Hello All,
I noticed that some builders are using a Rustolium primer for corrosion proofing. I would rather use a spray paint for ease of use instead of the brush on primer. I am worried about longevity and weakening the structure using a primer. Thoughts on this?

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Comment by Larry Zepp on March 24, 2021 at 11:17am

Hi Marc,

You really need to clean the aluminum, scotch brite and apply some type of a primer to help bond to the aluminum. Popular options are an etch primer spray can, cortec water based brush on primer or 2 part epoxy primer (brush or spray). Without a primer, your top coat of paint may not stick or peel off! You should be a little more specific that "Rustoleum" primer. That company makes a wide variety of primers under that name. Their etch primer is good (Lacquer based) but don't use their brown or red primer with the fish oil base.

I used the cortec primer on my Zodiac 650B tail and then switched to etch primer for the wing and fuselage.

Larry Zepp; N22LZ Zenith Zodiac getting ready to fly!

Comment by James Neirinck on March 13, 2021 at 8:58pm

Make sure to prep the aluminum well (ie:scotchbrite and clean with mineral spirits and you will be surprised how dirty the aluminum) and then a basic etch primer from ACS that is either a zinc chromate which is the best but caution as chromate products are known to cause cancer, or a zinc phosphate material will work. Rustoleum has an spray can etch primer that has some zinc phosphate in it per its MSDS and many use this product as you can get it at Lowes or Home Depot.  You need an etch type primer for aluminum and don't worry, none of these primers are going to weaken the structure.  I'm pretty much right in the middle of North America so corrosion is not much of a concern for me but I have primed all mating surfaces to be safe and for future resell value.   I use both a spray can for some parts / areas and a brush on primer for harder to get areas and where I'm trying to minimize overspray.  Both are a zinc phosphate based etch primers.   Zenith can supply Cortex which is very cost effective corrosion prevention product but it is brush on only and takes some time to dry.  I would likely use Cortex if I were to do this over again. 

Comment by Brad Payne on March 12, 2021 at 12:04pm

I used a light spray of Corosion-X inside the aircraft once it was fully assembled and polished the outside.   I do not live near a coast or body of water, so I had very little concern about aluminum corrosion but was very concerned about the Steel parts.  All steel parts were primed with spray on Rustoleum primer from rattle cans and then painted.  Anywhere that dis-similar metals joined were primed as well.

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