The Painting Experience

Painting Fiberglass Parts

All the fiberglass and small parts are painted except for the wheel & leg fairings.

It took some time to find the exact color I had in mind.
There are lots of metallic silver variations.

Wing tip rotation fixture

Painting Aluninum Parts

This is my first painting job and the following procedures are a result
of lots of research but no experience, it's just what I came up with.
Please check these steps with experienced painters before using them.

This operation starts with an initial degreasing with cheap degreaser then the part is
scrubbed with warm water and Dawn dish washing soap and a Scotch Brite sponge.

I rinse the soap off with a filtered Mr. Clean spray and then towel dry.  This leaves no water spots.

I then use a dry and oil free (filtered) air supply to blow the remaining
water off the hard to get places, including out from in between any lap joints.

The part is then masked, including any previously prepped fiberglass areas (the tip in this case).
I let the part set overnight to insure complete drying.

Another quick wipe with cheap degreaser to remove any new finger prints then I cut
5" round maroon Scotch Brite pads to use with my electric DA to scuff the surface.
(This ate the hooks off the DA pad.)
The air gun is used to blow off the Scotch Brite residue
but I still have to pick out some stragglers with a nib pick.

After scuffing, its more degreasing but this time I use PPG DX330.
I use the air gun again to blow out any trapped solvent.

In the booth I use PPG DX103 final wipe to remove any degreaser
residue then just before priming I go over the part with a tack cloth.
I attach a ground wire while wiping to eliminate a static build-up which would attract dust.
The first coat  is PPG DX1791, a chrome based, self etching, wash primer.
The manufacturer cautions against using metal preps prior
to priming with this product, such as a conversion coating.

Now it's time to remove the masking from the fiberglass areas an give those a final wipe.
The fiberglass parts were previously filled, block sanded, primed with a
high build primer and block sanded (this is done two or three times), and
then finally, sanded with 3M superfine sanding foam preparing for the epoxy primer.
Note the flip-flop fixture.  As a rank amateur I need all the help I can get.

This is one coat of  PPG DP48LF epoxy primer.
I level any dust nibs or over spray areas then use
the tack cloth before applying the first base coat.

Here the two base coats (PPG Deltron 2000 DBC) and
two clear coats (PPG DCU 2002) have been applied.
The base coats are tacked before recoating but not the clear (its still too tacky).
On these smaller parts I can go from scuffing the bare
aluminum to final clear coat in one intense afternoon, being
carefull to let the solvents flash off as needed between coats.



Horizontal Stabilizer

Rudder and Vertical Stabilizer

Right Wing

The landing gear fairings are panted and almost ready for mounting on the airplane.
That should increase the cruise speed by 11 or 12 knots.

I made fixtures so that I could swivel the part while painting.

The fixtures kept the front and rear parts close but not too close.

I'm happy with the results
I'm glad to be finished painting.