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Old 04-27-2017, 09:15 AM   #1
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Polishing inside skin aluminium

I'm in the process of updating the interior of my '73 Overlander. The main salon and overhead strip have been replaced with bare aluminium 5052. My question is should I leave the aluminium bare and clean carefully as I go, or should I treat, polish, wax the aluminium to prevent the dreaded fingerprints etc on the metal. For the record, I splurged and bought Stainless for the kitchen backsplash. I only wish I could have afforded to do the entire front end in stainless. The cost of stainless was at least twice the cost of the aluminium.
Looking forward to your suggestions.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:20 AM   #2
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You are going to have to do something to protect the aluminum from fingerprints, ASAP. I failed to do so immediately, and ended up with permanent fingerprints that had to be scrubbed off using a brillow pad. It all ended up a mess.

good luck!
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:21 AM   #3
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Any suggestions as what to use?
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:25 PM   #4
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After extensive research, I came to the conclusion that there are very few "permanent" clear coats that will work because the aluminum develops an invisible layer of oxidation quite rapidly, which keeps the coat from sticking. There are no clear primers for aluminum, so it becomes quite the trick to coat it. I finally decided on some very expensive stuff called "Diamond Brite" It was very technique sensitive to use, and I was quite disappointed with the way mine ended up.

So some kind of floor or automative wax might be the way to go, but I don't know what to recommend. I do know, though that even if you are careful, you bump that wall with a sweaty shoulder, and the next day you will have a discolored blemish on your aluminum.

good luck!
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:23 PM   #5
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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I am about to do the AS exterior with this 40 year old Nasa product, wont start for about a month, so no recommendation yet from me. But Google it have a read it seams to make sense.
ProtectaClear is a tough, clear protective coating which provides protection for metal from salt damage, tarnish, corrosion and oxidation. ProtectaClear is tough and scratch resistant for metal that gets a lot of handling like railings, jewelry, copper or brass sinks, countertops or other metal that gets lots of use. Reduces fingerprints and smudges on stainless steel. Click here for more information on ProtectaClear. You wipe it on with lint free cloth and it remelds with a redo in 5 years. Sounds good....
Everbrite, Inc. 11492 Sunrise Gold Circle, Rancho Cordova, CA Direct Phone +916-852-0200 or Toll Free in the U.S. (800)304-0566.

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Old 04-28-2017, 09:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestion. I have heard of Everbrite ProtectaClear in the past. Just wondering if there's anybody out there with experience using this product? Can't seem to find a local distributor, and Amazon.ca wants $114.41CAD for a 4 oz can!!!! At that price I'd like a very good recommendation before I plan a trip to the US to get it cheaper ( even with the current exchange rate!)
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:23 AM   #7
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Hi Unka, You may know this already by now, this is the Canadian distributor 4oz CAD $31.00 = 25 square feet.If you do go ahead could you post here as to how it all went, others would be interested I bet. I'm getting the gallon to do my Airstream 345 exterior body plus roof and I'm making sure I prep very very well with backing soda then Denatured Alcohol.
EURO architectural 127A Aviva Park Drive Woodbridge, OntarioL4L 9C1
Tel: 905-265-1093 Toll Free: 1-800-465-7143 E-mail: info@euroeac.com

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Old 04-29-2017, 10:29 AM   #8
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Thanks Russ, I did see that later. Still have to work out costs of 2 hr drive to Woodbridge through Toronto traffic or 30 min drive to Buffalo USA with toll costs and exchange rates. Sometimes it cheaper to buy here, sometimes cheaper in States. Just have to crunch numbers and figure in the PITA factor.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:14 AM   #9
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Well, I've gone ahead and ordered some ProtectaClear and will be testing it on some off cuts of the 5052sheet aluminium that I have. I'll take some before and after pics and post them here along with any observations. Hope this works out well.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:24 PM   #10
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The results of the tests are in!
First is a pick of the aluminium with the protective vinyl peeled off.
Attachment 284806
Then the test panel with the centre section of wrap left on.
Attachment 284807
After cleaning the metal with xylene then giving it a final wipe down with methanol, the two bare section were treated/coated with "Bass Pro aluminium boat polish" and Everbrite's "ProtectaClear". Once the polish was buffed, and the 2 recommended coats of ProtectaClear were dried, the centre section of protective wrap was removed.
For the test, I had left my welding cap on earlier so I could run my fingers through slightly damp an oily hair. (All in the name of science) I proceeded to smear my hands across all 3 sections of the test piece. I also placed my hands on the sections and held them there for a minute each. The sections were then given a quick wipe with methanol for cleaning. Here are the results.

The first pic is the bare aluminium. You can see the prints where my hand had been resting. Unfortunately, the pic doesn't show the smears very well due to lighting.
Attachment 284817

This was the section that was polished using the Bass Pro aluminium boat polish. Again you can see the hand prints. You can also see the blotchiness from the smears.
Attachment 284818

Finally the section that was coated using the ProtectaClear. There were finger prints and smudges before I wiped it with the methanol, but they were easily removed with minimal effort,
Attachment 284819

Here is the whole panel. You may notice a small mark on the bottom right of the coated panel. This is a fingerprint, but only because the coating hadn't dried yet. Since the product is self amalgamating, it would be repaired if I just put on a spot coat.
Attachment 284820

I hope you find this test of benefit. It has made it clear in my mind I will be getting more of this product and using it to coat my interior panels for my Overlander.

For those of you who are interested in the longevity of this product, there is a good article about another test here:
http://blog.shinium.eu/2014/04/everb...finishing.html
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:27 PM   #11
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Okay, the pics didn't load. I'll repost shortly.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:46 PM   #12
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The results of the tests are in!
First is a pick of the aluminium with the protective vinyl peeled off.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image1.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	156.3 KB
ID:	284824  
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:47 PM   #13
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Then the test panel with the centre section of wrap left on.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image2.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	190.1 KB
ID:	284825  
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:49 PM   #14
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After cleaning the metal with xylene then giving it a final wipe down with methanol, the two bare section were treated/coated with "Bass Pro aluminium boat polish" and Everbrite's "ProtectaClear". Once the polish was buffed, and the 2 recommended coats of ProtectaClear were dried, the centre section of protective wrap was removed.
For the test, I had left my welding cap on earlier so I could run my fingers through slightly damp an oily hair. (All in the name of science) I proceeded to smear my hands across all 3 sections of the test piece. I also placed my hands on the sections and held them there for a minute each. The sections were then given a quick wipe with methanol for cleaning. Here are the results.

The first pic is the bare aluminium. You can see the prints where my hand had been resting. Unfortunately, the pic doesn't show the smears very well due to lighting.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image2 (1).jpg
Views:	58
Size:	195.7 KB
ID:	284826  
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:51 PM   #15
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Oops, wrong pic. that was the polished one.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:52 PM   #16
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Here's the bare aluminum section.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image1 (1).jpg
Views:	39
Size:	190.8 KB
ID:	284827  
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:54 PM   #17
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This was the section that was polished using the Bass Pro aluminium boat polish. Again you can see the hand prints. You can also see the blotchiness from the smears.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image2 (1).jpg
Views:	37
Size:	195.7 KB
ID:	284828  
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #18
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Finally the section that was coated using the ProtectaClear. There were finger prints and smudges before I wiped it with the methanol, but they were easily removed with minimal effort.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image3.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	190.1 KB
ID:	284829  
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:59 PM   #19
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Here is the whole panel. You may notice a small mark on the bottom right of the coated panel. This is a fingerprint, but only because the coating hadn't dried yet. Since the product is self amalgamating, it would be repaired if I just put on a spot coat.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image1 (2).jpg
Views:	43
Size:	207.9 KB
ID:	284830  
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:00 PM   #20
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I hope you find this test of benefit. It has made it clear in my mind I will be getting more of this product and using it to coat my interior panels for my Overlander.

For those of you who are interested in the longevity of this product, there is a good article about another test here:
http://blog.shinium.eu/2014/04/everb...finishing.html[/QUOTE]
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