Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-25-2015, 05:42 AM   #1
New Member
1954 22' Safari
McArthur , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 4
flaking zolatone in 1954 Safari

Great original condition. Even frig works! But tiny white flakes fall everywhere. Does anyone have a simple suggestion for stabilizing the paint? Did this early paint contain lead or asbestos? I have thought about a clear coat or painting over with zolatone but would rather not gut the trailer because it is in such otherwise pristine shape. The overhead bins seem to be the major offender but I really want to use this trailer and not worry about flakes in my food and lungs. Ideas greatly appreciated. This will definitely be a do it yourself project for us. Thanks.

oldsafari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015, 06:30 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Melody Ranch's Avatar

1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,929
Images: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch
sounds drastic but it is not

No lead or asbestos in the old Zolatone. The old overheads are usually a mess and usually need major clean up. My suggestion....remove them by drilling out the rivets along the upper and lower edges. It is not hard and an electric drill will work if your tool limited. Then us a good stripper to completely strip the cabinet. Then either polish the outsides and paint the insides (or leave the natural aluminum.) Refinish the wood doors. Reinstall with 1/8 inch pop rivets with a hand riveter...again an inexpensive had tool if your limited in tool the area.

"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
Melody Ranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015, 09:40 AM   #3
Rivet Master
InsideOut's Avatar

1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,740
Images: 97
I agree with Melody Ranch's suggestion - especially if it is just the upper cabinets. I would prime & paint them a solid color that compliments the remaining Zolatone. But you're definitely going to have to remove the flakes in order to get a good surface for the new paint to adhere. I love the look of the polished interiors, but it is a more maintenance intensive route. Removing the uppers and doing the work outside the trailer will be MUCH easier with better results than trying to do something in place and protect everything else.

Post pics when you can - sounds like a neat trailer...but I just might be a bit partial to the 50's Safari's!


P.S. Welcome to AirForums!
Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | Sisters on the Fly | Tin Can Tourists
BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015, 11:55 AM   #4
New Member
1954 22' Safari
McArthur , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for your quick response and reassurance. We had considered taking out the overheads and probably will do that. The walls, however, are flaking to a lesser degree than the bins but still need something. Current novice plan is to vacuum with a brush attachment, wash, dry, re-vacuum and see what we have. Nevertheless we project something will still be needed to stop the flaking. We just planned to start with mild dish detergent as there is really little grease or mold but still wonder what will adhere to the zolatone after that (if anything) and would prefer to do some of the clear coat or whatever with a brush (such as under sink, behind stove) if a satisfactory finish can be achieved. Don't want to ruin the trailer for posterity but do want to get in it as not getting any younger.
oldsafari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1962 22' Safari
Brooklyn , New York
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
No lead or asbestos in the old Zolatone.
i'm new to airstream renovation but just used a lead test kit on my 1962 safari. looks pretty pink (= lead present) to me.

anyone have definitive info about this?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_8254.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	259.9 KB
ID:	254341  
skyclad is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Original Zolatone or New Zolatone - Value judgement? robwok General Interior Topics 1 12-05-2014 09:34 AM
Clear coat flaking not a problem with 2003 or later models? bgowen Clearcoat, Exterior Paint & Trim 7 03-16-2009 11:48 AM
Clear Coat(?) on Rear Bumper Peeling/flaking IrishRover2 Cleaning, Stripping & Polishing 3 01-02-2008 04:48 PM
Repainting with Zolatone 61BambiCanada Upholstery, Blinds, Walls & Interior Finishes 3 06-10-2002 09:58 AM
Zolatone Paint Question ALANSD Upholstery, Blinds, Walls & Interior Finishes 3 03-05-2002 03:25 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.