HI All,


i am working over in my mind whether to paint my new CH801 myself, or hire it out.  I have done auto painting, but not familiar with Aviation paints as i have hired out previous paint jobs.  does anyone have any advice on type of paint, primer, acid etch, paint machine type, etc.  any info or personal experiences will be helpful.  thanks!

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Check out the Endura paint web site. Lots of info on painting and the Endura product is easy to apply and get good results.

Probably 85% of the paint job is the cleaning and prepping of the aluminium to accept the paint.

Hi Bob,  thanks for the info!  josh

prep the aluminum, with red scortchbrite , and spray with a thinned couple coats of self ecth and spray with a automotive urathane. i have done it on many airplanes and not a real propblem

just make sure its scotchbrited good


great info thanks!!
Joshua, The question is: Do you want a paint job that is show stopper quality at big bucks, or just look nice and be simple and inexpensive?  For my 801, I built it as a working airplane and not a showpiece and wanted to be able to make any repairs easily and inexpensively, so I chose to use LATEX!  yup, waterborne latex from ACE hardware, inexpensive (about $20.00 @ Gal) and very easy to apply and clean up and non-toxic. There is also a clear coat available for latex to give it the shiny appearance. When you look at the aluminum gutters on your house and realize they are painted with inexpensive latex and last as long as they do why not us it on an aluminum airplane. There is also an aluminum/Galvanized primer available at ACE. The process is really easy if you are intersted send me an e-mail and I will send you how I did it. Just my 2 cents.


I have a 701 and I would be interested to find out more how you painted your airplane.Did you brush it on or sprayed it?


Paint Process



Now for the basic information;


 Paint and process.


The Paint I chose was ACE Hardware Premium Latex, the primer is ACE Hardware Galvanized and Aluminum Primer. There is also available a Latex Clear Coat made by Krylon,, the additional items you will need are Automotive windshield washer fluid, I am using the blue colored stuff, and a product called FlowTrol.


First I prepare the surface with a 3-m scratch pad to give me some tooth for the primer, then clean with liquid solvent.  In a coffee can I put about 1 to 1-1/2" of FlowTrol in the bottom and then add primer to about ¾ to 4/5 th's of what it would take to fill the spray gun, Then I stir and add the windshield washer fluid to thin until I can get the paint to run off the stick and go from a run to a drip between 4 and 5 seconds, you may need to experiment for yourself the adjustment that works best for you.


I then strain this into my spray gun and set the air pressure at 80#psi, yes I know that is real high, I shut off the controls on the gun and then re set them spraying against a sheet of paper until I get the mix I want, then I spray the part, I use light coats and find that in using a reasonably fine mist by the time I reach from one side of the wing to the other the first part has flash dried and I can go back and add the next coat. By doing this I found the paint flowed out flat without any runs or any type of orange pealing. I laid on enough to cover the part for protection as I know I will be putting paint over it later.  I use the same process with the colored paint and after only a little practice found it was very easy to put on and the results look great, but will look better after the clear coat.


Latex paint runs in the area of about $20-$30 which is a lot better than the $300 a gallon for the aircraft stuff. Now does it look as good, probably not but I was not building a show plane it is a working plane and a fun to fly plane I am not looking for any trophies.


Another thought which has come up since I did my project is Auto Zone and other Automotive stores carry the Dupli-color brand of paints, these are automotive paints of a lacquer base and are ready to use out of the can, this may be a little more costly but I am sure the end result would be a better looking, however, this is back to toxic or semi toxic materiel's and will require respiratory protection etc.


So far the paint is holding up well and as I said I expect it to do better after clear coating it. I hope I have answered your questions and have been of some assistance, you are of course welcome to come and visit any time.

HI Phillip, i am really interested,  my plane will be a bush plane..  i do want it to look sharp, but not looking for show stopper.  would you have any pictures? maybe a close up of a colour change?    i like the concept, and if you would not mind, i would take andy advice i can get   joshaknowles@gmail.com  cheers!  josh
Josh: Scotch bright or lightly sand or rough the surface. Air hose off all rivets and seams. Wipe surface with a surface cleaner. Wipe on wipe off, do not let it stand. Tact cloth surface in one direction, (not circles) lightly as the wax on the cloth may enter your surface. Do not touch surface after this as the oils from your hand WILL  get on your surface and WILL come through the paint. Next spray all surfaces with an etching primer, next always prime the surface with an epoxy primer as this is your INSURANCE that no contaminants  (finger prints, wax, oils, grease etc) will come through the finished product, and that the finished product will stick to areas you missed sanding. Then apply the finished product. Two coats min. If you have painted cars you will have no problem with painting. IMPORTANT, double mask the canopy, (WRAP) the plexy glass sucks vapors to the inside cockpit glass area. After painting you can wipe it off quickly with the first clean. Make sure you tape off ALL seams, let nothing through. My husband is a State contractor and paints airplanes. I sent you some photos off his employees painting Zodiac wing mods. The photos of paint materials is top of the line. VERY COSTLY, your local auto paint store can help you with less expensive products. You do not need a pressure guage on you gun, you will need a water filter, (ON THE GUN) in addition to the tank. Drain all water out of the tank and hoses first. Start clean. If you decide to use latex house paint, spray it on with an airless. Use a double ATOMIZING tip. Double stage painting is the cheapest way to go. It is a flat auto paint with a clear coat. My husband BUZZY can guide you through the steps. 775 841 5429. You do not need an aviation paint on a home built. Gun 6 inches from surfaces, go slow, over lap 2/3rds, runs happen on the leading edge and wheel pants. Go to an auto paint shop, offer to pay someone $200 or so to come over and give you some gun time, or techniques. If you are doing a wing mod re-paint the sanding steps are different, and the primer. Good luck.
thanks so much for this info!  Great stuff!
Also you can go to your local skate board shop and get the black anti skid wing material, in different colors, lengths and widths. We can also tell you how to put the decals on, as you see on the blue plane.


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