Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stripping Between Showers

We are, like most of the East, in a humid spell where days finish with showers and thunderstorms -- and the air is heavy and Maryland-like. It's not great painting weather but OK for stripping clearcoat -- as long as I get five or six hours between application and rain.

I am using a new safer stripper that I bought from Vintage Trailer Supply. Here's part of whart they say about it:

For many years, vintage Airstream owners have relied on RemovAll 220 peroxid-activated paint stripper to remove the plasticoat from their trailers before polishing. RemovAll is no longer available in North America. Fortunately, PPG Aerospace makes a paint stripper based on the same principles as RemovAll. It is called Eldorado PR-5044.

PR-5044 is a peroxide-activated paint and primer remover. It works well because it is designed for removal of polyurethane and epoxy paint systems in the aerospace industry. PR-5044 is environmentally preferred and worker-friendly. It does contain petroleum distillates, so it does produce fumes. You will need to read all safety information before using. However, it is not a hazardous material and is much easier to use and safer than traditional aircraft strippers.

So, it looks like vanilla pudding and paints on rather easily. Here is the first panel I tried it on:

That worked out pretty well so the next day, I applied it on the upper section.

After a thundershower rinsed it, I spent some time with water and rags removing the coating which tended to come off like Saran wrap. At times, whole sections several square feet in size just peeled off -- other areas were more stubborn. Some will require more stripper.

The removed coating looks like cellophane and will be easy to clean up later on.

So, the upper right side is 95% done and after a break for the 4th, I'll start on the lower. It's slow going but I just realized, after talking with my brother, that the two new panels we had replaced are coating free. I figure I have about 14 hours in and another 20 to go - before beginning to polish.

The upper right side is about done - now to start on the decals and lower section.


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