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Author Topic: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?  (Read 843 times)

Bill N

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How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« on: November 30, 2017, 07:13:00 AM »
My coach has a dull exterior mainly on one side. This is attributed to the fact that the original owner went south to Texas every winter for 11 years and always parked the coach with the right side facing the south; hence, it is the right side that has the dullest finish.  The left side seems to be pretty good.  Question:  What is a good product to use to restore a dull finish to at least a decent level of shine.  This is not a full painted coach - it has decals on the sides for decoration.  Thanks.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

donn

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 07:17:25 AM »
Random orbital polisher, polishing compound, and lots of rags.  It is hard work to get it back to a decent look.  McGuires in the blue bottles is really popular.  If you have a good paint store near you 3M also makes some good, read that professional, products.  Colinite also has a line of fiberglas products that work very well.

Rene T

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 07:35:03 AM »
What you're seeing is oxidation and that has to be removed first. There are many products on the market but it needs to be removed using a machine like Donn said. I wouldn't even think about trying t remove it by hand.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 01:04:59 PM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Charlie 5320

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 08:58:05 AM »
I tried a lot of different products on mine this summer. I used to use Collinite 870 but it didn't really work very well on my very oxidized coach. I ended up using Meguires 44 color restorer in the blue bottle. Ebay has the best price that I could find. I started out using my Porter Cable orbital but it was way too slow, and the pads got saturated with the crap that was being removed. Had to clean them too often for my liking. I had a 7" craftsman buffer that I had used after painting a few of my cars years ago. I used wool bonnets like I did when buffing out the cars, with the 44 color restorer. I was still a lot of work, but worth it in the end. My coach doesn't look like new, but it does look very good. When I got it clean and buffed I used Turtle wax ICE on it, and it shines very good. I figure I'll wax it a couple times a year to keep it looking good. The Turtle wax ICE goes on and comes off very easy.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

Bill N

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 09:34:21 AM »
Thanks folks.  I will round up the supplies and get a buffer with extra pads but I know that I can't do the job wearing oxygen all the time.  However, I know a nice young teenager down the block that would like the job for some spending money. 

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

donn

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 10:07:23 AM »
Unless he has had some training and experience, you could very well wind up worse off.  Improperly used he could burn or cut right through the gel coat leaving you with thousands to fix.

Gizmo

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 10:38:28 AM »
Unless he has had some training and experience, you could very well wind up worse off.  Improperly used he could burn or cut right through the gel coat leaving you with thousands to fix.

Not if he uses a random orbital/dual action machine, as opposed to a rotary machine which takes skill, experience & lots of practice not to harm the finish.  To the OP's question, as mentioned the problem you are noticing is oxidation, and is tough to eliminate requiring a good compound, followed by a good polish and then lastly a good coat of wax or sealer.  For the first two steps you will definitely want to bring a machine to bear, otherwise you will have little success, a very sore tired  body or likely both.  Even though a dual action/random orbital machine is safe to use by the layman and uninitiated, it really helps to have the job done by someone with some knowledge and experience with not only the machine but which pad to use for each step.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 10:47:29 AM by Gizmo »
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

Charlie 5320

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 10:51:47 AM »
Thanks folks.  I will round up the supplies and get a buffer with extra pads but I know that I can't do the job wearing oxygen all the time.  However, I know a nice young teenager down the block that would like the job for some spending money. 

Bill

Bill if you can't do it yourself, look for a guy that details cars, and have him give you a price. You just might be surprised. He may give you a really good price if you have it done once a year with him. There is a lot of independent detailers in my area.   
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

Gizmo

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 11:06:54 AM »
Bill if you can't do it yourself, look for a guy that details cars, and have him give you a price. You just might be surprised. He may give you a really good price if you have it done once a year with him. There is a lot of independent detailers in my area.

This is or a detailer who specializes in RV's is the better choice and a very good suggestion.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

Rene T

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2017, 01:08:28 PM »
Bill if you can't do it yourself, look for a guy that details cars, and have him give you a price. You just might be surprised. He may give you a really good price if you have it done once a year with him. There is a lot of independent detailers in my area.

There's a guy working for a Ford garage as a detailer I know. He did mine this past summer for $200.00.  Then I put on 5 coats of ZEP.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Bill N

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 06:32:29 AM »
This board never fails to amaze me. Ask a question and get a lot of detailed answers - all very helpful.  Thanks again folks, I think a detailer might be the answer so I will go that route. The cost of the supplies would not be cheap anyway and the quality of the work by a kid would be unknown.  Saving a penny may cost a buck.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Rene T

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 06:42:43 AM »
This board never fails to amaze me. Ask a question and get a lot of detailed answers - all very helpful.  Thanks again folks, I think a detailer might be the answer so I will go that route. The cost of the supplies would not be cheap anyway and the quality of the work by a kid would be unknown.  Saving a penny may cost a buck.

Bill

Ask around at a few car dealerships and see if there's anyone looking to make a few bucks under the table on a weekend. Especially right now with Christmas right around the corner, you may find someone.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Charlie 5320

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 09:21:46 AM »
This board never fails to amaze me. Ask a question and get a lot of detailed answers - all very helpful.  Thanks again folks, I think a detailer might be the answer so I will go that route. The cost of the supplies would not be cheap anyway and the quality of the work by a kid would be unknown.  Saving a penny may cost a buck.

Bill
Bill the coast of materials really isn't so bad. I only used 2 bottles of Meguires 44 and 1 1/2 bottles of turtle wax ICE. Now I did waist some money buying some things that didn't work so well, but they can be used on my other vehicles, and I have a few. You might want to check craigslist in your area, under services. I just looked and found 2 or 3 detailers advertising now. It's too cold in central IL. now for cleaning inmo, unless they have a building to work in. I found when working on mine, that between 60 and 80 degrees the compounds and waxes work the best. 
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

Gizmo

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 09:43:47 AM »
Bill the coast of materials really isn't so bad. I only used 2 bottles of Meguires 44 and 1 1/2 bottles of turtle wax ICE. Now I did waist some money buying some things that didn't work so well, but they can be used on my other vehicles, and I have a few. You might want to check craigslist in your area, under services. I just looked and found 2 or 3 detailers advertising now. It's too cold in central IL. now for cleaning inmo, unless they have a building to work in. I found when working on mine, that between 60 and 80 degrees the compounds and waxes work the best.

He does not have a machine so that plus the pads needed alone will bring the cost very close or exceed having a detailer do the job and it sounds like the Op is unable to or does not want to do the job himself.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

Charlie 5320

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 10:02:15 AM »
He does not have a machine so that plus the pads needed alone will bring the cost very close or exceed having a detailer do the job and it sounds like the Op is unable to or does not want to do the job himself.
I understand this, that's why I recommended hiring a detailer, instead of a kid that has no experience.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

Jeff

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2017, 07:59:52 PM »
A good quality Marine color restorer really brings the deep shine back without abrasives or risk to the gelcoat.

Gizmo

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Re: How Can I Restore Dull Exterior?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2017, 08:27:28 AM »
A good quality Marine color restorer really brings the deep shine back without abrasives or risk to the gelcoat.

It can with lightly oxidized surfaces and is worth a try to start, but with badly oxidized surfaces a machine with the correct pads, compound and polish needs to be employed to have any success at all in removing the oxidation.  In really bad cases this may only be temporary, with the oxidation returning within a couple months, in which case a repaint is necessary to restore the finish to a more permanent state.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition