Kentucky Wraps

Kentucky Wraps
I've got someone who "NEEDS" his trailer wrapped and is taking off old pinstriping etc. The problem is that the paint is old and oxydized (powdery) and I told him that it's a problem. He doesn't seem to care and still wants me to do the job. What is your folk's experience on wrapping old painted surfaces that are chalky like that (if you've even agreed to ever do one). I did a primered only surface before and it hasn't fallen off yet. I know it's not within the perameters of "ideal surfaces to wrap" but will it stay?
Take it to a detailer and have them buff the heck out of it to get down to un-oxidized paint.

I have had to do that a few times way back when I worked at a retail shop.


New Member
+1, have it buffed by a pro, or tell your client to have it buffed. You can clean it really really well with cleaners (Bon-Ami, Prep-Sol, Rapid Prep, etc.), and get the wrap to adhere fairly well but I would not guarantee any long-term durability.

Kentucky Wraps

Kentucky Wraps
yeah, the "clean it" part was kind of a given. Not to sound rude but duh.
Buffing it was more or less what I was wondering about.


New Member
We used to buff Budweiser trailers that we re identified. But a simpler way might be to use some simple green and wash the trailer with it.


If you clean it with simple green be sure you wash all of that off real well or it will mess the wrap up. Can I be srious for a minute? How about media blastibg it? That would get it clean? Right?


New Member
Media blasting can warp the aluminum panels... We've had luck using PrepSol and a stiff bristled brush, and rinsing with a pressure washer.


I worked in a panel shop so I do my own buff work on anything painted, just washing it won't remove the oxidized finish. It may remove some of the powder but that's it, you need to get back to nice shiny paint.

Oldpaint..There no wax when buffing, the wax is applied later.

Note; For 2k paints only, do not use normal cutting compound on 2k paint as it will dull the paint and scratch the crap out of it.

Kentucky Wraps

Kentucky Wraps
Well just found out the kicker. He wants it done in 10 days. My bay won't accomidate a 28' trailer. I looked at the 10 day forcast...It's not looking good for him.


Head bathroom cleaner.
We paint and do vinyl so we take care of anything like this in house.

If the trailer is getting a full wrap and has screws or rivets then we would "not" buff it. The compound will collect around the screw/rivet heads and be a nightmare to clean. We would wash the trailer with a cleaner/degreaser and 3M Gray 07448 Scotch-Brite pads. Take care not to scratch the trim or light lenses. This is going to scuff and dull the finish, but the finish on the panels is shot anyway if it is heavily oxidized. The oxidation of paint is not confined to the surface but extends well into if not all the way through the paint film.

If the trailer is only getting lettering. We would compound/polish the trailer. If it used screws, we would remove them and wash all the compound/polish off. Letter it and reinstall the screws.
If it has rivets, we would have to tooth brush all the compound from each rivet head. Hence the nightmare cleanup.

These aluminum panels are baked on enamel finish and don't have the UV protection that a good Urethane finish gives. When the finish starts breaking down there is usually no stopping it. You can polish it like glass and 6 months to a year later it will look just as bad if not worse that before you polished it.

Good luck,