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Need advice on primer/paint application

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Old 04-18-2014, 04:24 PM
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orion4455
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Default Need advice on primer/paint application

I bought a Topflite Cessna 310 two years ago. Its in good condition, but I wanted to change the paint scheme, so I am repainting it. Ive read all of the monokote/lustrecoat articles about how to paint monokote, but some gaps of information exist. Thus, I turn to my fellow flyers for advice:
1. Do you sand between coats of primer over monokote. the paint mfg says put on two, or three coats of primer, with no sanding between coats. any ideas here?
2. do I sand between coats of paint? again, the mfg says put on two or three coats, with no sanding between coats;
3. the mfg says after paint has been applied and dried extensively, you then lightly sand the entire painted area before adding the clear coat.
Im open to suggestions and ideas here, BEFORE I start to destroy, excuse me, before I start to paint the plane.
im not intimidated by the painting project; I just want to make sure I am adequately prepared before going to work.
Again, I WELCOME all of your thoughts an ideas.
best regards,
orion4455
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:42 AM
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jester_s1
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Lustercote is lacquer paint, so it doesn't require sanding to adhere properly. The only time sanding is beneficial is if you get a blob from not shaking the can well enough that won't flow out with subsequent coats. The final sanding before the clear coat is a nice touch to get rid of any roughness or orange peel caused by the spraying process.

I've sprayed some Lusterkote and found it to be an ornery product to deal with. It comes out of the can very thin and very fast, so there is a tiny window between laying it on too dry to make it flow out versus creating a run. You have to spray it very lightly compared to Rustoleum and other enamels. if you spray coat #3 heavily enough to get the piece wet looking, you'll get runs every time. The 2 or 3 coat recommendation is way too optimistic. 7 light coats is more like it to get a good smooth finish. You still can't spray it wet even then, otherwise the top layer will just slide off the piece and the whole thing will start to run. You'll spend more money on cans of Lusterkote than you would on some other choices, but if you don't have spray equipment it's about the only thing going. Depending on the colors you are using, Lusterkote often doesn't get opaque. I have a plane in Cub yellow that after 5 coats without primer you can still see straight through it. Darker colors hide a little better, but your primer coat is still very important for opacity.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:21 AM
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orion4455
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Hello Jester! First, thanks so much for the reply. I keep learning something new about painting every day. The Monokote/Lustrekote people make painting a plane sound so easy. Now, I have bought lustrekote white for the majority of my plane. the other colors would be two different shades of green. since lustrekote does not offer green colors, my local hobby shop guy said to look to automotive colors. any ideas here? My model is the TOPFLITE CESSNA 310. there are a load of websites that have pictures of it. I want to change the blue stripes to green and keep the rest white. that's why I went with lustrekote as its recommended for topflite. this is going to be some project....
I look forward to any more ideas you may have... since I haven't started painting, I can switch to restoleum if you think that is better....
best regards, orion4455
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:49 AM
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Look into a product called Spray Max. Its spray cans of automotive paint. The cans have a canister of hardener in the bottom that you puncture to introduce it into the rest of the paint then you have 48 hours until it's no longer spray able. You can go single stage colors or base coats that require clear coat. Each spray can is around 20.00.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:31 PM
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jester_s1
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Let's back up for a minute. You're planning to paint the entire plane even though it's covered with Monokote now? That's a lot of added weight and frankly not a very good base surface to paint on top of. I thought this was just some trim work you wanted to do that would have been hard to do with pieces of Monokote. A much better route would be to pull off the covering that is on there and just recover it with the Monokote or Ultracote (which I prefer) colors that suit you. If you really want to paint and it's a redo project anyway, recover it with natural Solartex or even better Sig Koverall and go the auto paint route. Speedracercerntrixie may be able to comment on Lustrekote versus Spray Max, but I can tell you those $7 cans of Lustrekote are mostly solvent inside.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:10 PM
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I would agree, painting on top of Monokote is a bad idea, nothing sticks well. Lustercrap is also a poor excuse for a paint. The best way to go is cover the airplane with 3/4 oz glass cloth and epoxy resin. Then you could prime and paint with the Spray Max system. Yes it would cost close to 200.00 by the time you are finished but the finished result would be much better and would last forever. The least expensive way would be to recover in Monokote white and then add trim colors in Monokote applied with an ammonia based window cleaner. Using that method you need to keep the graphics simple. Here are a couple airplanes painted with the Spray Max base/clear. All graphics are Monokote ironed onto the base coat and then cleared over with the rest of the airplane.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:29 AM
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The advice to switch brands of paint, after a surface has been painted, could turn into a disaster, too.

Unless you know what you are doing, or have performed tests, it's best to stick with one brand throughout the process.

Paint incompatabilities can ruin a project in a heatrbeat, especially when painting over a poor surface such as plastic film.

I've had decent luck with Lustrekote, but there are better choices available to us.

Like others have stated, stripping the model, and starting over is a good route to take. If the ARF is sheeted, my preferred method would be to glass, prime and paint. If it has open bays, I know that Solartex accepts paint very well, and without the use of primer.

I've found Rustoleum to be at least glow fuel resistant, and I frequently use it to paint models. I prefer to use my spray equipment, but the aerosols work well, too.

I've painted 3 models within the last month. Two, one a gasser, one electric, were painted with Ace Hardware brand aerosol cans. This paint yields a realistic finish, similar in gloss, to dope. I do not know how well it will hold up to gas, or glow fuels. The gasser biplane belongs to a friend. The paint was his choice. Of coarse, there are no such worries on my electric Taylorcraft

The 3rd model was painted with auto enamel, which provided a high gloss finish.

The two models pictured below, are painted Solartex. The Taylorctaft has the Ace brand aerosol paint. The Ryan is in automotive products.

Painting a model is work. Too much work to do a half *****'d job of it. A properly prepared surface is essential to any successful paint job. In my opinion, if you want a nice, durable finish, painting Monokote is not the way to go.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:15 AM
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One thing about Rustoleum- the stuff sold in gallon jugs for spray gun use is not the same as the stuff in rattle cans. The rattle can Rustoleum is sometimes glow fuel proof and sometimes not. Maybe they change their recipe from time to time or maybe it's different from one color to the next, but if you do some searching you'll find some threads where guys have had good results with it and other threads where they haven't.
The practical choice is to just recover with Ultracote or Monokote. That will get you a good finish (not a great one) that is fuel proof and easy to repair. If this plane isn't a showpiece there's little reason to go with a painted finish.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:29 PM
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A reason for varying result swith Rustoleum, could be the end user, and the methods he employs. Everything from surface prep to recoat times is up to the end user. If not done properly, poor results may follow. It is a propensity of many to blame the unknown for problems, rather than look for a cause, to see if it was a preventable incident.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:12 PM
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I've seen threads where guys got good looking finishes that were allowed to cure for a couple of weeks before flying that were dissolved by the exhaust residue. And I've seen other threads with similar good appearance results where the finish lasted for years. That's a chemical resistance issue.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:28 PM
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I think some Rustolium colors resist fuel where others don't. The appliance epoxy has held up on the one airplane I used it on, then again that airplane was flown 10 flights and retired.
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:20 AM
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I manufactured paint for years. We never changed a formula, in the same line of paint, from color to color. That is why I am not buying the "recipe" change thing.

In consistant results does not imply chemical restance issues. It implies inconsistant preperation and application.

As modelers, we post our observations and impressions of the products that we use. Unless we are schooled in each and every product, these observations/impressions can be incorrect interpretations of the situation.

Nobody is purposely trying to mislead us. The success of some, and lesser success of others is directly related to preperation and application.

The maufacturing is a constant. Tests are performed on every batch to insure consistency and quality.

The poor results that we read about have happened, but this doesn't mean the these results were correctly analyzed, and correctly interpretted.
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:37 AM
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I have a Carl Goldberg Bucker that I covered with Monokote and painted with LusterKote in 1995 and it still looks great. The paint adheard well with no peeling. I used 400 grit sand paper to lightly scuff the surface and then cleaned with acetone and taped off using 3M fine line tape. I have done several planes like this with no problems. I am finishing up a 1/5 Pica Waco covered with Solartex and I am going to use Rusteolum Pro to paint it and Rusteolum Pro Clear. I have read alot of posts from members who have used it with good results.I painted a sample and put gasolene on it and it held up with no problems. I have heard some say it is not fuel proof using nitro.


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Old 04-23-2014, 09:35 AM
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Tom, I'm curious. Was the product that you made an industrial paint/coating or was it an off the shelf spray paint? The reason I ask is because I think the rules may change between the two. There may be something going on with particular colors that necessitate a change to make the EPA happy if the product is to be applied by an average Joe. I can see where poor prep can affect adhesion but not chemical resistance unless something to do with the prep caused contamination.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:58 AM
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We can go round and round with this. It really makes no difference who is right.

If a paint doesn't work for you, it doesn't work.

I voiced my opinion, based on my experience. Others may not agree.

So be it.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:59 PM
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Tom, I want to thank you and everyone else for the information. it is helping immensely. now, another brain teaser. I found a paint, metallic green, that I really like, colorwise. however, im wonder if it can be applied over the monokote, acrylic lacquer, which is under a new layer of lustrekote primer. im thinking TO NOT PUT METALLIC OVER THE PRIMER. any thoughts here? I really like the metallic paint, but have no problem not using it if it will cause chemical mix problems with the primer. just thinking.........
again, thanks to everyone for all the great information..........bst, ORION4455.
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:24 PM
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Being a metallic doesn't effect wheher it can be sprayed over something. The type of paint determines this.

In theory, you should be able to spray your green lacquer over the lustrekote primer, which is supposed to be a lacquer, too. I don't like to change paint brands in the middle of a job, however, because it can result in problems.

If possible, spray a test panel under the same conditions that you'd like to spray your model. ie , the acryllic lacquer under the lustrkote primer, with the new mettalic green on top.

What should work, and what does work, can be two completely different things. Testing is the best way to assure success.
\
Your safest route would be to continue with lustrekote products, and save the metallic green for a project where that brand of paint can be used throughout the entire painting process.

I will say that I have used Duplicolor primer under a variety of different paints, with no problems.

I used lustrekote primer once. nuff said. I used Krylon primer once, too. LOL
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:45 PM
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HELLO TOMCRUMP!! FUNNY you should reply. at this very moment the color I was looking at is: DUPLICOLOR metallic green specks. its a neat color. I think your advice is perfect, for me, a beginner, as well as some of the seasoned builders and flyers. I WILL BUY SOME PAINTS AND TEST TRY THEM ON FIBERGLASS. I also found a local body shop guy who has spent a lifetime painting custom cars as well as painting in his paint shop. im meeting with him on Friday. looks like the painting will require some testing and education. I will look at it like its a college course or study seminar. again, thanks so much for the help. I welcome it as I plod along my painting path.
best regards, orion4455
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:01 AM
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If it's the Duplicolor Metallic Green that I am thinking of, it is a beautiful color ! I used it for trim on my Taylorcraft.

Your local bodyshop guy will be your best source of accurate information.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:55 AM
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Regardless of whether it sticks or not or is fuel proof or not, you're going to also have the new problem of weight. Monokote adds a fair amount of weight by itself, but it's necessary to have the plane covered in something so we use it. It's lighter than any painted option, but not lighter than Koverall or Solartex that you would normally use underneath a painted finish. So someone has already added the weight of paint on top of the Monokote that was on there, and you've come back and added more weight by priming over that paint and plan to add another layer of weight with your color coat over that. Paint is heavy, and I'm afraid that if you go the route you're planning to go your plane is going to fly very heavy. You really should consider either switching to a fabric or glass base covering and painting that or stripping the whole thing and going with a straight Monokote finish. That way, you'll be saving considerable weight and dealing with all known chemicals and compatibilities.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:57 PM
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OK....GENTLEMEN....I NOW PRESENT THIS QUANDRY: my plane has two OS 46 ax engines and flies at a cruise speed of 67-72 mph. many people have raised the ISSUE OF ADDED WEIGHT when repainting a plane. lustrekote promotes taking off the surface shine of the original coat, then priming 1 to 2 light coats, then 1 to 3 coats of lustrekote paint, followed by a coat of CLEAR gloss paint. now, that's the mfg talking. now, if repainting a plane adds so much weight, then how can so many people repaint planes? I present this as an educational issue to educate myself, and not to be argumentative. so... what do you guys think? I am also thinking of removing the steel shot pellets in the nose of the plane to reduce weight. also, some people have said weight should NOT be an issue since I have two engines... the plane, when ready to fly, weighs 25 pounds. SO, I AWAIT FOR WORD FROM THE MASTERS...
Thank you for any help you may offer.........with best regards, orion4455...
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:00 PM
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when you remove the steel shot in the nose, you can remove a few pounds of weight. orion4455
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:11 PM
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Umm 25 lbs with a pair of OS .46s? Paint it any way you like, it's nothing more then a display model at this point.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:30 PM
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speedracentrixie: not sure what you mean. do you mean its just an enjoyable plane, and not a racing plane? best, orion.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:51 PM
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I mean at that weight it's not going to leave the ground and if by chance it does it's going to live a very short life.
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