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Old 06-04-2018, 09:47 AM
mciaglia mciaglia is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 143
Default Fuselage systems, cabin top, interior paint... need some advice

As I have transitioned from deburring and riveting and have began installing many of the systems (brakes, fuel, control) I am beginning to have a feeling of uncertainty in the future.

I am planning on painting the interior. But when do you take that step? Do most people install all these systems, remove them during the dirty fiberglass cutting and shaping of the cabin top and doors...paint the interior... then re-install them once done?

I understand that extensive masking is an option.

I also don't want to pain the interior to have is all scatached up from the work to still be completed.

Thanks for the advice, I am sure there is no clear answer to this, but was hoping to get some advise from people that did a certain process and liked it, or those that did something and regretted it.
Dr. Mark Ciaglia
Houston, TX
Donating Monthly since 10/17
N189PT- Christen Eagle II
N627DG (reserved)- RV10 in the making
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:59 AM
lr172 lr172 is online now
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 3,432

I am in a similar stage. I bought a partially completed kit, so removed the control systems and rudder pedals for inspection. I just fitted and drilled the cabin top and now plan to paint the interior. I will then reinstall the systems and start wiring. I am not too worried about the dust and debris from fitting the doors and re-working the door edges. The mess should clean up pretty easily with compressed air and light wipe with a towel. You can leave the systems in place (rudder pedals will be way less work to remove than mask) and mask pretty easily. Once you start to look at the interior painting, you're actually not painting that much up front, as much of the interior is cover panels that will be painted off the plane.

You can also do all of the cabin top and door fitting with the top cleco'ed on, then paint the interior prior to permanently mounting it. I would not want to paint the interior with the top on. That will increase the effort involved in keeping dust down and applying a quality finish.

Part of my decision for painting now is that I will not have doors for another 2 months and want to keep making progress.

RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
RV-10 in progress

Last edited by lr172 : 06-04-2018 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:10 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,486

Check with whoever you plan to use for the interior finish out------carpet, side panels etc. They might have a list of what needs to be painted and what not to paint.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:37 PM
DRMA DRMA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 283

I painted the cabin top on my RV-10 before I installed it on the fuselage, but after fitting it. I also did some "clean up" of the pillars before priming the interior of the top with UV Smooth Prime and then painting.

I painted all of the Van's supplied finish panels (side panels, center tunnel covers, flap actuator cover, baggage bulkhead, rear seat backs, etc.) outside of the fuselage as well.

Just before installing the cabin top, I painted the remaining interior after masking the area under and behind the control panel (I don't plan to paint the rudder peddles or other kit under there as it isn't really visible and the peddles will likely show wear anyway). I also masked off some of the side areas around the wire & cable I installed, but since these will be hidden behind the side panels I didn't need to do an exacting job of masking, just enough to keep from painting the wires or conduit. (I installed all of the wiring I could think of, plus some spares running from the front panel area to the back before I installed the cabin top. I also installed the Air Conditioner evaporator, the AC hoses, pitch & yaw servo mounts and completed their wire connectors/shells, etc. before installing the top. It's much easier to do anything like that before you install the top!)

I also painted the interior of the doors after fully fitting them in-place, just before hanging them for what I hope is the final time.<grin>

I have had to do a little bit of touch-up due to scratches to the paint from installing the windows & doors and the top, but not that much, and was easy to mask small areas around them and paint them through the door openings with the top on.

I cut some cardboard to size and placed it into the foot wells over the painted floors to help protect it after painting. Even though I intend to cover these with carpet from Aerosport Products, likely after most of my Phase 1 testing is complete, and they have been primed, I wanted to paint them for corrosion reasons. Same with most of the side panels which I intend to eventually finish with Aerosport finishing parts. (I'm going for more of a Lexus look rather than industrial look to make my wife happier with the plane.)

Best of luck with the painting.
Dave Macdonald

RV-10 Finishing Kit & FWF in-progress
2019 VAF Dues Paid
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:58 PM
mciaglia mciaglia is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 143

Thanks for all the input.
Dr. Mark Ciaglia
Houston, TX
Donating Monthly since 10/17
N189PT- Christen Eagle II
N627DG (reserved)- RV10 in the making
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