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Old 05-06-2004, 10:14 PM   #57
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The weather has been good for painting, so please accept my apology for not writing sooner. I've been spending dawn to dusk on the project. Both sides and the rear are now painted.

Starting with my the post where I put the primer on the passenger side, the next morning I got up and checked the primer to make sure it was ready for paint. It was so I got busy. I shot two medium coats of the metallic silver base coat. Then I shot what is called a fog coat. In the fog coat, you move the gun in random patterns shooting a light to medium coat, but the key is to move the gun in such a manner that no pattern is evident when you are done. By doing this, the metallic look becomes very uniform. There is a very short wait time between the base coat and the clear coat, so I cleaned the gun, mixed the two components, and started shooting. The first coat of clearcoat went on fairly easy, then I followed with a the second coat. The only problems I had was a small amount of water being blown from under some masking tape by the paint gun, a light orange peel texture in the paint, numerous specs in the paint, and some overspray lap marks in the clearcoat.
Looks like I have some color sanding and buffing to do!

The driver side of the trailer seemed to go better. I was now familiar with the materials. For the Alumiprep, I would work a small area, spraying with one hand and scrubbing with a piece of red Scotchbrite pad in the other hand. I'd work an area about 4' x 4' then rinse. The alodine went similarly well. I was able spray it much more evenly than before. I got about 6 feet ahead of my wife who was rinsing as soon as the surface turned sepia colored. Two coats of the metallic base and the fog coat went on without a hitch.

Remembering my clearcoat problems on the first side, I worked very hard to make sure I didn't have overspray lap marks. Obviously, I worked too hard. I wound up with 4 quite small runs. And I still had a small bit of orange peel texture and numerous specs. Ok, so theres going to be more color sanding and polishing! One of the big things I learned from side one was to blow dry the area to be painted after the rinse of the alodine. Blow dry until no water comes out from anyplace and you won't get water spot tracks from when the paint gun blows water out from under masking tape.

Doing the rear, I decided to alter things slightly. I did the Alumiprep just like before, but for the alodine, I used a piece of foam to spread it around after it was sprayed on the surface. This spread it out evenly. Then I used a tack rag to wipe the surface before shooting the primer. However, I still had some "fuzzies" in the primer when I was done. Turns out theres a cottonwood tree in the neighborhood spreading fuzzies everwhere. So, I decided to wetsand them out after the primer cured and before the metallic base coat. I used the DX330 wax and grease remover as a lubricant for the sandpaper and it went well. I then wiped the surface down with denatured alcohol, followed by a wiping with a tack rag. This must have done quite a bit of good. Turns out, I was getting the orange peel texture in the primer, but with the surface smooth, the base and clearcoats went on very even. The results were............spectacular! The rear of the trailer looks absolutely great! That's the quality of work I want to do!

I'll post more pictures soon.
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:34 AM   #58
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Thumbs up Sounds Great~

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Thompson
The weather has been good for painting, so please accept my apology for not writing sooner. I've been spending dawn to dusk on the project. Both sides and the rear are now painted.
The results were............spectacular! The rear of the trailer looks absolutely great! That's the quality of work I want to do!
I'll post more pictures soon.
Bob,
I've been following your post and, I gotta take my hat off to you..What I've seen so far has been nothing short of "Fantastic~!~
I know you're busy~ but, like the rest of the gang..I can't wait to see the pictures of the rest of your progress~
Your method has strong merits~!!
ciao
53FC
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Old 05-07-2004, 10:11 AM   #59
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I finished shooting the rear of the trailer just about dusk yesterday, so this morning, I went out to unmask yesterdays work. I've attached a photo of the paint booth around the rear of the trailer. I did find a couple minor flaws in the paint which will polish out easily, but otherwise I'm very pleased. I've attach photos of the rear just after it was uncovered.

Bear with me as I update the new expenses to date. After shooting the drivers side, I found I was running low on masking tape and visqueen sheets. As you can see in the photos, I'm completely covering finished areas with visqueen to protect them from overspray when I'm working on a new area. I purchased masking tape at Home Depot and more visqueen from Wal-Mart for a total of about $30. Added to the previous balance of $915, the total spent is now $945. But wait, there's more.....color sanding and buffing materials.

Knowing I would be soon be busy color sanding and buffing I purchased the required materials from PPG. I purchased (3) 5-sheet packs of wet/dry in 1200,1500, & 2000 grit for $6.30 each, plus a Mir K1500 sanding block for removing the runs for $15.78, plus a bottle of 3M 5973 "Perfect-it 2" Compound for $16.82, plus a bottle of 3M 5996 Polish Pad Glaze for $31, plus a pack of two 3M 5723 Perfect-it Foam pads to fit my Makita buffer, and finally a pack of two 3M 5725 Foam Polish Pads for $29. These materials added $151 to bring the new total to $1096. Not bad! I'm posting this info so others attempting similar projects can shop to get better prices.

Just a few words about some unplanned obstacles. When the sun is out and shining on the paint booth, the amount of light inside the booth is quite high. This light makes the aluminum of the trailer skin warm / hot to the touch. Its way too warm to apply paint, so at times I've had to just wait for clouds, or when the problem is only marginal, I've repeatedly wiped the area with denatured alcohol to cool it.

I mention in a earlier post I was concerned about Alodine getting on some surfaces. It turns out to be a non-issue. A little "Brasso" (correction: use metal polish, Brasso can clearly says DO NOT USE ON ALUMINUM) and it comes right out.

Enjoy the photos. It started to rain lightly just as I took the photos, so maybe I'll get the day off.
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Old 05-07-2004, 10:41 AM   #60
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Wow!

I gotta tell ya Bob - this looks terrific. For it to look this good even at this early stage speaks well of your efforts. I'll be in Corpus this weekend - if it wouldn't cause a problem for you I'd love to see it in person!
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:46 PM   #61
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Next is the front of the trailer, but it's a little tricky. The lower front has numerous small gravel dings I'll need to deal with and I want to put some type of protection on the front to minimize the impact of future dings. My first impression was to spray some truck bed liner material on the front, but then it occured to me most cars and trucks have a heavy textured materal sprayed on the rocker panels which might just be the ticket for this application. At the Auto Paint Company, I purchased a 30 oz. can of 3M Rocker Schutz #8874 for $19. This rocker guard material is applied with an undercoating gun and I have one from a different project undercoating my tow vehicle. Once the rocker guard is on, it will be painted with the metallic base and clearcoat.

After the Auto Paint Co. I went to PPG and purchased another quart of the metallic base paint and a quart of reducer for $36. That should raise my total expenditure to about $1150, and I now have enough materials to finish the project, and there will be some materials left over. It is nice to start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a wedding to attend in Waco in July and the trailer should be completed by then.

For those curious about the color sanding and buffing to follow you can get more info at:

http://www.gmtips.com/3rd-degree/dox...ools/tools.htm

http://www.abrn.com/abrn/article/art...l.jsp?id=88799
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Old 05-12-2004, 09:46 PM   #62
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When Saturday morning arrived, so did the rain. I was anxious to get the painting completed, but the rain said no! It's probably just as well, so between rain showers, I polished some of the "eye brows" over the windows. The eye brows are heavy brushed aluminum and I want them to be super shiny, I would first wet sand them with 320 W/D sand paper, then with 1200 grit W/D, then 2000 grit, then I would polish them out with 3M polishing glaze. The painted body with the highly polished aluminum accents is going to be attractive. I gotta say, the 3M Polishing Glaze 05996 is a great product. It does it's thing very quickly and it does it very well, period.

After polishing 3 eyebrows, I decided it was time to work on other things, so I tried using the Meguiars Mirror Glase Sanding Block to remove a small run in the clearcoat. This sanding block is 2" x 1" x 3/4", so it is small, but it does a big job! After following the instructions and soaking it in water for 15 minutes, I then got to work. I found a small run, lifted the block from the water, applied it to the surface and gently started rubbing the block around in small circles. It took about 5 minutes and the area where a run had been was now flush with the surrounding surface. It seemed effortless. I wiped it dry, checked it, then used the wet block a bit more to touch things up. Then I put a couple drops of the 3M Polishing Glaze on a clean cloth and polished the area where the run had been. Two applications of the polish and hand polishing for about 3 minutes and it was hard to tell there had ever been a run at all! Truly amazing. So I fixed 3 more runs!

As for the rock dings at the front of the trailer, I decided to use J-B Weld Epoxy to fill them. The epoxy sets up quickly and is readily sandable and it is recommended for repairing aluminum castings. The dings looked worse than they were. About a tablespoon size amount of the J-B Weld was all that was needed to fill all the dings.

Sunday was suitable for painting, and I was determined to get the front painted. I wet sanded the front, applied the Alumiprep, then the Alodine, then I spent most of the day waiting for the surface to get cool enough to paint. It was nearly 6:00 pm before I could get started, but then it didn't take long to get the primer on.

Monday, I was back on task early. I want to protect the lower front from flying rocks, so I masked the primer in the area where there were already rock dings, and shot on the 3M Rocker Schutz. It was pretty easy but a bit tricky. My undercoating gun screwed right onto the top of the 3M can; I cranked the air compressor pressure up to about 70 psi and started spraying. The hardest part was getting it on evenly. After 4 coats, I could still see some of the spray patterns I used, and I couldn't make them disappear. Oh well. Others don't notice it, but I do.

The next tricky item is you must remove the masking immediately after shooting the texture on. Even doing it this way, you stand a chance of tearing the edge of the textured material. I had a couple small tears which I had to trim up with a sharp chisel Aaaargh! Again, others don't notice, but I do!

I spent the rest of the day waiting for the surface to get cool enough to shoot the base and clearcoat. At 5:00 PM it got real cloudy and it was time to paint. The paint and clearcoat went on easily and looked great (2 small runs, but very glossy)! I let it set for 2 hours then unmasked the whole trailer and took down the paint booth. Damn, its good to see the whole trailer painted!!!!!

Tuesday and Wednesday I've spent caulking and sealing. One of the pictures shows me tooling the Vulkem 636. I used the Vulkem above the window and door frames. It was silky smooth and very buttery compared to some other urethanes I've used. A truly great product!
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Old 05-12-2004, 10:16 PM   #63
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You are just doing an incredible job. I would not have guessed a painted Airstream would look that nice. You're right, the polished eyebrows are really going to pop against that silver paint. Super!
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:47 PM   #64
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Tonight is photo night. I've attached 2 photos of the front showing the painting look, as well as to show the textured "ding protected" area.

There is also a picture of the incredible SeamerMate sealant I've been using. This stuff is amazing. It guns easy, tools easy, is self leveling, extremely durable, UV resistant and it is amost a perfect match for the paint. Check photo 3 closely! See the sealant?
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:51 PM   #65
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The next series of photos shows the use of the Meguiars Mirror Glaze Sanding Block. Photo 1 shows the run, photo 2 shows the block in action, photo 3 shows the area wiped down, photo 4 shows polishing with the 3M Polish, and photo 5 shows my arm reflected where the run used to be!

Bear with me, I'm having trouble getting the pictures in order!
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:52 PM   #66
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All I can say is WOW. What would you charge to do my 28 foot Motorhome??? It doesn't need to be stripped, just sanded. Just kidding, I can't afford you, I'm sure.
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:20 PM   #67
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Sorry about having to split the pictures into 3 posts. These photos are a) using the block & b) wiping clean.
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:21 PM   #68
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Then polishing and reflection showing the area afterward.
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Old 05-13-2004, 10:39 PM   #69
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Wow!

Heckuva job! I only wish I could have seen it in person. You've done some fine work, for sure. I hope on the next sunny day down there you'll take some more pics so we can see her gleam.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:18 PM   #70
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Thumbs up Fantastic~!

Yes Sir~ BOB`!
That's one mighty fine looking rig~!!
Back before I started to polish mine, I had done some researched on "painting" the A/S.
At the time, I think there were few choices as to what or where one could go.
You given people an additional method to think about.
Again Bob, just an utterly Fantastic job~!
You have done yourself "proud"~
ciao
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