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Old 07-25-2015, 05:42 AM   #1
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1954 22' Safari
McArthur , Ohio
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flaking zolatone in 1954 Safari

Great original condition. Even frig works! But tiny white flakes fall everywhere. Does anyone have a simple suggestion for stabilizing the paint? Did this early paint contain lead or asbestos? I have thought about a clear coat or painting over with zolatone but would rather not gut the trailer because it is in such otherwise pristine shape. The overhead bins seem to be the major offender but I really want to use this trailer and not worry about flakes in my food and lungs. Ideas greatly appreciated. This will definitely be a do it yourself project for us. Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:30 AM   #2
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
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sounds drastic but it is not

No lead or asbestos in the old Zolatone. The old overheads are usually a mess and usually need major clean up. My suggestion....remove them by drilling out the rivets along the upper and lower edges. It is not hard and an electric drill will work if your tool limited. Then us a good stripper to completely strip the cabinet. Then either polish the outsides and paint the insides (or leave the natural aluminum.) Refinish the wood doors. Reinstall with 1/8 inch pop rivets with a hand riveter...again an inexpensive had tool if your limited in tool the area.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:40 AM   #3
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1956 22' Safari
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I agree with Melody Ranch's suggestion - especially if it is just the upper cabinets. I would prime & paint them a solid color that compliments the remaining Zolatone. But you're definitely going to have to remove the flakes in order to get a good surface for the new paint to adhere. I love the look of the polished interiors, but it is a more maintenance intensive route. Removing the uppers and doing the work outside the trailer will be MUCH easier with better results than trying to do something in place and protect everything else.

Post pics when you can - sounds like a neat trailer...but I just might be a bit partial to the 50's Safari's!


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Old 07-25-2015, 11:55 AM   #4
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1954 22' Safari
McArthur , Ohio
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Thank you so much for your quick response and reassurance. We had considered taking out the overheads and probably will do that. The walls, however, are flaking to a lesser degree than the bins but still need something. Current novice plan is to vacuum with a brush attachment, wash, dry, re-vacuum and see what we have. Nevertheless we project something will still be needed to stop the flaking. We just planned to start with mild dish detergent as there is really little grease or mold but still wonder what will adhere to the zolatone after that (if anything) and would prefer to do some of the clear coat or whatever with a brush (such as under sink, behind stove) if a satisfactory finish can be achieved. Don't want to ruin the trailer for posterity but do want to get in it as not getting any younger.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
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1962 22' Safari
Brooklyn , New York
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Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
No lead or asbestos in the old Zolatone.
i'm new to airstream renovation but just used a lead test kit on my 1962 safari. looks pretty pink (= lead present) to me.

anyone have definitive info about this?

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