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Old 10-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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Painted Airstream

I am curious to get some info on removing paint from a 61 Airstream. It is peeling in many different areas. Can paint hurt or damage the aluminum? Will remove all 220 remove the paint? Will it come off like clearcoat with the Remove all?

Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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I am curious to get some info on removing paint from a 61 Airstream. It is peeling in many different areas. Can paint hurt or damage the aluminum? Will remove all 220 remove the paint? Will it come off like clearcoat with the Remove all?

Thanks.
If the paint is peeling, then the surface was not correctly preped.

That should mean that the metal was never sanded, either.

No, the paint can't hurt the aluminum.

Using a good paint stripper, will remove the paint usually the first time. Sometimes, a given area may have to be done a second time.

Use CAUTION with paint strippers, as many of them will burn your skin.

Andy
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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Stripping depends on the type of paint they used but usually Removal does a pretty good job on just about all of them. Do not get it on the plastic parts as it will do a number on them as well. Do not use Sandpaper of any kind on the Airstream. It will be very hard to get the scratches out that it will cause.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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IMO, your best bet would be Aircraft Stripper - I found the RemoveAll doesn't work as well in a dry climate, it has to stay moist long enough to work.

Shari
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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When I stripped my Argosy I used every product that I could get my hands on (except aircraft Stripper, I cold not find it locally). I found that Stripeze from Lowes worked the best. HOWEVER, anything plastic melted and it is VERY caustic. I had many chemical burns all over my body, never mind what it did to the ground. But it worked so that is what I used. I used rubber squeegees and plasitc hand scrapers. minor scratches can be buffed out in the polishing process. I had some VERY bad scratches and now you can not see them even at 6" away.

I used Removall on the interior latex and zolatone on my 53 cruiser and was less than impressed for the cost.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
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I recommend CitriStrip. Found it at Home Depot, half gallon about $20. Nothing caustic about it. Instructions say that you should use rubber gloves and eye protection. Haven't used either (of course didn't read directions until I was halfway into the project). I did get a spot or two of CitriStrip on bare hands, it didn't burn or cause me any problems. Best part is that with CitriStrip, you can leave it on for up to 24 hours without it hardening back up. Something I did do, I fired up the pressure washer to rinse off this last time. Using a regular water hose took forever to get the clearcoat all off. Couple of swipes with pressure washer, boom, all gone.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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Andy,

I have striped the clear coat off my 1998 Bambi. Now that it is striped it I am working to get a nice even polish looked. Every thing I have tried does not give good results on the satin finished aluminum. I have tried Neuvite, Truck Box and 3M. I can not get an even finish. I am willing to put in the time to get a good look but do wont to spend a hunderd hours and still have an uneven finish. Is paint my only option?

Any sugestions will be appreciated.

Thanks - Al
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
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Describe how you polished....did you compound? what equipment are you using? Pictures will help too.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:53 AM   #9
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Andy,

I have striped the clear coat off my 1998 Bambi. Now that it is striped it I am working to get a nice even polish looked. Every thing I have tried does not give good results on the satin finished aluminum. I have tried Neuvite, Truck Box and 3M. I can not get an even finish. I am willing to put in the time to get a good look but do wont to spend a hunderd hours and still have an uneven finish. Is paint my only option?

Any sugestions will be appreciated.

Thanks - Al
Al.

We do many things with an Airstream, but we do not get near anything to do with polishing.

Our shop is clean and I wish to keep it that way, instead of everything being coated with a black residue.

Many here on the Forums have polished their Airstreams, and I am sure would be glad to help you.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:40 PM   #10
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Andy,

I have striped the clear coat off my 1998 Bambi. Now that it is striped it I am working to get a nice even polish looked. Every thing I have tried does not give good results on the satin finished aluminum. I have tried Neuvite, Truck Box and 3M. I can not get an even finish. I am willing to put in the time to get a good look but do wont to spend a hunderd hours and still have an uneven finish. Is paint my only option?

Any sugestions will be appreciated.

Thanks - Al
Look at my links below to see how i polished..
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:47 AM   #11
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Andy,

Thanks for the reply. The more I have researched I have decided that to polish a later model Airstream with the saten finish is not a good option. I bought this trailer new in 1998 and plan to keep it at least another 12 years.

I have completely replaced the interior including cabnets, appliances, seat coushings. I think that your ideas on painting is the direction that I will go. I have spent a lot on money in the interior and am willing to invest in a good paint job. It is a Bambi wirth the clear coat in removed and the skin is in good condition with the exception for a few scratches.

What kind of dollars should expect to I pay to get it done right?
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:06 AM   #12
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ALM, be sure to read Bob Thompsons' Chronology of Painting My Excella 25 as a guide to the labor, prep and materials. I can say that, years later, it is a very nice looking trailer. Painting would also be my choice.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:30 PM   #13
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IMO, your best bet would be Aircraft Stripper - I found the RemoveAll doesn't work as well in a dry climate, it has to stay moist long enough to work.

Shari
Will this eat through the first layer of soft aluminum if left on too long? Any other caveats?
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:26 PM   #14
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Will this eat through the first layer of soft aluminum if left on too long? Any other caveats?
Aircraft stripper won't hurt aluminum, but it will hurt skin and eyes.
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