Originally Posted by wannaroam
I apologize if this has been addressed before, but after wading through many posts without a satisfactory answer I thought I would just post the question.
We painted the interior of our unit. In the front, we replaced two (missing) sections of the aluminum interior wall, so this part is then just bare aluminum. I would like to paint these to match the rest of the interior, but am not sure how to prime them.
Does anyone have a simple answer for this?
You must prep the material your going to paint.
Not prepping the metal or vinyl as the case may be, will lead to a failure in your paint.
Even a primer, must have a good surface to bond to, and a smooth surface is not what you want.
Using 120 to 150 grit sandpaper, is a must.
Scuffing the surface, is not good.
The surface must be sanded and sanded, so the primer has a positive surface to bond too.
Then a good primer can be used.
Next, you must let the primer age or out gas, so that paint applications to it will also bond properly.
We have on display, and some members of this Forums have personally seen it, where a motorhome door was painted by us, using the above procedure.
The metal in some places is bent about 120 degrees, without any signs of cracking, chipping, or falling off.
There's no magic to painting aluminum. Simply prep the surface correctly, use very good primers, and then use a good grade of paint.
If you want to jazz up the paint, depending on what look you want, you can also clear coat the paint to give it a slick, glossy appearance.
DO NOT, ever use any form of acid on the interior or the exterior of an Airstream product. To do so, will allow some of the acid to remain underneath the rivet heads, that in time, will corrode the paint that surrounds the rivet heads.
If you want to do it once, do it correctly, and use quality materials.
Short changing the preparation and/or the quality of materials, will lead to an early paint failure.
We have seen them all, in our shop. Then to correct the paint job, results in a cost almost double that of an original properly done paint job, both on the exterior as well as the interior.
Very few paint experts, have any experience with aluminum, or vinyls. It's not the same as painting a house, or car.