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MandKJohns

Florida

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Posted: 01/13/17 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am currently in the process of restoring a new to me TT. It is an aluminum trailer that I am looking to paint. Is it possible to paint aluminum or do I need to take it to a body shop?

John Wayne

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Posted: 01/13/17 03:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it is an airstream I'd have it polished out to a shine wouldn't cost any more then a paint job. Sure you can paint aluminum they do it to planes all the time. Check on you tube painting aluminum


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MandKJohns

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Posted: 01/13/17 03:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's not an Airstream. It;s a 2002 Dutchmen BH.

ScottG

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Posted: 01/13/17 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To get paint to stick to aluminum, you really need to use an etching primer first.

MandKJohns

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Posted: 01/13/17 03:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John Wayne wrote:

If it is an airstream I'd have it polished out to a shine wouldn't cost any more then a paint job. Sure you can paint aluminum they do it to planes all the time. Check on you tube painting aluminum


Any special kind of paint? Self etching primer? People on youtube are just putting straight house paint on it. Seems like it would just scratch off. [emoticon]

dockmasterdave

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Posted: 01/13/17 07:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The primer I have always used for aluminum is zinc chromate.
It is usually a see through yellow or green. It is an etching primer.
Then you could use any good auto paint or industrial enamel.
Are you talking brush painting ? I can't imagine getting a good finish with a brush. It should be like painting a car. If you know how to spray cars, you can spray a trailer.
It's mostly about the prep.


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Snowman9000

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Posted: 01/13/17 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well the aluminum already has paint on it, so that should make a big difference, right?


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dons2346

Sioux Falls, SD, formerly of So. CA

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Posted: 01/13/17 10:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Snowman9000 wrote:

Well the aluminum already has paint on it, so that should make a big difference, right?


No. If the current paint is coming off,that means that eventually the rest of the paint will flake off and there goes your new paint.

The proper way is to strip off all the current paint either using a chemical or a soda blast compound. Then a primer such as zink chromate and then the final paint. Imron is what is used on aircraft and will stand up to a lot of abuse.





westend

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Posted: 01/14/17 04:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another travel trailer painting thread, I guess I should make a separate painting web page and have it saved.

To answer: Yes it can be done. This thread has discussion, pictures, and suggestions about materials used.

Cliff's notes about the how and what: Sprayed on with Graco airless, a primer coat with S-W Industrial DTM primer. Finish coat with S-W Acrylic Super Paint and Rustoleum spray cans for accent stripes. Resulting paint job is now four years old and appears like the day it was finished. Background--I do some painting for a living, mostly residential and commercial facilities. I've done some auto body work on different vehicles and have painted everything except aircraft.

If I had one suggestion to give it would be this: Put 95% of the work into surface preparation. If you can't or won't do that, either hire it out or suffer the consequences.

Imron or any other aircraft/yacht painting systems is unwarranted and will break most budgets. Nobody that has ever suggested to use these paints has used them and their primers. Imron primer will sicken/kill most folks since you need special personal protection devices. I have used these paint systems.


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mbrower

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Posted: 01/14/17 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been a auto painter for a while now and I agree Imron is probably not a good paint for DIYers. Very toxic and not user friendly. Most any 2K urethane paints are also toxic and require an air fed hooded respirator to spray safely. Before I use house paint, If the siding was in decent shape. I would wash it really well with a strong degreaser and a red 3M scotch pad. I would then paint it with rustoleum thinned by directions.

I have painted a lot of things with rustoleum and it has held up surprisingly well through the years. Better than what most RV manufacturers are using these days. The only big drawback is drying time. I'm not talking spray bombing but purchasing the gallon cans, thinning and spraying with automotive spray gun.

Good quality automotive paint and primers are very expensive and desired results will vary with the painter's skill level. Not worth it to me on a common travel trailer that will see a lot of use.

* This post was edited 01/14/17 06:35am by mbrower *


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