Dear RV Shrink:
I need help quick. My husband thinks he’s Rembrandt. Our motorhome decals have started to fade and crack. He got a bid last year in Arizona to have them removed and replaced for just under $4,000. With sticker shock in his eyes he began surfing the web for other options.
All I have heard for months are methods others have used to fix the problem. Some people paint over the decals, some remove and buy new decals, some remove and leave them off, some remove and repaint them, some spend $15,000 and have the whole rig painted professionally.
My husband has decided to remove and paint them back on. This all sounds realistic, but my husband is a retired accountant, not a sign painter. I’m afraid we might be traveling down the road looking like the many graffiti-painted train cars we see passing on the rails. Can you convince him this is not the way to go? —Painted Lady in Lordsburg
Dear Painted Lady:
You wrote the wrong guy. Like your husband, I think I’m Rembrandt. I thought about being Van Gogh, but I just couldn’t get into the ear thing. I can’t tell you the best method because I am still in the experimental stages. Like your husband, I hate to spend big bucks on vanity vehicle exterior makeup.
I think it is great when people take the road less traveled — break out of their mold and try something bold. It sounds like your husband has done his homework, learned from others’ mistakes, and now is ready to make some of his own. It is not that earth-shattering. If it looks bad you can always remove it.
After going through the same web search process, I decided to remove my decals with an eraser wheel, lightly wet-sand the ghost area, mask it off with good automotive detail tape and spray it with One Shot sign painter’s enamel. This paint has been used to put millions of boat names on fiberglass sailboats, so I thought it might work fine on my motorhome.
By next year I can tell you how it holds up. So far it looks better than factory. It can’t be any worse than those cheap vinyl decals that come standard. The hardest part is masking all the swooshy decal patterns. Use 1/4 inch professional masking tape to make the close radius turns.
Another option is to park your rig overnight near the Chicago rail yards and see what you get. It could be really cool. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink