Monday, October 22, 2012

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was Strictly Awesome!

Set up in the Artists Area at Banjo Stage
Warren Hellman
photo by  Ron Baker
As was posted a while ago, my little trailer was asked to become part of the set backstage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, one of the country's largest (if not the largest) free multi day music festival.  HSB as it's known, is a Bay Area treasure which along with the Treasure Island Music Festival and Bridge School Benefit makes October a very special month for music here abouts.

Created 12 years ago by the late Warren Hellman, the Bluegrass loving Billionaire and antidote to wall street greed and inhumanity, to introduce his beloved San Francisco to Bluegrass music, Strictly Bluegrass evolved from a 2 day 3 stage affair to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass a 3 day, 6 stage, multi genre music extravaganza that well over 100,000 attend each year. To give you an idea..Here's the line up from this year.

I had spent the better part of the last 3 weeks getting Aguadream a new paint job and generally cleaning and spiffing her up to be ready for her big debut.  I'll back in another post on the painting process soon.  Towing her over to San Francisco and into Golden Gate Park was fun, but really that was just the beginning. My friend Ed Valenzuela is in charge of decor at the Banjo Stage, the main stage where my trailer was situated.  I had left a guestbook for folks to sign, but he said not to keep my hopes up.  But he also quickly said that he thought it was likely that my trailer would become the backdrop for many many pics taken over the weekend.

Little did I know that Jay Blakesberg, one of the areas go-to rock/music photographers was soon to fall in love with my trailer and use both the in and outside for pics of everyone from bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to music icon Elvis Costello, not to mention my favorite Emmy Lou Harris and many others. To say that I was thrilled is an understatement.  What seems more accurate is to say that I now believe my trailer to be enchanted with the spirit of music and will endeavor to live up to the kharma brought to it by some of the best musicians on the planet.  The music was spectacular, the weather perfect, and the opportunity to be so close to so much music and goodwill priceless.  All photos copyright Jay Blakesberg, please do not use or reproduce without permission.
Emmy Lou Harris

Buddy Miller and James Lauderdale

Elvis Costello

Tim OBrien

John Reilly and Friends

Steve Earle

My enchanted Trailer

Friday, October 5, 2012

Days and Days and Days of Painting!

So as you know I have to get my little trailer painted in time for Hardly Strictly Blue Grass the first weekend of October.  I decided to roll on paint using the $50 dollar paint job method that is very popular for both cars and trailers.  If I had it to do over again I would probably try to spray cause it took so long!

Soni Bergman
 lends a hand

Getting Started--Primer Day 1
[image] [image] After maybe 15 hours of prep work done over the course of a week, my fellow vintage trailer friend Soni came over the lend a hand for the day. We finished up the prep and taping by noon. Followed with self etching primer--2 coats with wet sanding between and after. Then laid down the first top coat with a roller...Ace Rust Stop (basically rustoleum) paint (tinted to Benjamin Moore Mexicali Turquoise) thinned 50% mineral spirits, but no hardener. I'm thinking maybe too thin, and need to go ahead and pop for hardener (Japan Drier is all they have at HD and my local paint store) which I'll never use all of, just so that it dries in a reasonable period of time for more coats. It's been 3 hours and it's still wet. 

with the first coat of color on the bottom , back is still just primer at this point--blech...hope it gets better looking with more coats

note to others who may be using this as a tutorial....START ON THE TOP! It makes things easier, even if it's not as satisfying.

Day 6 progress
I am managing to get 1-2 coats on per day, with wet sanding in between. I think I am up to 6 coats at this point. 

On Monday I decided I had to do a bit more prep and sanded down some edges where I had stripped for the z stripe. I am much happier but it cost me a day.  

[image] I have settled on the following mixture which seems to work pretty well.
1 part paint
1 part mineral spirits
Hardener according to directions

Paint should take 3 full seconds to start making individual drips when a paint stick is pulled out of it.

In California the ONLY hardener that you can purchase is Japan Drier. It's maximum is 4 oz per with a quart that's like 3 teaspoons per quart so I am doing about a half teaspoon for a day's paint.

[image] Don't know if you can tell from these pics, but it is building up quite a shine. I may be done with the bottom color at this point (maybe one more coat on the sides). On to the top tomorrow.


DAY 10
Happy Day....all that's left is putting the drip caps back on and painting the stripe on the propane tanks and hitch!

Here's how it ended up
Paint-- ACE Rust Stop Quarts ( used just over a quart of each)
7 coats of BM Mexicali Turquoise
5 coats of Ace Sand Trap

Thinned 50/50 with Mineral spirits and a spritz of japan drier (the only hardener you can buy in Ca)
Rolled on with micro fiber roller, wet sanded with 400 grit between coats.
Primed with self etching and bare metal primer.

Total cost of paint and supplies
2 quarts of each finish color $10 each= $40
6 cans of primer $5 each=  $30
1 gallon mineral spirits- $10
Tape, wet dry sandpaper, plastic, brushes, rollers etc= $40
Total $120!

THIN PAINT, think low fat milk
Almost dry roller...all bubbles should pop after a minute or two
Wet sand between coats

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It was a lot of work. Probably about 100 in supplies. 8-9 hours prep, and probably about 10 hours of painting. If I did it again which won't be any time soon I can assure you....I might borrow a compressor and HVLP spray gun.

Z stripe is just bare metal after
the tape is off, need to polish
and clear coat
Plan to clear coat after the paint cures. Here are the pics


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Finished with 48 hours to spare! Here is a picture of her all painted and headed off the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass!