Painting Argosy made affordable. Part Two.
In the first part on this subject, emphasis were on preparation of the surface. It is very difficult however to cover every detail simply because every trailer may have different issues with surface preparation. Those can be addressed with me in PM's. For those of you who think that paint hides all of the imperfections, the reality is opposite. While it hides the discrepancies in the color of the finish, it highlights most minute surface detail. Let your eye be the critic by visual inspection. After you have done that, let your palm and fingers find all dents which were not visible to your eye. Simply rub your hand over the areas which may be dented inspecting entire shell. Since the roof is not visible you may skip that part if you wish. It is still the time to correct any imperfections that you may discover.
While doing above, it is also time to pay special attention to the seams in the skins. Very minute separations can be filled with paint, but anything that you may be able to put a toothpick in will need to be addressed now. Be sure to blow them out with compressed air. Clean out any dirt that may have been forced into the joint. Using hardback razor, carefully force the sealer such as Vulkem [Hear This, NO SILICONE SEALERS] into the gaps. Be carefully not to smear the surrounding area. When done, clean the joint edges with solvent.
Once you are satisfied that your prep work is satisfactory it is time to tape off area to be painted. Since we are working with large area we need to divide the painting into sections. Here is what I have done in order to better manage the process. Using the painters tape I have taped off the roof plate from each end cap and to the seam on each side. The tape was placed 1/8" away and past the seam of the plate. This way the roller can force the paint into the seams. If you have stripped the shell to bare aluminum you will need to prepare and organize your process. You have from one to twenty four hours to paint this section after primer was applied in order to skip the sanding of the primer. Wipe down area to be painted with Grow Automotive #4221 solvent to remove any fingerprints or residue. Use tack cloth to gently wipe off any dust on the surface to be painted.
Using a 9" LINZER RC112 3/16 [No Substitutes] nap roller, apply Interlux Primewash base to bare aluminum as instructed on the container. If the base paint was good and required only sanding, check for bare spots and prime them with Primewash. You will need to wait at least one hour before painting.
Being used to paint wood I have thinned the first coat with Pettit Brushing thinner. Needless to say I did not like the way it applied. I simply mentioned this to save you from asking that question. The quality of your finish will depend on many things. First and very important issue is the relative humidity. You should not attempt to paint when humidity is above 45 RH. Second is the ambient temperature, if you are not painting in the controlled environment. Best is about 75 degree F. Since you will not be dealing with spray dust it is best to do it in enclosed bug free, through screen vented area. Be sure that the paint has about eight hours to dry before nightfall where the dew may set in.
Mix and strain appropriate amount of paint adding Small amount of "Penetrol" as recommended, which is available through marine paint dealer. Be sure that the Penetrol is thoroughly mixed in. Penetrol adds very glossy appearance and helps with leveling. Use a small bubble base insert in your tray. Using Redtree Deluxe Mohair 9" 3/16 nap roller [no substitutes] apply a medium coat of paint to a approximately 4' long section to be painted and do not wet the roller at the end. With relatively dry roller [not soaked] re-roll the painted area overlapping the the roller tracks. Wet the roller in paint and proceed with painting another 4' section and repeat rolling over the area without wetting the roller. Within 15 minutes period the painted area must be inspected for runs or dry dull spots. Best way to inspect for it is to look at the painted area at high angle and against reflecting light. If correction is needed do so now, while the paint is still able to flow. Once the paint dries the next day, you should lightly sand the painted surface and apply a second coat using same technique. While this is not a paint manufacturers recommendation I have in the past re coated first coat with the second, within four hours without any sanding and without any problems thereafter.
Painting the sides will require some additional preparation. Unless the clearance markers were removed you will need to tape them up. Window and door gaskets will need to be taped off. Glass must be taped and masked.
To tape off the glass use vinyl masking tape 1/4" wide first next to the frame. Be sure to leave a 1/32" of the glass exposed next to the frame so that paint can seal water from entering the frames. Do not use painters tape next to the frame on the glass, use only automotive Vinyl tape which will leave a much cleaner line when removed. Do not remove the vinyl tape for at least 24 hours. In the rounded corners stretching the vinyl tape will allow you to maintain round shape much better than painters tape. From here on, you can mask with the painters tape. If you have not removed the belt line trim, be sure to tape it off as well. Tape off the roof plate at edges Using the same procedure apply the paint from the roof to the belt line. Last step will be painting below the belt line.
For final touch you will need to tape off and paint inside window and door frames. Remember to tape off the gaskets. Try not to exceed 4 wet mills in paint thickness and two coats are sufficient. Any questions? ask before you paint. Good luck and look forward to a gorgeous finish. Thanks, "Boatdoc"