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Go Back   VAF Forums > The Never Ending Debate Section > Painting your RV
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View Poll Results: Who painted your aircraft
Unpainted 19 8.64%
Myself 85 38.64%
Professional painter (non aviation shop) 30 13.64%
Pro painter aviation shop 86 39.09%
Voters: 220. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 12-03-2012, 10:20 AM
vfrazier's Avatar
vfrazier vfrazier is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
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I have painted several planes and cars using all kinds of paints. I personally find that basecoat/clearcoat types give the best results for the least amount of experience.

The basecoat can be put on rather rough, as long as you don't make runs. It will look rather flat by design.

The clearcoat can just about be put on with a hose. Runs can be scraped off and then buffed out. This is how many (all?) car painters do it.

However, if you're a bit skilled, and you will be by the time you do the clearcoating, you can put it on relatively thinly (compared to what a car painter would do) and still have plenty to buff to a great shine.

If you're really good, or lucky, you won't even need to buff it. I like that, because I hate sanding and buffing.

If you notice, above there is a warning about using a car painter from your local body shop to paint your plane. They have no qualms about adding a LOT of weight to your plane in the form of very thick paint. Even if you explain how important it is (esp. on control surfaces), they will hose the paint on with reckless abandon. I've seen it many times.

And all of that paint costs money too!

YMMV. Follow the mfg. recommendations and don't mix systems.
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2012, 11:43 AM
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fl-mike fl-mike is offline
 
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I painted mine and am very pleased with the results, but it did not come without plenty of research and practice.
I had never painted a car/plane before, but I had also never built a plane before, so what the heck.
Be advised, the cost of quality paint can be eye-opening!
After researching the options, I went with basecoat/clear-coat for the reasons previously mentioned. Easier to fix.
Base is stupid simple to shoot. Shoot for coverage and don't flood it. I will look like ****/dull, but the clear fixes that.
Practice on junkyard hoods or trunk lids until you have the gun and yourself dialed in. Black is cheap(er) and shows your mistakes. Red/yellow $$$.
Use a light colored primer for light colors. Yellow over dark primer is a recipe for disaster.
Don't sand the basecoat.
The nice thing about base is that it is easy to remove if you really bugger it up. Lacquer thinner will take it off.

autobody101.com is a good place for general info.

If you feel bad about your paint job, just go look at some new cars. Ooof.

The big question I have for Vlad is: How in the world are you going to live without a plane for a couple of months?
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Last edited by fl-mike : 12-03-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-03-2012, 12:01 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Location: Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fl-mike View Post


snip...


The bit question I have for Vlad is: How in the world are you going to live without a plane for a couple of months?

I don't know Mike. I removed tank for repair and second week without flying I go crazy. Good thing I work in right place we have excellent in-house psychiatrists
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2012, 02:26 PM
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Jerry Cochran Jerry Cochran is offline
 
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Location: Sherwood, Oregon
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Default 30 footer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLPalinkas View Post
Vlad, as you know, I did it at home. You can do it too. I'll lend you my HVLP paint system and fresh air system. Find a place, build a booth, take the wings off, make a rotating wing stand and go at it. Oh yeah, like me , be happy with a 30' paint job. Looks good from 30 feet.
You might be "Saving too much money" with the 30' paint job... When you sell it (and you will someday.), your buyer will be seeing it a foot from his nose. I would consider that seriously. Just sayin'... YMMV.

.
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  #25  
Old 12-03-2012, 02:33 PM
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Jerry Cochran Jerry Cochran is offline
 
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Location: Sherwood, Oregon
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Default Waterborne?

In one of the recent car magazines, "Rod & Custom" I think, they talked about waterborne paint and I wonder if anyone has painted an RV with it...

.
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Sherwood, Oregon

RV-7a 707DD Bot from David Domeier 12/01/11
Lycoming IO-360 Catto 3 blade Panel upgrade in progress

RV6a 18XP 1st flite 03/21/07 sold to Dale Walter 10/22/2011
Superior IO-360, Hartzell Blended, GRT/Dynon

Happily "autopaying" DR

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."

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  #26  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:53 PM
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GLPalinkas GLPalinkas is offline
 
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Location: Venice, Fl
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Default Ok a little closer than 30'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Cochran View Post
You might be "Saving too much money" with the 30' paint job... When you sell it (and you will someday.), your buyer will be seeing it a foot from his nose. I would consider that seriously. Just sayin'... YMMV.

.
Jerry, my -6 actually came out better than the 30' paint job I referenced but it sure is not show quality. I think Vlad would be OK with a similar job.... he has seen mine up close and personal...

Vlad, OK you are right, leave the wing/fuse fairings white. They have grown on me
In addition to the previous equipment I offered, I also have the entire booth set up you can borrow (sans the plastic of course) You can get it all in your -9a next trip if you decide to do it yourself.

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Last edited by GLPalinkas : 12-03-2012 at 07:57 PM. Reason: added text
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  #27  
Old 12-03-2012, 10:00 PM
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hgerhardt hgerhardt is offline
 
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Location: torrance, ca
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BY FAR the hardest part is coming up with a paint scheme. You want it to be unique, look good on the relatively square lines of the RV, and have colors that really stand out. Me, I just stole the HondaJet scheme. Even my N-number supports that, although that's not what the letters stand for.

I had painted a few cars in my day, so I knew what I was getting into. Helped my hangar neighbor build an awesome paint booth using a big 240V axial blower he found on ebay. Used lights on the ceiling, walls, and even an 8' fluorescent on the floor, wrapped with a sleeve of clear plastic. An automotive creeper works well for the bottom.

For laying out the scheme, I started with drawing the scheme in AutoCad (works great for that application) and used an LCD projector to project the lines on the airplane and then applied striping tape along the lines. Made paper patterns off that, so that I'd have something in the booth to use for layout on the "big day" and also to be able to have the RH and LH identical (used the same pattern on both sides).

Finally, validated colors on a leftover carb air scoop and validated scheme on an RC model RV-7. From that test piece, I ended up changing 2 of the 3 colors (oops) and changed the silver stripe layout.

Used PPG base/clear and after 6 years, it's holding up great.




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  #28  
Old 12-03-2012, 11:16 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Painting can be the most satisfying part of the project.

You know how sometimes you finish an assembly, and just sit and look at it for a while?

You do that a lot when you paint.

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  #29  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:41 AM
mickdi68 mickdi68 is offline
 
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Location: Cairns , Queensland Australia
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I am a licensed aircraft engineer and paint aircraft and various components as required as part of my overall job at work. So stripping and painting my rv at home in my shed seemed like a no brainer. I had no problems with the primer but nothing but dramas with the white base coat . Repainted and sanded back flight controls 3 times until I worked out my compressor couln't keep up with my hvlp gun I usually use . This gave me a dry spray at first pull of trigger then too wet as pressure backed off. Got conventional gun problem fixed sprayed wings on first coat little bush bees decided that they would land on the wet paint . So waited for paint to dry and wiped them off re cleaned surface , at least I thought I did , until shot next coat and realised had contamination on wings . Sanded both wings back to primer , reprimed and shot base again now the weather got humid and even though I had water traps a bit got through but picked this up straight away so no real drama. Decided to bring compressor inside shed and turn aircond. on stops humidity but now there is too much dry overspray in the air and on the second coat dust finds it way on to the surface . At this stage I am not happy with the result as unfortunately I am judged on the result Due to my occupation by my peers. Solution decided to take the plane bit by bit to work and paint in a more controlled environment. Was going to set up and extractor fan at home but was concerned about overspray being blown over to the neighbours. Anyone can do their own paint job with a bit of practice but you need quality equipment and a good clean well lit environment . Paint is too expensive to do things more than once. I tip my hat to all doing it themselves at home good job . Cheers Mick.
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  #30  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 AM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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Just remember 90% of the time invested in your paint job has nothing to do with paint and everything to do with prep. I have seen a lot of "really nice" paint jobs start to peel and lift after a few years.
My painter spent about a week in prep; acid etch/alodine, sand, clean, prime and mask. The actual painting took very little time.

I am very impressed with those that take this daunting task upon themselves and manage a good result.
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