Polishing Phase 1 - Removing the Clear Coat

Michael has been itching to polish the exterior of the airstream since the day we bought it. We ordered the polishing kit back in February before we had beds built or any major systems working. He had aspirations of working on it during Easter break until it became clear that we had other things that took priority.

We had a few weeks off in May. Michael started painting on the stripping agent almost immediately. The next morning he woke up and hoped to spray off the paint stripper and have a relaxing day visiting family. The hose here had very little water pressure and we could not get the pressure washer to work either. It was time to take more drastic measures. My mom had a friend who worked at a local truck wash. She knew that they had a chemical brightener that would cut through the clear coat in no time, so she called and explained the situation. The manager advised us to rinse off anything that was dripping and then to come out. 

I like blue, just not on my Airstream.
— Michael, in response to Annie's Question

Since we had waited overnight, there were no dripping spots. The stripper hardens like a car wax. We were able to get it off with an abrasive sponge, but instead decided to follow their advice and just spray it down once. We hitched up and drove across town. Luckily on the drive it rained. No truck drivers were getting their trucks washed in the rain, so when we arrived both bays were empty. The managers waved us in. We explained that we were trying to remove all the clear coat and decals. They put their team to work. They divided up the sides and made it into a competition to see which side would make the most progress. 

My mom said that she has never seen Michael smile so big in her life. The results were amazing! I couldn't help but think about how many hours of my life would have been spent with an abrasive sponge scrubbing that stuff off when they were able to cut through in in about 30 minutes! 

They also cleaned our van, "Boss." We weren't even thinking about that! Look at the wheel in each picture. I never knew it was silver! It has been black since we have had the van. The truck wash managed to remove 95% of the clear coat and almost all the decals! We chatted and gave them a tour. When we went to pay the bill, we were told that there was no bill! Best. Day. Ever. 

Next will be the estimated 60 hours of polishing. Bring it on!