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Old 04-25-2017, 05:39 PM
1rustypilot 1rustypilot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Jonesboro Arkansas
Posts: 20
Cool Paint now or later?

Hi Guys and gals, wanting to get the fuselage on the landing gear. Paint them now or after the build is complete. Not locked in on a scheme, but close. Will probably be white or titanium metallic. First time builder and rusty pilot. Will be hiring the paint job out.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:08 PM
Keith Williams Keith Williams is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Solon, Iowa
Posts: 131
Default Paint Now or Later?

I painted my RV6 "now" (before assembly) to save money and because of space constraints. There were between twenty and thirty pieces, large and small. Each one needed to be positioned for paint, and to be conditioned, primed and painted. The paint came out OK, I was OK with the process and glad to have saved the money. But it struck me as a very inefficient way to get the job done. I can't imagine paying someone to do it that way.

I had the RV12 painted "later" after I had built and flown it. With the RV6 I was watching my dollars. 15 years later with the RV12, dollars were less important. If you are going to pay someone I would say to paint after flying.

With both planes I had tweaks to do after flying that required paint repairs on the RV6 but that was not a factor with the RV12. Also, I was still tweaking the RV12 paint scheme right up until painting time. I was glad to have time for that because my ideas kept changing.

So if you are hiring the work out I would say paint later.
Keith Williams
Solon, Iowa
Built RV6 #756, 1989-99, sold 5/2016.
Built RV12 #533, 5/2011 to 11/2012, sold 7/2020
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:02 PM
1rustypilot 1rustypilot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Jonesboro Arkansas
Posts: 20
Default Paint now or later?

Thanks Keith, it was a convenience issue in my mind. I've noticed in a lot of pics some folks assemble first. Being a first build just wanted make sure I wasn't missing something.

Jonesboro Ar
Finish kit.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:12 PM
bruceh's Avatar
bruceh bruceh is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ramona, CA
Posts: 2,641

I'm glad I flew first and painted later. I had a number of little issues that by fixing would have ruined a nice paint job. My airplane is in the paint shop currently and has been there for the last 6 weeks... Going through flying withdrawals in a major way (especially since the weather has been wonderful).
I wrote up my thoughts on my blog about waiting to paint. Hope it is worth the wait!
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flown over 900 hours!
APRS Tracking for KJ6YRP and Flying Over the Hills Blog
2022 VAF donator
EAA Tech Counselor, Pre Buys, Build assistance - canopy/tanks/fiberglass/electrical/repairs
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:00 PM
1rustypilot 1rustypilot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Jonesboro Arkansas
Posts: 20
Default Paint now or later

Thanks Bruce, I read your right up on the hour blog. Very insightful, appreciate it. I know your anxious get back in the left seat. Looking forward to pics.

Jonesboro Ar
Finish kit
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:11 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 3,095

Bruce, if you are still going through withdrawals, you are welcome to come up to Idaho and work on my plane!!

As for painting, I have painted everything white - except the fuselage. I will be priming and painting as soon as it gets a bit hotter. I hope this weekend.

I was going to paint everything before assembly but the design took longer than I expected and I lost the chance to use a nice auto paint booth. Now I have to build a booth in my hangar. My plan now is to get the fuselage painted white, assemble the plane, then paint the details. I may spray some of the ruby red just to see how cool it really looks!

Good luck. With the right gun, you can paint at any angle so that makes things easier.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:33 PM
rongawer rongawer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brentwood, CA
Posts: 935
Default Landing gear

If you are asking about the landing gear specifically, then you should at least prime them now with a good self-etching primer that doesn't require a top coat. I primed them and painted with gray knowing that I'll be putting fairings and wheel pants on later. The thing is that there is a significant portion of the gear that won't be easily painted later once they're mounted - and it's the parts you can't reach or see that will corrode first.

I definitely agree with waiting on paint the exterior until plan is to do it after phase 1.
Ron Gawer

- RV10, N762G, Build in progress.
- Several others that are now just great memories for me.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:55 PM
hydroguy2's Avatar
hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Townsend, Montana
Posts: 3,179

I chose to paint everything before final assembly.

My motto: Later Sucks
Retired Dam guy. Life is good.
Brian, N155BKsold but bought back.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:01 AM
funflying funflying is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arvada, co
Posts: 524
Default Flying vs down time

I know it was hard to take the plane out of service for 6 to 8 weeks for paint after you've flown for six months to year. I've seen builders take both paths, paint at final assembly or wait till after phase I or so.

The bottom line is a year from now it will all be ancient history and you will be enjoying your magic carpet.
Patrick Claar
Arvada, CO BJC
RV12, #401, Flying 2013, N612PC
RV6, 1996-2010 sold
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