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Old 02-01-2016, 01:10 PM   #71
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1972 25' Tradewind
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FWIW, I am currently a couple weeks into an experiment testing several readily available (Home Depot/Lowe's/auto parts stores) spray paints for plastic.

While Krylon Fusion seems to be the only one that says "this is made specifically for plastic and bonds chemically with plastic" on the can, I have been told that Rust-Oleum 2x Painter's Touch bonds with plastic in a similar way.

The Krylon Fusion is many people's go to, but it comes in very few color choices.

The Rust-Oleum Painter's Choice 2x has MANY more color choices (though you are still much more limited than mixing your own or using a Latex wall paint).

Some people have mentioned that Valspar (carried by Lowe's) also makes some sprays, but the colors were so few (and nothing on the can indicated that the product would be *great* on plastic), so I didn't include it in my test.

After doing some thorough surface prep with xylene and acetone (which actually "etches" the surface for better adhesion as well), I have sprayed different single applications and combinations of paint on the backside of my two plastic sliding window inserts on our 1972 Tradewind. I plan on waiting two weeks (plenty of time for the paints to completely cure), and then I am going to do some scratch tests.

My final application of whatever we choose will also include several clear coats, so once I do the initial scratch test, I plan on doing some variations on application and product for the clear coats as well (matte, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, Krylon Fusion, Rustoleum 2x, Rustoleum Enamel clear, Duplicolor Acrylic, etc.).

I am doing a similar test on the vinyl coated skins too (seeing how the "plastic specific" spray paints adhere to the glued-on vinyl coating on the interior skins). The original coating is adhered so well that it seemed best to paint that coating instead of trying to strip the panels and then get something to stick to the bare aluminum skins (which as most of you know, is pretty difficult, even with the "aluminum specific" primers and etchers available).

I have seen a few owner's complaining about the vinyl coming off of their interior walls over time, but ours is adhered incredibly well, even after being stored in the PO's barn and covered in various barnyard animal scat collections (be-do-bop-de-doo).

When I cleaned the skins (trying Simple Green, TSP, Goof-Off (xylene, 2-ethanol), and paint stripper), the vinyl stayed completely adhered until I left the paint stripper on for extended periods of time (lesson: if you want to get that vinyl coating off your walls to expose the bare aluminum, use paint stripper, leave it on for a while, and the vinyl will peel right off).

So anyway... I'll be creating a blog post soon about the results, and hope to leave some information here as well!

EDIT: p.s. Our front end cap (the plastic one) had a big crack as well. I thought about fixing it, but I think the space above the dinette can be better utilized than what the original plastic "speakers and shelf" end cap provided (more storage, better lighting and possibly stereo/video components, a fold-down bunk for our kiddo, etc.), so I'm just going to chuck the plastic end cap and do all custom up front.
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:49 PM   #72
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kidjedi, what is the blog address, really interested in the results of the paint test
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:37 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosullivan View Post
kidjedi, what is the blog address, really interested in the results of the paint test
In my signature! (http://BeahmStream.com)

It may be a bit before I get the results of the test up. Things got busy this week, and I want to be sure the paint is completely cured (and curing will be slower since it's so cold outside!).
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:48 PM   #74
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Are the end caps on a 1975 31' Airstream plastic or fiberglass? What about the bathroom and the pieces that surround and trim out the front side windows that do not open? The ones above the gaucho.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:10 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by kosullivan View Post
... pieces that surround and trim out the front side windows that do not open? The ones above the gaucho.
If you're going to re-do trim, it's probably worth replacing it. For all those strips that are an inch or a couple inches wide, recycled vinyl vertical blinds, cut to width, are a good option. These should take paints meant for plastic.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:40 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosullivan View Post
Are the end caps on a 1975 31' Airstream plastic or fiberglass? What about the bathroom and the pieces that surround and trim out the front side windows that do not open? The ones above the gaucho.
I have a 1972 25 ft. The rear end cap is fiberglass coated in the same vinyl layer as the interior skins. The front end was plastic. All my small pieces between windows, etc. are vinyl coated metal, the same as the "normal" interior skins. The trim for the two front-most side windows are plastic, as are the inserts that fit behind the skins for the sliding vista vue window shades.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:39 PM   #77
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thanks
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:06 AM   #78
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For the '75 wing window trim:

http://airstreamsupply.com/New-Airst...curbside-10656

They also have the roadside one.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:46 AM   #79
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thanks for the info
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:44 PM   #80
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1979 31' Sovereign
Satellite Beach , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesignlady View Post
Okay back to the tambour doors while the end cap dries. Today I gave the tambours a heavy scrub with the a course sanding block then a fine scotch Brite pad. After I went over each fold looking for any dust bunnies or sanding grit that I may have missed while painting in the dark last night. Any that I found I scraped out with my exacto knife. I realized that the factory cut was quite square and rough so I spend some time with my course sanding block rounding off the top and bottom edges. In a few spots it was quite flared so I cut those with my knife. And sanded some more, it's hard to tell in the bottom picture, but those white edges you see are how far I rounded them and not the sheen on the metallic. The theory of my rounding them off is the less contact with the spiral riders the easier they will move. I will keep you posted on if it works.

Why did I wait till this stage to do all this you ask instead of from the beginning? I was concerned about surface tension of the paint causing a sort of blistering at the ends. Turned out it was not an issue any way
Signlady, do you mind sharing how you removed the tambour doors to paint them without disassembling the cabinets? We are getting ready to paint the entire interior of our AS, including end caps, walls, cabinets, and doors. Looks like a much more thorough job could be done on the tambour if we could paint it while it was laid flat vs. installed in the cabinets.

Thanks! Your stuff looks great!
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:18 PM   #81
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No problem, in post 2 of this thread I cover how I removed mine. I don't have any of the roll upwards style in mine so I am not certain about those
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:32 PM   #82
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First impressions regarding spray paint on plastic panel/inserts and vinyl over metal skins (I'm not done testing)...

Between the two main brands that specifically advertise "bonding to plastic," the Krylon Fusion does seem to stick a bit better (it doesn't scratch off as easily as the Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2x Ultra Cover and holds up to a clear coat much better). Places where I put down Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Flat Gray Primer before a coat of another color (no matter the brand/type) does seem a little more scratch resistant, but it's probably just that the scratch is showing gray underneath instead of (very visible) white (the original surface). I think a better primer for bare plastic might be a flat Krylon Fusion. I am not impressed with Rustoleum Universal Bonding Primer. It is very thin and runs very easily. I haven't tested it's durability yet, because I added it to the test late and just put it down, thus I haven't had a chance to let it dry for a week before spraying another color over it.

The Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic is probably the least durable on the plastic inserts and end cap, but somehow the most durable on the vinyl skins. Go figure.

Dupli-Color Trim & Bumper (Dark Charcoal) was a late addition to the test (I bought it last night), and after just one day it seems about as durable as the Krylon and Rustoleum that's been curing for more than two weeks (in comparison, a new color of Rust-Oleum 2X I added at the same time last night came off like butter). The Trim & Bumper paint is advertised as having "Fade-X Technology" and also boasts "flexible finish" and "excellent adhesion," but the colors are extremely limited (like... three colors: black, white, and gray). However, if it's made for bumpers, I'm hoping it might be the most durable of the bunch? I'm also wondering about it's possibility as a primer.

It's been two weeks (plenty of time for everything from the first batch of sprays to cure), so I also started testing clear coats today. The bad news is that Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Satin Clear caused ALL paints (every type and brand) on the plastic inserts to crack, bubble, and flake. Seriously. You simply can't use it on Krylon or Rustoleum applied to the plastic in my Airstream. The Rust-Oleum clear coat did OK for the paints that were on the vinyl, but be aware that it clouded up a bit at first and then cleared up.

The Dupli-Color Acrylic Enamel "custom matte finish" is giving much better results. Be aware though, it did cause all the Rust-Oleum flavors to bubble and crack like the Rust-Oleum clear coat, though not quite as badly (Rust-Oleum is not doing well in these tests). The Dupli-Color Acrylic Matte Clear did very well with the Krylon Fusion and even with the Dupli-Color Trim & Bumper I put down last night (with minimal curing time). I'm going to wait a week for the clear coat to cure, and then we'll see how it does with the scratch test. I also like the matte finish of the Dupli-Color better (it's more "invisible") than the Rust-Oleum Satin (which has some sheen), but the comparison of the look isn't really fair as it's apples to oranges.

Also note that both the Rust-Oleum and Dupli-Color clear coats caused the Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2X Satin Aqua (the only actual color in the test) to discolor (both clear coats made it look a bit yellowed).
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:18 AM   #83
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Krylon primer

In researching the Krylon Fusion, they offer a primer,
Colormaster Plastic Primer #12089
It says its made with Fusion for Plastic technology,
and can be top coated with other paints, which would
expand the color choices one could use, and still have the
Fusion performance.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:19 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayRat View Post
In researching the Krylon Fusion, they offer a primer,
Colormaster Plastic Primer #12089
It says its made with Fusion for Plastic technology,
and can be top coated with other paints, which would
expand the color choices one could use, and still have the
Fusion performance.
I'll have to check that out. I've had pretty good success just using the Krylon ultraflat (comes in "hunting" colors like khaki and army green) as a primer. I ended up doing the plastic around my vista vues with the Rustoleum Ultra Cover Flat Primer and Ultra Cover Paint with a thousand coats of clear coat (well, maybe 10 coats). Fingers crossed that it holds up!

And the reason I was having problems with the clear coat (as mentioned in my previous post) was because I was putting it on WAY too heavy. You really do have to use a light touch. Like... so light you can't even see it on the surface. Just a lot of "whisper" coats.
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