How to Inexpensively Restore Like New Color
To Faded Paint on Buses Without Repainting

Keeping the positive public image that comes from a consistently clean and shiny fleet of buses is an expensive and time consuming task for most contractors. John Loab, president of Cheshire Transportation Co., Inc., of Keene, N.H. believes he has discovered a solution to at least part of the problem.

We operate a high mileage fleet of 130 buses over rough gravel with sand and road salt. And our maintenance facility is next door to an asphalt plant, which really compounds the problem. While we repainted vehicles when necessary and used soap with a wax built in, I wasn’t satisfied with the results. At the 1984 NSTA convention I met William Rice, president of Kar Keepers, Inc., a Houston, Texas-based manufacturer of protective coatings. Kar Keepers was offering a clear nylon product called VIVILON™, which promised to restore faded oxidized paint to “like new” color tone and gloss. Additionally, the company would come to a contractor’s facility and apply the product for a set fee and guarantee that the paint on buses coated by them would not crack, peel or lose the gloss for at least five years from the date of application



Spraying old buses restores them to "like-new" condition with protective coating


We had four buses coated last year and recently had five more vehicles done. We are very pleased with the results and plan to do a similar number next year. The appearance of the fleet is enhanced with this protective coating.

To get the maximum benefit out of the product, I prepared my buses for the special coating in the following manner. I had all the dents banged out, the trim paint touched up and had the necessary lettering done before the service crew then hand scrubbed the buses with a Nylon pad and cleaning powder to “rough up” the paint. After rinsing off the residue with a sponge soaked in degreaser, a paint cleaner was used to remove road tar and detail any stains or areas of previous touch up overspray.

Finally, a special “prep” cleaner was applied by hand to make sure the surface was chemically clean and ready to be sprayed. When this procedure is followed Kar Keepers will guarantee that the coating will not peel or crack even when exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and it is virtually stain and graffiti proof. It resists chipping, acid or salt exposure and can be easily painted over with only a soap and water clean up to prepare the surface.

One of the added features of the coating is that my buses are much easier to clean because dirt doesn’t seem to cling as it did before. I would have had several more units spray coated this year, but we just didn’t have the time to get them ready.


Preparing the bus for speacil coating is an important step of the process. Above, bus is hand scrubbed to "rough up" the paint

For more information on this product, contact William Rice, (800) VIVILON (848-4566)

September 1985 NATIONAL SCHOOL BUS REPORT