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Old 03-27-2017, 09:48 AM   #1
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Terrace , British Columbia
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To Zolatone or Not to Zolatone

Hello! After a long break I finally finished re-skinning the interior of my Travelux trailer. I used a mill finished aluminum sheet. I was happy with the look originally, however the fingerprints of last year have oxidized. I like the look of the aluminum, but I don't think it will look very good for long. Some of the panels were oxidized before I installed them do to moisture getting in-between the stacked sheets, and they look bad.

So, my question is do I paint the interior with zolatone and cover up all that nice aluminum? Or, is there a way I can get the mill finish back relatively easy, and clear coat it? Is there another product ("shark skin" or a heavy wax or something like that that?

I don't want to polish and end up with a mirror finish inside. I suppose I could give it a once over with a course polish? I can't believe I just said that...

Anyways, any advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:08 AM   #2
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1976 25' Tradewind
Los Osos , California
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I too am very curious if anyone out there has some suggestions for this same issue. As of now I used a stainless steel cleaner made for kitchen appliances on my aluminum interior walls and found that it helps a bit with fingerprints and small oxidation. I put two coats on all the walls about a year ago and found that it seems to be doing ok at protecting them, but I definitely have to wipe down the walls any time someone touches them, which is every time someone steps inside it seems
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:52 AM   #3
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Zolatone is great stuff. I wouldn't hesitate.

Given the enormous range of "color" (multihue), I think I'd work with an interior designer. Fabric on upholstery, curtains, floor and cabinet finishes. Then color of lighting.

This is the way the factories do it. The way the ex and I used to do houses. And in our '83 Silver Streak.

Would be money well spent.

There are those who specialize in yacht interiors, and bound to be good ideas right off the bat.

A coherent whole makes the process worthwhile.

I don't know how many times I've cringed after looking at beautiful handiwork in Fine Homebuilding at salvage store colors and furnishings in the "finished" photos.

Consider your labor as underwriting the expenditure.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:06 AM   #4
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Winston Salem , North Carolina
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Gah, I hate zolatone. Trying to get that stuff off my interior panels after the previous owner had painted over it twice....not fun. If you're looking at covering up the aluminum anyway, why not just paint it? Much easier in my opinion.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:17 AM   #5
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It's easy to spray, you'll need the right kind of gun (PM if you want the particulars). I ordered mine on ebay for less than $200.


Use the correct primer, we used an epoxy primer and it really helped stick to old and new.

Make sure your supplier has new stock of it. The cans I got several had rust in them and the paint was ruined. Thankfully they were quick to reship but since it goes ground it can set you back a week or better if it's bad.

It's very forgiving to install and is by far the most durable paint product I've ever used, it helps smooth edges in the trailer it's dang near indestructible.

Lastly, and most importantly, if you spray it yourself, invest in renting a full oxygen mask. We used a very high quality cartridge based commercial paint mask and it wasn't enough to keep the fumes from getting to me (and I'm very tolerant to chemical smells and paints). After the base coat I was so overwhelmed by what the mask couldn't filter that I sat out in the lawn for a good part of an hour and had a monster headache.

I hear they have a roll on product now too, and remember reading some threads from folks that used it and liked it but haven't tried it myself.
Scott & Megan
1963 Safari from the 1963-64 Around the World Caravan
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:33 AM   #6
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Monument , Colorado
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Try Mothers Mag and Aluminum Wheel polish. I have used it on oxidized aluminum sheeting before and it does a great job of polishing. It also leaves behind a wax which protects the aluminum for many months from oxidizing and fingerprints.
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:25 PM   #7
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Sonoma Co. , California
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DURO makes a product named Aluminum Jelly to remove corrosion and white "rust". Buy it at True Value or ?? I've used it on a very dull looking boat hull with decent results. It will not polish out like Semichomapoly can, at least in my experience.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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What is the "right kind of gun" for spraying Zolatone?
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