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richpezz 05-11-2019 04:42 AM

Paint - Interior Fuselage / Cockpit
Hopefully I haven't made a huge mistake.

I'm building an RV12is and have the fuselage complete, engine and cowling installed. I have NOT fabricated and/or installed the canopy and rear Lexan window.

I have always intended to have this aircraft professionally painted after the build but have NOT painted or primed the fuselage interior / cockpit.

Question: Does any builder have guidance if I should paint now or wait? I have NOT installed any avionics / wiring.

Does anyone have any tips on how best to paint the interior now? Is this a builder can complete himself OR is a professional paint shop needed?

ANY information / input is GREATLY appreciated.



Scott Hersha 05-11-2019 05:42 AM

Painting the interior is very difficult when you have wiring and other obstacles in the way. The sooner you can do it, the better. On two of my builds I used a two part urethane type paint over a self-etching primer. On other builds, Iíve used rattle can paint over the self etching primer and I didnít see much difference in either one. Any kind of paint will get chipped off from crawling in and out of the plane. The best one Iíve seen is Hammered rattle can paint from HD or Lowes. The hammered appearance hides imperfections, and when you touch up chips, etc, you canít even see where you fixed it. Keep in mind, if you plan to put in any interior upholstery, much of what you paint will get covered up. If you are going to hire a professional for this, you are going to be hiring him twice. Once for the inside, once more, later, for the outside. And his interior paint probably wont handle the abuse any better than yours.

Carl Froehlich 05-11-2019 07:29 AM

What I do:

- Take out everything you can (as in bolted but not riveted). This includes floors, wire runs, control sticks and tubes, rudder pedals, etc.

- Clean with something like Coleman fuel using maroon scotchbrite pads. Wipe down.

- Mask off stuff not to get painted.

- Prime with a good epoxy primer (I use PPG DP40LF).

- Top coat with a quality urethane single stage paint (I use PPG).

- Repeat the process on all the stuff you took out, painting away from the plane.

- Let stuff cook for a few days before reassembly.

These paints are very durable. No chips are scratches in either plane over several years. I use the same paint (darker color) for the panel, sticks, rudder pedals and such.


richpezz 05-11-2019 06:31 PM

Input appreciated - thank you.

rightrudder 05-13-2019 07:06 PM

I used JetFlex water-reducible paint from Sherwin Williams.

I had never painted using a gun before, but Harbor Freight's $10 HVLP unit worked great...lots of practice passes on cardboard before I painted the real thing.

This paint goes on very smoothly and evenly. Highly recommended!

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