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Old 10-09-2016, 01:22 PM   #1
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1971 29' Ambassador
New Berlin , Wisconsin
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How to get Mirror Shine

Hello, I am attempting to restore a 1971 Airstream. I am wondering how to get that shining mirror like finish I see in alot of pictures. I am planning on getting stripper to get the clear coat off. I wasn't sure at first if it had clear coat but I see splotching near the roof and from what I've read that is a good indication.

Then I am planning on using muriatic acid and mineral spirits to get rid of any oxidization

Lastly I bought Flitz to polish.

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Old 10-09-2016, 01:26 PM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Welcome, strip to bare metal and polish with finer and finer polish until you are satisfied. You might want to reconsider using the acid. There are dozens of videos on YouTube for reference and many threads here.


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:48 PM   #3
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1971 29' Ambassador
New Berlin , Wisconsin
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What do you mean by finer and finer polish.

Do you mean the pads that I use to polish it or the polish that I buy?
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:32 PM   #4
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Southwestern , Ohio
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Welcome to the forums!

My first suggestion would be, DON'T USE ACID on your Airstream! I can't speak from personal experience but the conventional wisdom is that you can never neutralize the acid that gets into the seams and under rivet heads which will lead to leaks "down the road".

There is a large folklore on polishing Airstreams and several companies that sell the supplies. Here's one that has a lot of information on their web site-

One of the more popular polishing systems is Nuvite. This involves a succession of abrasives. You start by polishing off the oxidation with Nuvite F-7 or F-9 grades using a rotary polisher and then go to one or more finer grades (C & S) using a random orbital (Cyclo) polisher.

I used Nuvite to polish our first Airstream. I could afford to have a professional polish our current Airstream!

Some other polishes are recommended by others. I believe one professional aluminum polisher uses Mothers Aluminum Polish

Our present trailer was polished by Mike Rice of Time Tested Restorations and he did a fine job.
He uses Gord's Aluminum Polish.

Good luck with your project, and as always--"your mileage may vary".
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:25 PM   #5
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1963 16' Bambi
Stevens Point , Wisconsin
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Hey Berlin,
After I stripped the little clear coat that remained, I polished with Nuvite C and then S grades. Used a 7 inch buffer with the C grade and the random orbit to final polish the S grade. No acid!
Wear a hazmat suit and some goggles.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:54 PM   #6
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1967 24' Tradewind
Aurora , Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 58
Listen to Nuvite - F.


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