...but this item, shaped almost the same, is NOT at all fun? Any explanations anyone?
I used the Ryobi cordless sander to give the bare aluminum a final smoothing.
I call this "Still-life With Latex Gloves." I washed down the sander panel with this:
Please note: "for use by professional, trained personnel, using proper safety equipment." Haha, that's me!
Remember in fourth grade when the Fire Marshall came to school? These are the solvent-soaked rags he warned us about. His words were singing in my memory as I wiped down the aluminum dust with the Grease and Wax remover - "Children remember: STOP, DROP, and ROLL!" Back then everyone's dad had a bucket in the garage filled with rags like these...just waiting to ignite a conflagration. I used to fantasize about leading my confused family from the burning wreckage of our once-beautiful home and exhorting them to STOP, DROP, and ROLL...saving them, becoming a local hero, BEING IN THE NEWSPAPER! That was huge back then, being in the newspaper. Whatever happened to newspapers?
After successfully NOT setting myself afire with the wax and grease remover, I washed the area with pure water. The hose did not stretch, so I improvised.
Then using giant black plastic drum liners and LOTS of tape, I did this...
I once read that we grow to love things we care for, the things we feed, groom, clean or manage in some way. This would explain why I have grown to love this trailer in the 5 days it has been here. I wanted to be certain no overspray or bug poopage would mar its shiny aluminum fenders and running boards or dust its enamel finish or powder its windows or sully its screens. So I wrapped the bejeepers out of it.
This is the tape I used (Betty bought a whole case!) It is THE BEST. See what it says? "60 Day Clean Removal" and "Low Adhesion". That means it will come off cleanly and leave no sticky gunk behind that would necessitate a scrubbing with Goo-Gone (another fine product).
The photo looks a little Mondrian-esque. That is the aluminum panel with its sanded edge nicely feathered, the double edge of tape and the black plastic. I used 17 garbage bags, but they will all be salvageable at the end of the project because I did not cut them.
The actual PRIMER SPRAYING has begun! This was the first coat...a "dry coat", which means you NEVER, while spraying, must see the paint in its shiny wet form. I learned this from my automotive finishing mentors (online). The patchy look is actually desirable in a first coat. Trust me.
FUN FACT: the custom auto guys and the rare gal in the biz call auto finishes in aerosol spray cans "rattle cans". Rattle cans are for poor unfortunates, like me, who don't have spray booths...OR for small, touch-up jobs. This panel, even though I think it is HUGE, is considered a touch-up sized job.
This is overspray. But it is dry powder because I stood the proper distance from the surface to be prepped, so by the time the excess drifted to the left (the wind was from the right) it had dried enough to lose any adhesive properties. This white powder would have dusted the whole back of the trailer. But it didn't. It was protected thanks to Frog Tape and Hefty Bags.
I forgot to mention that the temperature needed to be 70 degrees for the primer to work properly. I waited for what seemed like hours.
I almost started shaking the cans when this (68.3)was the temperature, but I waited. This is a great little weather station that provides not only temp and humidity but outfit and recreation suggestions, too. The little weather guy favors basic black, whether he is in his Speedo or his snow suit. (Yes, that is a tomato.)
More sanding between primer coats. This is the EXACT grit size recommended. I'm good that way...no fooling around with maybe a 300 or a 400; if they say 320, I USE 320!
This is a large foam block that follows curves. The horse trailer panel LOOKS flat. It is not.
This is the brand of automotive paint I chose after hours and hours of online research. They have transparents, opaques, florescents, irridescents, and candies in a whole rainbow range of
beautiful colors, and all sorts of sealers, binders, and reducers, too. By the way, a "reducer" thins the paint so it can be used in very fine detail airbrushes.
Sealer White acts as a bridge between the primer and the color layer, where the picture will happen. I applied this with a very fine foam roller meant for applying lacquer finishes to cabinets and fine furniture.
Here's another fun fact with which to impress your friends - technically speaking, paint doesn't DRY, it "flashes off". I was confused by this when I started researching automotive finishing. The writers would say things like, "Flash for 30 minutes before applying second coat." Wait...what?!? "Flash" has so many meanings. I had to find a For Dummies guide online to figure out what they meant. But, now YOU know.
So, while waiting for my three coats of Sealer White to properly flash, I needed something to do. Betty had mentioned that she needed to get the lettering on the right side of the trailer replaced. UV rays had cooked the vinyl letters and turned the gold to an ugly scaly brown.
I decided I couldn't hurt anything by applying Auto-Air Gold over the gator-like surface. It worked! Check this out...and imagine one more coat of gold.
When I get the gold consistently covering the scaly brown I am going to add Hot Rod Sparkle, a translucent finish that sparkles in the sunlight like a million dancing fairies! Then I will
clear-coat it for protection. If Betty hates it, no problem...she was going to replace these letters anyway.
Now it is Saturday morning...and it is COLD here in Myakka City! 43.5 degrees. Yuck. I must wait until it warms up to 70 for the next stage - masking out the fence area and the horse head shapes and laying in a border and the beautiful blue Florida sky.