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Old 05-11-2019, 04:42 AM
richpezz richpezz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Annapolis
Posts: 11
Default Paint - Interior Fuselage / Cockpit

Hopefully I haven't made a huge mistake.

I'm building an RV12is and have the fuselage complete, engine and cowling installed. I have NOT fabricated and/or installed the canopy and rear Lexan window.

I have always intended to have this aircraft professionally painted after the build but have NOT painted or primed the fuselage interior / cockpit.

Question: Does any builder have guidance if I should paint now or wait? I have NOT installed any avionics / wiring.

Does anyone have any tips on how best to paint the interior now? Is this a builder can complete himself OR is a professional paint shop needed?

ANY information / input is GREATLY appreciated.


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Old 05-11-2019, 05:42 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,472

Painting the interior is very difficult when you have wiring and other obstacles in the way. The sooner you can do it, the better. On two of my builds I used a two part urethane type paint over a self-etching primer. On other builds, I?ve used rattle can paint over the self etching primer and I didn?t see much difference in either one. Any kind of paint will get chipped off from crawling in and out of the plane. The best one I?ve seen is Hammered rattle can paint from HD or Lowes. The hammered appearance hides imperfections, and when you touch up chips, etc, you can?t even see where you fixed it. Keep in mind, if you plan to put in any interior upholstery, much of what you paint will get covered up. If you are going to hire a professional for this, you are going to be hiring him twice. Once for the inside, once more, later, for the outside. And his interior paint probably wont handle the abuse any better than yours.
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:29 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 2,487

What I do:

- Take out everything you can (as in bolted but not riveted). This includes floors, wire runs, control sticks and tubes, rudder pedals, etc.

- Clean with something like Coleman fuel using maroon scotchbrite pads. Wipe down.

- Mask off stuff not to get painted.

- Prime with a good epoxy primer (I use PPG DP40LF).

- Top coat with a quality urethane single stage paint (I use PPG).

- Repeat the process on all the stuff you took out, painting away from the plane.

- Let stuff cook for a few days before reassembly.

These paints are very durable. No chips are scratches in either plane over several years. I use the same paint (darker color) for the panel, sticks, rudder pedals and such.

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Old 05-11-2019, 06:31 PM
richpezz richpezz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Annapolis
Posts: 11

Input appreciated - thank you.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:06 PM
rightrudder rightrudder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
Posts: 1,794

I used JetFlex water-reducible paint from Sherwin Williams.

I had never painted using a gun before, but Harbor Freight's $10 HVLP unit worked great...lots of practice passes on cardboard before I painted the real thing.

This paint goes on very smoothly and evenly. Highly recommended!
RV-9A "slider"
Flew to Osh in 2017, 2018 & 2019!
Tail number N427DK
Donation made for 2020
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky -- Amelia Earhart
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