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Old 09-12-2017, 10:04 PM   #1
Michael Wild
 
1978 31' Sovereign
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Roof Coating

I would like to put a white coating on the roof of my 1978 Airstream Sovereign, but cannot find the right product. Does anyone have any PROVEN suggestions?

I have considered using Avery Dennison vinyl model #SW900, however, the rivets would make laying the vinyl very difficult.

I bought and tried CoolFlex from http://coolflex.ca/, but I could peal it off the aluminum skin with my fingernail on my test piece even weeks after applying it.

Does anyone know exactly what product is used on the new Airstream roofs?
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planBe View Post
I would like to put a white coating on the roof of my 1978 Airstream Sovereign, but cannot find the right product. Does anyone have any PROVEN suggestions?

I have considered using Avery Dennison vinyl model #SW900, however, the rivets would make laying the vinyl very difficult.

I bought and tried CoolFlex from http://coolflex.ca/, but I could peal it off the aluminum skin with my fingernail on my test piece even weeks after applying it.
No paint system will adhere well unless the surface is prepared properly first. In the case of metal, you need a slightly roughened and very clean surface.

Vinyl paint is not the best for aluminum. You would do much better with a polyurethane paint coating system. I say "system" because you're looking at surface prep, primer, intermediate coats, and topcoat to do it right.

Rather than applying one thick coat, applying two or three thin coats provides a better finish. On the plus side, applying multiple thin coats doesn't use any more paint than one thick coat, it just takes longer. A trick I learned from painting contractors, if each coat is a slightly different color than the one below it, you can tell if you've gotten full coverage or if you missed a spot. If you want the topcoat to be gloss white, for example, the coat below it could be slightly off-white, and the coat below that could be white, alternating for as many coats as you want to apply.

Awlgrip makes paint for boat hulls and masts— including aluminum boat hulls and masts— that should do the trick on the roof of your Airstream. Here is a link to Awlgrip's guide to surface preparation for painting aluminum:
http://www.awlgrip.com/support-and-a...-aluminum.aspx
And another link for the topcoating:
http://www.awlgrip.com/support-and-a...opcoating.aspx
Only the surface prep and primer coat(s) are specific to aluminum. Once the primer is in place, you're not painting aluminum anymore, you're painting paint. But all coats need to be the same type, in this case polyurethane, to make sure you get good adhesion between coats. If you follow these guides, and use the primer and paint recommended in said guides, you should be happy with the end product.

Also, make sure the temperature where you do the painting is above 50F, AND at least 5F above the dew point. Do all the work in the sun, or all in the shade, not part sun and part shade, because you want the whole thing to dry at the same rate.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:45 AM   #3
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I believe some folks around here have used BusKote (sp) in the past. Would be great to hear from them, as this was quite a few years ago. Interested in durability. As Pro says, prep, prep, then prep again with whatever you use.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:20 PM   #4
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Hi have HyTech Bus Kote (http://www.hytechsales.com/prod2150.html) on Bella. Seems to substantially reduce internal temps when in direct sunlight, and so far, so good, in terms of adhesion. It was added as part of a full body prep and respray so would have been almost ideal application (apart from straight on aluminum) and the biggest issue has been it is a thick application and some got into the c-channel of the awning and because I use a rope and pole awning (in place of the Zip-Dees) it is a pain to get the awning cord pulled through the c-channel....but if that is the biggest issue it shows using Bus Kote has been the right choice for us.
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