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The Magic of Zep Wet Look Floor Polish


markwilliam1
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Just wanted to show off my 85 Granville after months of restoration. The Zep floor polish was the final answer for me and I had no idea it could completely restore the faded, chalky,1.jpg ugly finish on Grannie after sitting in the sun for 31 Years! What do ya'll think??  

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My unit is smooth sided, used 600 wet and dry to power color sand the siding (air driven power tools are wonderful) then 5 coats of Zep. Looks awesome. If some one had used Zep 15 years ago the decals would have in great shape, as it is the Zep made a big improvement in the decals. Old chalky decal need to be cleaned thoroughly or they will bleed color when you do the first couple of coats of Zep 

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My graphics were spray painted (no decals) on my Grannie from the factory so no cracks & no bleeding just unbelievably Restored graphics!!

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Thanks RV! The hardest part is Completely stripping of any old wax or contaminants. Takes awhile to apply 5 coats but after the hard stripping part it's a piece of cake Man!! Well worth it and supposedly the Zep finish last for years. Met a guy who did his 30 footer 6 years ago and when he sold it recently said it still looked new!!

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Looks super good!   Thanks for reporting on it as it is on my bucket list for this winter.

What did you use to clean with and how many hours did it take you, in hindsight anything you would have done different?

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I used Bar Keepers Friend powder form for 1st step. It's cheap and works really well. Grannie had large areas of black stuff all over the rear. Serious stains and discoloration everywhere. All the butyl was black. Serious scrubbing is involved and don't want to scare you but it does take hours.....less time with beer:-) After Bar Keepers you need to rinse with TSP powder solution (all available @ Lowe's or Home Depot) to remove the residue from BF. The idea is to have a completely stripped and clean surface for the wax or it will bubble. Watch for bleeding graphics if they are vinyl. Use a washed microfiber towel and apply the wax in small amounts. Just wet the surface and let dry and reapply. Avoid all drips and runs. I ended up applying the Zep on all the surfaces including metal and plastic. The more coats the better. Used 5 coats on Grannie. With all the scrubbing, drying and waxing took a few days to complete. Thanks for your compliment Sir! I appreciate it and I'm very proud. Can't think of anything I would do different. Work in the shade!

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Thanks for the response,  It does not look like an afternoon job, plus I have some really crappy caulking to clean up before I start.  I use TSP for various things, but would not use it on my Toy, it is far too harsh a cleaner to my way of thinking. 

I have read that some people apply one new coat each year.        Jim

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The TSP was much less harsh than the Bar Keepers Friend Jim. I stripped all caulking and did all the repair work before the Zep. I recommend using rubber gloves for the Zep!

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Rubber gloves also a plastic grocery bag to keep the application cloth in between uses. Just roll it up and stick it in the bag, roll up the bag to keep it air tight. 

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Hi All,

Read the above and thought I'd share my experience with this process out over a couple of years: My usual disclaimer, it's just what worked for me, no "know-it-all", "one-size-fits-all" instructions are implied. Anyway, per WME, I definitely use gloves and ditto JJR, no TSP for me, I've had some alarming results on other projects with that stuff. I may try a weak Oxygen bleach solution some time in the future. I have applied Zep twice and it has lasted 2 years at a time in sunny Cal being stored uncovered all year in the sun, I couldn't say about covered storage, I could maybe see 6 years though, with good prep and cool indoor storage.This product is, after all, designed for interior use.:sorcerer:   Essentially, what I've seen is, it just starts flaking off when it gives up the ghost. Now, when I apply it, I use a non-colored microfiber application cloth. The first time, the lightly pastel-colored one I bought bled onto the white outside "field-area" over use/time during the application. (Didn't notice at first, took about 1 hr for the color to start bleeding out of the cloth, luckily I caught it soon enough, on the roof) I also eventually found that a fake lambs-wool floor-wax applicator head with the micro-fiber cloth wrapped around the wool material and stapled to the wooden back gave me the most even, consistent and thickest coats. (got it at Hopeless Depot) Speaking of thick, keep your eyes open to track any errant  runs down the side or spots dripped on the hood.  This stuff is a seriously high-solids product, it dries pretty quick and will leave hardened "blobs" on other finishes. A singe-edge razor blade will easily remove the stuff from glass windows, but I masked my Sunrader wrap-arounds and fan-vent lids and I'm glad I did. Removal from those could get dicey. If in doubt, mask it off, the stuff sticks pretty well to anything but silicone contaminated areas. (BTW, Having help to move ladders, allowing you to keep moving quickly and efficiently and keep an eye out for drips etc will definitely help). I have done my 18' Sunrader once with hired help and once alone. The application part of the process went far better and I got higher quality, better looking, more consistent results working with a competent helper, but then again, I'm not the young buck I used to be. As far as over-coating annually, my test results weren't impressive and it seems like once the original application is "cooked" or aged, it tends to flake off, which leaves very noticeable voids in new applications. It also seems to yellow some when over-coated.  Again, I'm in sunny Ca, so someone else w/covered storage may get better results with that. Clean your rubber gaskets around the windows well, or avoid applying over them, they will streak black rubber over the rest if you apply over them dirty. My prep so far, has been - Barkeeps Friend the last two times, but this winter I'm going to very carefully try Zep's stripper for this product, and if it's a go, use that, then wash carefully, or abandon all that and just go with wet/dry like WME. (Will probably use #800 w/soapy water to save as much of the gelcoat as I can).   Again, as mentioned, a cool and windless day has been the best, heat/sun speeds the dry time and the stuff picks up dust, leaves, bugs etc really easily. A closed auto/truck-barn would be ideal, (like spraying, you absolutely need good light to see where you've been <wet>and where you're going <dry>) but few of us have that at our disposal. (I am going to borrow covered space after my prep to do only the application this next time around) Hope some or any of this helps. I must admit, it's a rewarding process after you're done, but it's no walk in the park for me when I do it.

BR, TG

PS Borrow more ladders or scaffold, I don't think you'll regret it.    ;)

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Thanks for the detailed write up. I do not recall  hearing about the Zep flaking off?  If you are talking about a product like Oxy clean.. I used one of the off brand one's on grout and it left a residue that was  horrible to get off!  I stick with Oxy Clean now

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It seems to take 3-4 coats to get 100% multilayer coverage. It seem you always miss a streak or 2. You can see what I'm talking about when you check each of the first coats in the sun.  

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Yeah, it gets easily over 100 in the summer where I live in N. Cal (I've clocked the interior of the upper cabinets at 120 degrees on hot days with an infrared sensor) and I notice that the southern exposure exterior side and top where I park degrade well before the cooler and shaded northern / driver's side. Basically, the coating starts to flake off in those areas first during wash-downs after about 2 yrs for me. I may give Zep product support a call and see what they say about bonding to fiberglass, what the heck, they may have some good input!   I only use the Oxy Clean stuff too, it's a great product.

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It's best to use @ least 5 coats in my opinion. In Ohio, a guy I know did his rig 6 years ago and recently sold it. He said the Zep finish looked brand new after 6 years. Never touched it up and his rig sat in the sun. I've never read or heard anything about Zep peeling over time. I believe proper service preparation is the key and I spent Hours scrubbing Grannie to prepare the surface. I also know it's hard to remove the residue left behind by the Bar Keepers Friend. I think the TSP (very diluted form) was essential in that and resulted in absolutely no harm to the fiberglass finish of Grannie.  I think the results speak for themselves:-):-)!

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Yep, it seems it's always worth it to put good work in on the front end of the project. Just another maintenance item to add to the list. Yours sure looks nice .  A guy could probably make a buck or two doing premium 5-coat Zep-finishing. :)

TG

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Thanks Toyo!! You probably could turn a buck or two. Too involved for me:-) 

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Hey Mark, your rig looks great!

I'm in the process of cleaning up an 18ft Sunrader that was pretty dirty (loads of black residue, vehicle sat outside). I've done the 1st round of scrubbing with BKF and a nylon hand brush and have had dramatic results/improvement. 

If I use TSP for getting BKF residue off you think using nylon brush again is fine or did you do differently? I'm going to have to wait to get into the sanding/zep finish, is it bad to leave the BKF residue or to clean with TSP and then wait to apply Zep?  

For pre-zep sanding, (I unfortunately don't have access to air tools), I can just do a 600 wet sand by hand, but did you then also do a dry sand too? 

Zep: The results look great, I'll be plan on multiple coats. Was there just one "Wet Look" Zep product or multiple ones? 

Many thanks!

Jeff 

 

 

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BKF is inert, you don't need to neutralize it. Any good car washing soap will do just fine. A brush or fuzzy hand mit will help. The TSP is for cleaning off grease. But a prepaint wax/grease remover will work too.

 Take your hand and run it over the cleaned areas, is it smooth or do you still feel fuzzies??? A gel coated Rader should feel smooth unless its been horribly abused.  If its smooth just ZEP it. If it still has fuzzies then you need to LIGHTLY sand with wet and dry paper.

Get a bucket of water and put a couple drops of dish soap in it and use that. If your not in a water critical area then take a hose set to  trickle and sand that way. Hose in one hand and sandpaper in the other. Use a sanding block. Wet and dry will last 10x times as long when wet vs dry

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Thanks Jeff! I have no idea why you'd want to sand your rigs surface (like another poster stated) unless you cannot get the fiberglass surface clean. I don't recommend sanding, not necessary in my opinion. I did not sand Grannie! I found the BKF to be more than adequate to remove All the stains, mildew, etc. But lots of scrubbing 'bro! Took off 31 years of outside abuse. I used a nylon brush for this also. Due to the caustic nature of BKF I personally wouldn't leave any of it on my rig. The TSP was diluted in gallon buckets and I used a large spong and lots of running water to rinse the surface clean of the BKF with the diluted TSP. Surfaces prep is the key to a good finish. Zep only makes one product for this called : Zep Wet Look Floor Polish sold in 1 gallon jugs @ HD or Lowe's. Around 25 bucks. Get a microfiber cloth and wash it first. Apply the Zep in small amounts just to wet the surface. It dries quick. Doesn't matter which directions you apply it. The first 3 coats will look terrible, blotchy and such but the last 2 coats will cover all those areas beautifully. Requires 5 coats minimal to get the shine. Avoid any runs or drips. And remember anything blemishes you cover with the Zep will remain. Like a stain you couldn't remove will be permanent under the Zep finish. I wouldn't wait too long after I stripped the surface to apply the Zep Jeff. It could get dirty and dusty and all of that will be sealed under the Zep. Good Luck and post pictures when done. We love pictures here. Welcome to the Group!!

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WME made a valid point about sanding Jeff. I didn't know what type of finish is on a Sun Rader and never thought about gel coat so maybe it will require sanding. My mistake! On Grannie she had no gel coat or anything else protecting the fiberglass. I still recommend TSP for rinsing. I had no grease on my rig. I tried a little Dawn for rinsing but still felt BKF residue. Felt no residue rinsing with TSP. To each his own. Whatever you decide you won't regret it. It will make you rig looks showroom New!

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Here's my beastie, finish is 8 months old

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I would never sand my Sunrader. Bar keepers get the surface very smooth. My Nissan had been abandoned in a field for a couple of years. Probably breaks the record for dirt. Magic sponges and BKF and it's super clean. Not all that much gel coat there. Don't have far to go to get to mat.

Linda S

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So we all could start a Zep Club. You guy's rigs are beautiful. And yours Jeff is the nicest rig I've seen!! It's what spurred me to do mine. Thanks!!

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Did someone think I sanded my Rv? Nope, I just used an oxidation surface compound that prepped the gel coat before the Zep. It's called Protect All - made specifically for fiberglass boats and RVs.

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No, WME sanded his I think. I wouldn't sand mine either.

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The siding on mine is a Filon type of panel, a lite pass with 600 w/d  took care of things. Below the belt line the baggage doors and the door are fiberglass. They got a serious sanding with 400 w/d. The baggage doors were propped open on a simple sawhorse and then flooded with water and I used an air driven "palm sander". The door got 400w/d power sanding with running water. The wheel wells were hand sanded.

Edited by WME
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