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Old 07-25-2011, 07:00 AM   #15
Refurbished 89 Excella
DKDarrow's Avatar
Sugar Valley , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 241
Originally Posted by Suziesilver View Post
My 55 is in need of a new coat of clear on the natural wood, mine is the original, and looking dull with some cracking and peeling, is a sander an option with a light grit or should it be hand sanded, any recommendations on finishing product?
Yes, one can sand with a "finish" sander. Try to find one that is a straight line and not tiny orbits. In addition one can use one of those small triangular shaped sanders to get into small places that the larger pad sanders cannot. Start with perhaps 100 grit and then in increments of perhaps 20 go up to 200 or so. There will be places that you will have to do by hand but mostly with a bit of care you can use the machines.

For most consumers the big box store Min Wax products are just fine. The original finish is lacquer so going over that with one of the polyurethane products works well. If it is just the finish that you need to work on, I have used on MANY projects their wipe on oil product. One applies it with a rag much like furniture polish; but it leaves a skin of polyurethane.

THE ONLY WAY TO LIGHTEN a color is to remove it. Yes, one can use the bleaches, even Clorox, but what it does is raise the grain which causes ALL KINDS of problems...............

God bless...........Dennis

Dennis & Susan
D&D Farms, Sugar Valley, Ga
Registered Boer goats
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:56 PM   #16
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1955 22' Panorama
Bak , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 28
Thanks Dennis. I'm truly contemplating having my trailer rebuilt but looking around the web at the different shops. Amazing craftsmanship. I am not able to complete much on my own. Any names of airstream refinish artists in California? Sent email to Area63 Productions without any word back.

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:10 AM   #17
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1990 34' Limited
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Rivet oak cabinets

Hello All,
I re-ferbed our 34’ inside and out once we bought her from the PO. She was dated, and worn out with age / neglect. Here are some interior shots of the cabinets. I have 20+ years as a carpenter, however its not my profession, rather my passion that has allowed me to pursue “labors of love” The dinette table is a Spalted Maple with a free hand inlay, ebony trimmed with New Zealand Bloodwood. The inlay in the rear bureau is a Honduran mahogany I had laying around the shop, begging to be used to replace the Formica top that just rubbed me the wrong way…ugh….
The process is time consuming, however worth its weight in rewards
Take your time to do it right the first time .
1. First and foremost, remove all of the doors, then all of the brass pulls and hinges
2. Using a Black and decker Mouse you will take 2 sweeps of sanding, nice to work with a partner on this, first step, 80 grit, 2 step 120. This process is for ALL edges and surfaces, wear a dust mask and prepare for heavy dust. One of the easiest methods is to purchase a sheet of plywood, place it on two saw horses and work around it. We set up two tables, then as soon as one person finished the first grade of sanding , moved off to the next plywood table….great work surfaces for the finish work as well.
3. Final prep stage steel wool, #0000, to remove any “grime” in the corners not hit by the “mouse” don’t be too picky, as you will be amazed what the new stain and finish will do.
1. In agreement with another thread, stain must be done by hand, use gloves, however, you must use a “chemical” glove or it will gust deteriorate. Use old men’s tee shirts for the best results 6x6 patches. Dip the corner into the stain ( BE SURE TO STIR THE PIGMENT FROM THE BOTTOM) then within minutes wipe down with a clean rag….you will need to test this out…the longer you wait…the darker the color. In HOT weather…you will need to be quick about this, as the stain will “set” will become sticky, and you will do more harm than good to keep rubbing. If this occurs, you can use a thinner, to wipe it down to a lighter grade color if so desired.
2. Spend the money and buy the triangle “painter points” they are yellow plastic 1” tripods that you can set your cabinet door on. DO THE BACK SIDE FIRST…to avoid drips on to the front surface…wipe the edges WELL prior to allowing to dry….on a hot day you can get by with a 6 hour dry time….to be SAFE OVERNIGHT DRYING is the best course of action.
3. Flip all of cabinets over……now take care in the application of stain for the front of the door. Doing the back first will also give you experience in your process or “feel” of the process to obtain the color you want.
4. One coat of stain is usually all you will need.

These photos show the use of a product by CABOT…sold at Lowes in the “GUNSTOCK” color, it best matches the red oak, provides a realistic color, and retains its luster with well over a year after the application and still looks new.
In these photos, I used Minwax’s HighGloss, Quick Dry, expensive….but worth the bucks. ( they also offer a satin and semi gloss finish) DO NOT GO CHEAP on the brush or short yourself by anything less than a Purity brand, 3” you will need 2 to 3 brushes to properly go through the process, however can get away with 2 with a lacquer thinner to clean the brushes, however the cost of thinner, warrants a 3d brush…..all of the prep work…don’t kill yourself over 40.00 in brushes.
1. Once you have finished your steel wool, use a tack cloth to wipe all surfaces. An air hose or soft bristle brush to clean your work surface. Best to do this in a garage, where you can use the plywood as a table, and a clean surface, as well as control contaminates from effecting the finish- bugs, dust, your neighbor’s cut grass…..
2. Apply your first coat….to the BACK of your doors….allow to dry. FULLY, flip over, then do the front…pay attention to drips…..
3. Lightly sand with 220 BY hand front and back …..then a tack cloth again
4. Apply 2d coat to BACK than Front…you should only need 2 coats on the back. ALLOW to FULLY dry
5. 3 coat for front only…. Use 320 wet/dry ( black paper) by hand and lightly to produce a “white dust…then tack cloth again
6. Now for the finish …..front side only……best done at night….9-10 pm ( not in the winter months though due to set times) this will provide the least dust and disturbance. Use a NEW brush, and a BRIGHT LIGHT to detect any missed areas…look at the door at an angle to confirm a full application… go to bed…like it is Christmas eve….in the morning…. Well your hard work will be rewarded.
I shopped Ebay, came up with solid brass pulls for 1.00 each and hinges for a 1.25 a pair, all together, it was under 100 for the brass for a 34’
Hope this helps, feel free to post any questions / PM me
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:32 AM   #18
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quick follow up:
Note, prior to installing.....follow the above process on your cabinet frame work, be sure to mask off the edges.
Pre-drill for your new hinges to assure you dont split/crack the oak.
Happy trails
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:10 PM   #19
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1990 34' Limited
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Here is another view of the bath cabinets. Same process as above.
The tub / shower was removed as well, fully stripped down and refinished with a two part binding epoxy in oyster pearl. The shower walls were custom painted with a marbled application of binding primer and accented to match. That is another thread though.
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