A month or so ago, there was a thread about painting your aircraft, and at least one builder (Stephen Aupperle) noted that he used marine polyurethane with foam rollers.

I picked his brain enough that I think I'm persona non grata now, but I made a decent go of the process. The thread containing details on the process can be found at: http://www.zenith.aero/forum/topics/painting?x=1&id=2606393%3AT...

I did things slightly differently than he did based on personal experience after painting the bottom.

I used Interlux Brightside Marine Polyurethane. Stephen used Brush Ease 433, but Interlux was adamant when talking on the phone that I should use Thinner 333.  

We started on the bottom and top surfaces since the fuselage was on its side. Used a brush on the fwd part of the forward lower skin. Stephen used a small sprayer. I figured no one was going to crawl under there except for me, so I didn't worry about it. The 1st quarter of it looks pretty sad. The rest looks pretty good. Not perfect, but the entire bottom does not need a second coat, so after a few days I'll sand out a few spots and redo. The top looks better, but far from pro.  That will need some follow-up care as well.

Today we did the sides. Once my wife found out the process I was supposed to be doing, (and she's a better painter), we changed roles and really got into it. The sides are, being quite modest, knock-yer-socks-off acceptable. No sags, runs, drips, etc.  A few follow-up areas, but I am amazed at the reults. The big diff? Yesterday, she was using the brush on crevasses, etc., while I used the rollers. I rolled on the paint, then did one pass with a dry roller. TODAY, Betty did the dry roller activities, taking time and finessing-out any imperfections.  See whatcha think....

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I forgot to note:  There is rework required on top and bottom.  This entire assembly used 4/5ths of a quart of paint.  Is it perfect? Heck no. So far, I've spent about $110 on a 1/2 pint of paint with which to test, plus the 433 and 333 thinners, and a bunch of foam rollers.  If I can do the whole plane for $500, on a price-per-smile basis I'll win any contest with a $12000 plain-jane paintjob.


Looks good!  Nice glossy finish.

Excellent, lookin' good  -- have used Brightside on boats to good effect (the weekend-amateur's friend in the paint store) but never thought to use it on the plane -- what a good idea.

That looks really good!

Looks pretty good to me, especially if your total cost is $500 and it holds up well over time. What primer did you use, and how did you apply it? Roller too?

Alodine only. 


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