Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
I'm at the point where I need to fit my upper panel cover, so I thought I'd paint it. I've gone thru 3 cans of Rustoleum flat black and it still looks like crap. I'm sure the get-out-of-bed temps in the low 80's with 70%+ humidity isn't helping here in DFW.
So. What did y'all do to have a flat-non-reflective coating on your upper panel cover? I don't want a satin-y look from a vinyl cover (or do they have true flat now?), and thought this would be an easy-peasy paint job. *sigh*
I used cheap black auto floor carpet from Wally world. It is non reflective and has the added advantage of being able to temporarily Velcro items to the panel cover.(GPS antennas etc....) Looks great & absolutely no glare.
I used a piece of marine grade UV resistant textured vinyl. It has a matte finish and is not shiny and has held up great for 7 years (hangared aircraft!). I happened to have a piece of fake suede that had a thin foam backing and was originally going to use that, but decided it would be a "magnet" for dirt, grass, etc. So, I glued it to the back of the marine vinyl as an underlayment and it gave the glareshield a nice, resilient cover. As an additional benefit, I really think it absorbs engine/firewall noise and makes the cabin quieter, plus it just feels nice when you touch it! Haha!
(Old picture - panel has considerably changed but the glareshield cover still looks good as new!)
Thanks, Geoffrey & John. Was apprehensive about gluing something on there - my prior plane had material from the factory to cover the glareshield, but when I used 3M trim adhesive spray, it would pucker up with temp/humidity changes. Would snap right back taut when it got back to the temp/humidity it wanted, but REALLY looked bad when it was cooler or more humid. Can't say damp cuz this is, after all, DFW!
I glued the backside of the vinyl to the underlayment, but I didn't glue the underlayment to the glareshield! I used double-sided carpet tape (aircraft certified) from Spruce. Supposedly it will pull up cleanly if you ever had to remove it. I've had no issues with wrinkling/puckering. Of course, the edge trim secures the material to the aft edge surrounding the panel ... and protects you from the sharp edge, too!
Carl, I went for marine carpet everywhere, easy and semi stiff to work with. To stop pencils and dead insects falling down the sides of the windscreen, I wedged in a folded offcut, as here. Cut to shape and glued, using spray contact adhesive, just before the windscreen fitted. It's holding so far.
The removable cover in the middle is over a 4x5" hole - now re-purposed as a hot air vent for Summer. This hole was going to hold my ash tray, as I called it (2nd photo) for stashing phone, standalone gps, etc. but the phone shut down due to overheating in this location. That idea didn't work, but the hole is also so I can get my hand in, to do maintenance. cheers John