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Old 03-26-2002, 04:42 PM   #1
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Painting your Airstream

I own an '81 Excella Limited trailer (31'). I'm considering painting the exterior in the future. I would be interested in hearing anyone's comments. I saw one painted trailer in SOCAL that was very impressive. (Hard to distinquish from new aluminum) Obviously, my preference would be a mirror polish job, but dred the thought of the care needed to maintain the look. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-26-2002, 05:15 PM   #2
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Paint your Airstream

After searching thru lots of junk, oops valuable info, I found the recommended color... PPG Delstar DAR 34363
Grille Silver Metallic
Matches aluminium on the money.
Frank
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Old 03-26-2002, 08:17 PM   #3
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Inland rv has a picture of a painted one on their site, looks good in a picture from a distance. Someone asked him how much it would cost to do theirs ALOT. They put several coats on and several clear coats on as well as alot of prep work. I'm sure Andy at Inland would be glad to tell you more (just dont mention wheel balancing) just kidding Andy.

John
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Old 03-26-2002, 09:43 PM   #4
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I have seen other Airstreams painted. One was a Motor Home and the other was actually an Argosy 24 trailer, that was even badged as an Airstream. You could not tell unless you looked for multi segment ends. The both looked really good.

My understanding is that painting one is really no diffrent than clear coating one, same prep time, and booth time to do a color coat more time is necessary to clear coat. The biggest benifit I can think of is no more obsessing over clear coat peel and waxing can be done with an automotive product in place of Walbenize.

I will be needing to paint my Motor home in the near future and am saving my nickels!
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Old 03-26-2002, 10:38 PM   #5
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I am Brett's co-pilot. He's not saving his nickels; he's making me go back to work!

He didn't mention that our '76 Argosy MH has original paint (what's left of it) with a badly peeling attempt to change the color of the copper stripe to bright blue. I'm afraid we look like white trash right now.
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Old 03-27-2002, 07:46 PM   #6
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Dear Edie,
It's the paint, you are worried about?
Oh, well, I am sure you saw the pictures of our Motorhome before I jump into the ice cold pond of replacing the damaged panels. It was hail damage, yes hail, the dirtiest 4 letter word in the airstream world.
I felt like Dr Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, like the Beauty and the Beast, driving down the road. Did it deter me from going ahead and spending countless hours and money on the interior? No! I knew deep inside that some day, I would somehow replace those panels.
The joy you will experience, when the day comes to repaint your couch with your colors, is priceless and well worth looking forward to.
Your friend
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Old 03-27-2002, 08:12 PM   #7
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Thanks Peter, for the encouraging words. I'm usually a little intimidated at the beginning of a big project. How much should I budget? How much will it really cost? My real cost almost always runs 1.5 to 2 times my budget

And of course there is the question of color. Do we go with original Argosy eggshell, or do we use beautiful Airstream silver. I love the silver, but I don't want our coach to pretend to something it isn't.

And your hail damage was at least the same color as the surrounding aluminum. Nothing says "Trashy people incoming" like peeling paint.

But I tell my self, "If Peter could REPLACE SHEETS OF ALUMINUM, I can pay someone to paint my coach for me. Really, I can."
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Old 03-28-2002, 09:58 PM   #8
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Edie,
do you see the peeling paint on the rear outside corner of my now sold 1978 Avion? I was so distressed that I had to bbq a big steak. I even forgot to put on my suspenders.
Isn't it amazing, how similar the colors are?
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Old 03-29-2002, 10:27 AM   #9
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I see one TINY chip of missing paint. Heck, I have chips in my nail polish that are bigger than that. But I do agree that the colors are very similar. Or, WERE similar until a PO decided that blue goes nicely over copperish-brown.

Of course since cooking has no theraputic value for me, I'll just have to go shopping to get over my distress.
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Old 03-29-2002, 10:38 AM   #10
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Brett. Painting an Airstream trailer or motorhome is far removed from "plasticoating," IF," done properly!
The coach must be stripped. The metal must be sanded with 150 grit sandpaper. All the residue then must be removed with solvents. Next, all the seams must be resealed. Two coats of flexible primer must then be applied, which is followed by three coats of metallic silver, followed by three coats of polyurethane clear. Therefore, painting using our method, takes eight times longer than plasticoating. We have yet to have any failure, using this method, in over 30 years. Cheap paint jobs and inadequate proceedures lead to early failures, and makes momma's very unhappy. And we all know, that when momma is unhappy, no one is happy.
Andy
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Old 03-29-2002, 05:15 PM   #11
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Andy,

I defer to your experience and knowledge!

I had been told the erroneus info by an Airstreamer that had his trailer painted. It looked good, but I do not know how old the paint was or how much $$ it cost to do.

Ditto on momma being happy!
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Old 06-14-2002, 10:32 AM   #12
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I'm Going for the Paint....

I've spent the last several months stressing over which way to go....re-plasiticoat or go for the paint job on my 1984 310 MH. I'm making the plunge into the paint. I tested it by having a panel on my 1956 bubble painted and the results were beautiful. You get the original looking brushed aluminum with a perfect finish. By painting my motorhome I can get all of the scratches and dents removed, I won't have to deal with a Cyclo polisher every six months and the finish will last for years.....I should have it done by the end of the month and will send picture for anyone interested. I know I'll be banned from any Airstream Authentic circles but hopefully I'll end up with a great looking MH that looks original. Cost was more ($7,600) than the plasiticoat but from what I've read on the PS it's a problem that won't go away....

Ken
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Old 06-14-2002, 10:59 AM   #13
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Ken,
Where are you having this done at, body shop, RV, other? I'm sure you'll still be accepted by other 'streamers after all how will they know its painted unless you tell them right? . What procedure are you going with? keep us posted and include pictures if you can.

John
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Old 06-14-2002, 11:07 AM   #14
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kzener40,
I doubt I would want to paint a 'vintage' trailer, but I think your decision to paint the MH is a sound one, for all the reasons you outlined. I didn't realize the cost would be quite that high, but it may well be worth it, in the long run.
I will look forward to your thoughts after the job is completed. A picture, or two, would be nice too. Where are you having it done?
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