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Old 03-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
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Mid way through interior vinyl removal - how to remove remnants and cross-hatch?

First, I need to warn anyone out there considering stripping the vinyl.. I know some people have had easy results but let me just say that my experience has been pure hell.

With that said, I'm almost done but still have the elusive cross-hatch as well as areas where the vinyl separated and the cross-hatch is a lot thicker.

Any suggestions on finishing? I was thinking of some sort of non-abrasive pad w/stripper or adhesive remover on a grinder or drill to scrub it off. It is not thick enough to simply peel off anymore.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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Care to share details, what process & product for removal?

At this point a plastic putty-knife scraper might be the best - anything machine that could* leave a scratch would leave a 1000 miles of swirls before you could blink.

Have you done the laying a plastic sheet over the wet surface to keep evaporation down to increase soak time? Also, temperature can be critical - if the surfaces are 50F there is probably triple the soak time from 75F.

Photos would be great.

I made my own rotary nylon bristle brush from a 99 scrub brush from Wal-mart, it cleaned the vinyl perfectly and then stripped pink insulation - the brush has disappeared from the retail universe, even online. It would probably melt the bristles to use it with solvent. It was just a circular shell, I added the flap-sander core to be able to chuck it in a drill. The only other plastic bristle brushes that provide a mandrel to chuck into a drill that I've seen are impregnated with grit to use for sand - NOT the thing you want to use.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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Here is what I did...

First mistake: started with sherwin williams top of the line epoxy stripper.

I get a great discount there so I always opt to use their products but in this case it was a huge error. I purchased some KS-3 today after finding that recommendation on the board.

In essence, there became a very fine line between losing the strength of the vinyl and loosening the adhesive beneath. I got all but 3 panels in the right spot, and removed the entire sheet of vinyl without problem but the 3 that went enormously wrong. I'm talking the entire sheet pulling off 1" piece at a time.

Another key note to those moving forward. As best I can tell the stripper
1. Goes on
2. Has a period of time where it hasn't soaked to the adhesive yet
3. Sweet spot where it has soaked to adhesive and is ready to pull
4. Begins to dry and will not pull well
5. Dries and creates an impermeable layer within the vinyl.

I.E. Never let a panel dry.


---

Thanks for the recommendation on using plastic scrapers. I went down and got some more. Unfortunately they pretty much melt when they touch the stripper.

I also purchased a purdy painters tool. It has a super sharp blade on it. I was actually able to carefully scrape 90 percent of the remaining remnants with that since my last post.

Another thing that seemed help was putting a canvas or heavy duty towel over the blade and scrubbing with that some.

Anyway. Thanks much for showing the brush. Wish I would have been able to buy one of those yesterday.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:58 AM   #4
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There are resin kitchen spatulas & scrapers utensils that may resist the stripper better than the red devil junk.

KS-3 is Methylene chloride; Methanol Mineral spirits...

I've used Methylene chloride in a gasket remover aerosol on the exterior shell to remove the old number sets and decals - it reacts with aluminum. Do try an minimize the time its in contact, but the mineral spirits may buffer the reaction.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:18 AM   #5
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Thankfully I don't believe I have damaged any of the aluminum yet Thanks for the heads up.

I remember another thread (can't find now) where someone said lacquer paint thinner did a good job at removing the light cross hatch of adhesive that remained. Any thoughts on what to use to get it off? Amazingly it appears the ks-3 does not effect it at all.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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I used Savogran's SuperStrip product (availble at Home Depot, about $30/gallon) to remove the vinyl and remnants. A hard plastic scraper held up better than the soft scrapers. The few times that the stripper did happen to dry, I just painted over it again and the stuff bubbled up quite nicely.

There was a bit of residue left but my son figured out that putting a wool buffer pad on the rotary, then giving it a good splash of denatured alcohol, got the residue off and polished any other nasties from the aluminum.

You'll need nitrile gloves as the Savogran burns skin on contact. We did strip the panels in place. Working overhead is a bit of a challenge, but with plenty of ventilation and plenty of fresh air/stretch breaks and it's completely possible for two people to strip a 28' trailer in about a week, working a few hours a night.

So far, no swirlies and no scratches. Best of all, no vinyl.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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I can't wait to see photos!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
I made my own rotary nylon bristle brush from a 99 scrub brush from Wal-mart, it cleaned the vinyl perfectly and then stripped pink insulation - the brush has disappeared from the retail universe, even online. It would probably melt the bristles to use it with solvent. It was just a circular shell, I added the flap-sander core to be able to chuck it in a drill. The only other plastic bristle brushes that provide a mandrel to chuck into a drill that I've seen are impregnated with grit to use for sand - NOT the thing you want to use.
First, I apologize for the (semi-) off-topicness. I think you guys are talking about a different vinyl situation than we have. I'm thinking about the vinyl covering Airstream put on the ceilings during the 90s.

I was floored when I saw your brush - I bet it would work perfectly for removing the backing that sticks to the aluminum skin. Rubbing it or scraping it seems to bring it down. Goggles and plastic sheeting a MUST, though...it goes everywhere.

Do you or does anyone else have any thoughts on that?

Now that I see your bristle brush I think I erred in putting some screws into the aluminum to hold the vinyl up. So if I did use a brush like this, I'd have to hide those holes somehow. But otherwise, my wife and I think stripping that to bare aluminum would look much better. We'd first just do the panel in the front of the camper that's being a headache now - maybe later do the other panels to make it all match. But I think your brush idea would make it a much more tolerable job, as opposed to trying to use stripper chemicals. Still a mess, of course.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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Any holes in the liners can be filled with pulled pop-rivets or even buck rivets just glued in place. There may be limits though, I've got a horrible mess where Joe Somewhen moved the refrigerator chimeny twice so it left three rows of 1-inch spaced holes in the liner - guess who committed to a smaller Vitrifrigo 12/24V fridge before pulling the galley cabinets apart & finding the 210 ragged holes? Ouch.

The bristles on that brush were pretty stout to begin with - you're seeing it after it scrubbed the interior vinyl clean w/ spic'n span and then fought the 440 sqft of outer shell fiberglass... amazing what gentle pressure with high RPMs can do. Currently there is small (2-1/4") Lysol round scrub brush at walmart that has a pivoting handle to change the brush head angle to 90 which might work if the plastic handle is cut away - next time I'm there I'll buy and try to make it convert to a power drill brush...

Savogran's SuperStrip is 85% Dichloromethane or methylene chloride (MC) in a more common definition with 10% Methanol and a 5% Toluene kicker - with paraffin wax added as a drying time extender. Just noting this for the permanent record as we look for the perfect liner-vinyl stripper...
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Any holes in the liners can be filled with pulled pop-rivets or even buck rivets just glued in place. There may be limits though, I've got a horrible mess where Joe Somewhen moved the refrigerator chimeny twice so it left three rows of 1-inch spaced holes in the liner - guess who committed to a smaller Vitrifrigo 12/24V fridge before pulling the galley cabinets apart & finding the 210 ragged holes? Ouch.
Yeah, ouch. In our case, it's just half a dozen or so holes for #8 screws. The buck rivet idea is a good one, thanks.

Quote:
The bristles on that brush were pretty stout to begin with - you're seeing it after it scrubbed the interior vinyl clean w/ spic'n span
I want to be very clear here - you used this to remove the vinyl down to aluminum? Or just to clean the vinyl in place? As you mentioned before, I'm afraid of putting marks in the aluminum.

Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
. ..from a 99 scrub brush from Wal-mart, it cleaned the vinyl perfectly.. .
Not used on solvent melted vinyl - used to scrub the grease and junk in/on the vinyl down to a bright white & non-oily surface while the liners were still installed - I was chasing bad odors...

After committing to a shell-off, I finished washing interior liner hidden areas and backs with a deck brush while lined up sitting in grass.

When it comes time I'll be stripping vinyl too - or outright replacing the three ceiling pieces...

The mesh designs left after peeling the vinyl would be a good candidate for a rotary nylon bristle brush *if a solvent is used that won't attack the brush body or bristles...
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:06 AM   #12
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Thinking back I can't help but wonder if cleaning the vinyl like that prior to stripping isn't a key part. Although I don't really know if a dirty panel will strip harder than a clean one.



FYI for the husbands out there. The apparent limit to the number of allowable jokes concerning the fact that you are spending a lot of time in the airstream with said stripper is less than 2 occurrences.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:14 AM   #13
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How is your project going? Are you all
Coming to Stone Mountain?
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #14
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Newby Question - What "vinyl" are you talking about?

Forgive a newby question, but is the "vinyl" to which this thread refers, the covering of the ceilings and walls? The reason I ask is because we looked at a '76 Overlander today and my wife noticed the covering of the ceiling and walls (down to about mid-way) were "tacky" to the touch. The only surface that was NOT tacky was the front (over the front goucho area) ceiling covering of the end cap, which because of the curves seemed to be a harder (perhaps even molded) type of material, and smooth to the touch.

We are considering buying this trailer but I began searching all the threads in this sub-forum to see if I could find anything about what we saw. If this ceiling/wall covering IS vinyl, perhaps it (the surface, that is) is "breaking down" in this 36 year old unit or maybe the "tackiness" to the touch is a result of something else -- like a previous attempt to clean the surface. But the tacky feel is everywhere. Any helpful explanation would at least let us know if this is a known issue. Thanks - we appreciate learning from all of you!
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