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Old 09-24-2019, 03:27 PM   #1
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John&Vicki's Avatar
1990 25' Excella
Sisters , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Painting the front

I have a Ď90 25í Excella thatís in great shape except for the front. The aluminum there is just worn and old and the battery box covers are solid but crummy. Iím planning to paint the top with white paint and I had the thought today that maybe I should paint the front also. With the right cut offs it might look pretty good. Heck I might paint the propane cover as well.

What do you think? Is it some kind of sacrilege to paint over the aluminum? I donít really care about value or resale but I would like to avoid olí Nellie looking ugly or dumb.


John & Vicki
WBCCI #4291

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled. ~ Robert Frost
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:30 PM   #2
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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Do you want to have to talk about the paint job every time someone sees it?

No thanks.



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Old 09-24-2019, 03:51 PM   #3
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1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 138
We painted the upper roof section of our 1989 31' Excella with white roofing paint to help keep it cooler, like we've seen on newer models. It has held up well (3 yrs) even just being off the shelf Wal-Mart roofing paint. The upper front/back curved panels are a bit crusty, but the clear coat has degraded as expected for the year. We also repainted the l.p. enclosure cover (rattle can silver). You can surely paint your trailer any color you want but it may/may not adhere to the aluminum depending on the surface prep. Removing the remaining clear coat would probably be needed for sure. It can get costly quick if a professional painter gets involved. We decided to live with ours as she is. You could try a small area (battery doors) and see how it goes... Good luck,
Jim and Gretchen
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:21 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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Painting the front

I painted some of the more battered areas of the front and back of my Airstream and used a little bedliner down low as well. Click image for larger version

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If you're going to paint an Airstream I recommend good quality automotive paint, good prep work and careful but through sanding.
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 09-25-2019, 06:55 AM   #5
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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I have know several people who used Aluminum paint on their trailer or motor home. Done correctly it looks like an Airstream. I would not paint it white or some contrasting color.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:21 AM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,583
Just removing the clear coat made a huge difference in the look of our trailer. It might be that the clear coat has failed and needs removal. If you paint, you will need to do that anyway. So, maybe you should try removing clear coat and then reevaluate. We painted our roof white which has helped with heat.

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Old 09-25-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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I would polish or put the clear coat back on. Paint the roof white.

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Old 09-25-2019, 01:32 PM   #8
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,403

Done with the right materials and care, you can do a very good looking job. It will be reasonably durable. Even so, rocks and the like *will* chip the paint. That will give you silver specks in the paint job. Indeed you can then touch those up.

A proper paint job will involve stripping down to bare metal (no clear coat / dirt / oxidation). You then patch any bumps or divots and sand to a smooth surface. Once painted any bumps will stand out. Part of the patching process is sanding the patch. That needs to be done with care - the aluminum is not super thick.

Normally the next step is an aluminum compatible automotive primer. Depending on the product you will spray one or more coats. Next up would be a couple coats of the desired color (also automotive paint). You may top that off with a clear on top.

Each layer needs to be done with the right thickness. To much and it runs, to little and it turns to dust. In either case, the answer is a big bucket of thinner to get it off before it drys and start again. There may be a few sanding steps along the way depending on just what product you are using and how good your spray technique is.

None of this is to suggest that you *can't* do this. It is something that people do and do right. Getting a finished product that looks as good as you car or truck takes care / time / patience. You need to accept that before you get started. (Yes you also can have a pro do it .... cost for a proper job may be in the "yikes" range).


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