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Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

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Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

Old 02-14-2007, 09:34 PM
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tucker1865
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Default Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

I have a plane with a glass fuse and a foam wing. What is the best way to paint this plane. your opinion on materials and methods would be appreciated. The plane is a "Stick" I bought years ago. Thanks Wing will be sheeted and I have spray equipment.
Old 02-15-2007, 12:22 AM
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Deadeye
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

If you insist on painting, then you will have to balsa sheet and fiberglass the wing. However, you could just paint the fuse, and use a low temp film covering to cover directly over the foam. The wing will be easily prone to damage that way (even finger pressure will dent it), but it will remain very light.
Old 02-15-2007, 09:45 AM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

I forgot to mention that the wing will be sheeted and I have spray equipment, touch-up gun, airbrush and regular gun, but no HVLP.
Old 02-15-2007, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

The touch up gun should be OK with a wide enough spray pattern. You can't spray directly on balsa sheeting, as it will soak up paint like a sponge. You will have to fiberglass the sheeting to obtain a surface that will allow the paint to bond. As far as paint goes, I've used two part (acrylic enamel) automotive paint with great success. It is also fuel proof.
Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

Has anybody used anything other than two part automotive paint?
Old 02-15-2007, 06:09 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

I cannot tell you what is the best method. I can only tell you my favorite materials and methods. I have been glassing and painting planes for about 15 years. Just follow the West Systems instructions and you'll be fine.
I glass the plane and then recoat the whole plane in epoxy and micrballoons to fill the weave. Then I sand 90 of it off with 320 grit.
, being careful not to sand into the glass. Then I shoot a coat of Featherfill primer and sand 90% of that off with 320 grit. Next, another coat of Featherfill, again, sanding most of it back off. This time you want to sand until you start seeing the underlying epoxy. Wet sand with 400 grit. One last coat of very thinned out coat of Featherfill. This coat gets wet sanded with 600 grit until the primer is perfectly uniform without any blemishes.
Onto painting. I prefer House of Color Urethanes. They are astronomically expensive, but worth it! SHoot the base color followed by a thin coat of clear, do not let it gloss. That will make for a very heavy finish. Airbrush in all the details and then one golssy coat of clear. Done!
Materials:
West System 105 Epoxy (NOT polyester resin)
West systems Microlight Microballoons
Sig .75 Oz and 1.5 Oz cloth (Cuts nicer and wicks better than most)
Acetone for clean up and thinning the epoxy
House of Kolor urethane base coats and clear coats. I recommend somehting alot cheaper for your first several paint jobs.
Dupont Nason, Valspar, and even Napa have some outstanding urethane paints that are about 30% the cost of HoK.
Just make sure you use a respirator that is rated for whatever paint you decide on!!!
Doug
Old 02-15-2007, 06:54 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing


ORIGINAL: firstplaceaviator

I cannot tell you what is the best method. I can only tell you my favorite materials and methods. I have been glassing and painting planes for about 15 years. Just follow the West Systems instructions and you'll be fine.
I glass the plane and then recoat the whole plane in epoxy and micrballoons to fill the weave. Then I sand 90 of it off with 320 grit.
, being careful not to sand into the glass. Then I shoot a coat of Featherfill primer and sand 90% of that off with 320 grit. Next, another coat of Featherfill, again, sanding most of it back off. This time you want to sand until you start seeing the underlying epoxy. Wet sand with 400 grit. One last coat of very thinned out coat of Featherfill. This coat gets wet sanded with 600 grit until the primer is perfectly uniform without any blemishes.
Onto painting. I prefer House of Color Urethanes. They are astronomically expensive, but worth it! SHoot the base color followed by a thin coat of clear, do not let it gloss. That will make for a very heavy finish. Airbrush in all the details and then one golssy coat of clear. Done!
Materials:
West System 105 Epoxy (NOT polyester resin)
West systems Microlight Microballoons
Sig .75 Oz and 1.5 Oz cloth (Cuts nicer and wicks better than most)
Acetone for clean up and thinning the epoxy
House of Kolor urethane base coats and clear coats. I recommend somehting alot cheaper for your first several paint jobs.
Dupont Nason, Valspar, and even Napa have some outstanding urethane paints that are about 30% the cost of HoK.
Just make sure you use a respirator that is rated for whatever paint you decide on!!!
Doug
Ahhh, Featherfill. Have you used any of the Upol Reface? That's another good polyester filler.

Dan
Old 02-15-2007, 08:00 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

The plane has a fiberglass/layup fuse, no need to glass it. I can glass the wing if it is absolutely necessary, but it will be sheeted. I was hoping to just spray both. Might need the glass/resin for strength or glass and polycrylic.
Old 02-16-2007, 10:04 AM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

It is absolutely necessary to glass the wing before painting or it will look like crap if you paint directly on the wood for reasons others here have mentioned. The hardest thing about fiberglassing is convincing yourself to do it.
Old 02-16-2007, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

It is not absolutley necessary to glass the wing. You can just seal and fill the wood grain with the West System epoxy and microballoons, prime and paint. It will not be nearly as durable.
I need to revise my last post. I don't use Featherfill any more (I'm just used to calling it Featherfill, because that is what I used for years). I use Dupont 131S Sand and fill primer now. It is much easier to sand than the Featherfill and it's not a Polyester product. It is an acrylic lacquer.
Doug
Old 02-16-2007, 01:10 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

Staying away from the absolutes as above...I used 0.56 oz./sq. yd. fiberglass (using Polycrylic) on balsa sheeted (vacuum bagged) wings and tail feathers and used spray equipment to apply Klass Kote (on the glassed surfaces mentioned and the fiberglass fuse) and couldn't be happier with the results. Give them a call - they are extremely helpful, the paint is proven to be fuel proof and it applies easily with an excellent resulting finish.
Old 02-17-2007, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

Newc....Thanks, I think I will go with KlassKote. I have some querstions if you will. Can the KlassKote Clear be sprayed over other paints, such as waterbased paints and can pearl powder be added to the clearcoat.
I want to thank all who responded, your opinions and experience are greatly appreciated.
Old 02-17-2007, 07:09 PM
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Default RE: Best way to paint fiberglass fuse/foam wing

Call KlassKote with your question. I have found Ned to be very helpful.

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