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Paint Test Panels. (Gas)

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Old 09-06-2014, 07:13 PM
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Default Paint Test Panels. (Gas)

I have been reading about paint for my plane and made some paint test panels. I thought I would post FWIW. I am no expert at this. I am muddling through for a paint system. Right now I am leaning towards a latex paint and top coat.

The products I used are some I had in the shop and some very old. The polycrylic finish, silver paint and Deft polyurethane were purchased new.

The frames are pine sealed with 2 coats of polycrylic. I used a trim iron to attach dress liner to the frame using the polycrylic as the glue medium, heat gun to shrink then 2 coats of polycrylic to seal the weave.

The paints used,first panel, were Krylon yellow, latex enamel brown and very old acrylic latex white. Only the yellow was sprayed the rest was brushed. These were top coated as follows: top third Deft clear wood finish, middle Minwax polyurethane and bottom third Minwax spar urethane.

From what I have read, the polyurethanes tend to yellow with time. When I applied the top coat to the white they all turned yellow. You can tell from the picture. Again these were all very old products. The white was the worst. It had lots of solids that brushed on the panel.

Panel 2 was made the same way as the first. For paints: Duplicolor Silver, Fusion paint for plastic black and Rustoleum high performance red. All sprayed. For top coat: silver and red Deft Defthane Polyurethane sprayed and black was Minwax Brushing Lacquer.

The fuel mix used was Stihl Ultra oil, 50:1 mix using 87 octane non-ethanol gas.

For the test I just kept pouring gas on the panels keeping them well soaked. I used my fingernail to see if I could lift the paint. Rubbed it hard to see if paint came off. Let it soak for about 45 minutes and today soaked for about 15 minutes. Surprisingly only the Duplicolor paint got lifted by the gas. All the other paints held really well. I checked for fuel seeping thru the liner but the liner was well sealed. No gas on back side.

The Duplicolor was a paint I used to paint a Toyota bumper cover. I did not like it nor its top coat.

While these paints seem to pass the test, it is wise to prepare a test panel and test the paint you are using. I plan to pursue a latex and top coat paint system. I like Deft products so I will use the Defthane top coat. I won't be using spray cans, I will spray with my equipment. I will be using Sig Koverall so I will make a test panel and try the colors I have in mind. If you are using latex an exterior would be best. I am going to try a flat exterior with gloss top coat.

After testing, I cleaned the panels and they looked good. The spar urethane and Defthane produced the best gloss finish. Brushing lacquer was next.

I hope some of this is helpful. If you have any ideas for more testing let me know.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:08 AM
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Listening to all the coats that were applied to your test panels what would the weight be when finished?
you didn't say anything about adding heat during the test.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:06 PM
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Gas powered planes aren't usually any problem finding a paint for, I usually just use latex house paint and have never had any problems. It's glow powered planes that present a problem with both raw fuel and hot fuel/exhaust lifting the paint.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:10 PM
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Gray Beard I made these panels to test for glow fuel as that was my initial engine choice. I have since changed my choice to gas. Did the gas test just thought I'd post my results FWIW.

Jetmech05 I was not concerned about weight making the panels. I just wanted to test the paint. Good point on heat. I will test again with heat. Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:14 PM
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Man there is so many ways to finish a plane it will make your head spin. Many of the products make a poor finish for RC planes, others are heavy and to fuel and stain proof them it starts to add up fast, Cost is a factor that drives many to the cheeper paints out there, take Laytex for an example, while many get a nice looking job out of it it likely wont stay that way very long especially around nitro, dirt and handling, it stains rather quickly and it don't come off, some will put a 2 part clear coat on it to prevent it and add alot of weight to an already heavy paint. Enamiles are also in the heavy weight class and make poor RC paint, as a matter a fact home centers paints are poor paints for RC planes but many use them and are happy with the results. It all depends on what your willing to accept and more often what you can afford.

On the other hand there are automotive paints which will stand up to anything that gets on your plane in the same way it does on your car, now the paint job just went from $30 to $120 or more depending on how big your plane is and how many colors you are going to use. Add the equipment needed to paint it plus a place to paint it puts it out of reach of many pockets. Rattle can fuel proof paints only have limited colors to choose from but they need no clear coats unless you want more shine. I wish I had the answer to what paints will do the job the cheepest and be fuel proof, there is no easy answer. Requardless you need to do some testing with what ever you use to see if it will hold up to the tests, it's pointless to test fuels on it unless it's fully cured regardless what kind of paint you use.

Who said painting is fun, well it can be if you use the right products in the first place, good luck to all, smile.

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Old 09-14-2014, 08:23 AM
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Well I have to add my 2pennies worth hear. Being an OLD geezer modeler I have used rattle can most of the popular brands and with out a good quality clear coat (no polly types)Glow fuel if cleaned after each flight can last a long time, but with out care it will doe them in in a hurry, laytex even thinned are heavy, but you can get any color by doing a color match at the big box or better paint stores, with auto paints the $$$ go up quick, and if you are doing it your self a home made paint both can work for a model, but you MUST use the correct RESPERATOR, also small body paint shops will and can do your painting at a reasonable $$ coast. There are still aircraft dope paints available but shipping coast may make them $$$ sensitive. There are good paints made for modeling but can be hard to find in enough quantity for large models, which leave ME with two choices Klas-Koat or Nelsons Paints, I have used both with great results and will most likely use them again, But for this old geezer I found the nelsons Paints to be the simplest and easy to use.


Do your own research and like Leroy said have fun and smile


Cheers bob T AMA13377
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:12 PM
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I can say Rustoleum holds up to glow fuel well, but dont use white because it yellows quickly. Only down side I found is repairs to the finish can be tricky. The base finish I used on my plane was dope, and I found dope will wrinkle the Rustoleum very quickly.
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