How To Custom Paint Your BUS Ė The Basics

                                               handpainted VW bus. No spraying or stencils

You're a traveling merchant, an artisan with wares to sell. Your bus is your store. You will want to paint your antique bus or car, give it a sixties look, and put your LOGO on the sides so that folks who pass you by will know instantly that you sell 'CANDLES" or "HANDWOVEN WOOL BLANKETS/ RUGS" or "SEASHELL JEWELRY" Or whatever you're selling. Handmade soaps. Granola. Yoga classes on the beach at l0 am. Whatever. To get them to stare is the first thing and a store needs good signage.

Here's what Kat, an artist told us: ", use Benjamin Moore impervo enamel on the bus or car." That's for a psychedelic painting. Other car painters can do a whole car for under 100$ and ust use plain paint:

A professional flame painter expert says at  his website online " Maybe you just want to paint flames on your hot rod.. Or do the psychdelic bus. Either way  the work really goes quickly. First there's the  ordinary prep cleaning, get all the  wax off the surface, use Fine steel wool to give the finish a 'bite'  truly the starting place for any paint work youíll do, assuming that the body work, and priming of the car is done, and for this article weíre going to assume that it is ready to paint.

By ready to paint i mean that the entire car has been wet sanded to 600 grit wet paper, and you have achieved a dull shine over the entire car, the very next step is the prep cleaning, for this we use surface paint prep cleaning solvent.

What this will do is it will remove all of the residue left from wet sanding that car, and it will remove any wax, grease, or body oils that may have made it through the wet sanding stage of the process, once you have done this we can tack cloth the car, using clear coat safe tack cloths.

Now we are ready to get down to business, letís talk a little about what I mean by get down to business, the first step is to cover the chrome, and everything you donít want painted! It is masked.  Then, get your major design areas, the backgrounds...  laid out with 1/8 vinyl fine line graphic tape, you need to be 100% sure that you know what your design is supposed to look like, I canít tell you that.

Now that we have that out of the way, you can begin to lay out the major design areas on  your bus or car, following the idea that you have in your mind, lay that flames out with the fine line 1/8? vinyl tape, after you have got the out line for your flames the next step can begin.

This is another one of those thing that I have talked about in the past, this step will make, or break the outcome of your custom paint work, this step is the masking of the flames, this required you to reverse mask the flames leaving one the area the you want painted showing.

Once you have done this, and only the flames are showing, with the rest of the car masked, you need to tack cloth the flames to remove any dirt, or other contaminants that may have gotten on them, after this is done your ready to start the painting process, do not rush this process, take your time.

First weíll lay the main color of your design, On a psychedlic bus this would be blues like the skies, night or day or BOTH. If flames on a hotrod, this is usually a yellow, or an orange color, followed by all the colors of the flame. The experts I usually use an air brush to do the rest of the colors, this will reduce the build up of an edge for your clear coat to cover. You can see the silhouettes below, the letters, were formed by making cut-outs, stencils. Those must be taped down.

This bus has stencils and the graduated shading indicates spraying

Now you are going to lay out your idea for the shapes on the car. After you have finished the spraying or painting work you can wait about 20 minutes and then unmask the car, make sure that the windows are masked.

After you have checked the masking to make sure that your car is masked properly, you can mix your clear coat, clean the car again with your tack cloth, and your ready to spray the clear coat, Iíd suggest using a high build clear, and spraying 4 coats on the car, it will build 1.5 coats for every coat you spray.

Make sure that you always give your paint work flash time, or you will put runs in your paint work, yes you are re-clear coating the entire car, so get ready to do some work, if you follow these simple rules, you car will look great when itís all done.