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Old 08-15-2016, 02:03 AM   #29
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1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
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Originally Posted by moparjohn View Post
Do you think it will work on a 1973 end cap in the bathroom?
Yup :-)
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:23 PM   #30
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1972 25' Tradewind
Denver , Colorado
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Originally Posted by perryfamily6 View Post
So is it preferable to take the vinyl off the skins if it already has been painted? Especially in a complete overhaul?

My skins are out, with vinyl still attached. If the vinyl starts peeling off the skins, should vinyl be removed?
Getting the vinyl off the skins to leave the aluminum nice is insanely difficult (but not impossible). It's the reason you see so many Airstreams for sale where the previous owner has "given up" and used a grinding wheel, leaving that awful 90's swirly-stainless look.

Nasty chemicals and time are pretty much the only way to do it. I opted to keep the vinyl on our skins (which were all completely removed), since it's adhered to the aluminum so well and is a great, durable coating. I learned a lot from using all kinds of different things to just get the skins clean. I think that a gel-type paint stripper (something that sticks) is best for removing the vinyl from skins. It's better than anything else I tried, and I tried a LOT of things. Just don't use paint stripper unless you definitely want the vinyl off the aluminum; it is extremely aggressive.

I am using rattle cans to paint everything. In my research, Krylon Fusion is the best for adhering to the vinyl and plastic in our Airstreams, but has fewer color choices. I am using Rustoleum 2x Painter's Touch because they have so many more color choices. The one end cap I kept (the fiberglass in the rear, which used to be the bathroom in my '72 Tradewind), I'm actually using Rustoleum Universal Advanced Formula Metallic. It's the best "charcoal" color I could find, and only looks slightly metallic on the textured fiberglass end cap.

I have been using Rustoleum's Universal Primer on the vinyl and plastic, and in some places I used Krylon Fusion as a primer (because I do think it adheres better than the Rustoleum Painter's Touch and maybe even better than the Rustoleum Universal Primer).

Another good "primer" is Dupli-Color Trim and Bumper (from the automotive store). It only comes in three colors (all dark), but it is made to flex a lot and seems to work well for an undercoat.

I have been finishing everything with a million (not really) coats of clear, but do some tests because the different finishes (gloss, matte, flat) can really change the look of what's underneath. Also make sure you do a lot of very, very light coats (like, you can't even see that you're putting paint on), or the paint below will bubble and peel. I was originally putting my clear coat on too thick and almost gave up because it was ruining everything I was doing.

The most important thing in making things work is to get the vinyl skins clean, clean, clean before you start. If someone has already painted the skins and didn't do a good job (if the paint is coming off, but you can't get it all off evenly), you may be out of luck, but if you can get back to that factory vinyl and do a final wash with TSP before painting (but be careful, 'cause that stuff is nasty), you should be golden.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:48 PM   #31
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1992 29' Excella
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primer and paint ideas

A latex bonding primer will work well on the vinyl that is on top of the aluminum skins. I agree that the latex is nice and flexible. It takes about 3-4 weeks to fully cure and be less scratch resistant.

I used Rustoleum Cabinet transformations on my home formica cabinets and it has held up remarkably well. It is a super easy kit to do and comes in tons of colors. Even first timers can do a faux wood grain pretty easily.

I'm planning on using a marine epoxy for my bathroom plastic and probably the end cap.

I have heard the folks at Benjamin Moore are pretty helpful and know their stuff, but I also live close to the "mother ship" Home depot in Seattle, and the folks in their paint department are pretty savvy on various paints.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:50 PM   #32
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McMinnville , Oregon
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I have used Annie Sloan chalk paint and clear wax for my walls and top deck (I think that is what it is called) for the bathroom in my 1966. So far so good, but both were painted this year.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:16 AM   #33
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Spray painting with cans is a very tricky, I'm no dummy but not a skilled handy,am type either! The cans are awful to use, they drip everywhere and very easy for paint to run ...
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:04 AM   #34
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Spray painting with cans is a very tricky, I'm no dummy but not a skilled handy,am type either! The cans are awful to use, they drip everywhere and very easy for paint to run ...
The solution is patience. You've got to put the paint on in super thin (barely visible) coats and give it a few minutes to dry before going over it again. Also, consistent distance between the can and the surface you are painting. FWIW, they make an attachment that you can put on the can that gives it a lever handle istead of having to push down in the spray nozzle.
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