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Old 07-28-2016, 04:30 PM   #1
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Paint Match for 1978 Argosy Motorhome

I know I read it in the forum somewhere a while back but I can't find it now... We have some surface rust on the end caps of our 1978 24' Argosy MH that we will be sanding, priming and painting. We are looking for a close 'stock' match to the original paint. Dupli-Color makes some aerosol spray matches to original auto paints and we might try that as a stop gap approach. Anyone have any suggestions on aerosol spray color matches? And then more importantly, what recommendation to any of you have for a stock, put-in-a-spray-gun brand/color. I've looked through the old Sherman Williams books for 1978 trucks and came up with Polar White... but I though Ameron (sp?) used to have something too. Any leads are much appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Belle View Post
I know I read it in the forum somewhere a while back but I can't find it now... We have some surface rust on the end caps of our 1978 24' Argosy MH that we will be sanding, priming and painting. We are looking for a close 'stock' match to the original paint. Dupli-Color makes some aerosol spray matches to original auto paints and we might try that as a stop gap approach. Anyone have any suggestions on aerosol spray color matches? And then more importantly, what recommendation to any of you have for a stock, put-in-a-spray-gun brand/color. I've looked through the old Sherman Williams books for 1978 trucks and came up with Polar White... but I though Ameron (sp?) used to have something too. Any leads are much appreciated.
The original color was DuPont Centari 44534-A Light Beige, but be aware a 'fresh' spray comes out quite yellow, and fades to off-white over time. If you like the aged color you are better of starting with Ford Wimbledon White.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:59 PM   #3
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Thank you Martin. Once again you have come to my rescue. When I was at the auto supply place (before posting my question) I looked through the stock aerosol paint colors and I remember seeing the Ford Wimbledon White. I'll go back and get a can and see how close it is to our current 'white' body color. We need a temporary fix and this may just be the ticket. Thanks again.
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Belle View Post
Thank you Martin. Once again you have come to my rescue. When I was at the auto supply place (before posting my question) I looked through the stock aerosol paint colors and I remember seeing the Ford Wimbledon White. I'll go back and get a can and see how close it is to our current 'white' body color. We need a temporary fix and this may just be the ticket. Thanks again.
No worries Belle, also remember the end caps were galvanized and if your are seeing rust the zinc coating has failed. Make sure you treat the rust with a stabilizer compatible with both the zinc and the paint you will be using - not all rust stabilizers are compatible with galvanized panels, and many are not for using under automotive paint.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:38 AM   #5
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Paint Match for Argosy MH

Martin is exactly correct on matching the paint color for Argosy motor homes. I have a 77 Argosy which Ihave owned since 1978. At the time the first owner had purchased a quart of the DuPont paint for some touch up that he had done in the first year. In 1978 I purchased from an Airstream dealer an aerosol can of touch up paint. The first owner's touch up that was done in the first year still matches the original factory paint (39 years later). All of that "original" paint has faded together and still matches. About 1989 I needed to touch up some scratches and got out those old "original" touch up paints and they mis-matched. The freshly applied had definite cream color compared to the faded factory paint.

Bottom line the original DuPont paint is not readily available anymore and if you could still get it, it will not match anyway. Martin's suggestion is the best route.

I faced the same issue as you two years ago in repainting my rusty end caps. There was a lot of ugly rust at the lights and where the steel end cap was adjacent to the aluminum skin. I removed the lights and the vent fan cover in the rear and then sanded with an orbital sander. I then primed the bare steel with an etching primer and painted with the new paint. I got my paint from an automobile paint supply where they mixed the color and then put it in an aerosol can. The paint was a Nason brand of paint and color is very close to the "original" faded paint. I like the faded color better than the original non-faded color - more of a white color. If I didn't tell you of the difference, you probably will not see the difference.

With a little of work, those rusty end caps will look significantly better.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:49 PM   #6
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Looks good Gregg. I've looked into the option of having the paint put into aerosol cans too. Found a place here that will do it. Current plan is to get a can of Dupli-Color pre-made paint that matches the Ford color that Martin suggests to see if it is close. Might end up having the paint supply place tweek the color if it needs it and put matching paint in aerosol cans. Plan is subject to change. We just set up the scaffolding today (had it here for a window job) so first task is to get it sanded down.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:53 PM   #7
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Martin - Thanks for the added info on the galvi. Didn't consider that. Knew the caps were steel, but didn't think they were galvanized.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:11 AM   #8
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Peeling end caps

Check the seams where the aluminum and steel panels join for rust since it will develop there because of the dissimilar metals, which, is probably why the steel was originally galvanized. The original paint on my end caps no longer adheres well to the galvanizing underneath and cracks and pops off regularly. About once a year I have to scrape the cracked peeling paint off, sand and feather it out, prime and touch up. It only peels where I haven't painted before. If I scrape it, the old paint just pops off so I plan to scrape the end caps, sand to bare metal, prime and paint with new automotive paint. The paint on the aluminum is faded but adheres great.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:48 AM   #9
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Thank you again for all the information and advice. We've gone through the suggestions/advice and figured a little more information from our side would be helpful.

Our current paint-condition is about a quarter square foot (total area) of rusty metal, about a half square foot of exposed galvanized metal and maybe two square feet of flaking paint, same as Rvb described (it’s surprising how easy the flaky paint comes off with sanding yet adheres at 65 mph getting hit by rain and bugs) . The end-cap to roof seam area is in pretty good shape (almost no corrosion) but at the driver and passenger windows there is rust as well as along windshield gasket. Our short term goal is to stop the rust and have the appearance reasonably presentable. We intend to paint both end caps later using air spray gun (not with aerosol cans)

A few additional questions:
Is the existing/original DuPont Centari lead-based?
By ‘stabilizer’ do you mean a rust converting primer, self -etching primer, both or something else?

Based on comments received so far, it sounds like we should sand off all rusty areas down to bare metal (steel) and prime that with self-etching primer. Then sand off the flaking paint and prime those areas as well as the self-etching primer with a high-build primer. Complete (for now) with a top coat of aerosol paint to match the color. Sound about right?
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Old 07-30-2016, 05:12 PM   #10
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It sounds like you are at the same stage as we are at with repairs to our second MH Peanut. I am very lucky that one of Brad's friends Ernie, a retired bodywork/metal worker is currently working on the same type of rust repairs.

One extra word of warning, sanding the existing rivet heads will impact their performance so restrict any sanding to the steel around the rivets; Ernie is doing this using sanding attachments on a Dremel, even though he has more aggressive sanding options available.

He has also reached out to his contacts in the automotive paint world and they have advised using Rust-Oleum Reformer (https://www.rustoleum.com/product-ca...rust-reformer/) to treat the rusty areas. He has been in contact with Rust-Oleum and this is compatible with oil-based, lacquers or aerosol top coat paints, and also (according to Rust-Oleum) the marine Topside paint I intend to use on Peanut.

I would suggest using that on all exposed steel surfaces to convert to a stable base which then can be over painted.

Sorry, I have no idea if the original pain contains lead.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:59 PM   #11
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A fellow member of one of the Airstream units I am in owns a paint and body shop and has painted Argosy's. He advised me to use acid etch primer on the aluminum, but, not on the steel. He said to use standard auto body primers.

I don't know if lead was in the original beige paint or in automotive paints at all in the 1970s. Lead was traditionally used as a colorant in white paints with usage declining starting in the 1950's and banned for consumer use in 1978.

Only the end caps on mine need taken down to bare metal so I intend to chip and scrape as much off as possible then sand what's left with a random orbital sander attached to my shop vac being careful around the rivets.
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