Home > VansAirForceForums

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

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

VAF on Twitter:

Go Back   VAF Forums > The Never Ending Debate Section > Painting your RV
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-22-2022, 11:23 AM
DonaldPeterman DonaldPeterman is offline
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Miami
Posts: 1
Default What paint is suitable for the exterior?

Hello folks.

I intend to give my RV a look with a new coat of exterior paint. But I'm uncertain about which type of paint is most suitable. Do you have any advice or suggestions?

Thank you so much for helping!
Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 07:06 PM is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Battle Ground WA
Posts: 603

It partially depends on how much money you want to spend.
I've seen some super cool auto paint in the $1,000.00 per gallon range.
Speak as to the model and color you want to cover.
You going to do it your self? or have a shop do it?
Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 08:16 PM
Bandera Bandera is offline
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Gainesville, Tx
Posts: 124

The big names in aircraft paint are Sherwin-Williams Jet-Glo, AkzoNobel Alumigrip, and Axalta Imron. My go to is Jet-Glo.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 07:25 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 857

Whatever paint you decide to use, just make sure you rebalance the control surfaces afterwards so you donít get flutter. Heaps of threads on this forum regarding control surface balancing if you go looking, and the serious consequences of not doing it.
RV-7, painted with polyurethane.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 08:37 AM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,643

Your question is sorta like asking "I want to buy a car, what should I buy?".

Many (most?) RVs have been painted with automotive finish systems, with emphasis on systems. It is imperative that compatible components of the finish be used so they will cross-link with each other.

However, if a shop does the paint they will have brands that they are familiar with and will steer you toward them. Be prepared to spend a bunch of $$$$$'s whichever way you go.
Sam Buchanan
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 12:24 PM
scottmillhouse's Avatar
scottmillhouse scottmillhouse is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 351

As Sam said there are a thousand options.

Just as a data point, I always use Polyfiber Aerothane on their white epoxy primer as a base coat. Single stage, light weight, very flexible and fairly priced through aero performance. Price has gone up substantially the last couple of years but white is currently $250 a gallon. Only hang up is you MUST use a hood for outside air. Creates cyanide gas so unmasked can kill you. Check the RVs I built N579RV, N319RV, N269RV on flightaware for photos.
Scott- 2022 donation
New RV-7A N579RV, just over 210 hours now
Built RV-12, 328 hours-sold, purchased RV-12 sold, Built RV-9A, 536 hours-sold, Not completed RV-7 sold, Built Kitfox sold
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 01:03 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: KAJO
Posts: 934

I used the run of the mill automotive single stage urathane paint, sprayed over automotive epoxy primer coating and I painted everything in the backyard or on the driveway. I used single stage to save labor. The cost is about $200/gal (after tax + shipping). If I use the two stage, base + clear, the time will be extended by at least 50%.

I am not sure how durable this is compare to the aerospace specific paint but all my cars sit mostly outdoor in the sun and rain for years, with temperature swing from the high 50s to 110s.
RV8 (N38PV): 90% completed (90% to go)
Days to Final Installation: 999
Days to AWC: 999
Days to First Flight: 999
Painting: 99% completed
Donation paid through 2022
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 03:46 PM
BillL's Avatar
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,844

Some automotive paint systems are just fine, but they are not all created equal.

Airplanes hit raindrops at much higher speeds than a car. Impact resistance to bugs and rain is a factor. Urethanes are tough, and epoxies can be harder (think polishing) Many factors at play including cost and what is on the plane now.

A balance of looks, price, durability, protection and adhesion is usually a personal choice. Talk to a paint professional about the balance.

I looked at a freshly painted plane with debris (like sand) overspray, runs etc at large. It was a decent job, but lacked the labor of detail at the end to make it much better. The painter said, nothing is perfect. "Perfect" is not a specification.

Do your soul searching about what you want so there is a good understanding with the painter. Quality can vary widely.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2022, 08:51 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 7,727

Originally Posted by PhatRV View Post
If I use the two stage, base + clear, the time will be extended by at least 50%.
I disagree. When I paint something like a plane, I would estimate that 95% of the time involved is pre-spray or post-spray work and 5% is actually spraying of the paint itself. SS is one spray operation and base/clear is two spraying operations, but there is zero work involved between those two operations, beyond waiting the prescribed number of minutes or hours for flash off of the base coat. I would argue that the time savings with SS paint is negligible in the grand scheme of things. I think I spent less than two hours spraying the base coat on the RV10 fuselage and another 2 spraying the clear. Absolutely nothing relative to the days/weeks of prep and post work.

In fairness, I do think that SS creates a more durable finish that is more resistant to chipping and feel that it is a good system for airplanes. The bond between the base and primer is weak relative to the bond that SS makes to the primer
N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 09-24-2022 at 09:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2022, 11:47 AM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: KAJO
Posts: 934

I think in the normal climate controlled paint booth or a professional paint hangar, the time is probably the same for base+clear versus SS paint.

But for a RV painting outside in the patio, I have a 2 hour window just after sunrise to lay down the paint before the sun gets too high in the sky and the temperature exceeds the paint specs. Also, given I work full time, the only painting days are the early mornings on Saturday and Sunday. That is roughly 4 hours of active paint spraying. The hours before sunrise are final prep and dusting, fixing the masking, etc. Also the big parts like the wings sat overnight before, they pick up condensation so the prep is also more involved. the planning for two-stage DIY outside is more complicated and more lengthy because of my available schedule.
RV8 (N38PV): 90% completed (90% to go)
Days to Final Installation: 999
Days to AWC: 999
Days to First Flight: 999
Painting: 99% completed
Donation paid through 2022
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 04:50 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.