Painting the Bus:
Getting ready for paint. I pressure washed the bus and stripped off all of the trim, reflectors and exterior lights.
This is the paint I'll be using. After some experimentation I decided that I
would not sand or rough up the yellow paint before covering with the XO-Rust. I
will simply clean and wipe down the bus with paint thinner.
I figured 3 gallons for the body and 2 for the roof so I bought some 5 gallon
pails and mixed the paint together to even out any differences in color between
Here are the two panels that hold the wiper motors painted green, I'm pretty happy
with the finish and how the paint laid down with a brush. A vertical surface
will be more difficult of course.
Here are the finished light panels painted with the XO-Rust Almond color.
Instead of painting the screw heads I decided to simply buy new stainless steel
screws, I think that'll look better then painted screws and I'll be able to take off
the panels without messing up my paint.
The Almond paint will also go on the roof so I have mixed it with aceramic
paint additive that is purported to reduce heat gain significantly.
Here are my supplies, paint, paint thinner, brushes, rollers, wiping clothes,
nitrile gloves for wiping down and latex gloves for painting.
|It took about five hours to get the roof
painted. The ceramic additive made it a little difficult to get the paint to
The foam roller turned out to be a bust. A regular short knap roller turned out to be the best tool. The paint rolled on very nicely with the short nap roller.
I so was hot on the roof - bring water up with you!
Here's the front with the green which turns out to be very close to Coleman
green. The green paint did not have ceramic in it and rolled on very
nicely. I painted in direct sun (which you really should not do) as a result
the paint dried a little too quickly, leaving some bubbles. A careful second
coat will take care of things.
With out the mirrors the bus looks like one of the old MBTA green line
|Here's the left side. I've decided that the top
rub rail will also be green and the almond color will come down to the top rub
rail. The mullions between the window will be almond and not the black I
The finish is a little bumpy but looks nice, I am pleased. The middle
rub-rail will stay black but will be repainted.
|Here's the front with the light plates, wiper mounts,
and headlight trim installed, no mirrors yet, I have to knock the rust off and repaint
Here's the right side, the yellow on the door is all that's left to paint, the bus
has one coat all over now. It will get the second coat in the fall - or maybe
even next spring.
|One coat of paint on everything - the second coat will
wait until next year. The bus looks good even fairly close up. I do have a bit more
black to paint, for this I plan to mask and spray.
The tail-lights were all rusty, I had to replace the lower ones entirely and I was
able to clean up the uppers and repair some of the corroded wires. The flashers are
currently disconnected , I plan to tie them into the four-way flashers. The beauty of
standardized manufacturing techniques is that I was able to buy both tail-lights and
backup lights at my local auto parts store for about $40. I'd pay half again that for
just one lens for my Towncar.
|Here's the front with the trim, mirrors, and antennae.
I found an old CB radio at the town dump and decided to install it in the bus. I put a
Firestick 5/8 wave fiberglass antenna on the right hand mirror and replaced the stock
AM/FM antenna on the left.