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Old 01-14-2003, 10:49 PM   #1
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Silver Paint vs Clearcoating the Finish

My '76 has oxidation on the roof that's starting to extend down the sides. (see curbside pix in my photo album)

first of all, I didn't buy this AS for a full restoration. (that one is in our future though!) This Sovereign is destined to be a home for my hunting camp, little else. So, I'm trying to do the right things with regard to time and $$ spent refurbishing and maintaining her. Heck, the main reasons I bought this AS (besides the fact that I've always wanted one) were the great price and the fact that I shouldn't have to worry about constant exterior maintenance.

What would you do?? What's the best way to make this old beauty look presentable again and also help keep her that way??

First, I guess I need to see if there is any clear coat left on the roof that might polish out. (kind of doubt it!) If cleaner wax works to clean up the roof clear coat, then I think I can live with the condition of the rest of the body. But what if the clear coat on top is totally gone and this is actual aluminum oxidation? Does this mean I should strip All of the remaining clear coat and face a life of constant polishing and sealing?

I remember seeing pix of a Sovereign that was painted silver on top to match the rest of the clear coated body. At first glance, this seems like something that would be perfect for my needs. It would protect what receives the most weather abuse without needing to strip&polish or paint the rest of the exterior. Is this feasible? Is there a product out there that I can apply myself?

Lots of questions, I know. But I want to make sure that I don't make it worse!! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your input!!

(It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just brutally honest about my lack of desire to do most things strenuous!!)
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Old 01-14-2003, 10:52 PM   #2
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Make that Exterior Finish(es)!!

Oops, I guess my Freudian Slip is showing!!
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Old 01-15-2003, 05:08 AM   #3
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If it is the oxidation of the skin that worries you, don't let it. The oxidation actually protects the alumimum underneath and it will only get so bad then stop. The old vintage units that look dull and grey are just oxidized. Besides you don't want a big shiney trailer scaring away the game!
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:37 AM   #4
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Yes, I was primarily concerned about the oxidation getting out of control and ultimately damaging the skin. In the end, long-term preservation is really my ultimate goal...

However, the two-tone dull and semi-shiny look really needs to go! I know it's probably a judgment call, but would you say then that I should go ahead and strip the rest of the clear coat and let everything oxidize? (As you can imagine the remaining CC is not in great shape either!)

My thought now is, that if I can brighten the top through some cleaning/polishing, and strip off the remaining clear coat then I can start down the path of more even-looking oxidation. Does this sound feasible? Am I obsessing? Any other ideas/suggestions?

Thanks again!!
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:39 AM   #5
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Question Is this true

Brett,

Could you please explain to us "metal challanged" folks how oxidation actually protects the alumimum?

This is the 1st I heard of this.

Tks-John
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:45 AM   #6
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In my experience with old airplanes - oxidation does not protect aluminum skin - it continues to deteriorate until the metal is seriously weakened or destroyed. Protection using paint, zinc-chromate primer, or continuous polishing and waxing is needed. Keeping the metal dry (both rain and condensation) will go a long way towards longevity.

I plan on building a pole barn on my cabin property to store my new Airstream, and other stuff, hopefully this summer.
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Old 03-08-2003, 01:24 PM   #7
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Painting it silver

A couple of years ago I went to see a Restored B-17 that tours the country called "Aluminum Overcast"

EAA's B-17 - Aluminum Overcast

It is awesome, and for $350 you can actually fly in her. Unfortunately they are booked way in advance so I only went through on the ground.

Anyway, I had to get within 20-30 feet before I realized it wasnt bare aluminum. They had painted it ( I assume to minimize the incredible maintenance that a polished finish would require). Upon close inspection it was a silver with a very very fine metallic flake. More silver than metallic if that makes any sense. Closest Ive seen to appearing like bare aluminum. On older more vintage "restored" airstreams, I dunno.... "faking it" doesnt seem right, but if I were on the road a lot with a more modern trailer I would definetly consider it. Here (if I manage to make it work) is a photo of the tail
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Old 03-08-2003, 03:12 PM   #8
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That's pretty interesting. I think the A/S have a plastic coating on the sheetmetal.

I think you'd have to strip the A/S down before attempting it.

Eric
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Old 03-08-2003, 03:51 PM   #9
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Take a look at the Argosy on www.gmccoop.com he painted the usual beige colored motorhome with silver metallic. Looks just like the airstreams. I just repainted my window frames( 2 so far) wit aluminum paint instead of the pewter grey they had on them. It looks great from a few feet away. I hope to shine it up a bit after it is dried well enough to do so.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason1101
My '76 has oxidation on the roof that's starting to extend down the sides. (see curbside pix in my photo album)

first of all, I didn't buy this AS for a full restoration. (that one is in our future though!) This Sovereign is destined to be a home for my hunting camp, little else. So, I'm trying to do the right things with regard to time and $$ spent refurbishing and maintaining her. Heck, the main reasons I bought this AS (besides the fact that I've always wanted one) were the great price and the fact that I shouldn't have to worry about constant exterior maintenance.

her thatWhat would you do?? What's the best way to make this old beauty look presentable again and also help keep way??

First, I guess I need to see if there is any clear coat left on the roof that might polish out. (kind of doubt it!) If cleaner wax works to clean up the roof clear coat, then I think I can live with the condition of the rest of the body. But what if the clear coat on top is totally gone and this is actual aluminum oxidation? Does this mean I should strip All of the remaining clear coat and face a life of constant polishing and sealing?

I remember seeing pix of a Sovereign that was painted silver on top to match the rest of the clear coated body. At first glance, this seems like something that would be perfect for my needs. It would protect what receives the most weather abuse without needing to strip&polish or paint the rest of the exterior. Is this feasible? Is there a product out there that I can apply myself?

Lots of questions, I know. But I want to make sure that I don't make it worse!! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your input!!

(It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just brutally honest about my lack of desire to do most things strenuous!!)
Hey there Jason,
To answer your question, "What' the best way to make this old beauty look presentable and keep it that way",
I've had customers that had us strip their old clear coat, then either acid wash (this will leave it a uniform off white) and seal it, or acid wash then polish the surface. But in either event, after they get the finish they want, we put a couple of coats of Sharkhide on and that seals it. I don't know what your expectations are for a sealant to last, but we normally get around five years (+ or - a year) out of an application.
I hope this helps a bit.
Clint
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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Paint Works

This is a picture of a painted trailer that was painted with silver paint.

Looks good, and just wax a couple of times a year.

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Old 01-13-2008, 12:46 PM   #12
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Jason,

At the Auto Zone here there is a chrome spray that looked uanbelievably natural when we sprayed the heater door on our Sovereign. It looks so good that it's hard to tell it was painted.

Good luck,

Gloria & Don
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Greenville, Tx
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:56 PM   #13
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t_birder,

Welcome to the forums. You are responding to a post that was made 5 years ago, so I don't know if the original poster will see it.

Tell us more about your product. Is it a clearcoat? How is it applied? Will it stop corrision? Does it smell like fish?
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:58 PM   #14
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Sharkhide Metal Protectant

Hello there,
Five years ya say, well, I'm not too embarrased. As you've noticed by now, no detail escapes me.
I guess I'll pretend I didn't reply to a five year old post and answer your questions.
Yes Sharkhide is a clear coat. It can be wiped on (thats my method of choice), or sprayed. It does stop corrosion on any metal surface it's applied to. Primarily I send it into the Marine Industry, but I've had several folks with Air streams an Argossy's use it to protect their trailers. that's how I heard about this forum. For the aluminum boats, it's used to stop streaks and stains from water exposer, and those pesky white corrosion spots from either salt water, or in your case salty road spray.
Sorry to say no fish oder, but it does have a very pleasant solvent smell!
I'll pay more attention before I post again, LOL.
Clint
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