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Old 09-13-2003, 08:24 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Just wondering?

Have read some about the painting of an Argosy. But has anyone painted an Airstream? Polishing is great except all those little dents and deep scratches would be easier to fill with Bondo and paint extra awning holes etc. etc.......Just wondering....
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Old 09-14-2003, 03:05 AM   #2
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I saw one painted once, it looked bad and
was peeling just like the clear coat does on unpainted ones.
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Old 09-14-2003, 04:40 AM   #3
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Aluminum trucks, trailers, airplanes, and Argoys have been painted for years, no reason an Airstream can't be painted. There are members who have done it on both trailers and motorhomes and said it was indistinguishable from a fairly short distance.

Metal prep and proper primer are key, it will have to be sanded and use an etching primer, if not it will peel like clearcoat.

John
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Old 09-14-2003, 05:05 AM   #4
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They paint Aircraft !!

My 2 cents !
If aircraft have the same skin as an AS and are painted then painting the AS should be no problem.
American Airlins keeps the shine the rest paint. The downside on painting aircraft is the weight.
On an Airstream I don't think weight would be an issue but the right technique would be critical.

Garry
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Old 09-14-2003, 07:37 AM   #5
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My MH is painted and everyone thought it was polished. That is, until recently when I was powerwashing it and the paint started peeling from the right side area around the fridge access door. The metal underneath is a beautiful shiny aluminum, so it looks like the proper prep was not done to this. Actually, I'm considering removing all the paint if it gets worse, and keeping it stock shiny.
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Old 09-14-2003, 12:16 PM   #6
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painting problem areas

As a person with quite a lot of body shop experience, the area you mention is typical of the areas that get "glossed over" by body men and painters. Sanders and power tool as well as sprayers shy away from edges that are hard to work, so it may be that this is an isolated weak area in the paint process.. I hope so, then it is less of a worry, just needs some spotting to repair....lol...jem
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Old 09-14-2003, 04:34 PM   #7
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Now don't let Andy see this!!!

Just kidding Andy!

As a retired Navy pilot (A-6E) and aircraft maintenance officer, painting of aluminum is both practical and doable (is that a word?). There are several caveats that must be observed:

The skin must be CLEAN.

You MUST use a paint designed for aircraft aluminum.

And finally, (Andy look away!) you MUST etch the skin with a solution of alodine or similar aluminum prep. This is a mild acid etch and chemical conversion designed to provide a proper surface for the paint to adhere. Without this etching and conversion process, aluminum's natural surface corrosion, which starts as soon a new (fresh) aluminum is exposed to the atmosphere, will prevent proper adhesion of the paint hence the peeling. Sanding of the aluminum is not enough as all this really does is expose more surface to the atmosphere so new corrosion begins immediately.

The reason I tease Andy is that he fears, with reasonable history, that the etching process will produce leaks at the rivets. Any rivet that will leak with this prep will leak without it due to the working of the rivets while the coach is in motion.

I supervised the painting of aluminum aircraft for 20 years and any failure of the paint job could be traced to three things: wrong paint used, improper application (technique, temp, etc.), or failing to etch (the etch also provides a protective surface coat to prevent oxidation) the surface first. Failing to etch was the cause in over 80% of the paint failures I investigated.

Naval aircraft are subject to some rather harsh extremes not the least of which is maintaining a seal to allow for cockpit pressurization. Can't afford too many leaking rivets here!

Hope this helps,

Sean
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Old 09-14-2003, 04:53 PM   #8
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SILICONE REMOVAL

Dinoburb,

We tought about painting our Globetrotter. But now, we would rather have it al-you minium shiny. Our '67 Globetrotter came to us ladened with clear silicone on most of the roof seams.
We have an apparent leak, not along a seam, but a few loose rivets on the front upper left roof panel. NOW, how do you get all the bleapin' silicone off so we can use the Vulchem?
I have been carefully scraping with a razor blade, but not all of it comes off. Scrape too hard and you scratch the aluminum. Any suggestions. anyone? I was hoping to finish before we get any more moisture.
Thanks
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Old 09-14-2003, 05:39 PM   #9
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This is not an AS, but i thought i remembered seeing the picture in our photo gallery. Posted by F23Bone at the Tin Can Rally of 2002. Gives you an idea of what a paint job can be!! Got lots of really nice comments on the picture. Hope they don't mind me posting it here for you. Leigh

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Old 09-14-2003, 08:27 PM   #10
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I have a painted A/S and started stripping it today. I dont know how long ago it was done but it was done right. Still the paint was peeling at the front corners as well as most of the roof. I will try to polish it if i can get all those damn scatches out. I wouldn't paint if your skin is in good shape, airplanes need to get stripped and painted on a regular basis. Granted that they go through extreme temp changes but paint also needs care, think of your truck.
If anyone has any info on dealing with deep scratches, please let me know
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Old 09-14-2003, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: SILICONE REMOVAL

Quote:
Originally posted by Coloradobus
Dinoburb,

We tought about painting our Globetrotter. But now, we would rather have it al-you minium shiny. Our '67 Globetrotter came to us ladened with clear silicone on most of the roof seams.
We have an apparent leak, not along a seam, but a few loose rivets on the front upper left roof panel. NOW, how do you get all the bleapin' silicone off so we can use the Vulchem?
I have been carefully scraping with a razor blade, but not all of it comes off. Scrape too hard and you scratch the aluminum. Any suggestions. anyone? I was hoping to finish before we get any more moisture.
Thanks
Well I know brake cleaner will cause RTV silicone to loosen up. Not sure it's all that good for the aluminum.
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Old 09-14-2003, 08:41 PM   #12
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Lacquer thinner should work as well, I washed stuborn areas with thinner and steel wool, worked out well and if you use a fine wool the sratches should polish out.
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