How to Paint a Fiberglass Camper Shell

Written by jenny carver
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Painting a fibreglass camper shell is unlike painting the surface of a car. Fibreglass does not react as metal does, but the preparation before painting is just as important. Fibreglass camper shells are light and durable and can last years, if proper care is taken to keep them in good shape. They fade over time, but can be repainted every few years. Learn how to paint a fibreglass camper shell, so your camper shell will look like new.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wax and grease remover (found at auto parts store)
  • Lint free towel
  • 120 grit sand paper
  • Long sanding block
  • Small rubber sanding block
  • Eurothane or epoxy automotive primer
  • Automotive paint
  • Automotive clear

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the camper shell with car wash soap to remove any dirt or build up. After the camper shell dries completely, use a lint freel towel and wax and grease remover to wipe down the entire surface of the camper. This removes all oils from the surface.

  2. 2

    Use 120 grit sandpaper on a long sanding block to sand the entire surface of the camper shell. In hard to get to places, a small rubber sanding block can be used. Sand the entire camper shell until the fibreglass is dull.

  3. 3

    Wipe the entire camper shell with the wax and grease remover again to remove dust and any oil left behind from your skin. These small oil spots can cause fisheyes in the finished paint.

  4. 4

    Spray epoxy or eurathane primer on the surface of the camper shell, using three light, even coats. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly.

  5. 5

    Sand the primer lightly with 300 grit sand paper and a long sanding block. Sand light enough to get through the surface of the primer, but not all the way to the fibreglass. This leaves a smooth primered surface for the paint.

  6. 6

    Paint the fibreglass camper shell with four coats of automotive paint. Use light even coats, overlapping the coats as you spray. Spray lightly so the paint doesn't build up and run. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying a new coat.

  7. 7

    Add three coats of automotive clear to the camper shell. This protects the paint from UV rays, small sratches and chips. Allow each coat to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't use etching primer on fibreglass as etching primer is not made to bond with fibreglass.

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