Post by aussietanker on Mar 7, 2007 23:23:49 GMT 10
Don said ...
Now a really important question to end with: Do all these questions about stripping paint, etc, indicate that you're close to buying something? If so when can you tell us about it or are you going to keep it under covers until all that paint is off?
A|T said ... ;D ;D ;D ... watch this space and all will soon be revealed (i hope ) ... hehehe
Don R, re your intention one day to strip your Don caravan back to barewood, I would love to help, but I REALLY AM busy that week.......er .......month ......er.....year...... ;D ;D ;D
Last year I was given a copy of the 1947 book "How to Build Caravans" by John D Porter.
The book says "A caravan of the highest class (al - la -Don) may have up to say 9 coats on the bare hardboard, two priming, three or four of filling, one or two undercoats & a finishing coat ".....thats what we're dealing with when trying to strip one of these vans . Its the 3 or 4 coats of filling that make the job sooooooo tedious
I was interested to read your post saying that the original paint is enamel though, including the aluminium roof colour .......that will be the way to go when I complete my restoration. I hope you have the paint serial Nos?
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 13, 2007 23:52:13 GMT 10
Thanks for the enlightening quote from John Porter's book - it explains a bit, doesn't it. The paint is certainly very thick on our van, reflecting the number of coats. Mind you we've added one or two over the years (more like five or six). One of my first holiday jobs was to do some painting on the van - I guess that was mid-teens.
Regarding the aluminium paint on the roof, the current equivalent to the original is Dulux Silver Sheen Enamel. I think it had a different name a couple of decades ago, but certainly was Dulux and I think was 'Silver something' if not 'Silver Sheen'. (I am partly relying on the folklore passed down by my mother here [and I can't check with her because she is now somewhere better].)
For what it's worth, I'll pass on a possible little secret that I discovered by accident a couple of years ago. (I don't think I've posted this story before, but if I have apologies!) It's a bit of a long story, but it's therapeutic just to tell it...
As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've found that the roof of the Don needs to be painted more frequently than the walls. I'm not sure whether that just says something about the extra exposure the roof gets to the sun, or something about the characteristics of the aforesaid Dulux Silver Sheen. In any case, a couple of years ago I went through a fit of depression about having to do the roof YET AGAIN and thought to myself "There has to be a better way".
Motivated by a determination to reduce my workload, I trotted off to chat to the fellas at Bunnings. The chap I spoke to recommended a silver paint which apparently is used to paint things which are subject to water, such as boat trailers etc. He explained that the paint included some bitumen which both waterproofed the painted object as well as had some added flexibility. Made sense to me - I'd already figured out that the problem with the van roof was that the exposure to the sun opened the little cracks in the marine ply which then cracked the paint.
So...I bought a few litres of the bitumised paint and headed back to the van where one of my sons and I painted the roof (well actually my son, but I did walk out to inspect every now and then!). Once the job was finished we noticed that the new coat of paint, while silver, had a bronzy tinge to it. Not too noticeable to the untrained eye, but a bronzy tinge nevertheless.
The paint seemed to work well, and the rain just seemed to bead and roll off the roof (remember when we had rain?). "So far so good", I thought, "we're on to something here". Only trouble was that in twelve months time, the paint had turned an unpleasant brown colour!! I guess the bitumen had risen to the surface or something.
There was nothing for it. Feeling dispirited, my son and I tackled the roof again (both of us this time!) with good old Dulux Silver Sheen on top of the bitumised paint. To my intense relief the Silver Sheen covered the brown paint very nicely and has stayed silver.
HOWEVER (and this is the good bit, maybe) it is now two years on and what I think I am noticing is that the Silver Sheen is far less cracked, etc, at this stage than it has been in the past. My theory is that the bitumised paint underneath is providing a flexible undercoat which means that the Silver Sheen is subject to less stress and strain.
In one sense it is early days - only two years. It will be interesting to see what happens after three or four years. There are other possible factors involved as well. For example over the last two summers (when our van is out in the weather) there has been less rain, and maybe the ply has been expanding and contracting less (although we did have some decent rain on a couple of days while we were away this year).
Maybe I've made a major discovery or maybe I haven't. As I say, for what it's worth...
Other theories or comments are welcome - especially from anyone who understands the chemistry and physics of paint.
Four factors can influence how long a good paint job will keep a roof waterproof for. One is quality of the paint Two is the number of coats applied Three is exposure to the elements Four is body movement/ flexing.
You say that the silver sheen has held up well over the past few years. You have to ask yourself how many times has the van been used in the past 2 years as opposed to usage prior to that . i.e: How many times has it been exposed the elements and how far have you travelled thus exposing the van to road conditions which cause the body work to flex???
A lot of old vans where built with canvas over ply on the roof. The manufacturer would lay down a thick coat of paint over the primed surface of the roof. Then roll the canvas into the thick paint. Once dried they would apply a few more coats of paint to the roof to form a waterproof seal. The old van i demolished in "Reddos tear drop ... the 20 year plan" had a coat of silver paint under the canvas on the roof. and then a few layers of silver top coats. The ply sides had a coat of "red lead" the old oil/lead based primer then a coat of canvas , another layer of paint and the whole thing was then clad in aluminium . havent seen or heard of this on any other van that has been on this forum . The builder had certainly gone the extra yards to try and prevent water getting to the ply and hence rotting the wood.
When its all said and done the main thing with keeping a timber van in good condition is storing it out of the elements . Something that is not an issue with fibreglass vans and humpty2 rubs that in my face at every opportunity he can.
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 14, 2007 7:31:37 GMT 10
G'day Scootman and Reddo,
The Dulux Silver Sheen should be obtainable, Scootman. I bought my last can just over two years ago (to cover the nice bitumised-gone-brown paint).
Thanks for your comments Reddo. Our van has had more use & exposure to the elements and has traveled much further on the road over the last couple of years than for quite a few years before that, but of course the last two years have also been dryer...
I agree with your comment about needing to keep our bondwood treasures under cover. That has certainly assisted in keeping ours in good condition, whereas some of its sisters are sadly now just mulch.
One of the interesting things about this forum is finding out about the different construction methods used for various V V's. Both the walls and the rooves of the Dons around the era of ours were primed with "red lead" primer and then had several coats of undercoat and several coats of top coat - all oil-based, and enamel top coat - as discussed in Mark's 1947 caravan book. However no canvas on the roof. Given that your's had silver paint under the canvas, I wonder if the canvas was added later??
By the way, where does canvas fit in the wood-glass-tin debate? Does it count as wood because it's made from a plant product or is it a contaminant that hides the beauty of wood??
I wouldn't rub that into your face Reddo, as it is obvious .......... YOU ALREADY KNOW!!!! ;D ;D ;D. 2 plywoods take up valuable space in my shed while the other vans that I can use sit out and handle the weather, come rain or shine ;D
Now for a bit of technical info.............many tears ago BP made a roof paint, which was basically a bitumen with silver mixed in......I think it became "environmentally unfriendly" years ago, but it was good stuff.
From what I hear you can't buy good ol' silver frost any more (probably for the afore mentioned reason).
Wheres Will, he should know more about this!!
Fibreglass fantasia!....a Sunliner, a Carlight Continental plus one for spares (fibreglass roof & ends)... 52 homemade plywood and a Fibreglass Kennedy lookalike awaiting a brand/name (might be Skyline?) ................. EH Premier S/Wagon & '56 FORD Country Sedan for my towcars
interesting story about the bitumen paint Don R .......I dunno whether I'll do that with mine though, the plan is to keep it out of the weather apart from the odd vintage caravan cruise ....so the silver sheen should last
I'm keen to paint mine the original yellow with the silver roof (same as the Don 10 footer) but plan to tow it with the 39 Chev, so its very tempting to paint it a two tone, a different colour on the bottom to the top half, like that photo I posted of the Don from the 1938 magazine.
Last year I took the yellow painted sink cover (from the little Don) to a paint shop and ordered a 4 litre of colour matched paint. Bought it home and tried it on the door of the Don which I'd previously painted in a primer white water based acrylic.
The colour came out a beige sort of colour, nothing like the sink cover at all, it was a horrible colour ........$60 down the drain
Last Edit: Mar 17, 2007 14:41:15 GMT 10 by Deleted
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 17, 2007 22:12:14 GMT 10
Know what you mean about matching paint. They tell us that today's computerised matching gets a perfect match... and sometimes it is close to perfect...other times it is atrocious!! I reckon that some of the old guys that matched paint in the paint stores by a combination of a good eye and experience were at least as good. The first coat of cream paint I put on the Don back in '83 was not quite right. A house painter acquaintance told me to add 3 drops of black, and 5 drops of red (or whatever it was). The amounts were minute and I thought he was out of his tree, but I did what I was told to humour him...the resulting match was perfect. Goes to show that the human brain and eye is an amazing instrument.
I must admit I've kept a couple of items on the Don in the original paint so that I've got a reference point for the future (and I will continue to keep them for that purpose), but I guess even they are affected by light and aging of the paint, etc.
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 17, 2007 22:27:05 GMT 10
Thanks for your answer re canvas & the wood/glass/aliminium controversy on the My 70's Franklin thread. I knew you'd have something to say about it if I asked!! I respect your opinion, but the way I see it is that some of the finest paintings in antiquity were painted straight on to wood - no canvas required. Ergo the best V V's are in wood - no canvas required.
Mind you, I seem to remember from Year 8 Art at school that a lot of the old medieval painters used to add egg white into their paint to make it stick to the surface, and I reckon that some of the caravan builders may have used a similar technique given the difficulty we have getting the old paint off!!
This is a bit bizarre picking up on an old thread from 2007, but here goes...
I've been trying to find Dulux Silver Sheen paint to re-coat the roof of our baby Don. I've phoned half of Australia looking for old stock as Dulux have just discontinued that line about 2 months ago. NO, I am not obsessive-compulsive, I just want to do an original paint job on the baby!
No joy on old stock, apart from a place in WA that I can get genuine Dulux Silver Sheen 3 x 1 litre cans for $50, but the courier cost is prohibitive to the east coast for just 3 litres. paint can't go via Australia Post as it is a flammable item.
We bought a litre of Penetrol Aluminium paint & tried a small bit on the roof but it's very much brighter/lighter than the old paint on the Don. It cost $28.50 for a litre. We can return it to shop.
So our options are this...
Just use the Penetrol & don't worry about it as the Don paint may have actually just darkened with age anyway OR
If some of you other Don owners want some Dulux Silver Sheen for the roofs of your van, I can buy 6-9 cans for $100-150 plus courier cost, which will bring it to about 28.50-25.50 depending on litres purchased. We will probably keep 3 litres for now & later coats on the baby Don.
If you live near SEQ, I'll be able to get the paint to you at the next Run (Kin Kin?). Otherwise I won't be able to get it to you southerners unless people who are travelling south can transport it to your locality or until the Tathra Run is on in early October when people will definitely be going south.
So if you're interested let me know asap, send me a PM.
Also interested to hear from Don owners about their experiences with any type of silver paint used on Don roofs.
Hi Ray woodent dream of opening up a tin of worms!
Seriously tho, I was interested in page 2 of that thread re Silvasheen paint. I've just braved the mud & got across to the shed to look at the old can of Dulux silvasheen paint left in the Don. Stated on label it was interior/exterior heat resisting enamel paint. It'd be interesting to open it up to compare thickness/tone etc to Penetrol aluminium paint but it would most likely wreck the tin opening it. Seeing as we haven't got a vintage tin of Mortein, then a vintage tin of Silvasheen is the next best thing! smiles
Hi Ray yep it says on the Penetrol tin "has excellent heat and light reflecting properties when used on metal or wood". So there!
Hi Dennis Yes you're right, it would be so simple to pack 3 little tins individually in bubble wrap & pack them in a sturdy boot box. Makes sense to me but not to the paint people in WA when I asked them that!
Gee this feels great to be discussing vintage paint instead of "what's on Ebay now". Now that will put the cat among the pigeons I guess.
Post by takeiteasy on Jul 16, 2012 13:59:56 GMT 10
There are some resilliant types posting here. I used to restore old furniture and always stripped with a heat gun. I made myself pretty crook from lead fumes. I wouldn't do it again without a fancy respirator BUT it is a cheap, fast method.
If it comes off in layers it's old enamel paint, water based wont come off in layers , i stripped my vacation van back to bare wood with a gas heat gun took the paint off very fast could do the whole side of van in 3 to 4 hours very affective, beats using an electric heat gun quicker to use a hair dryer lol