Originally Posted by rabbit
... The necessity of deep cleaning and light
abrasion of the surface prior to application (Barkeeper's Friend. Simple Green, Tri-sodium phosphate) has been emphasized by many who have gone this route and can't be over-emphasized.
.... Clean, clean and clean again.
The possible present and future negatives contingent on this treatment have been made clear by other posters to the thread. The view that this is a "last resort" for an inexpensive surface restoration of older trailers has been mentioned many times by the original poster and subsequently by many to whom the treatment appears to look good, reduce maintenance, and evidence the promise of at least medium term durability exposed to the elements. Nothing is forever as those with expensive repaints will also discover in the fullness of time. Whatever paths your restoration efforts take you down, may you have immediate success and enduring satisfaction.
Well phrased Jack.
I've been reading, looking and testing for years. This summer I have been able to start trial testing various modes of prepping a trailer. I have yet to decide on a final finish, yet I concur with you, the preparation is the key.
This weekend I had an opportunity to further a test patch. I'm testing the lower half of my boler
American, that is the original 40 year old green gelcoat which visibly shows the results much better than the white top. I've tried taking photo's but they really do not show what the eye can see or what the hand can feel. I'll try to break my test and results into phases...
At the coin op car wash ...
Bring two people, a bucket, a short ladder and a long handled brush.
Power rinse first --- squeeze the trigger it works much better.
If "prewash" is available, use it after rinsing.
The difference between two trailers with and without prewash was remarkable.
Yeah, I tried the foamy brush that Helen had troubles with
, my suggestion is to have a second cleaner with you. Fill the bucket with the foam so they can follow you around with the clean brush you bring. If you are dropping $20 or so, (and it will take that to do a good job) the operator usually won't mind.
Power wash with detergent, (pull the trigger - the sprayer works much better) ... I've just saved you another $10.
Even after all of that, a trailer that has been neglected for a quarter of a century will look much better, but - just not quite up to snuff.
Once you are back home:
Awsome cleaner helps with a lot of the remaining dirt and some oxidation.
As does Barkeepers Friend.
In sequence following rinses they are even better, along with using a white pot scrubber.
I have yet to try the coke for the tar, or the rum for the operator.
I added a new test to the mix of what has been posted here so far. I tried flour of pumice. Pumice is the stuff used in facial scrub and mechanic hand cleansers. Flour of pumice is much finer, similar to what is used in toothpaste. You take the pumice and mix it with soap and water. The soap keeps the pumice in suspension with water while lubricating the polishing of the gel coat. Similar to oil being used to cut metal. I use pumice as an intermediating step in polishing acrylic.
<for the techno geeks, we are talking 0000 fine>.
BKF pre and/or post pumice polishing works better, combined yields the best results.
I think, that I am ready almost to try something like this: