Do so many Zodiacs need to be pretty (i.e. paint job)?  I am now flying my CH 650 after taking a year to build it, get it inspected, flying off 40 hours during a Colorado winter, getting the repairman certificate, and purchasing insurance.  The plane is built to exact measurements, following the Zenith recommendations, and, mostly, "Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices", otherwide known as "AC 43.13-1A and AC 43.13-2A"  I'm not a 1st-time builder, having built/restored many airplanes.  The paint is spray can.  The seat cushions are WalMart, seat pads are garage sale, and so on.  But, the plane flies very well.  I did not have enough money for a 3 to 10 thousand dollar paint job.  Best, I can land at an airport and few people will notice the plane, or, they can have a good laugh.

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Nothing wrong with that paint job, I think it's great! 

I was going for a "plain" scheme as well to cut down cost but a buddy of mine (who's a good painter and offered to do it for free) looked at me like I had two heads.  He said that basically I could have bought a Porsche for the cash I'm spending on building this thing so why not have a great paint job too match because Porsche's don't have crap paint jobs... LOL 

Can't say I disagree, so I'll spring for some decent paint and prep material.  If I was doing it myself with my limited painting skills, I wouldn't even go that far, decent single color with maybe the slats contrasting in another, that's it.  Since I am going for a better paint job it better hold up since most, if not all of the places I plan on going have dirt/gravel strips.  Not painting the interior but will probably carpet the majority of it.  I don't see paint holding up too well, too often inside a cockpit unless you're real careful, and I don't feel like flying wearing slippers!!!  :-O

Out of curiosity, how many cans of spray paint did it take to paint your plane? :)

If they want to nit pik, ask them where their plane is. That alone will shut up most.

I think that it looks just fine.

Congrats on the build and have tons of fun flying.

William, the reason we build our own planes is because we can't afford to buy one. I can relate because I am at the point of needing my panel, FWF, interior, etc. and don't have the money for it yet! But I am enjoying the journey. Your plane looks great by the way!


The plane looks great to me. Be proud, you built it and it flies.

Your underlying premise, however, reminds me of the old saying from my days of hot cars in the 60's -- "If it don't go, chrome it." The plain cars went like stink. The fancy looking ones with nice paint and chrome on everything under the hood were frequently non-competitive. Yours is a working, flying airplane. No fancy paint, interior or chrome required.

One of my neighbors just painted his faded and ratty looking Cub with spray cans. Looks pretty good until you get within a very close distance. A huge improvement.

Bob Pustell

601XLB/Corvair taildragger, still building (see? still building. Yours is done and flies. Be happy and proud)

I agree with everyone else here, your plane looks awesome. I really like Dan's advice above. I guarantee no one will ever say anything.


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