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Old 02-25-2013, 10:57 PM
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Painting aluminum, Where does no expereince start?

Need to repaint a house trailer with textered alum siding. Washing is not an option because there is no windows or weatherstripping so any water will get into the walls. Current paint is less than paper thin and already has been sanded and painted about 4 times already in one place. (Not by me but I was present. It doesn't look good.)
I have a few questions for the seansoned pros,
1. What are good grits to sand with on a 6" D.A. orbital?
2. How do I properly clean the metal for primer?
3. Do I go with a self etching or primer sealer?
4. I've read to stay away from laquer based paints. What do I go with?
5. First time running a spray gun so How do I attempt this?
6. Mixing....Self explanitory.
7. Finishing the job. What grit, How to wetsand, What pattern to use, Etc...
8. Prepping, Duration, and finishing in general.
9. Masking and what types of tape.

I have a 33 Gal. Craftsman 2HP running 6 Developed 6.4 SFCM compressor and a Cambell Hausfel spray gun.

Trailer deminsions are 8' wide 7' tall 29' long. This will have to be on a budget. Not sure how much. I gave up on trying to patch a shot factory paint job with spray bombs. Primer kept vinalising (sp?) and white would keep running. Used rustoleum products. Never had a problem with them before until now.

I know its alot but I need the help. Thanks guys.

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Old 02-25-2013, 11:26 PM
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You might be over thinking it. As far as I know the recommended paint for that situation is latex exterior.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:54 PM
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"You might be over thinking it".... man 'O man is that an understatement but I couldn't agree any more. You say it's a house trailer so why on earth would you think it needs to be wet sanded?? Get all the loose paint off and yes if the other paint is that bad then you may have to take it down to bare metal but I doubt it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:19 PM
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I'm trying to go back to the smooth paint finish it has. And like when I build something, I'd rather overthink and build a little then under do it and have a need to redo it again.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:04 PM
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Well you said it was a textured finish. Kind of a faux woodgrain? If so, you'll have a tough time getting it sanded with a DA, with out sanding right through the texture. Personally, I'd feather any peeling paint by hand, clean it with TSP in a bucket and rinse with wet cloths. Then paint it with a water base primer and top coat. Probably roll in on, then tip it with a brush. As the bare aluminum will oxidize almost immediately after it's exposed, wipe down with vinegar as you paint.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:03 AM
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I meant textured as in the aluminum is. It has 3 thin lines between 2 thick ones. So far, It has been a pain with a d.a. to sand. And this paint is so thin, By hand is almost faster and cleaner but it doesn't go all the way down. Just until the old paint is real smooth. D.a. took it all the way down but my discs kept getting clogged and smoothed over on the edge. Do I need to go all the way down or just until it is smooth? I can only afford financially and time to do this once.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:57 AM
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And what does it mean when you sand white paint and a greenish "chunks" that smear?
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:23 AM
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Is the whole trailer this textured material?

I cant really give you any advice, but the small trailer I did only had the textured aluminum on part of the trailer, which I painted. It only seemed to have the original paint on it, so it wasnt a big problem just scuffing it and painting and clear coating. That is the dark area in this picture....I shined the rest of the trailer up like the Airstream guys do....looked good

With that textured aluminum, I wouldnt plan on wet sanding it....it wont work, you will sand right through the paint on every little bump

Have you tried a stripper on it?
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:16 AM
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The whole trailer is like that. I've already gotten through to metal quite a few places. This trailer has inward AND outward dings and in 3 places where nail tips tried to pierce through it. Not to mention, When I was backing it under a shelter, My spotter did not inform me my '78 F250 was directly behind me and I backed the trailer right into it. Did no damage to the truck but the trailer body sustained some damage which I got out as much as I could. Havent tried any strippers on it yet. My wife would kill me. What would be some good ones to try?
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:03 PM
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Ahh. So it's a travel trailer. I was thinking mobile home style.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:42 PM
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One in the same really.
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