#17 Foot Plates!

During the process of the floor, we were trying to think of the best way we could finish the visible edges by the doors that would look as tidy as possible. We brainstormed lots of ideas and were willing to just pick one to try, when Callum found something on one of the camper forums which suited us much better!

Someone was making and selling footplates to fit Trafics & Vivaros. They are made from aluminium chequer plate and are cut and welded to fit the contours of the van – although the silver colour was not exactly us, we decided that they were worth a punt and we would give a go at repainting them. Although the area by the barn doors was never going to be as tricky to finish (due to it being a flat edge) we decided to buy both so that they matched.

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We used a course metal brush to prepare the footplates before painting; they didn’t need much but a basic, all-over scuffing. We then applied 3-4 coats of etch primer, this stuff comes out a lightish grey colour and essentially causes a reaction with the metal. It prepares the surface for the paint to go on top, so it doesn’t just chip and flake off. We followed the instructions on the tin, leaving about 20 minutes between each coat for drying and ended up with 3-4 even coats giving full coverage on each of the footplates.

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Once the etch primer was fully dry we then moved onto the paint. We bought the appropriate matt black spray paint and again followed the instructions on the tin for application! 3-4 light coats and we had good coverage on both pieces – due to the pattern on the metal we had to make sure we were hitting it from every angle, so that none of the grey primer would be visible when we were done. They looked so much better black!

To protect the work we had done on them thus far we also purchased some spray-on matt lacquer – exactly the same process as before: 3-4 coats on each, letting it dry in between and in no time at all we had a smart looking finished product. We were worried that any kind of lacquer would add some sort of shine but it didn’t at all. We now have two neat, matt black footplates which look great and will save us a lot of time and fiddling in the future!

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