Hours: Expect about 450 hrs

Painting Complete

posted Feb 5, 2014, 7:44 AM by Bill Thomasson

Well the painting took a long time.  About 430 hours, from May to November.
Overall I am happy with the results for my first painting job.
The space I had was tight, and that caused a lot of extra work.
If I had a larger space I would do it again. (Or a smaller plane)
If I only had the space I have and an RV-10, I would probably get it done instead of doing it myself.

I am confident that I can re-paint parts that end up needing mods or being replaced which is a big plus.
It was a good learning experience.
I had NO problems with fish-eyes.  My only problems with the paint were getting dust/lint in the paint.  Guess I did not build a tight enough paint booth.

Some pictures, then some more comments about things I learned along the way.

Laying out the pattern (HS)and making templates so both sides will be the same.
HS painted.  This was the first piece with all the striping.

Masking the VS for Blue
Wing Painted.  Panted fuel tanks separate, but ended up with a slight difference in color of the blue.  Next time would paint them as 1 unit.  You can see the rotating wing stand I made for painting.  It rotates on the center bolt, the nut tightened enough to provide friction to keep it in place.  There are similar 2x4 pieces inside the lightening holes that the bolts are going through.  On the Inboard side it is bolted to the spar.  Total cost was $30.  Worked well.
Picture of paint booth in garage.  To fit the plane straight so I could get above it without the garage door rails in the way it stuck out about 3 feet.  Had to also take the garage door off so that I could get above the plane to paint the top.  Luckily no neighbors complained for the 3 weeks it was this way.
Primed the bottom white (that is needed under blue), and top Grey primer (needed to see your coverage of white).  White topcoat covers all the grey, but keeps from having a full white topcoat under the blue.

Lining up the N-Numbers
Masked for Shadow
Paint job is almost done
Numbers complete.  Love them.

Notes for gun settings
Paint : tack coats open to 4:30 position.
First wet coat open to 1:00 position.
Second wet coat open to 12:00 position.

Primer :  No tack coat.  Causes primer to be rough.  Open to 12:00 position from start.

I ended up priming outside instead of in the paint booth.  The primer caused a lot of paint dust in the booth that would then cause the final coat to have more dust in it.  primer dries quickly, and any small amount of trash can be sanded out.
Wings are on!
Plane painting done (actually in this picture the wing root farings and tail intersection farings are not painted.
As you can see the fuel tank is a slightly lighter shade.  Looks great from 5 feet.  closer you can see imperfections. 
Total cost was probably about $4000 in tools and materials.  After I get it flying I will try to go back and summarize my times and expenses and give an after action report.

Paint, Tools & Process

posted Jun 17, 2013, 9:09 AM by Bill Thomasson   [ updated Jun 17, 2013, 10:58 AM ]

I decided to go with Start Systems Paint.
I went to one of their seminars at Oshkosh, their paints are not as nasty to use and on the environment, and they have tech support that is willing to help out a homebuilder.  All their paint cleans up with water while wet.
They have all the auxilery paint supplies that you will need also.
Aircraft paint is EXPENSIVE, Approximately $300/gallon.
I have purchased 4 gallons of paint (3 of white and 1 metalic blue) and 4 of primer (grey).
I have never painted anything before other than primer, so we will see how this goes.
So far purchased:
Pain/Primer (4 gal)
1 qt EkoClean
1 qt EkoEtch
100 Paint Strainters
2 boxes of tack rags.
1 roll fine line tape (1/4 in)
1 package of lint free towels.
This totaled about $2000
Fresh air respirator w/75 feet of hose $450 (hope to sell this when I am done with it.
Air Cleaner/Dryer - Devilbiss 130523 Camair 2 Stage Air Filter and Regulator $250
DeVilbiss Tekna Pro-Lite kit # 703566  $425 (Paint gun)
Paint booth with fine air filters (HD aviation department) $300
I will need some more tape and masking paper, but currently a little over $3000 so far. 
1. Clean with EcoClean (Rince with a rag)
2. Etch with EcoEtch (Rince with a rag)
3. Pressure wash (right after etch)
4. Blow with air all the seams to get water out.
5. Let dry for 12 hr but not more than 24.
6. Prime (See below)
7. Sand after 2 hrs or more to give main coat better bond.
8. Wipe with cloth and blow to get sanding dust off.
9. Wipe with alcohal lightly as it will pick the primer up.
10. Wipe with dust tack cloth.
11 Spray top coat.
Spray a "Tack" coat horizontally.  10 min later (from start) spray another tack coat vertically.  Tack coats are very light coats (should not get a wet glossy look) spayed from 10-12 inches away.  First coat should get about 50% color coverage, second 80-90% color coverage.  On this gun I am using 34lbs of pressure at the gun, and the paint nossle opened about 1/3 turn, fan full open.  10 min later spray the hoizontal wet coat.  This coat is sprayed about 6" away, and the paint control is opened  another 1/3 turn.
I am using identical spray and gun settings for the topcoat as I am the priming.  Key item for the final wet topcoat is to watch the light reflections to make sure it is going full gloss/wet a few seconds after the pass of the paint.  If it is not make another quick light pass over it.  I am mopping the floor and wiping down the walls of the paint booth before painting, as the priming drys fast enough that it creates paint dust on the floor.  The topcoat paint drys slow enough that it sticks to the floor and does not dust.
Paint gun

Paint Booth

posted Jun 6, 2013, 12:29 PM by Bill Thomasson

I am trying to keep any toxic fumes (and smell) from the house.
I want to paint in a climate controled environment, so I built a paintbooth in the basement.
To make it large enough to have working room around the wings it takes up almost the entire shop.
I built it out of PVC (not glued) so it could be dissassembled and moved to the garage when it is time to paint the fuselage.
Created a practice piece for painting out of aluminum flashing and some 2x4s.
After a few trys this one was acceptable.  Looks great from 5 feet. Good from 3 feet,
but can see some small bumps from dust, light orange peal (amount is acceptable to me).
Still trying to get less "Trash" in the paint.
Also experimented with non-metalic, but liked the top one the best.
Primed the VS
and rudder
Tried to wet-sand the rudder after 3 hrs..... don't wet sand water based primer, at least not that soon.
The large areas in the middle is where during wet sanding water got underneath the paint and caused to to peal.
Top and bottom are where I needed to sand the joint and smooth it more (that was not evident until it was all one color).  Re-primed after this.
Base white coat on.  VS is not perfect, but meets my standard (5 ft).  Need to apply color accents.
Rudder is going to need re-work.  probably meets the 5ft goal, but definately does not meet the 3ft .
That is where I am at at about 47 hrs of building paintbooth, practice and starting live.
Next post I will talk some about the paint & equipment I am using.

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