87 Westfalia Poptop Paint

My adventure in spraying a poptop!

May 17th, 2009

Just got done painting the poptop! Whew, what an experience that was. 3 weekends of prep for 1 hour of fun! All in all, I'm really glad I did it, it turned out great. I hope it holds up. Details below:

Prep: There were a few cracks. The main ones of concern were the ones at the hinge mount point (thus the aluminum plates), and the big crack at a skylight corner. Some fiberglass and bondo took care of all these, and I'm quite pleased with the way the aluminum plates turned out. Not the most elegant, but it gives me confidence that we won't have issues with broken fiberglass in the future. Before I painted, I scuffed everything up with 180 grit sandpaper, wiped all surfaces down with Acetone, and primered the locations that I had repaired with fiberglass or bondo.

Paint: I used GelCoat Products fiberglass paint. I had a custom color created that was matched by the expert matcher, Al. The color was matched using the rear license plate door as reference. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with his skills. Worth the $130/quart price. They recommended I use Duratec Hi-Gloss additive with the paint for a boat hull like shine. First coat was 70% paint, 30% Duratec, with 2% catalyst. Second coat was 50% paint, 50% Duratec, and 2% catalyst. 

Equipment: I used a cheap Campbell Hausfeld gravity feed gun. I'm not a painter, and in retrospect, could have rented a more professional gun, but I think this turned out ok. On my last coat, I had some sputtering happening and after it was all said and done, there was quite a bit of buildup in the internals of the gun! Lesson learned, clean your gun between coats? You painters will have better insight. If I were to do this again, I would do a little more research on using a gun, and the proper steps to take during the painting process to ensure smooth operation of all the equipment during the process.













I'll post the custom color id # when I get around to it. The guys at gelcoat have my formula saved, so if anyone wants that exact same color, you are more than welcome to use it. Cheers!

Main Page