I'm looking for some reliable numbers on how much paint I'm going to need for N167EZ.  It is time to cover the primer.

I look in some places, especially at the RV guys, and they are saying that they're using 5 gallons on one plane.  I did see a poster here saying that he can get a plane covered with a little over a gallon.

My question is, "Where are those guys stashing that 5 gallons, and WHY?"  That is enough paint for a HOUSE!! And it is ridiculous expensive.  Why would they want to carry the extra weight around all the time.

I'm looking to use an automotive enamel from Kirker. $375 for the paint an prep cleaners.  There are better paints, but I about choked when the Sherwin-Williams guy quoted me $1,057 for two gallons.  I'm going to fly around in this thing... not sit and worship it.

I'd like to hear from anyone that needed more than two gallons of paint for one 601.  Notably, I'd like to know why it took so much.

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I don't have an answer for you, but I can add confusion to the question.When you talk of the number of gallons are you talking of the gallons of "paint" or "sprayable product". This will vary by manufacturer and product line. some paints will mix 1 gal of "paint" to 1qt catalyst to 1qt of reducer to give 1 1/2gal of "sprayable product". Others may mix 1 to 1 to 1 to give 3 gal.

  The RV guys may very well be using 5 gallons. Probably a gallon of sealer, if they are doing multiple colors a quart each, at least a gallon of main color, and another gallon of clearcoat. That would be paint only, not sprayable product. All of that weight does not transfer to the airplane, a portion of it is only a carrier for application and evaporates.

   You will need to apply a sealer under the paint for adhesion and then the color coat. The best way to find the information you need is to talk to your local paint supplier. They are your most knowlegable source for the products they will supply you concerning preperation and application. Dan.

I'm thinking the only real way to get an understanding is to talk about actual sprayed product, because just because the paint comes in two different cans doesn't make a 1.5 gallons into a gallon.  And even if half of the paint evaporates, 5 gallons is still five times more than 1 gallon.  But, a good paint has low VOC, and all modern ones hardens from chemical reaction not evaporation.  If you get half of it evaporating, I'd say you're probably using a lacquer.

And I'm still wondering where they put it.

I did not find the local paint shops I visited useful.  As soon as I mention airplane, one acted as if I had the plague, the other came back with a $5,000 price tag.  (Ugh!)

I am having my 601 painted piecemeal and should have the figures soon.  All painted except wings and they are at the paint shop now.  I do know good paint is very expensive.  IMHO Sherwin-Williams is not good paint.

"good" needs clarification.   ;-)

I'm not looking to win any awards.  I don't even have the patience to do that much prep before the painting.  Just enough to keep the wife from turning her nose up when I ask her to fly with me.  For me, a hangared plane that (by design) will not out last me, and is built from corrosion resistant materials.  Any but the lowest end enamels should last the 20yrs or so of flying I have left.  

I pulled the lever on a gallon of gray primer and gallon of metallic silver last night.  Kirker brand.  I'll probably highlight it with vinyl pin striping at some later point.  Set me back $240.  I'm going to spray it with the same Harbor Freight turbine HVLP sprayer that I used on the Dyke Delta I built.  Here goes nuffin'...

Please keep us updated on your progress. Thanks, Dan.

Check out Summitracing.com. It's an automotive racing parts site.  They sell a great two part single stage quality paint that is extremely durable and easy to apply. It will cover in one coat and looks great.  It's a high gloss finish and about $80/gal.  They also sell 2 stage (base/clearcoat).  They have a good color selection too if you don't need an exact color (mixed).  They sell all the supplies needed and shipping is free over $100.  Best customer service I've ever dealt with.

Good luck!

I looked at Summit, but the offer such a wide variety that I couldn't find the economical stuff on their website.  I did eventually find a forum of some people discussing their brand, and it appears that they are selling rebranded Kirker. I ended up buying a gallon from http://autobodytoolmart.com who sell Kirker brand, without rebranding.  I went with Kirker after reading reviews that were as positive as yours.   I'm putting a silver metallic over gray primer, which I will thin out as much a practical so that I can lay it down thin.  I'm hoping one cross-coat will be sufficient. (Paint is HEAVY!!)

Did you paint your 601, Brad?  How much did it take?

Ernest -

I've painted cars, but I wrapped my airplane. Weight wise the wrap is just a hair lighter than paint with primer/i med coat of paint. Just guessing, I would think it would take 1 1/2 gal for a 601, but I don't have anything to back that up.


and I mean, "WOW!!"

That's a wrap!?  How much will that cost a builder?  Considering prep time, I bet it is also faster and is definitely way less toxic than paint.

Ernest -

Overall it's cheaper than most paint. I have about $1,300 into it, but that is counting a lot of screw-ups.  I takes a while to do correctly, but it is not hard to learn. Plenty of info on line. There is no surface prep other than cleaning the aluminum well and hitting it with scotchbrite. It basically seals the surface in a water/airtight pouch. Nice thing is that you can work on it over a long period of time, mine took a couple of months, but you could do it in a week easy if you worked at it 8 hours a day.  You can get all the basic tools for about $100.

Brad, where did you purchase your product?

I got all my wrap at metrorestyling.com. They have the best prices and free shipping. I used the Dennison Avery product but they carry the 3M line too. I was told Avery was better on the rivets, and it's 10% or so cheaper than 3M, but i sure both are good.


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