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Old 04-22-2022, 10:20 AM   #1
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Help Sourcing clear coated exterior skin material

I am covering some damaged INTERIOR wallpapered dividing wall in my 2007 30' Classic with clear coated EXTERIOR skin sheet.

What is the best source, considering shipping and pricing, for getting small(er) quantities?

My local dealer is more than happy to get me a 50' roll !!!!! Not interested.

I need a 36" X 80" piece and a 36" X 48" piece.
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Old 04-30-2022, 07:42 AM   #2
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OK, I have gotten deeper into this project and am looking for some advice from those of you who are aluminum alloy/finish and stainless experts.

I have sourced clear coated AS skin material from the AS dealer in St. Louis. I basically would have to buy the upper roadside panel for a 16' er. That panel is $656 + tax. Shipping isn't a problem, as my brother-in-law lives there and can bring to me.

This metal outlet is local to me and has many aluminum and stainless options. but not clear coated.

Question is which aluminum alloy/finish would you recommend for the interior walls pictured above? Would stainless be better?

My concerns are:
1) a handsome "near match" or complimentary look to the aluminum galley back splash. (AS exterior skin material)

2) the effect to the appearance from grease, etc. splashing up from the stove and discoloring

3) Normal oxidation of uncoated (brushed?) aluminum

I could get brushed aluminum and coat it myself, but risky with the cost of sheet these days. It appears, so far, that aluminum sheet wound be roughly 40 - 50% of the AS cost and stainless would be....maybe 60 - 70%.
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Old 04-30-2022, 02:00 PM   #3
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No claims of being an expert, but I can share my experience. I redid the interior of my '73 with uncoated 5052 aluminum alloy. I had planned all along to clear coat it, but there was a month or so in between my installation, and getting around to trying to clear coat. Every finger print that I had left during my installation had become permanent and had to be rubbed out before the clear coating could happen.

I searched high and low for a product that claimed to be a good clear coat for aluminum. I ended up with some stuff called "Diamond Brite." This was some expensive stuff--I spent several hundred dollars for a gallon of the paint, plus accessory items. Turned out very disappointing, labor intensive, and not as hoped for/expected. Clear coating aluminum is non-trivial, primarily because the metal gets and invisible layer of oxidation nearly instantaneously, and there is no clear "primer" to go with your clear coat.

So I would say your realistic options are to pony up and buy the clear coated "factory" stuff, or just get something else that need not be clear coated (AlClad, stainless steel, etc.) and just accept that it isn't going to match.

good luck!
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Old 04-30-2022, 02:05 PM   #4
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No claims of being an expert, but I can share my experience. I redid the interior of my '73 with uncoated 5052 aluminum alloy. I had planned all along to clear coat it, but there was a month or so in between my installation, and getting around to trying to clear coat. Every finger print that I had left during my installation had become permanent and had to be rubbed out before the clear coating could happen.



I searched high and low for a product that claimed to be a good clear coat for aluminum. I ended up with some stuff called "Diamond Brite." This was some expensive stuff--I spent several hundred dollars for a gallon of the paint, plus accessory items. Turned out very disappointing, labor intensive, and not as hoped for/expected. Clear coating aluminum is non-trivial, primarily because the metal gets and invisible layer of oxidation nearly instantaneously, and there is no clear "primer" to go with your clear coat.



So I would say your realistic options are to pony up and buy the clear coated "factory" stuff, or just get something else that need not be clear coated (AlClad, stainless steel, etc.) and just accept that it isn't going to match.



good luck!
Thanks for the input. I won't try and clear coat myself. Maybe stainless is the way to go......

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Old 05-01-2022, 06:52 AM   #5
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As mentioned above, clear coating is a PIA. As far as I know the clear coated skin Airstream uses is a Airstream product only and has to be bought throu Airstream.

Another product you might have a look at is metal laminate sheet (aka Formica). There are several interesting metal products available and can be generally sourced through your local home center. It is somewhat expensive but not nearly the money you are seeing from Airstream. Although I have personally never used it, it is my understanding it is adhered just like normal Formica.

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Old 05-01-2022, 06:58 AM   #6
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As mentioned above, clear coating is a PIA. As far as I know the clear coated skin Airstream uses is a Airstream product only and has to be bought throu Airstream.

Another product you might have a look at is metal laminate sheet (aka Formica). There are several interesting metal products available and can be generally sourced through your local home center. It is somewhat expensive but not nearly the money you are seeing from Airstream. Although I have personally never used it, it is my understanding it is adhered just like normal Formica.

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Thanks Aerowood. At a first blush, that laminate would is available in thicknesses that would work. Do you know if the aluminum is naked and would oxidize. stain (grease etc. from stove), discolor with fingerprints etc?
The one description doesn't say anything about a coating or alloy.

Would stainless steel be a choice you would consider?
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Old 05-01-2022, 08:45 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what kind of coating the aluminum has but something is on it. I was just looking at one of those little samples at Home Depot. Not sure which I'd use, I guess it would depend on price, availability, and what my wife told me I liked.

The sales person was zero help.

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Old 05-01-2022, 10:37 AM   #8
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I'm not sure what kind of coating the aluminum has but something is on it. I was just looking at one of those little samples at Home Depot. Not sure which I'd use, I guess it would depend on price, availability, and what my wife told me I liked.

The sales person was zero help.

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Thanks, I think I'll get some samples, go talk to the folks at Metal Supermarket and ask them for advice and samples as well. The fridge is brushes stainless, so I guess matching to it, rather than the backsplash might tie that end all together...perhaps.
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Old 05-01-2022, 10:42 AM   #9
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https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...?clickkey=5580
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Old 05-01-2022, 10:45 AM   #10
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Doesn't Alclad oxidize and show stains in the oxidation?
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Old 05-01-2022, 02:03 PM   #11
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Yes it does

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Old 05-20-2022, 04:37 PM   #12
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So, a material procurement update. I got samples of metal laminate from Formica and found a brushed stainless which would work.....until I priced it! $740 a sheet!!! that's more than the upper streetside replacement panel for a 16' Bambi, Which is what I would need.

So, I called the dealer in St. Louis and they had an edge damaged panel. I don't need all the width nor length, so the parts manager sold me an 8.5' by 52" piece for $50!!!!!

I'll pick it up next week, and the project starts.

The scope of the job changed. My wife only wants the stove side done. We'll see how it looks after that one is installed. It'll be a large grease splatter guard, I guess.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:00 PM   #13
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Wow, new ain't cheap, I'm glad you found a blem for such a good price. Good luck on your project. Please post pictures when done.

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Old 05-20-2022, 05:06 PM   #14
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Wow, new ain't cheap, I'm glad you found a blem for such a good price. Good luck on your project. Please post pictures when done.

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Will do. It'll probably take a few weeks, as I have almost back to back to back camping trips over the next month, so I don't want to get too disassembled and have to scramble. I am hoping I can just loosen the upper lockers enough to slide in the material. Stove has to come out, but there is a gap between the counter and wall, so just anchors have to be removed there (in between the stove and wall.

This did give me an excuse to buy a pneumatic shear, though.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:15 PM   #15
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Camping isn't happening here this weekend or work on my GT. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-20-2022, 05:17 PM   #16
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Will do. It'll probably take a few weeks, as I have almost back to back to back camping trips over the next month, so I don't want to get too disassembled and have to scramble. I am hoping I can just loosen the upper lockers enough to slide in the material. Stove has to come out, but there is a gap between the counter and wall, so just anchors have to be removed there (in between the stove and wall.



This did give me an excuse to buy a pneumatic shear, though.


One of the best parts of doing project!! New tooling! Itís awesome you were able to find the discounted material.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:31 PM   #17
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Camping isn't happening here this weekend or work on my GT. Attachment 416320
I dunno, looks like a lovely weekend for a camping trip to me. Though I guess not if your trailer isn't already wherever you plan to stay.
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Old 05-21-2022, 08:37 AM   #18
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Got started on some pre-work. First pic is making a paper template. paper is just easier to work with for this first step. This template doesn't take into account extra material which will slip under the edges of the counter, range hood and upper locker...just a copy of open wall space.

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The second pic shows transferring the paper template to poster board with added dimensions for the aluminum material to slide between all wall/cabinet interfaces.

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And the third is the finished template. Once I get some disassembly done, this one is stiff enough to determine if I can slip a one piece aluminum finished piece in to loosened (only) cabinets and wall, without kinking the aluminum. I'd really like to avoid having to do a lot of removal of the locker and galley cabinets.

I plan to remove the range, the range hood and loosen the locker and wall. We'll see.

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Old 05-21-2022, 08:43 AM   #19
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This is why this project is necessary

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BTW, what are the (apparently) custom dimensions necessary for resizing pics for this forum. Even reducing to thumbnail size, rotates them!
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:33 PM   #20
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So, ya know how when you go out to just take another look at things, and just get swept in?
I went out to look closer at how to take things apart and discovered that disassembling the wall from inside the closet will provide all the clearance I need...as well as fix a few things AS didn't do well.
First pic shows how the wardrobe frame comes forward after removing its mounting screws in the wall.

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I can now push the wall away from the cabinet and counter far enough to slide the metal in.

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Last pic for this part of the project shows the posterboard template installed after final fitting and trimming.

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I'm ready to cut metal....next week after pickup.

GEEZ, I reduced the pics to 600 X 800 and they're still turned!!!
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