I build pretty well but my finishing is lacking some. I have decided to start painting, any of you guys have any tips or good web sights to help out. I know nothing about masking and painting good graphics, any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Brad
On 10/11/2004 7:28 PM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
I use latex paint for painting my planes. After the latex has cured (7
- 10 days average ) I then clear coat them with 2 coats of a water base polyurethane for fuel proofing. The nice things about latex are: NO FUMES, soap and water clean up and if you don't like it (or mess up ) it can be removed with a wet cloth (usually UP TO 12 hours ).
For masking I use the blue 3M masking tape. When you get the tape look on the side of the plastic wrapper for the adhesive level - it goes from
1 - 5 dots. My experience has shown that 2 dot adhesive provide the best results. The 2 dot adheres well, but doesn't lift the paint underneath when removing. The 2 dot LOOKS like a paper tape, while the
3 dot and higher has a textured appearance.
For graphics you can use frisket paper (most artist supply stores ) or have them cut from vinyl. Another option would be to pick up some decal paper in both clear and white background and print them on your inkjet printer. I normally print my graphics (the detailed ones anyway) on decal paper and then clear coat them for fuel protection.
On 10/12/2004 9:58 AM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
How do you apply your latex paint,
I use an HVLP electric paint sprayer I bought on EBay for about $90 for large areas - the base color on the fuselage and wings. Then I use an airbrush for the detail/small areas. I have a "Husky" brand air compressor I use for the airbrush. I found that the small compressor cost about the same as the "dedicated" airbrush compressor, but had more uses. In either case you should start your spraying at 25 psi and go up to 30 psi if it isn't spraying properly. If it still isn't spraying right, go back to 25 psi and thin the paint some more. You do not need (and really shouldn't use ) over 30 psi for spraying latex.
Practice spraying on some glass first to get the feel of it and adjustments of the spray units.
The epoxy method works well, however, I find it heavier overall and the sanding more difficult than with the polyurethane method.
However I think it was you that offered the Polyurethane technique
When using the polyurethane method to apply the fiberglass, after the fiberglass cloth is stuck down (the initial coat ), you need to apply 1 or 2 coats of polyurethane mixed with micro balloons to fill the weave of the fiberglass. The way I do it is:
1 coat of sealer to seal the wood. Wet sand with 400 when dry.
Lay the fiberglass cloth on the area to be glassed and apply 1 coat of UNTHINNED polyurethane, working from the center toward the edges, to adhere the fiberglass. Use a FOAM brush. DO NOT SAND at this time.
When that is dry, I apply 1 or 2 coats of polyurethane mixed with micro balloons to fill the weave. Again, I use a foam brush. When dry, wet sand with 400.
Apply 1 coat of thinned polyurethane.
apply 1 THIN coat of a dark color sandable primer and block sand to show up any low/high spots.
Use light weight filler on the low spots.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 until satisfied, then apply 1 LIGHT coat of primer. I use a white primer for this as light colors will cover the white easily with a minimum of coats.
Steps 4 - 7 I spray the poly and primer coats.
I get a finish that is as smooth as glass doing it like this.
Tiny little glass beads that can be mixed with glue (or dope) to make a filler:
Microballoons are a lightweight free-flowing white powder consisting of microscopic, hollow, glass ball clusters. Microballoons are a specially processed silica glass, classified to insure uniform particle size and product performance and is hydrophopic (does not readily adsorb moisture). It disperses extremely well when mixed with various resins or plaster. Microballoons do not absorb resin and therefore provide maximum filler function. Cured systems are more water resistant and have a higher temperature resistance in addition to being more thermal and electrical resistive.
In addition, microballoons reduce the weight of the finished the product and offers improved workability (nailing, sawing, drilling, etc.) further reducing costs. It has been used extensively in molded vanities, doors, columns, lighting fixtures, picture frames, etc. It is more more easily sanded than fiberglass flock, so it can be used in polyester systems where extremely high-strength is not required. It can be used in sandable pastes to repair imperfections in wood and fiberglass boats, cars or other parts. Many engineering students at the university level have used microballoons to increase buoyancy and as a lightweight and inexpensive filler in cement canoe projects.