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Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

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Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Old 03-27-2007, 03:52 PM
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DR10044
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Default Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Has anyone had experience with prepainted fabric covering? The last time I used a fabric to cover a plane was on a scratch built bipe 9 years ago. I will be building a balsa usa ww1 bipe or triplane soon. I am considering the balsa usa prepainted fabric covering or century 21 fabric by coverite. I have heard that the century 21 fabric can be used as trim over their base fabric. I also was told that with the balsa usa fabric it is best to trim with a film over the fabric base. Does this sound right?
Old 03-27-2007, 07:01 PM
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Augie11
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

21st Century Fabric can be used as trim over itself. There will be no bubbles whatsoever and adhesion is good. Just keep the heat a little low when applying the trim so it doesn't shrink too much and pull away from the edge. I use this technique all the time with 100% success. Sorry, no experience with balsa usa fabric.

21st can also be used over films like monokote and ultracote as trim. Again, no bubbles and good adhesion.
Old 03-27-2007, 08:18 PM
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gjmjoe017
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Just covered a Pitts with the Super Coverite pre painted and it turned out really nice.It came loose on the end of the wings,but was easily fixed.
Old 03-27-2007, 09:04 PM
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DR10044
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Thanks. The 21st Century sounds like the way to go.
Old 03-27-2007, 09:09 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Are you talking about Solartex when you mention BUSA's fabric? If so, as far as I'm concerned, it's the best prefinished fabric out there. It follows curves without wrinkling, shrinks tight as a drum, and you can paint it with most anything, latex works especially well. It's lighter than 21st Century fabric.The prefinished color is fuelproof without any other treaatment.

I don't consider it a downside, but the material seems to be more difficult to clean than some fabrics. I think it's due to the weave of the fabric. A clearcoat usually solves the "problem". The only other covering I prefer to it is Koverall, but it requires finishing, painting, etc.
Old 03-28-2007, 05:28 PM
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papermache
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

I second Khodges on Solartex - best stuff there is.

papermache
Old 03-28-2007, 08:03 PM
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flipstart
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Solartex is really good covering material-I prefer the natural-seams almost dissappear-great adhesion and goes around curves much better than the monos. Since I prefer to prime and paint anyway the natural shows all your hinge slots, mounting holes and etc.
Old 03-28-2007, 08:26 PM
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Safebet
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

I am using Solartex (Balsa USA, pre-painted Cub Color) to cover a J-3 Cub. This is my first time to use it and it is terrific. I have used UltraKote and MonoKOte before, but this is much better.
I just set my iron on 220 degrees and it goes around the wingtips (curved) rudder and elevator ends without wrinkle one.

I clear coated a test patch with Krylon Clear Coat. After it dries (I let it dry about 5 hours) when you wrinkle the fabric it "krinkles" or cracks and you can peel it off.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good clear coat over the pre-painted Solartex.?

I really like the fabric and will use it even if I can't clear coat it. I can wash it with mild soap and water to keep it looking new.
Old 03-28-2007, 08:58 PM
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DR10044
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Can you use Solartex over Solartex for trim? The guy I talked to at Balsa USA said they advised people to use a low temp film for trim. He said the base fabric tended to show through the trim color. Especially if the trim was lighter than the base. If you go the paint route for trim, does the trim color bleed under the tape? I know this can be a problem with some fabrics.
Old 03-28-2007, 11:01 PM
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

A good clear coat for Solartex is the water based acrilic, most any brand but I think the better one is Minnwax, been A while and my cans are up to high to just go out and look. I just put it in A touch up gun and give it about two good coats. If you don't use A clear cote you can't get the fuel snot off of it and it stains. No peeling at all with it either.
I agree, Solar is the best of the fabrick coverings and if you sit it out in the sun to cure first {sag} then reshrink it you will never have any wrinkles in it again. Good stuff.
Old 03-28-2007, 11:24 PM
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Graybeard: Thanks for the reply. Does Minnwax make the acrylic in a spray can? I sure would like to clear coat to help with future wear and tear.

I guess I could break down and buy a touch up gun. Spray Gun World has a TJR Techline Jr. that's supposed to be a real good gun for $145.00. Hate to spend that hard earned money.

I sprayed another plane I am working on with Krylon Fusion. It goes on great, just like out of a real spray gun. Krylon has a terrific spray nozzle. The paint is glow fuel resistant within 4 or 5 hours, but I wouldn't say it was fuel proof. I poured fuel on it and let it stand and it wiped off after 15 or 20 minutes without harming the paint. But, I don't know what hot fuel residure right out of the muffler would do. Also, I clear coated the Krylon Fusion with the Krylon clearcoat and it did not "krinkle" or crack on top of the Krylon paint like it did when I sprayed it on top of a piece of Cub Yellow Solartex.

I am going to clear coat the Krylon Fusion painted plane with the Kryon clear coat and just see what heppens over the long haul.

I always wipe my planes down at the field with 409 or window cleaner and windshield fluid with just a couple of drops of Dawn dish detergent. Takes that glow fuel right off. So, in my case, I may not need it to be absolutely "Fuel proof."

We'll see. I am getting read to finish painting the plane, then I'm going to do some airbrushing on it and then I'll clear coat it.

I'll post results when I'm completed.

In God We Trust
Old 03-29-2007, 03:01 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best


ORIGINAL: Safebet



I clear coated a test patch with Krylon Clear Coat. After it dries (I let it dry about 5 hours) when you wrinkle the fabric it "krinkles" or cracks and you can peel it off.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good clear coat over the pre-painted Solartex.?

I really like the fabric and will use it even if I can't clear coat it. I can wash it with mild soap and water to keep it looking new.
Even though Krylon dries fast, and you can handle it fairly quickly (within an hour), it's really not cured for a day or so, and I wouldn't expect any paint to bond all that well in 5 hours or so. At any rate, it's only fuel resistant, and eventually will begin to wrinkle and peel in areas that get a lot of direct exhaust. Theere ARE fuel proof paints out there that I'm not aware of, the two part epoxy paints usually are, but I find Top Flite LustreKote clear to be as good a clearcoat as anything. I use it over Rustoleum, Krylon and latex without problems and hot fuel doesn't affect it at all. Right now, I have a Sportsman Aviation Waco that I re-covered in Solartex and painted the trim with latex house paint, and also a GP DR-1 covered with Solartex and painted with latex, and both are clearcoated with LustreKote. The exhaust on both planes exits at the bottom edge of the firewall, and the finish is in great shape all along the bottom of both planes.

I have another plane that is clearcoated with polyurethane and part of the color finish is Rustoleum, part is LustreKote. After 3 years, the poly is mostly gone under the plane, but the LustreKote is still perfect.
Old 03-29-2007, 07:49 PM
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Safebet
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Default RE: Prepainted Fabric Covering - which is best

Attached are two pictures of the twin I am painting with the Krylon. Krylon really goes on nice. I am sanding with 400 grit inbetween coats. I have three light coats on now. I primered with LusterCote (white). One more coat and I'm done.

I am going to begin spraying the fiberglass cowlings tomorrow. I have washed them thoroughly and will rough them up a little. I think I will primer with the LusterCote primer. What do you think? Think it be ok and then follow with the Krylon?

Thanks, Khodges. I will try the LusterCote clear and see what happens. I will do it on a test patch and let it set for a few days.

In God We Trust

Jim Vines



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