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Panel Paint?

Posted By:
Carl Orton
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
87
Posts
16
#1 Posted: 10/10/2010 09:02:03

Hi, All;

I'm having the worst time trying to find a decent paint for my Sonex panel. 

I want a flat/satin gray. I can find gloss gray anyplace I try, but almost nothing else.

I've (perhaps ignorantly) always believed that gray primer would not be the best, because it absorbs water vapor over time and is not as durable as a finish coat.

I found some vinyl upholstery paint that seemed great at first, but then I had problems with it remaining soft, even after 5 days of curing - to the point that when I installed my switches, the paint pulled off the panel itself.

Ideally, I'd find a polyurethane or epoxy flat gray paint. Lowes / HD are no help; auto stores a bit better, Nothing at Ace, either.  Any suggestions?  I have painted and stripped my panel at least 8 times now, and I'm getting a bit tired of it!

Many thanks;

Carl



- Carl
Keith Norton
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
14
Posts
1
#2 Posted: 10/10/2010 09:53:34

Hi Carl,

I haven't tried this but I wonder if your epoxy primer could be covered with a clear coat to meet your requirements? You'd have to try it and see if the clear coat would adhere well to the primer.

Keith



Craig Cantwell
43
Posts
8
#3 Posted: 10/11/2010 08:32:55

Carl: Find a local PPG or DuPont dealer. Both companies have various products that will do the job. They might have to order the kits, but it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Craig C.



#4 Posted: 10/11/2010 22:11:29

In Tony's book "The Sportplane Builder" he notes that the gloss can be removed with pumice stone or rottenstone.  Not that I've ever seen those, but you could try using 600 wet sandpaper or various rubbing compounds to remove the gloss.  If you are going to use dry transfer or decals for labeling you can find spray satin and flat clear polyurethane paint at the building centers to spray over the labels.  Or just spray the desired sheen clear over your panel color of choice.  You'll have to test a section to make sure that the clear doesn't curdle your base paint.  Hope this helps.

Andy



Andy Mutzig
Homebuilder or Craftsman
2
Posts
0
#5 Posted: 10/12/2010 13:07:16

A few weeks ago I picked up two cans of Painter's Touch 'Satin Granite' gray spray paint at the Home Depot in Weatherford, Texas -- about $5 per can IIRC.  It looks to be, well, half way between gloss and flat, or satin, I guess.  It's what I'm thinking of using on my instrument panel.



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Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
Posts
43
#6 Posted: 10/12/2010 20:32:19

Tony Bingelas's books are classics and many things are still relevant but remember they were written 35 years ago.  

You might try a wrinkle finish flat black spray paint.  



Kevin Slezewski
Homebuilder or Craftsman
40
Posts
6
#7 Posted: 10/13/2010 15:02:03

One option rather than paint is plastic laminate (Formica, Wilsonart, etc.)  Vertical grade is about 1/32 thick and minimal weight.  Extremely durable and about hundreds of colors to choose from, plus different sheens are available.  Can be applied with contact cement to your panel and cutouts can be done with a router.  Just an option/idea.

 



Kevin Slezewski aka "SLEZ" www.crispycedars.com
Carl Orton
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
87
Posts
16
#8 Posted: 10/13/2010 17:25:51

Thanks for all the ideas, folks; I've tried over the past few days to respond, but the old pre-AirVenture "no-reply" bug hit my computer again so I had to find another system.

Seems like there are some better paint options out there - now the trick is finding some. Guess I'll have to search a bit further outside of my normal neighborhoods.

Kevin; hadn't even thunk about formica or other type product. Definitely the most durable; I may check into that.

-Carl



- Carl
Robert Frost
Homebuilder or Craftsman
38
Posts
2
#9 Posted: 10/16/2010 14:58:58

Hey Carl,

I used a carbon fiber veneer on my vertical panel in my Sonex.  It is very shiny, but you can get it in a textured finish which appears dull. It is about .020" thick.

I got it from protech composites, and I think it turned out very well.  Get the aluminum panel like you want it and you adhere the carbon fiber to it with a double sticky.  Then cut it out CAREFULLY with a dremel.  It makes a mess like you wouldn't believe.  wear a dust mask as the dust is bad for you.

Robert Frost



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John McGinnis
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
201
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109
#10 Posted: 10/16/2010 21:17:11

Carl,

I hope it's not too late, but I know the best spray paint I have ever used may be exactly what you are looking for. Top Flite LustreCoat is an acrylic lacquer used on R/C models; it's sold at hobby stores and online. Their Aluminum color will produce an excellent gray when overcoated with their Flat Clear. It's impervious to fuels. Amazing paint!

It has not mattered whether I have put it on fiberglass, carbon, nylon, aluminum, steel, or other materials including wood. The paint is HARD, dries very fast, and will take incredible abuse. The ease of application and quality of finish is amazing, especially compared to every other commercial spray paint I've tried.

Since you seem to be considering other options as well, there are precured sheets of ultra-smooth, shiny carbon fiber sold on eBay and through DragonPlate. This may entice those who find it hard to achieve factory-awesome results with composites.



Scott Emery
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0
#11 Posted: 10/24/2010 15:40:24

I have PPG's DP-50 light grey epoxy primer on the panel of my C-172 for over ten years. This panel has had many upgrades, and still is scar free. The epoxy primer is tough, retains it's good looks, and is non- reflective.

I also have used DP-90, which is flat black. I don't think you could go wrong with either one.



Chuck Drake
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
74
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15
#12 Posted: 10/24/2010 15:46:32

You could powder coat it. Tough depending on the material of course. Check with your powder coater first.  



Carl Orton
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
87
Posts
16
#13 Posted: 10/24/2010 16:48:22

Hi, all;

Thanks for the great suggestions. Chuck; "duh" on me; hadn't even thought of powder coating.

At this point, I've found a primer / cover coat that seems to be very durable. I'm also going to give it several coats of a Valspar flat clear that I finally located.

For my needs, I'm happy with the solution I've finally arrived at. I'm glad, cuz I just about ran out of paint stripper!

-Carl



- Carl
Garey Wittich
Homebuilder or Craftsman
1
Post
0
#14 Posted: 10/28/2010 18:47:18

Carl:

Try Tempo EPOXY Grey Propeller Paint.  My thinking is that if it can holdup on a prop, it HAS TO BE tough enough for cockpit use.   I am planning to use it on my Instr. Panel.


Garey Wittich