Home > VansAirForceForums

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

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 12-13-2015, 08:00 PM
A2022 A2022 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,425

outside paint streaks. fans are located about four feet from the door. the fans are on independent circuits in case of a failure. one fan can pull negative pressure in the booth. the marks close to the door are dust. I thought about placing some plastic at the vent fan exhaust to catch the streaks but didn't want to have plastic blowing around because I have an AirCare helicopter within 100 ft. I have some kick plates to cover those big holes in the door when I am finished painting.

HVLP reduces overspray and saves paint compared to conventional guns I used 35 years ago.

wing tips, vertical surfaces, orange peel, I hope these flow out and heal themselves, warmer today, first coat 80F in the booth, second coat 72F, end of second coat 68F. 15 minutes between coats. maybe I could cut the time between coats and get better flow out but I am concerned about solvent pop. I used DT870 for cooler temps because I didn't want to get any runs on these flexible parts and have to sand them out or maybe I am chicken. DT885 is the next higher temp reducer. I will need to buff these out in six months after the paint becomes hard, but not too much buffing because only two coats of paint on these. I think I need to control the distance from the gun to the part better. I was closer when painting the leading edges and they had less orange peel. Also, I used two coats of white primer thinned with acetone. that probably didn't help. next time... I will use the primer as a sealer and mix with reducer (that's a published PPG option) when I just need to cover color and probably just one coat since the blue covers well.

Last edited by A2022 : 12-14-2015 at 02:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 09:03 PM
koda2 koda2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: West Texas
Posts: 293
Default paint comments

I stumbled on to this thread by accident. Otherwise I would have commented sooner.I have really enjoyed your comments and pictures on your process.

When I started my painting journey I could not get anyone who had gone before to give me any tips on using Concept so I went through much of your trials and tribulations with the paint and more.

Here are my comments for anyone contemplating painting their own plane.

Paint Booth.
10 foot width is too small. Mine was 10 x 20 x 8. Too narrow. Once you are painting PPG in full suit and fresh air system, getting around the booth is a major aggravation. I did mine inside a T hangar so I had no choice. But I made some compensations.

I think most people over think the inflow/outflow business. I used 5 20/20" pleated furnace filters for intake high on one end and a cheap box fan (gasp explosion hazard!) low on other end. The fan was adjusted so that there was some airflow but I was not sucking air from unwanted areas. When you are painting only parts of the plane with an HVLP gun you won't generate that much overspray so it was not a problem for me.

Here is a picture of doing the wings. Notice the narrow width. I had to rotate the wings to do the paint then rotate them upright to get around them. There is very little room to do the back of the surface.

Doing the fuselage.
I commandeered a derelict rotisserie used to make dirt-track race cars to be able to rotate the fuselage. 45 degrees from horizontal allowed me to lay down an even layer of paint from one side. Use cheap plastic drop cloths for the floor and wet them down thoroughly before painting. No dust and paint does not stick to floor. Here is the rotisserie and the narrow quarters.

Fuselage painted and cleaned up.

I used PPG primer. It would orange peel very easily. I found that thinning it with acetone (per instructions) helped quite a bit. If you leave any irregularities that occur in the primer they will be magnified by the paint coat.

PPB Concept was a great choice for me. One step process. Less weight. But very expensive. Able to cut and buff the errors out. Forget the standard "you have to do a flash coat to keep the paint sticking and not have any runs." BS. I had the best results with just full two coats of paint. Apply til you think its going to run. Apply to horizontal surfaces(real important). Adjust your part to make it happen. By the time you have put the first coat on the part and refilled the gun, its time to do the second coat.

I had a big problem with orange peel before I learned the tricks. If you use too fast a reducer or spray from too high, or go too fast, you will get orange peel. The first day it looks like it is flowing out but then the paint will begin to really dry and the orange peel will come back. I had to force myself to slow down and let the paint really flow out of the gun to get a good wet coat. Check the temperature and stick with the reducer recommended for that temp. Err if any on the low side so it doesn't come out dry. In my experience 8" is way to high for the gun to be above the surface. YMMV. I may have added just a little extra reducer to thin the paint, I can' recall. Didn't use a viscometer??

I talked with PPG reps a couple of times. As IR, you have to wait one,two weeks before doing any cut,buff, or polishing. The rep told me to get it all done before 90 days, but I have done some long after that with decent results. The cut, buff and polish will change the appearance of the paint job, so unless you are doing some kind of clear coat, you cannot just buff an area. The cutting process destroys some of the really nice depth look of the Concept paint. The result is not unacceptable just different. So take that into account.

I have 5 HVLP guns, all cheapos. They all work. The horrible freight gun that I got when they were still made in Taiwan is the best of the lot. If I had to do it over, I would get a better, high quality gun.

I used a final disposable screw-on water filter just below the gun. No water problems. My 33 gallon tank was not enough. You need lots of air so that the pressures stay constant till you can stop and let the air compressor catch up.

Dave A.

Last edited by koda2 : 12-14-2015 at 09:09 PM. Reason: sentence structure
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 05:30 AM
A2022 A2022 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,425

that is slick. I think you're right about orange peel. Gun to be closer, paint to be thinner, reduce to higher temp if you're boarder line and slow down to put it on wet...... but don't slow down too much or it will run.

I agree with your comments.
---I had the best results with just full two coats of paint. Apply til you think its going to run. Apply to horizontal surfaces(real important). Adjust your part to make it happen. By the time you have put the first coat on the part and refilled the gun, its time to do the second coat.---

these improved slightly. I can live with them for now.

bad camera

Last edited by A2022 : 12-15-2015 at 05:42 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 05:48 AM
A2022 A2022 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,425

I added some DT885 reducer to the primer to see the results. it made the primer look like glass but I forgot to use the strainer for the gun and blew some chunks on to the parts and saw a few pin holes I missed. I had to stop. Fix them tomorrow. Some other "internet" guy mentioned if you use the DT885 with the primer you will get die back if you don't wait 24 hrs before paint so that is a trade off if the that guy is right.

Primer with reducer instead of acetone flows on like glass, more like a sealer.

there is a "chunk" of dried primer in this one towards the top

Last edited by A2022 : 12-17-2015 at 09:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 08:24 AM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,609

Originally Posted by Steve Melton View Post
<snip>I will need to buff these out in six months after the paint becomes hard,
Steve, it has been many years since I researched this, but my recollection, and what I've always done, is cut and buff soon after you paint, say after 48 hours. The paint is still flexible and the results are superb with a minimum amount of buffing required with a gentle compound.

If you wait many weeks, the paint hardens and becomes more difficult to buff, matter of fact you must use a more aggressive finishing compound. Keep in mind body shops are cutting and buffing mere hours after they shoot the paint and Concept is designed for that environment.

Your plane is looking great! Painting an airplane is a huge job....
Sam Buchanan
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 10:24 AM
GLPalinkas's Avatar
GLPalinkas GLPalinkas is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Venice, Fl
Posts: 1,022
Default Looking good...

A few positive things…

…….You are at the painting stage in the build process
…….You are STILL painting in OHIO……… in DECEMBER ...WOW
…….It’s looking GREAT.
…….You WILL say “I painted it myself”…with pride

While nowhere nearly as professional as your booth, I managed to get a 30’ airplane. You know, Looks good from 30’ . Most say closer

Don’t forget to leave your wings in the dining room to thoroughly dry….

I can’t wait to see your finished airplane.

I even made Van’s calendar this year…. “Miss March”

Gary Palinkas - Gman.... VAF #161
Venice, Fl
RV-6 "Sassy" Flying 400 hrs since Oct 2011
Lycoming 0-360 A1A, FP Sensenich Prop
SARL #19 .... Van's Calendar March 2015
Although exempt several ways, =VAF= Dues paid to support this awesome site/family

Last edited by GLPalinkas : 12-15-2015 at 10:58 AM. Reason: sp
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 11:13 AM
sblack sblack is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,605

At what stage of construction are you? Have you done the engine, brake and fuel installation so all the holes are done, and you just stripped everything off to paint? Or will do you all that work with the fresh paint and hope you don't damage it?

I am at the stage where I have to start thinking about that and I am weighing pros and cons. If the engine isn't on then I can put the fuse on a rotisserie which is very attractive.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. It really helps since I will be biting the bullet and painting it myself. And it is a rather daunting task, but I enjoy painting models, so this should just be way more joy and way more money down the tubes when I screw up!!
Scott Black
Old school simple VFR RV 4, O-320, wood prop, MGL iEfis Lite
VAF dues 2021
Instagram @sblack2154
Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 05:19 PM
Joeyo68 Joeyo68 is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Frankston, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 151

Your paint job is looking really good, and best of all, you get the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.

I am spoilt, only on the empennage priming, but have access to a professional booth for my painting. This makes life really easy.

Keep up the good work! I can't wait to see the finished aircraft.


Flying friends RV7ís
Built RV7 empennage.
Wings done
Fuselage mostly done.
Working FWF now.
4th July 2022, Phase 1 CofA issued!
5th July 2022, First flight😬😀😀😀
Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2015, 05:29 AM
A2022 A2022 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,425

cleaning solvent around rivets affects primer on these fiberglass parts, cleaning solvent drying time was 15 minutes at 75F. also, I used reducer with the DPLF primer to act as a sealer. basically a test. I noted after 24 hrs that when scuffing, the pad gumming and leaving sticky hard particles that were difficult to remove. the only option was to coat with a light coat of sandable primer and redo. I returned to the pure acetone and primer for the next round.

Acryli-Clean DX330 left weeping marks around rivets in fiberglass. be careful with this. I used it on the horizontal stab and it was fine. smells like kerosene. After redoing these parts I didn't use this stuff. it does make a nice clean part before painting and may reduce dirt attraction but I will not use it again for fiberglass parts. I would consider selling it, $50.

These were actually worse than the photos show. Be careful with DX330 around rivets.

small parts, a good place to practice technique, hold the part in your hand and have some fun, I felt like Picasso! first coat booth temp 80F, second coat 72F, end of painting 68F, DT870 slightly thinned by an extra two reducer container caps amount. gun closer to the parts. my best painting so far. I painted the long fairing swung horizontal and I could rotate and it was perfectly smooth (pictures taken). after about 5 minutes after hanging vertical I noticed some minor orange peel developing on it's own. so, the conclusion is the paint will orange peel from a smooth condition by itself when changing from horizontal to a vertical orientation but I believe it will be minor. as said before, you can have a better paint finish if you orient the parts horizontal.

this was a smooth finish painting horizontal

slight orange peel developing because of hanging vertical. maybe my paint is too cold. when I painted over my gloved hand the paint seemed very cold. could the cold paint contribute to orange peel? paint temp = 60F before mixing.

these look ok, cheap fairings, no pin holes, these were both easy to install and paint

Last edited by A2022 : 12-17-2015 at 09:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 06:25 AM
06ktrv6 06ktrv6 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Halifax,VA.
Posts: 27

Yea, Acyri-Clean DX-330 works great for cleaning bare metal before scuffing and before etching/ alodining. I don't use it any time as a post sanding solvet. I use a post sanding wipe down solvent made by House of Color and there are other brands. Even then, you must be careful to do manageble blocks so the solvent is completely wiped away and not allowed to dry on the surface. No problems from weeping around rivets or sheet metal laps. For me, this step is mandatory between sandings. Follow that with a last minute pass with a tack rag and you're ready to spray.
Also, I would never mix cold paint, make sure it has acclimated to spray booth temps before mixing. If working in a cold hanger has its problems, like sucking in cold aid through the paint booth making choosing the right reducer a **** shoot.
Like many of us, I learned these tips from a lot of hard knocks over the years as I am a self professed jack leg.

Kelly Landrum
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 05:25 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.