After much sanding (yes, we've all heard a lot about that), painting, cleaning, and wandering around in a haze of organic chemical fumes, the paint is done. 3 coats of it, with sanding between. Totally, gleefully done!
This is the standard view, that I'm honestly kind of "over" myself. It doesn't look much different in photos than those ones I took of the primer previously ... but in real life, it's shiny, slick, very pretty. It didn't quite come out looking sprayed on, like a body shop would do, but it's good. You can tell I did it at home, but not on first glance:
If I want to, and it turns out to be worth it, I can polish and wax it someday. But that's not critical for camping this year, and my guess is it's going to get get pretty scratched and worn anyhow. That's part of using these things.
The paint went on well, once I learned what I was doing. The Interlux Brightside is a nice paint, but it's "old-school" -- read that as, "you can really bung it up if you're even a little bit of a sleepyhead". I found that I really needed to stay on top of it if I wanted it to "flow".
"Flow" is not some lousy hippy rubbish! Glossy exterior paint like this needs to flow after brushing, so it fills in the brush marks and leaves a nice smooth finish. Like the hippies, you need to add chemicals -- in this case, a little of the approved brushing reducer -- so the paint doesn't start to dry too soon. Too much, and it'll drip and run, too little and you get sporadic ridges and overlaps which are accentuated by the high gloss.
I was using a "roll and tip" method -- spreading a small area evenly with a little roller, then lightly brushing to get rid of bubbles and texture. It was hectic work, but I'm happy with the results:
Now that painting is done, lots of other important events can happen! Like all that aluminium that I cut -- that can all go on, sealed under with caulking:
How handsome! And on the trailer door frames too, and then we can drop the windows in, and ...
Crap ... what? But I very carefully made sure these cut-outs in the doors were the right size. Why do the windows seem TOO BIG ALL OF A SUDDEN?
* Makes grumpy trip to hardware store to buy another belt sander *
Don't ask what happened to the first belt sander. Belt sanders and I have a minor violent history, and I can honestly say I'm a bit "toolist" against them.
After sanding for what seemed like days (but was indeed only hours) the windows fit, kicking and screaming, into their prescribed holes. I really have no idea how those holes got smaller. I didn't think that was a thing that holes could do.
At any rate, it was a simple matter after that to put the doors on. Thankfully, no black magic had affected the roof, and both the fan and skylight went in without incident.
That was worth the wait! It's neat to see those doors in place, all gleaming and, erm, door-like. Adding a little hardware sure makes it look like a real camping trailer ... which of course, it is. Almost.
Here's how it would look if you were a bird:
And here's that very handsome door again. The other one is in too, in case you were worried I'd forgotten:
The paint is done, the doors are installed, and so on to the hatch! There's some tricky aluminium there to do, which is next on the list. This will be the part that presses into the seal. It needs to be bent around the curves, then sanded and filed to just the right height.
After that, there are some little fiddly things, like installing the running lights, giving the trailer frame a couple of coats of paint, sorting out where to put the spare tire, and a bunch of minor installation.
See you soon, campgrounds! * knocks on wood *