More Painting Now 99% White!
Added 10/23/2005 - Updated 10/28
- 1219.4 approx. Total hours (1048.1 By Me)
It was another incredibly long
week of painting
prep. With all the fiberglass tip fairings, there's quite a
to fill and prepare if you choose to fill the seams between the fairing
and the control surface. I worked late into the nights on a
days to try to ensure that I'd be completed by Friday for painting.
It was apparent that I'd have to take Friday off to finish
last bit, and I worked on everything hard right up to painting
time....still not 100% satisfied that every last spot was ready.
I took the time to fill any dings that I had created along
way, such as that stinkin' Vertical stab center nose rib that causes
everyone problems. The way I "fixed" it was to gently tap it
the round end of a ball pean hammer and turn the outward dent to an
inward dent. After that, it was able to be filled with some
filler and sanded to smooth. The finished product is actually
great. You can hardly tell, and I'm sure you couldn't from
distance, that the dent was ever there.
At the paint booth, I caved into the perfectionism that both Bob and I
were shooting for and we filled a couple more spots quickly even after
the primer was mixed. I knew there were still a couple of
places that I'd have liked to perfect, but don't expect me to tell you
where they are anymore...you'll have to look hard for them.
The painting itself both went smooth, and not smooth, at the same time.
Here's why: Hanging the parts was easy.
had a ceiling vent system with metal bars to tie everything to.
had a ton of .040 safety wire that we used to hang all of the parts.
This whole process went real well. The photos below
helpful for you to see how you can hang these things. Make
special note to the vertical stab. That one took some
but ended up being great. I tried to keep all items with
edge up, so that any runs (there were basically NONE) would not cause a big goober on the tip. As a
note, having 2 people for the painting process helps a LOT, because
with the lightness of the parts, I was able to help rotate and flip
parts around or keep them stable as needed. The Horizontal
stabilizer hanging was the best. No, that bar doesn't go all
way thru...it's the 4' approx extra scrap pieces from the aileron
pushrods....one on each end. With the HS hung that way, I
spin it as needed to allow the trailing edge to be painted, or the back
side of the tip fairings.
Now for the downsides. You can tell that the booth gets
when you try to paint this much of the plane at the same time.
That can be a problem. It was handy for me to be
swing parts out of the way from Bob's respirator hose and allow him to
move around without so much worry of touching parts. It
few times, even with that care. For those buying PPG, Don't
DU5 hardnener, buy the DCX61. The reason is, it's more useful
various mixtures. You need it when you seal the parts, and
can use it for painting too. One of my negatives was that I
nearly full can of DU5 to use up, so I used that on the first coat of
paint. That didn't go so good. I *think* we mixed
up fine, but it sure didn't seem to spray as good as we were used to.
I could see when it went on that it looked dry....and we
ran through the first gun full in record time. Then, when
starting the 2nd gun load, it came out way too thick. No idea
why, other than maybe either bad mixing, or something with the DU5, but
it didn't spray great. We added some reducer and then it
reasonably well for the rest of the coat. Also, during the
coat we stopped because the HS looked like it had lots of dust on it.
Strange, there wasn't dust from anything in the booth.
Well, we figured out that with so many parts in the booth,
overspray was actually an issue. Painting a car would be much
easier. So, be aware of how you hang things to help prevent
overspray. We ended up stopping the painting for a minute,
using tack cloths on everything. The wingtips we had
tried to paint on a table...BAD idea. It was hard to get at
rib inside the tip without hanging it off of the table, but WORSE was
that the spray that hit the table bounced up and stuck to the tip,
causing bumps of overspray. So, we stopped what we were doing
used 400 grit wet/dry paper and DX330 as the lube and sanded the tips.
Now they were smooth again (this was after the
but before the paint) So, be aware of how the parts are
out and try to fix everything you can right away.
On the 2nd coat, we mixed some extra paint and used the DCX61....and I
donated the DU5 to the paint shop. That mix sprayed
As it went on, I could look into the reflecting light and
that the coat was even, and covered very well, and was wet.
went very well from there on....almost the whole time. As we
nearly done with the painting, I was weaving my way in and out of a gap
between parts and I bumped my shoulderblade up against on of the parts,
causing a defect in an area about 8-10" wide and 8-10" tall.
DANG! I growled about that one for a while, but Bob
kept saying "We'll fix it, don't worry." So I tried not to.
went over it with a couple more light coats, then as we were finiishing
up, we tried something else. You may see in a couple of the
photos that one of the Elevators is horizontal. I torqued on
wire on the bellcrank handle and added a couple other wires, to allow
me to try to hang it horizontal. That allowed us to flow on a
of extra paint without causing a run. We then left it and
up for the night....turning on the 3,000,000 BTU heater for a short
time, bringing the booth to over 150 degrees.
Coming in a couple days later to pick the parts up, Bob got there a
couple minutes before me, and he had some polishing compound and a
buffer going, working on that spot that I hit. I would never
have believed it, but he was able to polish that paint so well that
it's like it never happened. Maybe the slightest spot is
but not without really looking for it. So, the painting is
almost all done. In the next day or two, I'll be painting the
prop spinner, the tail intersection fairing, the lower wing root panels
and a couple other small parts. Then the White is all done.
If my engine mount comes back, so I can hang the engine for
weight balance, I'll be able to haul the plane to the booth next
weekend and we'll be painting on the stripes. Those will be a
tiny bit different, being a Base/Clearcoat process. *Additional tip: If
you have something you need to buff out, try to do it within a few days
of spraying the paint. If you wait 30 days, it'll be MUCH harder
to buff out....the paint will be very hard.
One other note: I was working hard on the tail intersection
fairing and think I have a process that does a good job filling the
pinholes. Here's how: First, squeegie on an
layer of polyester filler. You only really want to get it in
pinholes for the most part, or you'll just be sanding longer.
Next, sand it all down, and then degrease it. Next, spray it
with a bit of spray polyester. I used Standox,
but there are other basically identical materials that are under other
names that cost less. When you spray this, if you see a
fill it up with the spray. This stuff sands really nice, so
after a coiuple hours, sand it all smooth again, getting rid of any
runs. Now, you still may see pinholes (especially after you
it off and wipe it with DCX330), but there will be very few of them.
So, squeegie a thin layer of poly fill into the pinhole, and
re-sand again. By this time, you should have all of the
gone, and it'll be ready for the primer/sealer.
About Primer: Don't even bother trying to buy K36 by the
for the first load of K36. If you're spraying PPG, you're
to use a ton of this stuff, for both primer/surfacer, and
primer/sealer. I know that I've gone through at least 5
but probably 6 or more. On the other hand, don't buy any more
than 1 gallon of DX1791/1792...I have plenty left after doing the whole
Pictures Added 10/26
Just wanted to show how I hung these parts for painting.
Also, since I didn't do the nutplates for the wingtip lens screws
before painting, I didn't use pounded rivets. I used some
CCR264-SS-3-2 rivets instead. They are a #40 compatible flush pop
rivet. The stem will pull through, but the rivets will look
plenty nice when you're done. Also, I plan to add a couple more
screws around the lens area on the front half at least, so the lens is
held more securely.