Paint preperation

I'm so fortunate to be able to work on the coach
  here at RDS.
There is a huge lot with big canopies. Makes for a lovely place to work.
So it's time to paint the coach. An ambitious project but the poor thing is looking ghastly.
The top will be the proper original almond white, which is a perfect match to Land Rover Limestone, the colour of my Rovers wheels and full length hardtop. and the bottom will be British Racing Green to match the Rover.
I'm going to roll on the paint as I can't afford fancy automotive paint and can't justify the complexity of arranging to spray it. I did bring my spray gun but I'm just not up for a project that involved.

The first step is to sand the old paint smooth, and remove any loose, or damaged paint.
To get to the roof I built a dedicated scaffold that works a treat.
I was having a difficult time with the window and door frames, they showed some of the worst paint failure with cracking, peeling and pitting.
The problem is I can't sand them because there is a beautiful row of aluminium rivets along every frame. sanding would flatten the rivet heads horribly. So I've had a splendid idea! I'll strip the paint off the frames down to bare aluminium. this way all the paint issues are gone and I think it will look pretty cool too. So I ran down to the hardware store for stripper, It came out of the can creamy and orange like some yummy creamsicle daiquiri!
Look at me being all responsible with gloves and safety glasses. Well one glove anyway on the hidden hand.
Well as is typical with me, as soon as I started stripping the paint off the door and window frames I decided all the lovely marker light castings and hinges, and handles, water filler on and on. Even the belt strip along the bottom of the coach will be bare aluminium. Now don't be thinking I have Airstream envy, No Sir! I like my painted trailer, but I think it's appropriate for these trim bits to be bare aluminium.
The coach really doesn't need much bodywork, the lower valence, known as the banana wrap is pretty dinged up but I'm not going to worry too much about that it can be tidied up later. Above that, there are two gouges on the port side and this old failed dent repair on the starboard aft corner. I dug out all the crappy old filler and sanded it clean then refilled with body filler.

Now I really hate body filler, I hate buying it, I hate mixing it, I hate sanding it, I hate knowing it's there. But it's a life saver for those of us who can't make mangled aluminium look pretty again. But what I really hate is that I can never remember how much hardener to use. I know it's probably written on the can but I use the old formula that more is always better. As a result I generally have to work pretty fast.

Now, the horrible plastic Argosy embarrassment.
Whoa, OK, maybe that's a bit harsh but there is one feature of this coach I simply can't stand, I never could.

The tail light assembly.
I can Imagine the wise folks at Airstream wanted to make the Argosy distinctive, as if painting it wasn't going to do that. So they made this ugly plastic monster and riveted it to the back of the coach to assure it's everlasting uniqueness.
And if that wasn't enough of an insult, to make the damn thing fit, they hacked two huge clearance holes in the back of the coach.
Well the abomination is gone and I'll find a way to neatly patch the holes.

What about tail lights now? You ask.
Stay tuned,...


  1. I think the selective-stripping will look nice. A little flash of shiny. Easier to deal with too I guess.

    Yay for gloves and glasses!

    Is that a cup of 'daiquiri' you've got there?

    Okay but actually how are you going to deal with the taillights?

  2. Hey Peter, finally catching up with your blog. We were thinking of you as we sit in our hot tub in the spring weather....finally the snow is melting. 4C today and tomorrow 24C, go figure, then back down to 1C mid week. Envious of your life on the beach. Nice to see the girls with you. take care. Kate

  3. my only complaint is that these blog postings have no date on them....

  4. Hi Kate!
    The hot tub must be marvellous!
    I'm working my way up the Blue Ridge Parkway, slowly.
    New blog updates today.