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Old 05-21-2016, 08:51 AM   #1
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Hand print stains in my clear coat!

I purchased my 75 Safari last fall and what started out as "We're just going to paint and reupholster" has turned in to a full project! Ended up gutting it and going for an open concept. Besides recaulking seems and windows there are some ugly hand prints on all four corners from the previous owner. I am assuming that he had sunscreen or bug repellant on his hands and then decided to touch the corners! For the life of me I have not been able to get them out! I have tried soap, Walbernize, as well as pain thinner and lacquer thinner. The Lacquer thinner helped slightly but I'm afraid of dissolving the already thin clear coat so don't really want to keep using it. Andy from CanAm suggested I try spraying it with a polyurethane clear coat which may "dissolve " the print and hide it etc. I'm not ready to try this yet so thought. I would look here for suggestions. Any ideas how I might tackle this?
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:11 AM   #2
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If you've tried lacquer thinner, and nothing happened, you probably don't have any clear coat left in those areas. If that is the case, you can try some aircraft stripper on the prints, and see if they come off. Probably what happened is the owner of the prints had something on their hands that etched into the aluminum. If you have no clear coat left there, and stripper won't remove the marks, you will be faced with the choice of either living with them, or polishing them away. You could replace the segments that have the marks, but that would be kind of extreme.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:30 AM   #3
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The clear coat is forty years old, I am surprised that it still looks as good as it does.

I think that it is right that the prints are a place where no clear coat remains.

Polishing the spots might make them less obvious,,,, and it might open the "polish the whole trailer" can of worms...

But I would probably give "blend" polishing a try if the trailer was mine..


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Old 05-21-2016, 02:45 PM   #4
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So....last year I had a hand print like that - and could not get it off - it was from sun screen

I looked online and then tried something and amazingly it worked

I took a piece of lime - scraped the surface of skin - dabbed bits of the skin juice on the spot - let sit for 20 seconds or so - then wipped off with micro fiber - washing with my ordinary soap did nothing
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
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Apparently sunscreen has some crap in it that is terrible for paint or clear coat - now I'm at the beach always maki g sure to wipe crap off
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:07 PM   #6
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It could be the small titanium dioxide particles that can be down to the nano size. I suspect that they are really sticking to the surface. But, with a little UV light they can create free radicals and a germ free surface!
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:16 AM   #7
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Thank you for the responses! The lime juice sounds interesting! I will try that today! The clear coat is def intact even after 40 years. It's only peeling or missing in the front above the window and same location at the back. I may degrease it with a chemical remover then spray just these pannels with clear coat to protect the aluminum for a few more years. The original plan before we bought this was to strip and polish. I have since read enough abought the process and what is required on an annual basis to keep it looking good and have lost my appetite for it! My trailer will be stored outside so polished aluminum is going to take a pretty harsh beating throughout the seasons. Just not interested in spending so many hours each year keeping it buffed.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:02 AM   #8
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Good luck - my hand print was definitely sunscreen - and that was right - titanium dioxide.

It was about 10 months old and still there until the lime trick.

Also I didn't try this one but....hey?

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Old 05-22-2016, 07:17 PM   #9
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Well no luck with the lime! Didn't even put a dent in it! I thought I heard the stain laughing at me as well!
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:53 PM   #10
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I made it up to see if you would even try it!! Jokes on you! Kidding - I think?
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:47 PM   #11
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Classic! That was pretty funny! Though it did sound plausible as I have often used lemon slices to clean my cast iron fry pan. Works great!
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:40 AM   #12
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I made it up to see if you would even try it!! Jokes on you! Kidding - I think?


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Old 05-23-2016, 10:09 AM   #13
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Hand print stains in my clear coat!

To be clear - joking aside - the lime did work for me. - seriously even with the smiley face I'm serious
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Old 05-24-2016, 02:01 PM   #14
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Have you tried buffing them out with a sun screen (or various sun screens)? Hair of the dog that licked you, I suppose.
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