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Old 09-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
Rivet Master
aquinob's Avatar
1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 775
Updating the interior screens to an aluminum-metallic finish

I mentioned this in a previous post about updating the bathroom on a 73 Tradewind, but I have gone ahead and redid all the screens on the trailer except for the front window which will get done this winter when I do my phase 2 rehab on the front gaucho and kitchen.

The original finish was a chalky white and the screens were long overdue for replacement. We are trying to update the interior of the trailer to a more modern look and wanted to bring some aluminum/metallic elements inside but not go overboard. A while back I refurbed the rear tail lights by sanding out the rust and priming them and then spraying with a cold galvanizing paint. I really liked the look of the paint especially when its sprayed lightly and from a distance. I then clearcoated the metal flake with clear enamel and it looked very nice, kind of like I had bead blasted it and then sprayed it with clear. As it turns out, its not a very involved process once you get the hang of it. Probably 3/4 to 1 hour per screen from start to finish including new screen material. Cost is minimal, can of auto primer, can of cold galvanizing paint, can of clear coat and some fiberglass screen stock. I reused the spline. Other tools are a spline roller and some one sided razor blades or a razor knife. Here are some process pics:

Old screen out and frame sanded down. You dont have to get down to the metal, just sand it till its smooth to touch and the any low spots are feathered in.

Mask the slots with a half strip of blue masking tape to keep the bristles clean of paint and then spray with automotive gray primer or whatever you have. I didnt shoot any pics but after the primer is dry, shoot the galvanizing paint lightly and at a distance to get the desired effect. Let it dry a bit and then overcoat with clear.

I gave them a day to dry and then put in the new screening. Dont try and hold down the screen too tight, it actually takes up most of the slack when the spline pushes it down in the groove. No pics of that process but here are the end results. And I didnt use the old screws but bought a box of stainless screws which work nicely and look great:

Bathroom window:

Next up are new curtains and new aluminum mini blinds, hopefully this week before she goes out on her second maiden voyage:


Ongoing adventures at:
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