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Old 10-03-2015, 02:43 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Paint compatibility...

Hi folks, I'm new here and was hoping that somebody who has tried this will share their results. I need to paint the roof of my 1973 31' Soverign and touch up the sides. There large areas of the roof where the clearcoat is gone and I'm not sure what kind of coating it was. Will spray can lacquer or enamel work to cover the orignal coating, or will the factory coating wrinkle from one of them? Also what is the best calking product since the 10x that was on there isn't made anymore? I used grey silicone around a few windows and it seems to work well but is not good for rivets because it makes too much mess. I think I have a short time before the winter rains start here in California, if we get any! Leland
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ijustlee View Post
Hi folks, I'm new here and was hoping that somebody who has tried this will share their results. I need to paint the roof of my 1973 31' Soverign and touch up the sides. There large areas of the roof where the clearcoat is gone and I'm not sure what kind of coating it was. Will spray can lacquer or enamel work to cover the orignal coating, or will the factory coating wrinkle from one of them? Also what is the best calking product since the 10x that was on there isn't made anymore? I used grey silicone around a few windows and it seems to work well but is not good for rivets because it makes too much mess. I think I have a short time before the winter rains start here in California, if we get any! Leland
NEVER, EVER use silicone of any kind on the exterior.

The sun breaks it down, and it will then separate. When that happens, then the next thing you might try is to use the proper sealer. WRONG AGAIN. In order to use the proper sealer, you MUST REMOVE any and all traces of the silicone, because it created a chemical barrier that you cannot see, for the correct sealer.

Vulkem or the faster setting Sikaflex, or for very small seams Parbond must be used. If not, you will pay more penalties. Thousands upon thousands of owners on this Forums have used those sealers and will vouch for it's effectiveness and longevity.

You cannot paint the roof without first, completely removing the old clearcoat, which has an age limit of 5 to 6 years. Then, you must sand into the area that you will paint. NOT SCUFF, BUT SAND, with no smaller than 220 grit. Then apply a flexible primer. Let that age 1 to 2 days, then use a white paint of your choice, just so it's intended for out door use. Auto paints are the best.

Touching up the rest of the shell, is a waste of time and money, since the original has aged out decades ago. No matter what you may use, it will lift up and crinkle the original clear coat.

Your best bet, is to strip the entire trailer, then paint the roof white and use the current clearcoat for the rest of the shell. DO NOT think of using automotive clear paint. Those paints are designed to be used "on top" of another paint and not directly on metal. Auto clears are not designed for a direct metal application.

Most of the above, is most likely not what you want to hear, but experience and time have thousands of times been proved.

If you have any other questions, please post them here, and I am sure that many will respond.

Andy
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
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What most folks so is to strip and polish. Touching up clear coat does not work. Getting the whole trailer done is expensive. Many paints don't stick well to Aluminum. There are white roof coatings out there you might consider. Most folks on here don't like Silicone. It peals off and keeps other caulks from sticking when removed thanks to the Silicone residue. Most prefer polyurethane caulks but those don't hold up well to UV. Parbond is pretty good but it degrades after a year or so as well. Best thing to do is keep one covered.

Perry
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:49 AM   #4
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
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Thanks guys! It always been my dream to polish my trailer but I don't know if I will get to it before I die of old age because of all the projects on my list. I'd like to prevent further damage to the skin so it will take less work to buff. I've always wanted to have a barn or garauge to keep Old Silver in also but that hasn't happened yet either. Due to a recurring drip right onto my face (of course ) I've been putting a tarp on it for years over the winters rather than keep gooping silicone on the rivets trying to find the 1. For the last 5 or 6 years I was parked under a couple of evergreen trees that drop pitch so I didn't take the tarp off in the summer. I recently noticed that the tarp has trapped water against the skin and started some pitting, as well as seeming to stain the aluminum. Today I was trying to clean the roof and the stains seem to be right in the metal, I can see the grain of the tarp. When I tried to scrub with a scotchbrite pad it seems like I'm sanding the aluminum and I can't tell where there is paint or what is bare. Was there a treatment of some type to the aluminum before the clear coat was put on? I tried wet sanding a few spots with 320, 400 and 600 grits and it seems like there is no paint on most of the roof but it has a very shiny smooth surface and it seems like there are stains right into the metal. I've polished a few aluminum motorcycle parts and started with 320 grit wet sanding and worked down to mirror finish, and I really love how great you can make aluminum look. I get a kick out of how a shiny Airstream does NOT blend into the forest . Maybe I can build that solar carport I've been wanting and get Old Silver under cover.
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