An RV can be the pride and joy of the family, and after you spend so much on your vehicle, you will want certain things from it.
For many, it is the room and comfort, and also the efficiency of the vehicle. For others, they may go for the look, and the color can be a key aspect.
It doesn’t matter if you have a second-hand RV or an old one; you can do wonders when applying a coat of paint to RV exterior fiberglass.
You may think painting your RV is difficult, so long as you follow some steps and advice, it can be easier than you think.
Many things are readily accessible and don’t need a workshop to do it for you. All you need a good quality fiberglass paint and a few other things, and you are ready to get smooth and professional finishes. (Read our Full Time RV Living Tips)
By the end, you’ll see how to give your RV the look you want and the attention to care your RV deserves.
What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Fiberglass RV?
Fiberglass paints come in matt, gloss, and high-gloss finishes. Paints containing acrylic, polyester, polyurethane, or epoxy are better since they deliver a robust, all-weather-resistant finish. Paints containing melamine or oil shouldn’t be used.
Can a Fiberglass RV Be Painted?
You will find the preparation of the exterior of a fiberglass RV for priming and painting is very time-consuming. Applying primer and paint is straightforward and can be easy as slightly harder based on skill.
Either way, it is much a step-by-step process until you’re finished. It can take a few days as primer and paint need to dry between applications.
When painting, always wear protective gear, especially if using a paint gun.
You may still have the manufacturer’s paint code so that you can match the original color scheme. Many paint stores can mix paint so that you can restore your vehicle to its original condition. Check your roof to see if it’s fiberglass or metal before painting, as a metal roof needs different treatments. (Find the Best RV Surge Protector)
Do You Need Special Paint for Fiberglass?
You’ll find you have two type of paint options to use on Fiber-Reinforced Plastic when you paint your RV. The one uses oxygen to cure, while the other uses a catalyst, temperature, and air.
Any resin-based paint can be used on FRP, but epoxy-based paints are the best option.
Epoxy is simply a more durable paint, particularly when it’s exposed to salt or freshwater conditions. It can also take continuous bumps and bangs. Last, they offer an ultraviolet barrier provided by epoxy pigments that will cover the fiberglass underneath.
What Is the Best Way to Paint Fiberglass?
Here’s all you need to know about painting fiberglass RV exterior fiberglass.
Pick Your Work Area
You need to pick an area that is well ventilated. If painting outside, make sure you have some shelter, and your vehicle is out of the direct sun when doing your paint job.
Soap & Automotive Sponge
Prepare the RV exterior for painting. Wash your vehicle with soap and an automotive sponge. Wipe the vehicle exterior to remove all the mess accumulated over the years. You can find considerable dirt or bird droppings on the roof.
Palm Sander with Wet & Dry Fine Grit Sandpaper
Use a palm sander to smooth down your RV exterior using fine grit wet sandpaper. There’s no need to spend too long; all you want to do is create surface texture, so the primer has something to adhere to.
The last part is to take an old rag and wipe the entire exterior using denatured alcohol. Use denatured alcohol, and you will get rid of oils or grease on the surface from RV wax on the roughed-up RV exterior.
Cover any parts needing protection against the paint using painter’s tape. Windows and windshield are the first areas, although you can have handles and knobs in other areas.
How to paint RV exterior fiberglass steps?
Now you have your prep out of the way, here are the steps you need to follow.
What you need
- Latex-based primer or equivalent
- Fiberglass paint
- Paintbrush or Paint Gun (paint gun optional, but is much faster)
Using a paintbrush is slower and can be harder to get a smooth finish. Using a paint gun is faster yet costs more than purchasing some brushes. You could also find painting the roof more challenging with your paint gun.
Use a paint gun, and you can have the bob completed in much less time. You can also find you can have a professional-looking finish. If you haven’t ever used a paint gun, it can take some time to get the best results. If you hire a paint gun, don’t forget to wipe it down using acetone before returning it. (Learn How To Keep RV Fridge Cold While Driving)
Apply RV Fiberglass Paint Step-by-Step
- Applying primer to the front of your vehicle first and work backward. You need to aim for a smooth, even layer to cover the entire exterior.
- Let the primer dry for a few hours
- Apply your paint in the same way as you did for your primer. Use a long fluid motion to avoid drips through paint build-up. You can get fewer drips by hand painting than using your paint gun.
- Let the surface paint dry, and it will take longer than a primer and may reach 24 hours or longer.
- Once the paint has dried, apply a second coat if you are not happy with the overall finish.
- Once done with painting, a final step is to apply RV wax and soft cotton cloth in a circular motion.
- The polish coating adds shine and will offer protection to the exterior paint coating and fiberglass surface coat against dirt.
- Paper and painter’s tape can be removed to make sure the paint coat doesn’t peel.
Once you do this, you can see your RV appears brand new. All it takes now and again is to wash it and wipe it down with a soft cloth.