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Old 04-24-2004, 06:40 AM   #43
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Bob, Does the silver paint that you bought have the blue tint, or the more common yellow tint?
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Old 04-24-2004, 09:06 AM   #44
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Judging just from the sample in the color chart, it appears to have neither! For sure, it doesn't have yellow, but may possibly have a drop of blue. It would be comparable to the "whitest" silver metallics you see when you check out cars in a parking lot. I was going for a very "white" silver to try to reduce solar heat build-up in the summers. The "whiteness" would reduce the work of the air conditioner.

Weather forcasts for next week are very good for painting. Humidity levels should drop and daytime highs should be around 80! I'm thinking now, I might be able to treat and prime two sides on the first day and the two ends on the second day, then use 1 day to paint each side and each end.
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:21 PM   #45
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Aaaaarrgh! Bigtime rain yesterday! Between 8" and 10" in about 16 hours! This is going to delay painting for a couple days until the humidity drops.

After reading more of the dire warnings on the aluminum cleaner (DX533) and Alodine (DX503) I decided to get some nitrile gloves. A word about dire warnings: Just about every product you encounter these days has some kind of dire warning associated with it. Today, I read one dire warning where they warned of poisonous gasses and possible irreversable blindness if the fluids were to come into contact with your eyes. It wasn't on the paint can, or aluminum cleaner, it was on the top of the trailer's deep cycle battery. The point is, be careful, be reasonable, but don't get scared off. The cleaner is reduced 3 parts water to 1 part DX533. For those who don't know, always pour an acid into water, not water into an acid. Start with 3 parts water then add the 1 part DX533. The literature says to spray on the diluted DX533, scrub with a red Scotchbrite scuff pad, rinse off with water, and blow dry. Hense, the need for the nitrile gloves. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, wear protective goggles and use nitrile gloves. Supposedly, the DX533 has a soap in it. When your rinse the DX533 off, and the water sheets over the whole piece, it is clean!

Before I start the DX533, I'll wipe the days work area down with PPG DX330-4, a wax and grease remover. Immediately after the DX533, I apply the DX503 using a spray bottle, let it set for about 3 minutes, rinse thoroughly with water and blow dry. My inclination is to spread the DX503 around with a brush, but the directions don't call for it, and my addition could mess things up, so I won't do it.

I will mask areas which won't be painted to make sure the cleaner and the metal conditioner do not get on those areas. The alodine has a dye in it and I wouldn't want it on parts I plan to polish. And, I suspect any window glass could be damaged by the cleaner or the alodine, so I will protect the windows.

Adding some Scotchbrite pads, nitrile gloves, and the DX330 wax and grease remover cost $18.14. bringing the total to $915.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:04 PM   #46
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Wow can't wait to see it be sure and take tons of pics... and show us....
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:08 PM   #47
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Andy, I saw where you posted a note and said $170 per ft. is this a quote from your shop or just an average..... also I'm looking for some parts ... want to sell' m to me.. ?
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:22 PM   #48
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The weather started to look good, so I got started today. First, I re-wetsanded the first side to be painted. It had been a couple weeks since I last sanded and the aluminum had already started oxidizing. I used 180 grit paper to do the wet sanding, and this time the sanding went much faster than the first time. I decided to do the wipe down with the wax and grease remover after the masking and before the Alumiprep application. The logic was you're bound to bump the aluminum with your arms and transfer body oils to the surface while you are doing the masking. After the wetsanding, we masked the side to be painted.

In doing the masking, we kept in mind we would be rinsing the trailer at least twice more, once after the Alumiprep and again after the Alodine so we used visqueen masking materials in the interior and bottom areas. On the sides we used the standard paper. In the picture you can see we masked the windows and frames and the door frame. The frames I plan to polish then protect with a product called Zoop Seal. Turned out I was correct about postponing the wipe down with the wax and grease remover. I can see several places where I rested my arms against the side of the trailer while I was doing the masking.

After the masking, we erected the frame of the carport I purchased as a temporary paint booth. In an earlier post, I mentioned I swapped the rafters and the columns to make a taller, narrower building. It looks like I figured right. It is going to work great.

By the time all this was done, it was getting to be 4:30 PM. I checked the humidity on weather.com and it was 82%! Too high to paint, so we covered the trailer with one of the tarps to wait for tomorrow.
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:42 PM   #49
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Bob, this is like reading theater! You are the main narration, broken by asides of dialogue and commentary, only to return your audience once more to the main narration. I cannot imagine tackling such a job as this, but I am on the edge of my computer chair waiting to read what happens next. Please, continue! And best of luck. Your Airstream is going to be beautiful! And I'll bet owners across the Forum are beginning to rethink the polishing for painting. Our '95 has a front painted cap that I intend to go look at very closely tomorrow after reading this.
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:28 PM   #50
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After a day of high humidity and a day of rain, a cold front blew thru and we were blessed with a cool, dry, but windy day. When the cold fronts come in, the wind blows hard for the first 24 hours, then it lays down. The cold front came in yesterday a little after noon, and by 5 PM today, it was quiet enough to paint. Starting around noon, I first installed the cover and side curtains on the mobile paint booth. I tied the frame down to the trailer so the frame wouldn't have a tendancy to lift up and blow away. Then I installed the top cover, then the side curtains. It took longer than expected, mostly because the wind was still gusting to 25 mph and because I hadn't gathered up enough pieces of rope to make all the tiedowns. By 3:30 PM we were ready to do the Alumiprep.

I mixed up the DX533 3 parts water to 1 part DX533 and put some in a spray bottle. Wearing the nitril gloves, I would spray with my left hand and scrub it with a piece of red Scotchbrite pad in my right hand. It went pretty fast, but was still way slower than I read about in the JRA Executive Air airplane painting website. Even working fast, it took me probably 20 minutes to do the side. on the JRA website, they say you're supposed to spray it on, scrub it, and wash it off all within 3 minutes. By the time I got back to rinsing, it was almost dried on the first parts I'd scrubbed, so I had to scrub it a bit as I rinsed it to get the residue off. I'm going to try doing the next side in smaller sections to see if it keeps the Alumiprep from drying on the skin.

Next came the alodine. You're supposed to spray the DX503 on, let it set 1 to 3 minutes, or until the surface changes color, then rinse it off. I transferred some of the alodine to a cleaned out Windex bottle and started spraying it on the side of the trailer. But this time, I was smarter. I had my wife come behind me rinsing. It went smoothly, but still took nearly 20 minutes to apply the alodine and it was very difficult to get it on real evenly. It splattered and ran and blotched all over the place. I remember the pictures from the JRA website and our application looked just as awful as theirs.

The alodine goes on a bright yellow / gold color then it changes to brown color. When the color changes, its time to rinse.

After the rinse, we left it for an hour to dry. This was my first big mistake. I'd read somewhere you need to rinse off the alodine then "blow it dry". I thought air dry and a wipe down just before application of the epoxy primer would suffice. No!

While the alodine rinse was air drying I mixed up the epoxy primer, 2 parts primer to 1 part catalyst and set it aside for 30 minutes induction. I then loaded the Devilbiss Finish Line 615 paint gun, slipped on the respirator, and started to shoot primer. I hadn't gone very far and the air from the gun blew out a stream of water hidden under some of the masking tape. Aaaargh! The only recourse was to quickly grab a paper towel and blot up the errant water. Luckily, the water floats on top of the paint, so it is easy to blot. But it did leave a spot which will have to be wet sanded before shooting the topcoat. It happened similarly in 4 more places as the application of the primer proceeded. So this is why they say blow dry the area! You can bet next side, I'll blow it dry before applying primer.

The PPG DP50LF grey primer is otherwise very easy to shoot and by the time I got to the far end, the first part was ready for the second coat. This was the first time I'd used the Devilbiss 615 gun and I was really impressed. It was very easy to control and very easy to get very good results. It worked just like you would expect a good paint gun to work.

On a similar high note, the white color of the carport top and side curtains put plenty of light in the work area. Anyone thinking of doing this type project should be sure to get the white poly tarps for the light they give to the work area.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:24 AM   #51
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A quick check this morning confirmed the primer turned out quite well. There are a couple tiny areas I'll need to lightly wet sand with 400 grit using the DX330 wax and grease remover as the liquid, then I'll be ready to shoot the basecoat and clearcoat.

A quick note about the alodine. It contains a dye which soaks into things big time! My work table is proof, and it has proven to be nearly impossible to remove the telltail signs of slight spillage of the alodine. In the future, I will protect the table top with old newspaper to prevent further "dyeing" of the surface. It does cause me concern that the alodine may be wicking under some of the masking tape and dyeing the aluminum trim underneat. I lifted up the masking in a couple areas, with no trace of staining, but I'll bet I have some which I will need to sand out to remove.

I've attached 2 more pictures, one of the outside of the spray booth, and one of the applied epoxy primer.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:38 PM   #52
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Confused

I guess I don't understand why you would go to this kind of trouble, when you could polish it, and be done...OK, not that polishing is easy, by any means, but you wouldn't have to worry about it peeling.

Just my thoughts...

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Old 05-03-2004, 02:27 PM   #53
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Yes, I could polish it! After polishing it, I would either have to clearcoat it, or polish it twice a year thereafter primarily because I live in a tropical marine environment. If, I clearcoat it, then I have to wax it 3 times a year every year thereafter. And, I would probably have to re-clearcoat it in 4-5 years. I don't want to be an Airstream curator. In other words, this ain't no museum! Its a tool for traveling. What seems like a lot of work initially should be very easy to live with over the long haul. By painting it, I wax it once a year during my annual sealant inspection and it looks great all year long.

For those who want the polished look I take my hat off to them. They are more dedicated to the "look" than I'm willing to be!
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:30 PM   #54
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From where I sit I see four different ways to go on an Airstream in regard to the exterior.

One: Do nothing, allow the skin to oxidize, or clearcoat peel. The unit still looks better with a peeled clear coat the 98% of the units of the same age.

Two: Have the coach stripped and re-clear coated (post 1965?) and plan on doing it every 4-5 years.

Three: strip if necessary and polish it to a mirror shine. This does require additional polishing work normally once a year to keep it up.

Four: Paint it. The prep and spray time is less than the polish time, you cannot get the 'real" plasticoat to work unless you ave the special equipment, and the materials cost is less than or equal to the initial polish costs. You will not have to do more than wax for 7-9 years depending on the prep job.


It also depends on what you ant the unit to ultimately look like. Bob's unit was originally a mill finish. Polishing it would be a long process. Once it is done I would be willing to bet that the only way to tell it was painted is by the fact that there is no peeling clear coat

BTW I am biased, I have a 78 Argosy with, as far as I can tell, the original paint. I doubt that there is an Airstream out there form the late 70's with all of its original clear coat.
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:28 AM   #55
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First peek coming out of the cocoon!
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:46 PM   #56
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You must be so proud! Just this peek looks terrific. I am in awe of all that you have done, but your effort is really paying off. Wish we could see it in person, but she looks great in the photo!
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