Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stripping, it’s harder than you think.

With the inside clean it was time to start work on the outside. Paul had been champing at the bit to start stripping, the paint that is!!!

When we first bought the van we’d only seen photos & silly me assumed that because the van was painted last year the paint would be in good condition & could just be repainted. Then it arrived & we saw the paint was in poor condition & was peeling off. My next mistake was to think because it was peeling so badly it would be easy to remove. We started out with paint scrapers, but that was not going to be enough, so out came the sanders. They worked but were pretty slow going. The top colourful coat is thick so it takes quite a while to get through it down to the base coat. Next I thought maybe paint stripper would speed things up, wrong. It turned the top of the top coat to liquid but basically just made a big mess & only took some of the paint off. So then we had to wait for the residual stripper to dry out so we could go back to sanding. Paul then suggested we try a heat gun. Woohoo it works. It’s still hard work & after spending 6 hours stripping the door & a section next to it I then could hardly move for 3 days as my arms & shoulders were so sore. Back to slow & steady but at least we now know how to get the paint off.

In the meantime we took the front window out, removed the damaged putty, stripped the window & reputtied it. I also took the fly screen off the window which was obviously never designed to be replaced as I had to remove the timber window strips to get to the screen which was just copper mesh stapled to the window frame. It was torn so I had no choice. Some of the holes had been blocked with Blu-Tac, it worked, but I wanted something a little more aesthetically pleasing, lol.

front window

After i removed the pelmets. It says ‘Back’ but it is on the front.

front window2

What was left of the putty at the bottom of the window had seen better days so we scraped it out.

front window3

The putty on the other side had been redone, badly, but hadn’t cured so we took it out. Apparently you have to paint it between 2 & 8 weeks after you putty & this hadn’t been done.

front window4

A bit of wood filler soon fixed this joint.

front window5

Scrape, scrape, scrape. This was before we discovered the joy of the heat gun.

front window6

Scraped & sanded ready for some undercoat. We needed to get this all done quickly as it was booked in for rego 2 days later day. We bought new hinges & put it back in . The old ones were pretty rusty. I’m guessing all the windows will need the same attention.

Rego was a breeze we just need to replace the red reflectors with white ones.


Molly came to check out what all the excitement was in the funny thing in the front yard but wasn’t very impressed.

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