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Old 02-02-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Interior polishing ... help please...

Hello fellow airstream enthusiasts. I have stripped the vinyl off the walls of my airstream interior and started to compound the aluminum. It looks really cool, and to be honest I wasn't really expecting the mirror result that I received. Even after researching the step by step polishing proceeders.

Anyways... after I polished a small section of space it, I realized that the inside would be too shiny. Being constantly surrounded by a mirror is not a comfortable feeling. I know that a lot of people who strip the vinyl just clean up the aluminum, and leave it as is... But i want something more.

Example: '55 Airstream 26' LOA.

Is there way to polish aluminum to a darker tint?

I have no problem painting over the aluminum. However, I've been throughout the forums and have seen all the car paints, zolatones, etc. Everyone of these things costs a pretty penny, and I don't have the skills/tools of a car painter. Any cheaper ways/paints?

Stripping the vinyl off the walls of old trailers seems like a really popular thing to do. Does everybody do this to paint over the top? Or keep the original aluminum interior? Any ideas/pics?
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:31 PM   #2
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interior

hey, i am trying to keep my interior original w/ a few upgrades/custom accents. my ideas are to take out the center section of the ceiling and replace it w/ some textured stainless sheet steel (it is emboosed) and do the stove sink area w/ similiar accents. there was some threads on this from someone else who was redoing theres as well. thats how i got my ideas. the metal can be found on the web if you google rigidized metals. it is some real cool stuff. i have not done any of the work yet. i plan on in the near future to measure what i need and get samples and prices from them. they can do aluminum to and other things. it is a finished product. just install. but it is custom embossed textured stainless. probably not cheap!
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
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Thank you.

this is cool. Is it possible to do this effect with a sander or something? Has anybody else done this? anyone...? Rigidized Metals - Detailed Pattern Information for RANDOMSWIRL
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:56 PM   #4
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all u need is a grinder or dremel and a whole lot of time. if you ever seen some of those aluminum semi-trailors w/ the finsh on them it is done w/ a grinder. it is cool stuff.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:09 PM   #5
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Interesting. I did not realize the vinyl was over aluminum on the sidewalls. How about some pics of where you are now? I know the refer panels in my 73 can be swapped out, which I hope to do. Not crazy about the imitation wood grain, but maybe it'll look better once the floor is done.
Wann see what you come up with
rob n terry
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:00 PM   #6
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I remember a product called blackenit, and it worked as advertised. I don't know how much of the stuff you would need to do the whole interior, the bottles were pretty small.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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If one was real creative I wonder if gun bluing might create an interesting result? I know, crazy talk...but hum, if you could get it even..but that comes in little tiny bottles...would that work on Aluminum?
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:10 PM   #8
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Something I did several years ago, was use some Purple Stuff on hot aluminum, it blackened it quite nicely. If only I had planned it...
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:57 PM   #9
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Polished interior

Mirror finish you say............hmmmmm. I have visions of a hot tub and a heart shaped bed, candle light, soft music and that mirrored ceiling. Why fight it?

A spray on alodine will change the color but I am not sure of the color varities.

On old airplane panels and firewalls we would use a drill motor, air or electric, with a flat rubber bit. ..a dab of rubbing compound and then a light touch to the surface. With an equally spaced pattern you will have a beautiful, almost fishscale like, durable finished surface. The equal spacing is essential for a good result.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:39 AM   #10
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alodine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch
Mirror finish you say............hmmmmm. I have visions of a hot tub and a heart shaped bed, candle light, soft music and that mirrored ceiling. Why fight it?

A spray on alodine will change the color but I am not sure of the color varities.

On old airplane panels and firewalls we would use a drill motor, air or electric, with a flat rubber bit. ..a dab of rubbing compound and then a light touch to the surface. With an equally spaced pattern you will have a beautiful, almost fishscale like, durable finished surface. The equal spacing is essential for a good result.
Ur a genius. Thank you so much. I'm going to try that. should look really cool... I'll put up pics. I dunno about the fish scales though I'm kind of on a time crunch. Just putting it on looks really easy. Not to mention it's cheap.
Alodining

Thank you guys for all ur help and ideas.
Here's a blog that I will update soon. maybe tomarrow...
AEG Airstream
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:59 AM   #11
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Polish

What I did with my 59 is use the course polishing compound and did not go into the final cuts. It looks good but not over done. I don't want to wake up and see a naked sky diver!
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:22 AM   #12
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Polished Interior

Hey Spanky,
I had a customer that had us polish the inside of his car hauler. And like you, he didn't care for the look when we were done. So what I did was custom cut a waving checkered flag design out of vinal, and stick it right on the polished surface. Then used my cleaner (Sharkhide Aluminum Cleaner) and etch the exposed area. After we rinsed it down and peeled the decal off, it looked fantastic.
I was thinking you could polish some areas for accent striping, or even have designs custom cut, then hit the rest of the interior with the aluminum cleaner. It would leave the exposed aluminum a uniform off white look, and then you would have polised stripes or designs left in the other areas.
Just my two cents worth,
Good luck,
Clint
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