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Caboose Body Prep for Paint

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  • Member since
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Caboose Body Prep for Paint
Posted by SP1353 on Saturday, February 2, 2008 11:46 PM
Last summer I posted here of my dream come true- the purchase of an SP bay window caboose. Since then I've been making steady progress stabilizing it and preparing to repare and restore those areas that can't simply be cleaned up. It's become clear that the exterior paint is not going to hold up (it's only 40 or so years old...) While I had hoped that an exterior repaint could be postponed for a while, it clearly needs to happen sooner rather than later. I'm seeking advice on the best way(s) to prep the body for paint. I need to strip lots of flaking paint and surface rust, but thankfully, the body does not have any "body cancer". (Therein lies my motivation for painting it soon- to keep it protected) I know this will involve lots of work- that I can do, if anyone has experience in this field and can lend some advice, I'd be very thankful!
  • Member since
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  • From: Poconos, PA
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Posted by TomDiehl on Sunday, February 3, 2008 12:19 PM

 SP1353 wrote:
Last summer I posted here of my dream come true- the purchase of an SP bay window caboose. Since then I've been making steady progress stabilizing it and preparing to repare and restore those areas that can't simply be cleaned up. It's become clear that the exterior paint is not going to hold up (it's only 40 or so years old...) While I had hoped that an exterior repaint could be postponed for a while, it clearly needs to happen sooner rather than later. I'm seeking advice on the best way(s) to prep the body for paint. I need to strip lots of flaking paint and surface rust, but thankfully, the body does not have any "body cancer". (Therein lies my motivation for painting it soon- to keep it protected) I know this will involve lots of work- that I can do, if anyone has experience in this field and can lend some advice, I'd be very thankful!

The body prep will depend on the material that was used to build it. Sheet steel or galvanized steel takes different body prep, and I'm assuming this is one of these because you mention surface rust. The window frames could either be wood or aluminum, so to advise, we'd need to know what material you're working on.

Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to. Chief of Sanitation; Clowntown
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Posted by SP1353 on Sunday, February 3, 2008 7:19 PM
...good point on needing to know what the body's made of... It's a riveted sheet steel body with a galvanized roof. (SP class C-30-6) My biggest areas of concern are the seams- since most of the rivet heads have lost their paint, as well as the corners and end sills, which are also flaking badly. The galvanized roof has surprisingly little rust- but also very little paint left on it. Yes, the window frames are wood, but I've got experience with that. Fire away with any additional questions- this is the most fun I've ever had with a project!
  • Member since
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  • From: Poconos, PA
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Posted by TomDiehl on Sunday, February 3, 2008 8:00 PM

 SP1353 wrote:
...good point on needing to know what the body's made of... It's a riveted sheet steel body with a galvanized roof. (SP class C-30-6) My biggest areas of concern are the seams- since most of the rivet heads have lost their paint, as well as the corners and end sills, which are also flaking badly. The galvanized roof has surprisingly little rust- but also very little paint left on it. Yes, the window frames are wood, but I've got experience with that. Fire away with any additional questions- this is the most fun I've ever had with a project!

Not unusual for the paint to be off the galvanized roof, that type of metal is hard to paint and have it stick properly. We used to use zinc-chromate primer on it, but I believe that's been taken off the market due to enviornmental concerns. You'll need to check with a paint supplier to find out what the current paint for that is.

For the rivet heads and surrounding area, buff off the rust with a wire wheel in a brush and treat with a rust inhibiter, and of course, remove all loose paint. When dry, paint with a metal paint like rust-o-leum or one of several other paints. Spraying would probably give the smoothest finish.

Not a complicated job, but definately labor intensive.

Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to. Chief of Sanitation; Clowntown
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 4, 2008 4:30 PM

I have done a good bit of classic car restoration and epoxy primer is the best for bare metal. At the shop I once worked at we used DuPont products. They have an epoxy primer that's a 2/1 mix(I think), a couple coats on clean metal was all that was needed. Media blasting is the ultimate way to strip old paint and knock off the rust.

So where are doing this work at and what kind of tools do you have? This does sound interesting and fun. Post some photos of your progress

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Posted by SP1353 on Thursday, February 7, 2008 9:41 PM

This whole process will take place in a corner of my property that used to be part of a horse pasture. I'm sure that's what's speeding up the degradation of the current paint- the car was formerly shaded by very large trees, and now it's totally exposed to the sunlight. I'd love to post pics, but I don't have any that are web based, which is what it looks like I need to attach them(?) ...I'm a nuts and bolts type, computers are not my thing... 

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Posted by robscaboose on Monday, February 11, 2008 10:07 PM

I am going to paint my caboose (IC 9550) this summer. We will sand blast it & paint it with emron paint & then clear coat it.  We have found that if it is not protected from sunlight, the paint will fade within a couple of years.  Clear coating helps keep its shine much longer.

Also emron paint is very bad for your health, you must use a respirator.

Rob 

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 4:18 PM
 robscaboose wrote:

I am going to paint my caboose (IC 9550) this summer. We will sand blast it & paint it with emron paint & then clear coat it.  We have found that if it is not protected from sunlight, the paint will fade within a couple of years.  Clear coating helps keep its shine much longer.

Also emron paint is very bad for your health, you must use a respirator.

Rob 

Emron is good stuff, just do like you said and wear a respirator. Clearing your base colors will make your paint job last longer. Without a good top coat, the sun will suck the color right out and give it a chalky look in a short time. These sound like fun projects, keep us posted.

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Posted by SP1353 on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 1:15 PM

Speaking of paint, my number one goal is obviously to apply a paint job that will protect the car and last for a while. Regarding shine, I don't recall ever seeing an SP bay window caboose with a shiny paint job. (after all, we are talking about the SP) While I don't want the caboose to look grungy, I don't really want it to sit there and sparkle either. For those of you with experience in this, should I use the clear coat because it will dull soon enough anyway, or forgoe that step because I'm really ok with a flat finish, as long as the colors don't completely wash out.

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 3:47 PM

There are additaves you can add to clear to tone down the shine. When I did paint work on autos, we would jam out the undersides of hoods, deck lids, doors ect. using the base color with a little clear coat activator mixed in. The activator is what makes the clear dry hard, otherwise it stays tacky. Doing this provided protection for the base color and also gave the part a semi-gloss look. But being that a cab will be outside and exposed to everything I would talk to a local auto paint dealer and see what they have to offer. I have been out of the paint and body business for a few years so I don't know what new products may have come along.

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  • From: New Mexico <Red Chilli>
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Posted by Gunns on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 12:20 AM

In 2004 our club used "Rust bullet" to prime our tender. to date it has not yet rusted.

link with photos. 

 

http://www.rustbullet.com/Products/Automotive/train.htm

 

more recent photos.

 

http://www.nmslrhs.org/images/photos/9-29-07/index.html

 

 

Regards,

Kevin

 

 

 SP1353 wrote:
Last summer I posted here of my dream come true- the purchase of an SP bay window caboose. Since then I've been making steady progress stabilizing it and preparing to repare and restore those areas that can't simply be cleaned up. It's become clear that the exterior paint is not going to hold up (it's only 40 or so years old...) While I had hoped that an exterior repaint could be postponed for a while, it clearly needs to happen sooner rather than later. I'm seeking advice on the best way(s) to prep the body for paint. I need to strip lots of flaking paint and surface rust, but thankfully, the body does not have any "body cancer". (Therein lies my motivation for painting it soon- to keep it protected) I know this will involve lots of work- that I can do, if anyone has experience in this field and can lend some advice, I'd be very thankful!

http://www.nmslrhs.org/
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 4:18 PM
So is rustbullet similar to POR-15?

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