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  #1  
Old 09-17-2018, 08:24 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,378
Default Painting my RV-6A

I plan to add to this thread over the next month or so as I continue the saga of painting my RV-6A.

To start things off, I am in no way a professional painter. I have done bits and pieces here and there, but for the most part I am learning as I go, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. This is intended as information for amateurs like me with limited funds and equipment. Yes, there are better ways to do it, this is just how I have chosen to balance cost/quality.

Edit: Forgot to add - Assuming I have purchased enough paint, the total cost of this project including all hardware, supplies, safety equip, consumables, and paint is less than 2K.

Here are some basics of equipment and products I am using.

Hardware:

Paint Booth:
I built my makeshift paintbooth in my garage out of cheap 1x2x8' whitewood sticks. I stapled heavy 6mil clear plastic to the inside of the frame. The floor is also covered in the same plastic. The booth is 8x8x19. 8ft is wide enough, but just barely. 10' would be better. I have two 16" fans forcing air in though AC filters and 4 outflow filters at the opposite end. This seems to work well, but a third fan would be best. At first I mounted the filters on the outside (suction side) of the fans. They need to be on the inside, otherwise the fan recirculate a good portion of the air.

Air System:
I have a Husky 60Gal compressor purchased from home depot a number of years ago. So far it has had no problem keeping up. From the compressor I have 12ft of 5/8 3003 aluminum tube connected via standard AN flare fittings. That tube loops up the wall and into a 3gal secondary expansion tank. from there is goes through a standard filter/water separator/regulator. I have air plumbed in the garage, but for painting I ran a new hose directly to the filter. The hose is 50' 3/8 hybrid PVC/rubber. The setup flows plenty of air and I haven't had any moisture problems (even with near 100% humidity at times). I also have a last-chance filter at the gun.

Paint Guns:
I have two DevilBiss FLG-4 Finish-Line paint guns. So far they have worked well. Atomization is good, the spray pattern is a little small, but adequate. For the epoxy primer I have been using a 1.5mm tip for the topcoat a 1.3mm tip. I tried the 1.8mm for the primer, but it goes on to fast for my liking. I'm very happy with the 1.5mm. As for settings, after much experimentation, I found that pattern and flow wide-open worked best for both primer and topcoat. In most cases, the recommended 23psi inlet pressure worked fine. However, for the blue metallic I had a hard time eliminating tiger-stripes while preventing orange-peel. I ran the pressure up to about 30PSI and moved the gun a little farther away, that did the job.

Continued on the next post-
__________________
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)

Last edited by WingsOnWheels : 09-17-2018 at 02:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2018, 09:22 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,378
Default

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment):

I am using a full-face respirator with a forced/fresh air system. During mixing/gun cleaning (outside the booth) I switch to a half-mask with cartridges for comfort. I am also using Tyvek full-body suit with booties and hood. The 3M mask works great, it has removable eye-port shields so I swap those once it gets are to see. I have a 10-pack that was reasonably priced. The respirator is a filtered compressor-driven setup that uses 1/4" hose. I have a separate 5Gal compressor in the other (not connected) 1-car garage. it works, but the compressor can barely keep up. Really need a continuous 5cuft/min at 20-30PSI or some kind of low-pressure accumulator.

Metal Prep:

After removing the blue plastic (which came off fine with no corrosion problems underneath). I clean the surface with a wax and grease remover then rinse with water. I use POR-15 Metal-Prep along with a red scuff-pad to acid-etch the surface and scuff for paint then rinse and dry. The POR-15 is supposed to leave a zinc phosphate coating behind. I have no way to confirm this, but it does a god job cleaning and I have had zero fisheyes. I chose not to use alodine. I have to way to collect or dispose of the runoff and our storm drains go straight to the lake for drinking water, no thanks. A few minutes before painting (before I start mixing paint) I wipe the surface with a pre-pain wash (smells like kerosene or camping fuel). Then just before I spray I use a tack cloth to get any dust.

Primer / Paint:
I purchased all the paint from Summit Racing which is just rebranded Nason. This stuff is sold under many different brand names. Nason has a decent reputation not top of the line by any means, but a good value. Only time will tell here.
Primer
The primer is their (summit) grey DTM (direct to metal) epoxy. I have been very happy with the primer, it goes on well and can be sanded if needed. Window to topcoat is up to 4days without scuffing/sanding. The mix is 1:1 with the activator. Reducer is optional. After experimenting I added 10% reducer, but it is pretty hot around here still (or was at the time). I have been applying only 1 full-wet coat to keep weight down. I bought 2 gallons (which makes 4+ sprayable). I didn't think I would use all of it, but also thought 1 gallon was not enough. So far I think I will end up using just a little over the 1 gallon, maybe 1.5 tops - it goes a long ways.
Topcoat
I am using two colors Bright White and Ultra Blue Pearl. I purchased 2 gallons of the white and one of the blue. So far this still feels about right. I am a little concerned about running short on the blue due to waste caused by me over-estimating paint need when mixing. Don't want to run out halfway through either. I have about half a gallon left and still need to paint the vertical stand, rudder, horizontal stab, 1 elevator, wingtips, and canopy fairing. I'll do the wingtips last. If I have to buy more and the color is a little off, those are far enough away to not be noticeable.

The manuals suggests a mix of 4:1 with activator (activators vary with temp) with reducer being optional. For the temps here (around 90f) I have been mixing 4:1:1 (Paint: Slow Activator: Med Reducer). This has worked well so far. Most of my paining to date has been with the pearl blue. The fuselage is two-tone with the white. So far I have only done white on the fuselage. Once I do the wings will have a better feel.
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Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2018, 09:31 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,378
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Here are some pictures of work to-date:

Fuselage metal-prep complete:


Fuselage in Primer:


Fuselage Painted:


Fuselage moving to the airport:


Spinner (nice picture in the sun), this is raw paint, no post processing (polishing etc):
__________________
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2018, 04:05 PM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,378
Default

Adding more pictures as parts are completed



Edit, added lower cowl picture
__________________
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)

Last edited by WingsOnWheels : 09-21-2018 at 06:33 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2018, 06:01 PM
NTex NTex is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dallas
Posts: 181
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wow, nice job and congrats on getting it to the airport!
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RV-9A wiring/finishing in progress
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2018, 09:27 PM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NTex View Post
wow, nice job and congrats on getting it to the airport!

Thanks for the compliment. Feels good to be moving forward. Been a dry few years (rv-wise)
__________________
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)

Last edited by WingsOnWheels : 09-21-2018 at 06:33 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2018, 08:41 AM
219PB 219PB is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Victoria, Tx
Posts: 289
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Glad to see you are almost complete. It probably has been close to 2 years since I saw it at your house.
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Paul Bonorden
RV-6A under construction
My Builders Website
Victoria, TX
2018 Dues Gladly Paid
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2018, 11:21 PM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,378
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Adding a few more pictures. Painting has been a little slower than I like. It has been raining almost every weekend for the last month and a half, and now it just got cold. Just bad painting conditions all around. But it is done now. I just finished the second wing. Still have to do the wheel pants and gear leg fairings, but that will be down the road a bit. For now, it is time to start bolting this thing together.

Right wing


Left wing




Quote:
__________________
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2018, 02:11 PM
mbauer mbauer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 251
Default Awesome!

Thank you for the estimates on the cash outlay, in particular curious about the paint booth cost.

Any tips on construction? Was thinking of using 2x2 and then a thin strip of wood to hold the plastic in place.

Did you notice any places where the plastic was pulling loose from just the staples? Did the filters plug up with paint?

The spinner looks fantastic, overall really like the blue color you used.

Thanks for sharing the photos.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
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Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
2017 Dues Paid
2018 Dues Paid

Last edited by mbauer : 10-20-2018 at 02:17 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2018, 02:27 PM
schaplerrh schaplerrh is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alexandria VA
Posts: 271
Default

BEAUTIFULLY! Would you please come paint my plane.

Robert
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