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Old 11-12-2008, 09:56 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1974 23' Safari
Merced , California
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Can grey exterior paint be stripped?

I have found a 1972 International 26ft. It is painted grey. Can I strip it and polish? The body is straight, interior is good condition. My husband says I can buy if we can strip!!! Please advise!! I really want to grab this, she's road ready!! Just not polished....

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Old 11-12-2008, 10:08 AM   #2
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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First off, welcome to the Forums!

There's no reason it couldn't be stripped...just like clearcoat. The only concerns I would have are:
  • Was the surface sanded to make the paint stick better?
  • Is there body damage which may have been repaired w/Bondo prior to painting?
  • Are there irreparable scratches which would show once the paint is removed?
With clearcoat, you could see these defects - with an opaque paint you may not.

Chances are you could "fix" whatever you may find beneath the paint...but it's a big unknown until you are committed. Could be as simple as a little more elbow grease to polish or a bigger deal like replacing panels.

If your heart is set on a polished trailer, I would probably pass on this one unless it is free or priced really, really good. There are lots of early 70's 26-30 footers out there that would be better candidates or at least show "what's involved" up front. Polishing is a lot of work to begin need to compound the effort with "unknowns".

Good luck with whatever you decide to do ~


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Old 11-12-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
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Can grey exterior paint be stripped?

Greetings 4Chochrans!

Welcome to the Forums!

The answser to your questions would be that it depends upon:
  • Was the coach painted to cover body work done with plastic fillers?
  • How severe was the sanding prior to the paint job?
Often times, when a vintage coach was painted, it was done to hide damage repairs using body fillers. Unfortueately, I am not aware of a good method to test for this condition on an aluminum coach. If the coach was severely sanded before painting, it may have removed the alcad coating which would have an impact on the quality of the final polish.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:42 PM   #4
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Ditto to what InsideOut and Overlander64 said.

Several people have elected to paint their units silver - because a paint job is longer lasting than clearcoat. I've seen one or two that you had to get about 3 feet away from to notice that it WAS paint... though something looked just a tad "off" (or interesting) from a bit farther back.

I have seen one Argosy (the painted Airstream) where they owner tried to make it pass for an Airstream - (Argosies were normally painted white or cream and bronze).

You can almost bet that whatever you find under the paint won't be pretty. If you want a shiney Airstream hold out for another one.

Welcome aboard.

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Old 11-12-2008, 03:51 PM   #5
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1963 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
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Ditto, Ditto and a big Ditto, especialy the part where it was said that there are alot of 70s in that foot range out there at a good price without all the stripping of the paint.
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