Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 11-01-2021, 03:53 PM
bsbarnes10 bsbarnes10 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 56
Default When to paint cockpit/fuselage interior?

I'm building an RV-12is and we've made the decision not to prime the bulk of the airplane for a variety of reasons so no need to rehash that argument here. However, we are planning to prime/paint the cockpit and cargo area and I'm wondering when is the right time in the build to do that painting?

A couple notes from the plans:

Page 21iS/U-03, there is a note which reads "Installation of the four F-01241 may be delayed until after painting" F-01241 are the nylon(?) strips that the fuel tank sits on (I think) so that makes sense to wait until the area is painted.

Then later on Page 21iS/U-24, step 8 has you stick on the adhesive fuel tank pad which it seems like you would also want to do AFTER painting. Or maybe this should be installed on the bare aluminum and then masked when every thing is painted?

I assume I'll want to paint before the fuel tank goes in and perhaps paint the fuel tank separately?

Perhaps this is covered in some future section of the plans?

Any recommendations (besides telling me I should have primed the whole airplane) are welcomed :-)


P.S. Does anyone have a good recommendation for paint to match the "Antelope" tan interior? It hasn't arrived yet so I don't have anything to compare...
Dues Paid! Thanks for all the help...
Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2021, 07:14 PM
Bob Y Bob Y is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Piedmont, SC
Posts: 368

Iím sure youíll get other opinions, but for my build, I anally painted each of the exposed interior parts, including the inside of the side skins and fuel tank before installation. And yes, I did miss some when painting batches, so had to paint several parts individually. I did go with the full interior package, but didnít want to miss anything. Also, wanted a clean look should I decide to eliminate any of the interior covers at a later date. It definitely slowed me down, but couldnít see myself trying to paint after assembly without making a mess. The KAIs do offer some pre painting suggestions, like the canopy frame, but youíll have to judge a lot yourself if you want to go the route I took.

And canít help you regarding the color match question.
Bob Y - builder 12iS E-LSA
N569TT first flight 2/9/2020
Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2021, 09:50 AM
N8DAV8R N8DAV8R is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Salida, Ca
Posts: 140

I have also been painting as I go. I like the look of the finished interior with exposed rivets. I also have really enjoyed how doing it this way means things look really nice as it goes together. People have different preferences for approaches to doing things so I can't say that one way is better than the other, but I'm glad I made the decision that I did. It is certainly slowing things down in terms of build progress, but I'm very happy to know that I don't have to come back and do a round of masking and spraying inside the interior. There are a lot of small spaces and odd angles to deal with.

If you choose this route I would encourage you to plan for a lot of mocking up of the structures and reading ahead. There are some surprised buried in the structure where you would think a part is covered but a small part is actually exposed. There is also prep work that is better done before paint and the mock-up approach brings those to your attention.

IMO, and important part of preparing for this is having a paint setup that lends itself to batches. I would paint batches by each assembly or sub assembly, or whatever I could mock whatever I realized I missed in the last batch or knew I could get ahead of for the next batch. I started with a turbine HVLP and it did a great job on paint but cleaning the gun and setup was a bit of a drag. I switched over to the 3M Acuspray and it makes things a breeze. Cleaning the gun is super easy and takes about 30 seconds. The paint cup can be removed and capped and it ready for next time. This really makes painting parts as you go much easier. If you're doing a rattle-can paint I think the same would apply but you better buy cans by the case.

Like Bob, my goal was to build an airplane that was completely 'finished' on all of the visible/touchable interior surfaces even though I'm installing the full interior.
Nate - Salida, Ca
RV-12is - Airframe kits complete. Avionics installed. Finishing firewall forward.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2021, 10:35 AM
funflying funflying is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arvada, co
Posts: 522
Default Hello Bruce

I recently visited your fathers home and looked at his progress with the wings. Heís doing great work.

As far as painting I can only relate what I did and why (simple and light). I did prime and paint most of my interior because I knew I wasnít going to install an interior package.

So briefly I painted the inside sides, not the floor where my feet would be working the rudder pedals or the baggage floor. I also left the side rails that cover the longerons bare because of climbing in and out of the cockpit. I left the forward face of the roll bar bare because of getting things in and out of the baggage area.

I painted the interior sides, back of the firewall, and back baggage wall. I had powder coated the baggage wall cover to the empenage, the seat backs, flap handle, and any other miscellaneous parts that came in the my finish kit (like the canopy frame).

The paint I used was from a raddle can (Cardinal Paint) and matched the powder coated parts I received in the kit back in 2011. And I did buy a six can case at the time. I used the gray interior seats so the colors coordinated well for me. You should contact Flightline Interiors and talk to them about a paint match for the brown color if they are still doing the seats for Vans.
Patrick Claar
Arvada, CO BJC
RV12, #401, Flying 2013, N612PC
RV6, 1996-2010 sold
Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2021, 07:34 PM
bsbarnes10 bsbarnes10 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 56

Hi! He was very happy to get your input on the wings and general build expertise! I'm looking forward to finishing this thing so those wings can take the trip down to Texas :-)

And thanks for your suggestions on the paint, too...
Dues Paid! Thanks for all the help...
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:16 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.