose on my sander and had no more problems
- cleanup wasn't nearly the chore that I expected but I was religious about it. Everything cleaned completely after every shot. The clearcoat is a genuine PITA to clean once it starts to cure and on a hot day it cures way faster than you might think. I lost about a quart of clear when I mixed a whole gallon and the last of it went off. In theory I had 8 hour pot life but that batch went off in under an hour. I've had that experience with West System but the clear took me by surprise.
- bugs weren't near the problem that I expected. I did the whole job outdoors and I've got a few buggers embedded in the clear but very few and they'll sand and polish out easily. The basecoat cures so quickly that bugs just weren't an issue and I seemed to always be painting in a breeze so that helped keep them away too.
Skip asked me if I'd do it over knowing what I know now and the answer is unequivocally yes. I'd call Manpower and rent some lowlife to help with the sanding but otherwise I wouldn't change a whole lot from how I did it this time. I haven't done books for a long time but I think I'm into this for about $5000 including the tools. Figure $1500 for the tools and the balance for paint, epoxy and sandpaper. That will give me 4-6 coats of clear on everything. If my labour had any value it would be a pretty expensive job but since I work for nothing I think I got a paint job that will outlive me for not too much money.