We have a van we take to music festivals, and it’s just not discrete enough. So we’re going to paint one of its quarterpanels in chalkboard paint. You know, for kids.
I’ve never actually painted a vehicle before, and while I’m clearly not looking for a smooth, factory-like finish, I’d like not to screw things up and end up with an eyesore (notwithstanding the calibre of the chalk-drawn artwork or the occasional dick-pic drawn when it’s at Lowes).
Here’s our plan—please let us know if there are missing steps or things to watch out for:
Step one: open beer and wine.
I normally drink single malts and choice blends, but this seems much like a much more beer-like activity.
**Step two: tape off the windows and lights. **
This panel has no door, so there are natural lines around the panel to follow. There is one small area near the rear top where the panel just continues to the roof. Not sure exactly how to handle that. My plan is to sand and paint to the masked line, then once all is done get one of those stick-on moldings (or maybe just a sticker) and cover the line.
Step three: Scuffy the wonder prep.
I have a few pieces of 100-grit sandpaper to put on an orbital sander. The dimensions of the panel are only about six by four or five feet or so, so I can’t imagine needing more than one piece. I’m not looking to do anything other than scuff up the surface, not seek out any rust or other malignancies (haven’t looked too closely, but don’t know of any rust). Wherever there is a ding or wave the sander can’t get into, I’ll scuff things up by hand.
Anything I’m missing here prep-wise? Things to be careful of? Better descriptor other than ‘scuff’? I’m basically thinking I’ll be ruining the current paint job, nothing more.
Step four: clean
A couple towels and a bucket of Dawn-laced water later, and the dust and detritus should be gone. How pesky and fine will the dust likely have been—as in, will a basic hand washing be sufficient or is this the time to be extra careful?
Step 5: priming
I have a quart of Zinsser oil-based interior/exterior primer and sealer. I figure besides good practice, this will help in case I sanded too deeply. I had Home Depot add a Touch of Grey.
Since the van is maroon, the primer is grey, and the final paint is black, do I need to put on two coats of primer?
**Step 6: To scuff or not to scuff? **
Am I supposed to re-scuff the surfaces after the primer has dried? Or is the primer ready to take on the paint? Should I wash or wipe it down? I don’t care about a hair or bit of dust, so I don’t need to be meticulous.
Step 7: Finally, to the paint
So that’s it, then? Do I just dump my paint into the tray, dip a roller in and slather it on? I know spraying would be better factory finish-wise, but it’s pretty far beyond my capabilities at the moment. Actually, I’d like nothing more than to go out and buy a new pneumatic tool, but time and preparations just won’t allow for it. My main concern would be painting the interior of the garage or side of the house.
Anyway, my idea was to treat this as if it was just another interior wall and this is just another apartment I want to gussy up for leaving but don’t want to overdo it. Paint it, wait several hours, paint it again, let it sit for a day or so, peel off the tape and drive around.
Are we good to go or is there a major screwup lurking in the wings?