Here is a pic of the worst of the Starfinder Tube I have. It appears to be miosture staining, possibly from heavy dew, or, previous owner left it out overnight, and it got caught in the rain. I'm trying to decide, which route I want to go.
If I sand and paint, I'll need to rough the surface enough for the primer to adhere. With the stains, a strong primer, such as Kilz, would have to be applied to block and cover the stains, followed with lots of priming and sanding to remove the "fuzz" from sanding a cardboard tube.
Another option I am favoring, is sanding and filling any imperfections, and just apply a quality vinyl wrap. A quality wrap media would have a silver, color blocking, base layer, negating any need for a strong primer. Now, the vinyl wrap, adds a couple more decisions. Do I use one large sheet, and do a single wrap, with a seam opposite the focuser side of the tube? Or, do I get a 6" roll of wrap, and spiral wrap it like the factory covering? A single, large sheet wrap would be easiest, but, I wonder how the seam would hold up when the tube is rotated within the cradle/straps. I could always seal the seam with something like clear fingernail polish, in hopes that it would hold during any rotating of the tube.
The costs all work out pretty close, no matter which method I choose, so, it comes down to two things, durability, and, cosmetics. Tossing cosmetics aside, which finishing option would be more durable? I'm thinking vinyl, with it being sonotube. A scope this size, will get dings, and, I'm thinking vinyl would be much more flexible when dinged, than paint. Thoughts?