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Thread: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Gravity Gate's Avatar
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    What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    I have a race car trailer with the .050 aluminum skin that has the traditional "baked on" white paint. It has been over a year since I hit it with a coat of Cleaner Wax, and now it's fairly oxidized. It's not completely dead sheen wise, but it's close!

    The other night after washing it, I used some of the Cleaner Wax by hand and it brought the finish up a little, but there were swirls and a fair amount of paint transfer onto the pad and finish towel. The paint transfer didn't surprise me as that is the oxidation but the swirls are a problem.

    So then I tried the Polish in a different area (and yes I understand the difference between the two) with similar results, although the depth was better after using the Polish. I went back over the polished area with the Cleaner Wax and it worked okay, but I'm curious if there is something else besides these "traditional" automotive products that would work better.

    One of the concerns with this type of paint/skin is that the paint while baked on and durable, is not very thick or deep.

    And I do have the Porter Cable detail buffer as well as a right angle buffer/polisher. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Got a race this weekend and would like to get this handled soon!


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    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    Welcome to MOL!

    We changed the code on your image so as to simply embed the image in the post rather than make it a clickable link. No big deal, just wanted you to know.



    Now, to the task at hand: Stay with the Porter Cable and pick up a few polishing pads if you don't already have some. You're going to pull a lot of the oxidation off and start loading up a pad, so having several to tackle a job this big will make life a lot easier for you. Either our SwirlX or Ultimate Compound would be your product of choice, and seeing as you're working on a single stage white paint, the Ultimate Compound is likely your better choice. SS white tends to be pretty hard, and the extra cut of UC is going to be a big help because of that.

    Just make sure to work small areas at a time, working the product thoroughly on speed 5 but moving the machine slowly over the paint, and wiping off while still wet. You shouldn't have to follow this with anything other than your favorite wax.
    Michael Stoops
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    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Registered Member Gravity Gate's Avatar
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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    Thanks Mike! I got a little over zealous and added this same question over on the Detailing 101 section, so you may want to delete or change that one too!

    Do most retailers carry the products you recommended for my trailer or do I need to find a specialty supplier?

    Thanks!!

    Bill Sweeney

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    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity Gate View Post
    Thanks Mike! I got a little over zealous and added this same question over on the Detailing 101 section, so you may want to delete or change that one too!
    No worries, we just merged them both into one thread here in the Detailing 101 section as it's the more appropriate section for this topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity Gate View Post
    Do most retailers carry the products you recommended for my trailer or do I need to find a specialty supplier?
    The Ultimate Compound can be found at most larger auto parts stores and even Wal-Mart, but you'll need to get into an auto body supply store to source the pads. You can check our Dealer Locator for a source near you; just enter your zip code and then select "Meguiar's Professional Products" before hitting the "Find Dealers" button.
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    Be careful. I polished right through to the primer on my Wells Cargo trailer.
    And I was using Meguiar's Cleaner Wax, not a compound!
    I just hit the area with a rattle can of Rustoleum and it looks OK.

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    Registered Member Gravity Gate's Avatar
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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    Just a quick public thanks Michael. Stopped at the local retailer and picked up the Ultimate Compound and it works great!

    The true test on this type of vehicle is how natural light reflects off of it. Since it is a completely flat surface and totally vertical, beams of light appear orange when oxidized. After using the compound, it comes back to reflecting the natural brightness, and whiteness of the light.

    Just dawned on me though...even as easy as this will be now, I could have brought it down to one of your Saturday classes for others to practice on. We could likely knock this thing out in about 15 minutes!

    I'm sure I'm not the first one to have come up with that brilliant idea, uh?

    Thanks again Michael!

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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    I am going to hijack a little if thats OK?

    I have a similiar trailer but its only 20 feet and it is in worse condition. Since I keep it parked along the trees, one side has turned green. I guess its mold or moss. The trailer doesnt touch the trees, but it gets no light at all on that side.

    What would be the best way to get that thing clean? APC? pressure cleaning? I am not so picky about swirls etc, but will hit it with a decent cleaner and wax when done.

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    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    Glad to hear it worked out so well for you, Bill. While parking around here may have been a bit tight for your rig, there's no doubt our Thursday night crowd could have turned that trailer around in no time! But come on, admit it..... there's more satisfaction in doing the job yourself, isn't there?



    Judd, is the paint just discolored and stained on your trailer, or is there actual moss growing from it? What does it feel like? You can try a small test spot with a good cleaner wax like ColorX as well as a test spot with some APC. Pressure washing alone probably won't get rid of everything and it could potentially be harmful depending on the overall condition and age of the paint. There's a natural tendency to get overly aggressive with pressure washers, especially when they aren't quite getting the job done at first. Probably best to avoid that process.
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    I dont think moss is growing on it, its just discolored. I'll try some APC first. Shoot, maybe I'll try washing it first !!!

    In the past I have used #66 cleaner wax with really good results. I may try that. Right now this trailer is used to haul 4 wheelers around and the spots we go to arent the cleanest. If I was going to car shows and pulling out my slammed XYZ, then I would pimp it out.


    If I do wind up using my new G110, will the rivots wreak havoc on my foam pads? My trailer is different than GG's. Mine has the sheet metal riveted or bolted in and there is several vertical lines of bolts/rivets

    I found an old pic when it was clean


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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: What's best for painted aluminum trailer skin?

    #66 would be similar to ColorX, and a good option.

    If the rivets are rounded off, and the seams arent sharp, you might be ok with the pads. If your seams are directional, you can also move the polisher across the seam, not back against it as much.
    '08 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SE - Newport Blue Pearl

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