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Old 09-09-2017, 04:54 AM
TASEsq TASEsq is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 100
Default Priming in Australia

In the preliminary stages and planning before an emp order, and had a question on priming.

Without getting into a big debate, I think i understand the pros and cons to priming, and from reading a million posts it seems some form of prep is in order (alumiprep alone, alumiprep / alodine, prekote) followed by a primer.

All these products are easily found in Australia ( I think prekote sounds like the best option as it is very safe and easily washed away.

Seems the akzo 463 primer is popular, and bulletproof (and likely the best choice), BUT:
1. Where the heck do you buy that in Australia (a moderately dedicated search came up with nothing)
2. The health problems and cleanup problems may be hard to justify in my garage with a 3 year old running around.
3. Shipping from the US would be $$$ due HAZMAT

So, that leaves the stewart systems primer?
1. I assume shipping is not too bad as it is not volatile and likely not DG?
2. Not certain on the compatibiity with other paints though. Their website isn't very clear on this.
3. Is it as bulletproof as akzo?

In summary, if people have chosen to prime and they are in AUS, what systems did you choose and can you give a quick summary of your process / what suppliers you used (hopefully local).

Thanks again I advance. Appreciate any help.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:18 AM
jeffw@sc47's Avatar
jeffw@sc47 jeffw@sc47 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Simpsonville, SC (SC47)
Posts: 209

Take a look at PPG Spectracron Wash Primer, two part QAP701 and QAP702, (Sherwin Williams has a similar - don't know its label). The PPG is usually a special order if you have a PPG store that is primarily house and commercial paint, the Spectracron is considered an Industrial coating.

It is an self etching primer. Dries quickly and is quite durable. And, not as heavy as the Akzo and not as much work to use. I mixed it 1 part primer : 1.5 part accelerator. They call for 1:1 but the thinner mix seems to work better. You put it on lighter than you think that it needs to be, best to go light and evaluate than to get it on too heavy; you can always lay down more.

The PPG color, a sort of light brown'ish OD green, looks like you have washed parts with alodine.

The Sherwin Williams brand is what Van's has used on the QB build kits done in the Philippines. The QB Fuselage I received was done with a clear version of the primer.

In priming all of the empennage parts, wing parts (all but the inside surfaces of the skins), the Fuselage was QB but still did all of the interior panels that were not primed - I went through about 2.5 gal of the primer and 4 gal of the accelerator.
Jeff Warren
Simpsonville, SC (SC47 - 10nm NW Triple Tree, SC00)
1946 Bellanca Cruisair 14-13-2 (72 YRS OLD 8/15/18)
RV14A (N14ZT), Ser#140195
Start 10/11/14
Dues paid 12/1/17 (USArmy 2/67-2/70)


Last edited by jeffw@sc47 : 09-09-2017 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:45 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 620

Not sure where you are in Australia, but I've used Stuart Systems Ekopoxy and have had good results. The only problem is that because it is water borne, you want to have temperatures above about 18degC to use it effectively (they state 20degC, but you can go a little lower). I used it in Tasmania, so I found that I would edge finish a prime a big batch of sheets during the summer, then use rattle can zinc phosphate etch primer during the winter on the smaller components. I have found during my experimenting that the Wattyl Superetch it the best etch primer you can get in Aus, and comes in rattle cans or bulk. I have tried many etch primers and found this to be the most durable. Regarding topcoating the Ekopoxy, you can top coat with any polyurethane. If you use Wattyl Colorthane PU, wattyl recommend cleaning with automotive wax and grease remover, etching lightly with maroon scotchbrite (Septone is what Wattyl normally sell) then a light coat of etch over your ecopoxy to enhance the bond, and finally topcoating with the PU after the etch has had an hour or so to cure (wet on wet technique). Of course none of this is a problem if you are in a warmer location and you can use the Ekopoxy all year round.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:55 AM
Reflex Reflex is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 96


I can't answer all your questions, but I'll can tell you a little bit about my experiences with the Stewart Systems product. I'm using Their Ecopoxy on the inside of my -14.

Although I have no personal experience with Akzo, based on what I've read, my opinion is that Ecopoxy is not as robust as Akzo. That being said, I'm not sure it has to be as I'm using it on the inside for corrosion protection. With that in mind, I'm not concerned about the compatibility under other paints as I'm not planning more than one coat for corrosion protection. Don't get me wrong, Ecopoxy is extremely durable. In fact, I've had absolutely no problems dimpling after it's sprayed. Below is my list of pros and cons.

  • Almost no fumes
  • Environmentally friendly - I have to dispose of this stuff and didn't want any issues.
  • Covers well
  • Dries very quickly
  • Easy to apply
  • Waterborne not water based (big difference) - Uses distilled water to reduce!
  • Extremely durable - if you scratch this stuff you've accomplished something
  • Easy clean up - water and/or acetone
  • Doesn't have to slake for 30 minutes

Cons -
  • Difficult to mix - has the consistency of cookie dough or perhaps homemade ice cream coming out of the can.
  • It's thick enough that there's a small loss off product due to sticking to the mixing stick or mixer.
  • Won't stand up to certain chemicals very well (acetone) - I don't plan on flying though acetone though
  • Expensive - what good product isn't?

Process -
  • Scuff with maroon Scotchbrite, Bon Ami, and water on surface. Rinse well with water and dry.
  • After dry, wipe down with denatured alcohol. (acetone leaves a film).
  • Spray within two hours of starting process
  • I'm using 3M PPS (part number 16580) can't say enough good about the 3M system.
  • Dries to touch fast enough that by the time the gun is clean (5 mins) parts can be handled/moved.


Ecopoxy is extremely difficult to mix. It's so thick that some of the product may be lost over the side of the can when mixing.
Solution: I purchased a couple of new 1 gallon cans from a local paint store ($4 each U.S.), mixed the original batch extremely well one time (took an hour), then split the batch into the two cans from the paint store. Now I can mix without waste and takes me roughly 1- 2 minutes. The key to getting a nice even coat is to put down a "dust coat" first.

For me, the ease of use,disposal, and not having to worry about high VOC content is worth the initial hassle of mixing. Although probably not as tough as akzo, I don't see that as an issue as long as it protects and doesn't scratch easily.

Best of Luck,

Dues Paid for 2018
Empennage Complete
Getting Ready to Close Wings
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:19 AM
rgmwa rgmwa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 1,596

Wattyl Super-Etch primer is popular down here (either spray cans or gun). Scuff thoroughly with maroon Scotchbrite, clean in mild detergent, thoroughly rinse off and/or clean with acetone, and then spray the primer.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:35 AM
TASEsq TASEsq is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 100
Thumbs up Thanks

Thanks gents for the replies,

It sounds like the stewart systems wouldn't be too bad - I've used some waterbased 2 part epoxy on models before and I do recall that it was always tough to mix - like the solids fall too easily out of the solution. Splitting it into 2 cans is a good idea. I like the idea that there is no fumes and cleanup is easy - I suppose just a normal respirator or dust mask would be ok.

What about the "internals" that are actually external? Like the backs of the vertical stab etc. I would be worried about fuel etc affecting the paint in these areas, or even for the final paint job not being compatible?

The Wattyl product is interesting though - it would be waaaay smarter to use something I can get locally - not having to wait to get something from the us when I run out would be great. And I really like the idea of having the same paint available in 4lt to run through the gun (for big batches) but to also have the same paint in an aerosol for small batches. The cons of course are the fumes and cleanup. The thinner MSDS says the thinner is toluene and acetone - so sounds like acetone would be needed to clean the gun. That's a lot of runs through the gun of acetone to get rid of!

How do you get rid of chemicals like that? Are fumes an issue at all? (I'll be painting in my shed which is only about 5m from the house).

Since this primer "self etching" does that mean I don't need to use something like Prekote or Alumiprep to remove the oxides on the parts? Just need to clean off any oils etc?
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:11 AM
rvanstory's Avatar
rvanstory rvanstory is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New Braunfels
Posts: 127

Not in Australia, so no info on specific question, but did want to offer my 2 cents about primers.

I used the Sherwin Williams P60G2 Industrial Wash Primer that Van's uses in their QB options. It's very tough and I find it VERY EASY use.

The thing I like most is that it's "self etching". No need to scuff each part or prep with anything. Simply wash with acetone and apply. GREATLY reduces the workload.

Having to scuff up every part in a build can get pretty old. Priming itself will add time to the build, so using a primer that reduces number of steps for adequate protection was my main consideration.

Good luck in your build!!!!
Randy Vanstory
Building RV10
N783V - Reserved
Flying Mooney M20J
Emp Kit Completed, Section 29 done, Tail Cone Attached, QB Wings delivered and stored for now.
Dues Happily Paid 2018
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:13 AM
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Warbo Warbo is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 55

G'day Trent,

I went through lots of heartache and confusion researching how to do this priming thing - makes your brain hurt after a while. Anyway, this is what I ended up doing.

Started by scuffing the aluminium with maroon scotchbrite then cleaned with dishwashing detergent (yep, the old Palmolive) in a nice soapy mix once again using the scotchbrite then rinsed off and dried and cleaned with sikkens M600 Next step was prime with Protec 426 Etch Pro. This is available in spray can or 4 litre tin

If you have a look at my website under horizontal stabiliser (scroll down quite a way) you'll see a pic of the etch pro spray can and a brief description of my priming process.

Both the sikkens and the etch pro are readily available here in Canberra (from auto paints supplier) so you shouldn't have any probs in Melbourne.

The other thing I did was prime two small coupons. One hangs inside the shed and the other hangs outside exposed to the weather. It's been there for a couple of years now and still in good shape.

Good luck with your research.


Ian Warburton
Canberra, Australia (the nation's capital)
2018 dues paid
RV-7A #74351 Empennage finished (including the tips)
Working on wings

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:22 AM
az_gila's Avatar
az_gila az_gila is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 57AZ - NW Tucson area
Posts: 9,558

The Akzo product is made to a Boeing Long Beach (nee McDonnell Douglas) specification.

Boeing Long Beach Specification: DMS 1786, Ty I, Comp A

You could try calling some Oz professional large jet outfits and see where they buy it. Someone must fix MD-80's down there.
Gil Alexander
EAA Technical Counselor, Airframe Mechanic
Half completed RV-10 QB purchased
RV-6A N61GX - finally flying
Grumman Tiger N12GA - flying
La Cholla Airpark (57AZ) Tucson AZ
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:54 AM
TASEsq TASEsq is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 100

Originally Posted by Warbo View Post
If you have a look at my website under horizontal stabiliser (scroll down quite a way) you'll see a pic of the etch pro spray can and a brief description of my priming process.
Thanks. I wondered about those "car shop" type primers. Seems almost any etch primer will do! Some of your parts had the golden hue on the HS - did you alodine as well?

I like the idea of a brief spray along the rivet lines so the undersides of the rivets are primed. They are alclad anyway but that tiny bit of primer adds no weight and surely can't hurt.

Thanks for all the replies guys.

I'm going to order the practice airfoil kit from vans and I want to treat it like the real think - including having a go at priming. Might hold it and make aeroplane sounds when I'm done.
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