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Old 07-16-2019, 03:23 PM   #1
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Paint match for '04 Interstate?

My '04 Interstate has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in it's fifteen years on the road, and needs a few sprays of dark gray metallic touchup on the fiberglass skirts.

Has anyone found an off-the-shelf rattle-can paint that is "close enough" to match that dark gray metallic? I'm not looking to do a body-shop resto... just cover some wear and tear in specific areas. I'd like it to be close enough that it doesn't scream "touch up!" but it really doesn't have to be a body-shop match.

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
My '04 Interstate has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in it's fifteen years on the road, and needs a few sprays of dark gray metallic touchup on the fiberglass skirts.

Has anyone found an off-the-shelf rattle-can paint that is "close enough" to match that dark gray metallic? I'm not looking to do a body-shop resto... just cover some wear and tear in specific areas. I'd like it to be close enough that it doesn't scream "touch up!" but it really doesn't have to be a body-shop match.

Thanks!
85MH325 - Can't provide any help on paint info. If MB gave you the original paint from the paint booth that sprayed your fiberglass skirts 15 yrs. ago, that paint would not resemble your current paint. Anyone who provides you with a specific paint code info would be priming themselves for failure and getting blamed for a "screaming touch up". IMHO there are only 2 options - "screaming touch up" or body shop job. BTW - No body shop can paint match 15 yr. uv exposed paint. Heck, the best-of-the-best painters have hard enough time with a brand new car
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:13 PM   #3
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85MH325 - Can't provide any help on paint info. If MB gave you the original paint from the paint booth that sprayed your fiberglass skirts 15 yrs. ago, that paint would not resemble your current paint. Anyone who provides you with a specific paint code info would be priming themselves for failure and getting blamed for a "screaming touch up". IMHO there are only 2 options - "screaming touch up" or body shop job. BTW - No body shop can paint match 15 yr. uv exposed paint. Heck, the best-of-the-best painters have hard enough time with a brand new car
In '04 all the vans apparently came from the Daimler-Chrysler-Mercedes (Dodge) factory painted white. The two-tone silver paint job on them and the ground effects were all added by Airstream. The insides of the door, hood, and interior are all white.

And it's ok if there's a fade difference... I'm not too concerned about that. I'd just like the paint to be the general shade/hue in covering up the white where the fiberglass has been gouged, or the dark silver-gray metalflake has just plain flaked off.

No worries. As I said, it's a 15 year old van. I'm just trying to better hide some of it's scars.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:25 PM   #4
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An option

You can find an auto body paint/supply store, they should have the ability to scan a piece of the trim and offer some options on matching paint . We do it all the time.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:29 PM   #5
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Did your rig come with the original document case? The later ones looked like messenger bags. There's a small card in there with the paint formulas (or there was at the time of its birth).

Else, it IS on the internet somewhere, probably on Airstream's website. It's been years since someone asked the question, so I don't remember where. Thems who dig can often come up with interesting stuff.

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Old 07-16-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Autodoc View Post
You can find an auto body paint/supply store, they should have the ability to scan a piece of the trim and offer some options on matching paint . We do it all the time.
85MH325 - Then I would do what AUTODOC suggests above. This is your best bet of getting close. Hopefully, you can bring the piece you are touching up so they scan that. Or if you are painting that entire panel, then the adjacent panels is what you need to bring. You should be getting the Pantone codes (or whatever term they use for automotive paint codes). Don't waste your time searching for the original paint codes coz it ain't what you want. It will give you a starting point but the final one will be much different. You want the codes that your paint has matured to after the 15 yrs. of UV fading is accounted for. That can only happen by scanning the trim.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:13 PM   #7
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Some paint shops can put matched paint into spray cans. Just a FYI.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:48 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, and I appreciate all of the body shop and custom paint color suggestions... but this is a fifteen year old van, and I'm not taking it in for a re-spray or paint matching. At least not yet. I've got a little rust around a couple of through-hulls that I'll have my local body shop take care of this fall, but right now, I really just want something off the shelf that is close to the color to cover some gouges in the ground effects.

What I'm wondering is if someone has gone to Farm and Fleet, or Tractor Supply, or somewhere like that and managed to find an off-the-shelf rattle can color that is close enough... you know... like Duplicolor, Krylon, or Rustoleum... or something.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
Thanks everyone, and I appreciate all of the body shop and custom paint color suggestions... but this is a fifteen year old van, and I'm not taking it in for a re-spray or paint matching. At least not yet. I've got a little rust around a couple of through-hulls that I'll have my local body shop take care of this fall, but right now, I really just want something off the shelf that is close to the color to cover some gouges in the ground effects.

What I'm wondering is if someone has gone to Farm and Fleet, or Tractor Supply, or somewhere like that and managed to find an off-the-shelf rattle can color that is close enough... you know... like Duplicolor, Krylon, or Rustoleum... or something.
85MH325 - Try Plastikote. I have used it on dirt bikes and my off road truck.

https://www.plastikote.com/
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:30 PM   #10
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The mystery is solved...

IB mentioned that interesting things lurk in the quiet corners of the Internet. I went to Airstream.com and emailed customer relations with the question. Here is their reply:

Quote:
Hello,

Looking through the files, attached is a sheet that shows the colors which appear to look like your unit.


Michael Varno
Airstream, Inc.
Motorized Touring Coach Owner Relations
The paint is Sherwin Williams Silver Frost. The dark gray is 61766 and the silver is 54189. I was hoping that they'd be standard Chrysler colors which are available in rattle cans off-the-shelf... but this is a start.

And attached are the graphics with the paint info from Airstream.

And now we know.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:19 AM   #11
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Interesting - I've never seen that particular graphic before.

Edit: While we are on the subject, here's an example of the card that should be locate-able in the document pile that came (or should have come) with every T1N Interstate.

What I did NOT realize before digging this out is that Airstream subcontracted its paint jobs. This company is still in business today, in Elkhart Indiana.

This is why I refer to ours as a "garnet stripe" Interstate. Garnet is the name they used.

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Old 07-18-2019, 05:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Interesting - I've never seen that particular graphic before.

Edit: While we are on the subject, here's an example of the card that should be locate-able in the document pile that came (or should have come) with every T1N Interstate.

What I did NOT realize before digging this out is that Airstream subcontracted its paint jobs. This company is still in business today, in Elkhart Indiana.

This is why I refer to ours as a "garnet stripe" Interstate. Garnet is the name they used.
I have all of the original paperwork that came with the van including the instructions for all of the over-the-counter small items like the aftermarket CO and gas detectors, along with ALL of the maintenance receipts for the van, but there wasn't a paint code card included. Of course, mine's a couple of years older than yours, so I suppose that those things evolve. In the ensuing 32 years since I bought my first Airstream (a '70 Safari Special 23' single axle) in 1987 and through the nine Airstreams of various ages, sizes, and types I've owned, it's been my experience that they have a tendency to look at every unit as a one-off... and many seem to be. Consistency of anything has never been a strong suit of Airstream dating back to Wally Byam himself.

BTW, IB, I FINALLY got around to ordering the new manual gear drive for the Carefree Freedom III awning to replace the stripped-gears, so shortly I'll be using those instructions you were kind enough to send me. I've been working my way through other more important issues, like all of the problems with the propane system and appliances, but I'm finally getting down to the "minor nuisance" repairs now. Thanks again!
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