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Old 08-14-2002, 11:09 AM   #1
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Question on what kind of paint to use for interior respray

Hi Airstream people (again )

I am going to spray paint the interior of our 58 Traveler next weekend, and was wondering if anyone had experience of using different kinds of paints?

We want to do the whole of the inside a warm rich dark red color with a satin finish, and I was thinking of several coats of primer followed by a few coats of color. I have a Hitachi 2hp compressor.

I have read that aluminum expands in the heat, so I was thinking maybe I should use a metal-specific paint and primer.

The original finish has been covered in at least 4 or 5 different paints, and the last couple look like household paint to me, and there are no signs of cracking due to heat expansion if I can use regular paint it would save me a bomb.

BTW, the half stripped panels by the door in the pictures are due to the fact that we originally wanted to polish the inside and started to strip the finish. We gave up on this idea when we found out how hard this was to do.


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1958 18Ft Traveller
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:59 PM   #2
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You need to talk to a good paint store. You should use an etching primer over bare aluminum, painting over house paint (latex?) is totally different. Whatever you use, consider it is inside a relatively small area and fumes will be potent for a long time with certain paints.

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Old 08-15-2002, 05:39 PM   #3
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To do it right, they are going to tell you to strip it, at least to a solid paint substructure. You went sooo far with this project, why not follow your original plan and strip/polish it?
Maybe you can replace some of the worst straight ( not front or rear cap) panels with new aluminum to make it easier and quicker?
Yeah, easy for me to say from 400 miles away...
There is a primer available from auto paint stores, and you can add a flex agent to it so it won't crack in the gaps. I used some of that in the restauration of my 1959 Mercedes a few years ago, and it so far it works well. I drive the car 3-4 times a week, and it has not cracked yet.
They have a sealer/primer at Home Depot, it basically makes a new surface for the new paint, so nothing will crack or give you an unwanted "fauxsomething" finish. It is made by the same guys that make kilz. I think it's called bullzeye or something. You might have to get some metal primer ont eh aluminum first. Most of the modern enamels aren't very aggresive, so you should be fine with the Home Depot stuff if you don't want to go the auto paint routine.
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