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need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

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Old 11-04-2005, 09:46 PM
  #1  
gnirwin
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Default need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I built a Spacewalker II earlier this year and I asked about fuel proof clear coat on this board. I had a few people reply that the water soluble Minwax ( in the blue can) was fuel proof. Well I applied this to my plane. After about a dozen flights with 10% nitro and one very sticky plane later I can tell you that this stuff is far from fuel proof. I need to know what clear is fuel proof and where I can buy it.
I heard about some specialty paints that a company sells for modelers. Frankly, I'm a little upset that this happened. I've got many many hours of building this plane only to be given false info.[>:]
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:57 PM
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carrellh
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

You can look at info on this site http://www.nelsonhobby.com
I do not know first hand if the paint is fuel proof. One of our club members used the paint for a scale model and is very happy with it so far.
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:11 PM
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gnirwin
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I think this is the paint I was trying to remember the name of. Thanks
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Old 11-05-2005, 08:18 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

KlassKote is also fuel proof, and easy to work with.

www.KlassKote.com.

Brg,
Jeff
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

LusterKote is also fuel proof. It is an acrylic lacquer, so test what you are clearcoating for compatability. I have applied it over Rustoleum (well -cured) without problems, you have to mist on several light coats. The LusterKote clear is available in gloss and flat.

A guy in our club is a wood finishings expert, works in the furniture industry. He is adamant that water-base polyurethane is NOT fuel proof. Even oil-base does not stand up to a constant exhaust stream of glow fuel. He repainted the landing gear winglet on his DR-1 several times while flying it with glow engine, finally got tired of it and put in a gas engine
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:53 AM
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gnirwin
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

well, I proved what your expert friend is saying about water based polyurethane not being fuel proof. I have a beautiful plane that I am afraid I might need to completely recover because of the wrong clear coat paint. I covered the plane with Solartex and I used rustoleum to paint the red schemes and sprayed the clear over the whole plane. I am hoping I can sand down some of the more stick spots and re- clear the plane. I will try this using one of these fuel proof products. I may call KlassKote and Nelson Hobbies. The thing now is that if someone is thinking of painting and clear coating their plane make sure you use the correct paints. I would think twice about using any products that wern't designed around the Hobby and Nitro fuels. here is a link to my plane being built:
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_2895534/tm.htm
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:55 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

gnirwin, this has been a frustrating topic for me too. I built a beautiful CAP 232, and covered it with a white MonoKote. Then I used Rustoleum for the colors. Rustoleum didn't have the blue shade that I wanted so I tried some other brand, and had a disaster. After removing the blue paint (it hadn't cured yet) with lacquer thinner, I tried another. Same problem. Eventually, I gave up, and used rustoleum's blue. The hardware store didn't have Rustoleum clear coat, so I tried Krylon. What a disaster! I wouldn't let anybody else handle the plane, lest they make an embarrassing comment about how stick it was. I was going to strip it, and recover it during the winter, but I crashed the plane first. It was the only plane that I destroyed that I wasn't upset about. Too bad because it was a great flyer.

Now, I test every paint before I apply it to a plane.

Best of luck,
Mike

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Old 11-07-2005, 01:09 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

The problem of glow fuel proofing depends on exposure. The raw fuel attacks the worst. Burnt fuel exhaust can be mostly oil by the time it hits the tail surfaces. If the exhaust hits the surface very soon after leaving the muffler there will be more raw fuel deposited. Also depends on how much nitro in the glow fuel. With this in mind, the oil based poly urethanes and varnishes are semi fuel proof. How long the finish lasts depends on exposure. It takes epoxy or butyrate (spelling?) dope to hold up to raw glow fuel on a regular basis. Anything water based has no chance against glow fuel. I painted a set of pontoons with the water based P.U. and it didn't even hold up to a season of fresh water! Outside my experience I have heard that the acrylic lacquers hold up well. Also I hear that the automotive paints do well but also have heard they don't? I used iron on for many years to avoid this problem but I'm going to paint from now on. Another problem is that the formulation of products keep changing. A particular paint that used to do okay may not today.

Glow fuel proofing is a real tough problem.

Multiflyer
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:25 AM
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Richard L.
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.


ORIGINAL: multiflyer

Anything water based has no chance against glow fuel.
Nelsons paint, which is water based, will withstand up to 15% raw nitro when used as is or up to 50% raw nitro when mixed with their cross linker. WarbirdColors paint, which is also water based, will also withstand up to 15% raw nitro. Therefore, special water based paint especially formulated for RC use has a great chance against glow fuel.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:17 AM
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kdheath
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I just finished testing a panel of the Nelson paint with some 25% nitro fuel. This was two coats of clear over four coats of color (all with cross-linker) over the Nelson iron-on fabric. It was allowed to dry for two weeks. (Got busy and didn't get back to it!) I let the fuel sit until the alcohol evaporated (about 15 minutes) and wiped it off. The fuel caused a slight swelling of the paint. It rose just enough to be visible where the fuel had sat. Over the last 48 hours, the paint has settled back to its original condition. If you know where to look, you can see the tiniest mark. I never saw a reaction quite like that before. But I think it will be fine for my use, which rarely exceeds 10% nitro.

Another plus is that it looks like it will be pretty easy to get a nice finish with it. I have a wing covered with the fabric and after 3 coats of clear applied with a foam brush, you have to look to tell that it's not sprayed. Interesting enough that I'll be getting some more to work with.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I've had good luck with Rustoleum as applied without a clear coat. So far white and light blue. I don't know from experience about the other colors. Other posts on this subject indicate that all Rustoleum is not fuel proof. I've had good luck with TopFlite crystal clear as a fuel proofer. Just be very careful putting it on ordinary paints including Rustoleum. Two or three mist coats or it will eat it's way through almost any paint except Lustrecoat.
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Old 11-13-2005, 03:42 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I know that the water based stuff is improving. And I know it does hold up in the short term. But if you fly one plane regularly then raw fuel is constantly getting to the finish. There is at least some raw fuel in any exhaust deposit. After a year or 2 of constant use the water based stuff will start to lift. As kdheath noted above with his raw fuel test. I have yet to see any water based stuff, Nelson or otherwise, that can really hold up to frequent use over long time. By that I mean on the order of 3 to six flights per day and 1 to 3 days of flying every week all year long. I think most modelers put 50, maybe 100 flights on a plane in a year, but 600 or more is not unheard of. So that is what I meant when I said water based has no chance.

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Old 11-13-2005, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

Good old tried and true butyrate dope is a sure thing. I tried two different brands of acrylic laquer spray bombs on a test piece. One was fuel proof, the other not. Best thing is to do a test swatch first.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

First - MiniWax polycrylic is NOT a water based polyurethane! It is an acrylic.

Rustoleum clear is NOT fuel proof!

All Rustoleum paints are NOT fuel proof!

Rustoleum is not a polyurethane - it is an alkyd.

Paul
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:46 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I tried Krylon on a plane I’m about finished with. I sprayed the bottom a month ago. I sprayed the top today. I gave the surfaces a wipe off in preparation. I use rubbing alcohol for cleaner. I found much to my surprise that the rubbing alcohol was removing Krylon! Scary! This plane was a test to see how long the Krylon would last. Now I’m not even going to bother. The whole plane will be clear coated before flying.

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Old 03-19-2006, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I have not had a good experience using water based polyurethane sealants to fuel proof latex paint. I read all of the relevant postings on this forum and sprayed several coats of "Varathane" on a World Models .60 Zero that I was ARF bashing. I used a Badger 150 airbrush, and had to thin the Varathane quite a bit to make it spray smoothly. I put on at least 4 thin coats of the stuff. After a week, I put some 15% Cool Power on a rag and wiped the fiberglass fuselage. The Varathane coating balled up, and the latex paint "weathering" underneath rubbed off without any effort! I ended up respraying the whole thing with Lusterkote flat clear. I don't know why the polyurethane coating didn't hold up. "Wrong" brand?
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:56 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

Well, I am beginning to wonder if there are any truly correct answers as there seem to be a lot of differing opinions based on individual experiences. Sometimes, environmental conditions, application methods and what's underneath may influence how well a given product performs. I cannot comment on why these variations occur, but I can tell you about a recent experience I had that was very surprising and may help you.

I have two models on my bench, both have Ultracote covering and in both cases, I used Ultracote matching spray paint (which did not match) on various parts. The first plane's parts were painted last November and the second plane's parts were painted last month. I accidentally wiped some denatured alcohol on one of the parts that was painted last month (after drying for about 3 weeks) and the Ultracote paint began to come off! I then decided to test one of the parts that were painted last November and the results were the same! Now, I had also sprayed a test piece last month with Rutoleum clear and I then tested that, well guess what; that also began to rub off, but not to the degree that the Ultracote paint did. After thinking about the situation for a day, I decided to go back to the clear Lustercote that always worked good for me. This stuff tends to be unfriendly to anything other than dry Lustercote, but I figured I'd give it a try anyway. To my surprise, the clear Lustercote went on to both the newer and older parts beautifully without any issues. The next day, I could rub all the alcohol on that I wanted and it remained hard and glossy! The only issue I have with Lustercote is as mentioned - you must make sure that any base coat is fully dry (cured) first and sometimes the claer Lustercote will spit out small particles that will ruin your smooth finish. Test first!

Also, I do not mean to imply that there is anything wrong with Ultracote or Rustoleum paints - they simply did not work for me as I expected. One could also argue that fuel is not as harsh as pure denatured alcohol, but sometimes I will use this to clean my planes. I live in NJ and it is not real warm in my garage 50-60 degrees - maybe that had an effect. Whatever the reasons, I think I will continue to overcoat with Lustercote clear as long as I am using spray bombs to finish my planes. As covered elswhere here, automotive and latex paints work well if done properly.


Steve
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:23 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

No such thing as pure denatured alcohol. Lots of differant mix's out there. Ethanol mixed with methanol, acetone, toulene, etc. Some more potent than others.
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Old 03-20-2006, 03:31 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

Hi!
The only way to be sure of a durable paint finish that can stand glow fuel is to use the paint the professional autopainters use. And that is 2 part acrylic lacquer like SIKKEN autocryl , Glasurit and PPG (There are many other brands too).
Hovever there is another solution too if you don't want to spray paint and don't have the equipement and that is to use 2 part boat polyurethan paint like "international" boat paint.


Regards!
Jan K
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Old 03-20-2006, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

I use auto engine paint. I figured if it will hold up to gasoline and 500 degree heat it will take nitro too. I painted my 1/4 scale cub chevy orange with a black stripe. Looks good to me. Now days thay make engine paint in just about any color. My heat gun don't even burn the paint.
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Old 03-21-2006, 12:10 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

Well now, I have a problem. I too followed some apparent ill-advice and just built a cub which I covered with solartex. After covering, I shot it with Krylon olive drab (which I figured wasn't fuel proof, but I was going to clear coat it anyway). I then shot it with some of the indoor/outdoor polyeurothane by min-wax called Spar-urothane. I was going to give it several coats of glossy to fill the weave, and then a couple of final thin coats of satin to knock the sheen off. now, am I to understand that this will not last against the fuel? that sucks. What should I do? If I let it cure for a couple of weeks, can I just go over it with some coats of lustercoat clear, or will this attach the polyurothane? What would you do?
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:09 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

2slow,

It may take a couple of extra weeks, but I believe in experimenting with sample pieces rather than the final creation.

I would just spray a sample piece(s) with the poly you used, give it a week or two then spray with the Lustercote as a test. That would be the safest approach if you are concerned about the poly's ability to withstand fuel and the Lustercote attacking the poly. At the same time, rub some raw fuel on a sample piece to see how it holds up - maybe you will not need to over spray with Lustercote at all.

Steve
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:38 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

Thanks steve, I'll try that. I have nothing but time, anyway!
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

The lusterkote clear WILL attack the poly. Lusterkote clear also attacks rustoleum color, unless the first 5 coats are dusted on.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: need a correct answer about fuel proof paint.

So, if I "dust" the first several coats on, will it still attack the poly?

If so, am I screwed? What should I do at this point?

I'm not too worried about the wood underneath, as the solartex fabric itself is supposed to be fuel proof. I'm just trying to completely "seal" the weave to speed up clean-up at the end of the day. Should I just proceed with what I'm doing, and let it cure for a while before use?
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