VW Camper Family

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So I went back to Sherwin Williams Automotive to pick up the color matched paint - this time done by "eye" rather than the computer formula they used last time. He actually used some kind of tractor paint code as the base, (Komatsu or something) which is what he did for the Dakota Beige last time. I guess bus colors are similar to tractor colors. He showed me the dried color next to the Panama Brown paint chip I provided, (I got a 1978 VW paint chip card off of eBay years ago) and it looked almost exact. And he didn't charge me anything for the new paint - very cool. And...he made up a formula for it this time in case I wanted to get it again, he would have the paint code for it.

Here you can kind of see how the color matches - the top part I sprayed, and the bottom part was covered up. It's a pretty good match, which is what I was hoping for. It doesn't need to be perfect, just close.

I learned a few things from this experience.

1) A small air compressor works just fine. The one I used is in the above picture, on the right hand side just off the bumper corner. I had worried for years about painting with this compressor...is it too small, will I get water in the air line, do I need a pressure gauge...turns out my best move was just to do it. It worked great, and I'm happy with the end result.

2) A $5 flea market Craftsman spray gun works awesome...once you clean it out and make sure you have enough paint in the reservoir. This was another area I kept fretting over...do I need a HVLP gun...what type...etc. Turns out the "cheap" antique I bought 10 years ago at the Kane County Fairgrounds in Illinois was just right for the job.

Which leads me to this - I spend WAY too much time worrying about things that I might need, and as a result, not acting. When I finally put my mind to it this past weekend, I got it done. Now I wouldn't say the results are Pebble Beach concours-worthy, but it's pretty decent for my purposes. I got rid of most of the dents, welded up the spare tire holes so I can add the VW logo, and fixed the windshield rust problem. Now I have to spray the Dakota Beige on the top part.

Another thing I got when I was spraying...I was really enjoying it, and started thinking, "Maybe I should paint the whole bus..."

Uh oh.

For reference, here's what it looked like when I started. In some ways, I wish I would have just kept it the way it was, but I did need to address the windshield rust and cracked windshield. And I do like that shiny paint...



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