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Wing Painting

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by Zman767 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:49 pm

I see lots of custom paint schemes around and am wondering about the pros/cons of painting the wings to achieve such an affect. Anyone with experience in this regard? Obviously the amount (weight) of the paint is dependent on the complexity of the design. Any rough ideas of how many gallons were required (primer/top coats)?

I'm starting some preliminary plans and this is part of the process. Also, if going this route how many have done the painting themselves (designed a paint booth) versus sourcing it out? Thanks in advance for any info/opinions on this.

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by sjmjulie » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:24 pm

We recently completed our wings ourselves using the Poly-Fiber clear UV coat over the colored wing sleeves (white with blue leading edges and tips).

Pros: calculating the wing area meant 2 gallons-actually only used one and got a shiny finish on the wing surfaces, pleased with the finish.
Only the cost of materials vs the expense of hiring someone.

Cons: paint is a poly-isocyanate product and you need to gear up with special respirators and eye protection. No exceptions! It's nasty stuff.

Made our own paint booth but the hung wing was at the limit of my reach at the trailing edge and about 10 inches off the ground for the leading edge. I was painting the leading edge blind and even with 4 coats it is not as shiny as I would hope. That was all me and not the product. Rest of the wing had at least 7 coats. I'd recommend making either a rotating mount that is a comfortable height or hang with a pulley system to be able to see the whole wing.

The plane has 3 colors and by far the most time was taken in masking for the various colors; the painting was relatively quick. We also used a Harbor Freight compressor and multiple spray guns (one for white primer and white base coat, one for yellow, one for blue and one for clear. Even with a thorough cleaning, the color is off just a bit from the residue remaining in the spray gun).

Can't tell you the custom paint other than they look really nice but offer this as a comparison. And I have no painting experience other than watching how my neighbor did it while painting a truck. Hope this is useful.
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by Zman767 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:37 am

Thanks for the info. I'd like to see some pictures of your work if you could post them here please.

Had you considered going with the Stewart's System for painting your plane? I'm giving that serious thought. I know its a finicky process but the safety and ease of clean up may outweigh several other issues.
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by mosky » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:55 pm

Did my own paint as well with the Polyfiber system (aerothane) and I could not be more pleased with the end result. Yes the product is nasty but if you gear up with a supplied air respirator hood and a good quality HVLP system the painting itself is very easy. I had never painted anything this size or complexity but the product is very easy and forgiving to use. I too hung my wings and was also at the limit of the size of my paint booth with both wings inside. i would estimate i have 4 coats of the colour with a three colour paint scheme. The hardest part was the masking of the various colours and the time to do the actual spraying was only a tiny fraction of the overall job. I'll do some digging in the near future and try to figure out how much paint i used by my results may be somewhat different as i also painted a set of floats along with the airplane.
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by Zman767 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:08 am

Thanks for the info. Sounds good.
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Location: Fernandina Beach

by dkwall » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:25 pm

I used PPG durafleet paint on the whole plane. I ordered a white wing sail. I used yellow paint so it took 4 coats. Yellow doesn't cover well.
I used the poly-fiber products for all the fabric and then used the PPG for he top coats.
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