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Old 03-18-2010, 10:55 AM   #1
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What I think I know about painting vinyl interiors

1. It is possible to paint the vinyl wall coverings in vintage Airstreams.

2. These walls coverings can become sticky over time. The "plasticizer" used in the vinyl separates ("spews") and creates a tacky texture. This can be removed using a range of cleaners, but cleaning the surface does not remove the plasticizer from the vinyl. Over time, the same stickiness can reappear.

3. As with all painting, preparation is key. It is important to completely clean the interior and scuff it with a sandpaper of around 150 grit. Abrading the surface creates better adhesion between paint/primer and the vinyl wall covering.

4. In general, oil-based primers and paints seem to have enjoyed more success than water-based latex coatings.

5. Good results have been reported using Zolatone, but the product requires some degree of expertise and it is more expensive than other interior coatings.

6. The platicizer can bleed through new primer and paint. The amount of "stickiness" seems to depend on a number of factors including the primer and paint used. Some success has been achieved by using MinWax PolyCrylic as a top coat.

7. Oil-based paints and primers are reportedly better at "holding back" the plasticizer from bleeing through. Widely available primers like Kilz and Zinsser have been mentioned as have Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. I couldn't find any data on products like marine epoxy primer (which does intrigue me).
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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Our '67 arrived in our care with the walls already painted (a wonderful combination of dark green, pale pink, and baby blue, not to mention the floral wallpaper borders). On our first reno, we just prepped the paint that was already there, gave everything a good coating of Kilz, and covered all with a clean off-white. Second reno, I decided to experiment with removing the paint and exposing the original vinyl. Many hours of citrus stripper and scraping later, I was once again prepping the walls (IIRC, around 220 grit), applying a coat of Kilz, and re-applying the off-white. We've had our Safari now for almost 6 years, with no issues with peeling or bleed-through. All of our products were latex. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
1. It is possible to paint the vinyl wall coverings in vintage Airstreams.

2. These walls coverings can become sticky over time. The "plasticizer" used in the vinyl separates ("spews") and creates a tacky texture. This can be removed using a range of cleaners, but cleaning the surface does not remove the plasticizer from the vinyl. Over time, the same stickiness can reappear.

3. As with all painting, preparation is key. It is important to completely clean the interior and scuff it with a sandpaper of around 150 grit. Abrading the surface creates better adhesion between paint/primer and the vinyl wall covering.

4. In general, oil-based primers and paints seem to have enjoyed more success than water-based latex coatings.

5. Good results have been reported using Zolatone, but the product requires some degree of expertise and it is more expensive than other interior coatings.

6. The platicizer can bleed through new primer and paint. The amount of "stickiness" seems to depend on a number of factors including the primer and paint used. Some success has been achieved by using MinWax PolyCrylic as a top coat.

7. Oil-based paints and primers are reportedly better at "holding back" the plasticizer from bleeing through. Widely available primers like Kilz and Zinsser have been mentioned as have Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. I couldn't find any data on products like marine epoxy primer (which does intrigue me).
That seems to sum it up!

I wasn't satisfied with my wallcovering even after cleaning it. I went the route of paining (XIM primer and S/W Duration Latex). Walls then got sticky, suposedly due to primer. Coated with PolyCrylic per S/W representative and it seems to have rectified the condition.

Laura
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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Having read all of the thread on painting vinyl wallcovering I could find, I just tried to put everything in one place. XIM makes a primer specifically for plastics. My impression from other threads is that XIM primer works well, but it does not stop the migration of plasticizers through to the surface. I've continued to do some research on sealers though I have not found a product that would both prime the vinyl surface and stop the plasticizer from bleeding through to the surface. While I'm not a chemist, it seems that the oil/alkyd based paints have less porosity than than latex. Your post confirms the success of using a PolyCrylic topcoat, however, this means adding another evolution of painting the interior (primer, paint, sealer). It would be nice to find a primer or paint system that would eliminate the need for a sealing topcoat.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:13 PM   #5
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We are planning to paint the interior of our '87. The Benjamin Moore dealer here recommended a bonding primer called "Stix", and then a topcoat of whatever we like. I actually went to the store twice and two of the sales associates recommended the Stix and one recommended the XIM. The possibility of yellowing with UV light and gas heat with the oil based products was mentioned by one of them. I think we will use the Stix, although my neighbor had great success in painting her kitchen laminate counter tops after priming with XIM....
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:42 PM   #6
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Personally,I would use oil based Primer called Cover-stain made by Zinsser ,and have the primer tinted to the color that you choose,and use a high quality latex eggshell or a flat (preferably a ceramic topcoat, The Sales person was correct,in saying that lighter oil based colors will yellow with exposure to sunlight and gas heat.. look at white oil based trim in a home 3 years after it has been painted,Any questions feel free to P.M me,as I also am a professional painter,Thank You
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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If do latex, we'll go with a speciality primer like XIM and immediately apply a couple of coats of the PolyCrylic... anticipating the "sticky wall" issue. I'm not worried about the paint yellowing... and we're probably not going to use white/off white inside the coach. Gotta have the strong colors.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:08 PM   #8
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FWIW, After some research, I have found that the Insul-X Co. who makes Stix bonding primer is owned by Benjamin Moore. According to the Insl-X website: "In March of 2008, Insl-x Products Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of Benjamin Moore & Co." Not that there is anything wrong with that

I have not been able to find much actual field use information about this Stix primer online in the AS or various paint forums, or from personal contacts that indicate it's quality, good or bad. We have renovated many houses without a problem using original Kilz, etc. but this project is so completley different and we want to do it right.

I think we may try the XIM primer after all...The interior is maybe halfway prepped/sanded afer a week of work. Have to decide soon! Yellowing does not concern me that much either, even though we may use off white since we have other srong color fabrics. We have lots of 80's oak cabinets to offset, LOL!
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:15 AM   #9
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My impression is that the XIM will work well in creating a positive bond between the vinyl wall covering and the paint. What it does not seem to do is stop the migration of plasticizer. The paint colors are important to my wife and she's found some colors in the Olympic latex brand she really likes. I figure the thing to do is just shoot a couple of coats of PolyCylic while I have everything taped up. We would get the colors we want and the best possible chance of avoiding "sticky wall" syndrome.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #10
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Ordered XIM

I ordered a gallon of XIM Plastics Bonding Primer. It is about $68 from the local Sherwin Williams, special order. I plan to finish cleaning the interior and scuffing everything this weekend. With luck, I'll be rolling/shooting the primer next week (weather allowing). I'll post a report on how it goes.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:14 PM   #11
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XIM is GREAT Stuff,Curious to see how the stickiness goes for You .
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:08 PM   #12
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This is a common problem for all of us. Keep it simple.
I have used odorless paint thinner to wipe it all down 3 yrs. ago.
Painted the surfaces with latex paint. Still just like new and
no sticky residue.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:20 PM   #13
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All plastics and vinyls are kind of like a 'damper' for just about any kind of paint. In my many moments of airbrushing just about everything under the sun moon and stars--plastics and paint just don't want to mix. Dry times seem to take forever...and ever...and then some. I have concluded that I don't like it at all...you would think the interior shell would have enough 'tooth' to it to hold paint, and it certainly does. But we are keeping our walls 'as is'. Humidity doesn't help either. But I will add this product, and you will laugh and throw tomatoes at me but this dollar store spray on product is the best darned cleaner I have ever worked with- even if it says its made for something else. It will strip the surface and bleach it with out harming it and you will see the grime virtually melt when it hits the surface. After wiping away with a sponge and warm rinse water, it leaves the wall bright dry and brand new again, and its only about three bucks a bottle.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:47 PM   #14
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Hey guys, I just happened to be perusing through Inland RV's website today and saw Andy's idea about using Future floor wax to shine up that vinyl. Looks better than paint to me. What do you think?
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:51 PM   #15
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The whole thing about the XIM primer is that it is designed to adhere to plastics or vinyl and provide a good base for paint. I appreciate the suggestion on using thinner to clean the walls, but I'm still not positive it will forever eliminate the problem of plasticizer migrating out of the vinyl. After 40+ years, I would think that most of the "sticky" has come out of the vinyl wall covering, but reports on the forum suggest the problem is ongoing.

My current cleaning plan is to do everything with SuperClean, the purple stuff you can get at places like Wal-Mart. The next cleaning is going to be with TSP. After getting everything as "degreased" and clean as possible, I'll scuff the interior with a 150 grit or so abrasive. After a wipe down and final prep, I'll roll the XIM and let it cure.

My wife is picking out the paint colors. We'll do the entire interior and then I'll shoot two coats of the PolyCrylic to seal everything. In a year, I'll post the results.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:34 PM   #16
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The XIM primer is a good product, but thin and frustratingly stickly. It's a bit like painting with contact cement. In retrospect, I should have taped off the windows and shot everything with my paint gun rather than rolling/brushing. Ah, well. The purple Super Clean works well. TSP does OK, but lacks the grime busting pop. Since the XIM went on pretty thin, I may take an earlier suggestion drop a coat of Zinsser cover stain primer. The oil-based product is prep for either oil or latex paint, and it may help abate the plasticizer migration.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:38 PM   #17
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The Zinsser Cover Stain rolled on easily and we seem to have good adhesion to the XIM. Adding to what I think I know... I think small rollers are a necessity with a rounded interior.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:29 PM   #18
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Just to add what we ended up doing for painting the vinyl walls and plastic endcap:

Cleaned thoroughly using POR15 marine clean
Sanded with 220 grit througout

On the plastic endcap, AC inside cover and wing window trims, we primed using Adhesion Primer in latex from Sherman Williams (B51 W 8050)

On the vinyl walls, we primed using Pro-Block oil based from SW (B79 W 8810)

Then we used an oil-based paint on top. In the compound curves at the ends, I cut a standard roller into 3's and a small roller and rolled it on in a triangle fashion. That size roller seemed to fit well into our 79 curves.

It has been through a winter so far and looks great still with no weeping/peeling issues. The only issue so far is when I am building in the cabinets and a panel connection moves some when screwing into them to mount, the paint cracks right at the seam. I don't think any paint covering is going to avoid that unless you remove the aluminum wall panels and paint them before putting them back in so your not painting over seams. I will be touching it up when done.

Good luck with your choice and hope it lasts a long time
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:39 AM   #19
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Here's my synoposis. I cleaned everything with purple SuperClean, rinse, TSP, rinse. One coat of XIM plastic primer, one coat of Zinsser oil-based primer, three coats of latex paint (finished). My final coat is going to be the PolyCrylic to seal everything. So far, so good.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:27 AM   #20
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I have a question-has anyone ever removed the original plastic vinyl wallpaper? Would this be easier than all of the above steps to seal it? I realize that you would still have to patch?, sand, and prime but you wouldn't be waiting for it to leach through.
Just a thought if anyone has ever done this and lived to tell the tale-ha!
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