Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31

Thread: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Senior Member Cubrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Spearfish, SD
    Posts
    302

    Default What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Updated 4/24/15

    New recommendations..


    I have been asked this question before on another cub forum and have gotten several PM's about it. I know that when I tackled my first cub project this is the one thing I worried most about. I decided to start a new thread so it wouldn't get buried in the middle of another and I think it will be helpful for new guys that are considering building. I would also like to add that I am not an expert. I have covered three airplanes and have gotten good results but I would like other builders to chime in with their experience as well.

    This was the question that was asked. "Can you post a basic list of tools required for painting? Compressor type/capacity? Paint gun? What would you expect to spend for this equipment and where would you buy it? Would it be easier for someone without all the painting equipment, experience and place to paint have a shop do it? What might that cost?Would the spray of first coat of polybrush give enough "on the job training" with the paint gun to allow a novice to do justice to the top coat? I have some paint spray experience with oil based paint on cabinetry. That's it."

    Let me start out by saying that YES you can paint your own airplane! I would also add that there is a LOT of painting involved other than the top coat on the fuselage, wings and tail feathers so it would be crazy expensive to have someone else do all the spraying. You will pick it up in no time!

    There are two different ways you can go.

    First is Compressed air which involves compressor (size depends on the gun you are using and will most likely be a 220v), inline moisture and oil traps, hoses and a gravity feed HVLP spray gun. The compressed guns are generally more complicated and finicky to operate. Cost for this quality set up if you have to buy the compressor is going to be about $1600-2500. I use a $600 Anest Iwata and I love it but it took a little getting use to. It is amazing at how low of pressure it will spray at! You will also need a fresh air breathing system if you are going to spray any of the shiny (polyurethane) paints. That will add another $400-600.
    http://axispro.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=4

    Second is a High-Volume, Low Pressure System. This is a turbine based system that is self contained. It compresses the air with a small turbine motor and in the process it heats the air which eliminates the moisture from the lines and there is no oil to deal with. It is the easiest of the two systems to use and it comes in one box, ready to spray. I recommend the Axis Citation 4 stage system with a built in full air mask and gravity feed gun which provides better paint atomization. This complete system will cost you $1600.
    http://axispro.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=53 This system is great, the only area it slightly lacks in is spraying the thicker polyurethane paints. This can be dealt with, it just take a little more trial and error, I mean reducer!!

    So the question is which one is better? After using both systems I would have to say that the compressor based system is better. It will atomize the paint better and you will get a better finish. It is hands down better if you are going to use polyurethane paints. The down side is that this system is more expensive and takes a little more practice before use.

    I still have my Citation sprayer and I do still use it. It is a very capable, simple set up and it will give you great results if you spend the time to learn how to spray with it. The biggest problem I hear is that the paint is always orange peeled and it just won't lay down flat. This problem can be solved by adding more reducer. In some cases it can be twice the reducer called for. The bottom line is that whatever system you use, you just have to take the time to learn it and practice before you start spraying your airplane.

    We can talk about your home made paint booth next!!


    P.S. The picture below is the first cub I did, using the Citation sprayer with polyurethane top coat and I didn't have any prior experience!!

    MR





    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Cubrath; 04-24-2015 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ceslaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Carterville, IL
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Okay, I'm ready. Tell us about the paint booth!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cubrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Spearfish, SD
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Quote Originally Posted by ceslaw View Post
    Okay, I'm ready. Tell us about the paint booth!

    Chuck,

    I see the pictures of that GT40! I'm sure you know more about painting than I do!!


    The one area that I have struggled with the most over the years is to dial in the paint booth. I wish I could justify a 75k downdraft paint booth but I just can't get the numbers to work. I also think that if I had 20" exhaust coming out of my garage roof my wife would divorce me and my neighborhood association would evict me! I will explain my poor mans paint booth and what I have found to get the best results.

    There are four parts to the paint boot:

    1) Clean work area

    2) Contain/exhaust overspray

    3) Lighting

    4) Temperature control

    The first one is obvious. You are not going to get good results painting outside in the wind. I took my third stall garage and framed it off with simple 2x4 construction. I then went to the local hardware store and bought 4 mil vapor barrier plastic sheeting. I comes in all sizes so get the right size so you can go from floor to ceiling all the way around the room without cutting the plastic. I just staple mine up and don't have any seams all the way around the room. I find this plastic last for about half the project so when it gets dirty I just staple up another new layer over the old. After three layers its time to tear it all down and start over. It is also easy to cut in filters and exhaust fans. I have moved the location of the filters and fans several times trying to get the best results.

    You will also have to clean the booth between each coat of paint. I started out covering the floor and it just became a hassle. I now just sweep out and wash the floor between coats. Polyfiber sprays very dry so you will have a lot of dust between coats. Some paints you can wet the floor to keep the dust down and others (like polyfiber) won't tolerate the humidity in the booth. I found it best to just keep the floor as clean as possible.

    The second one is the tough one. It is easy to contain the overspray and exhaust the overspray. However, I have found it is very difficult to do without introducing dust into the paint when using slower drying polyurethane paints. The problem is that when using poor man box fans (I know, more on that in a second) you can't move enough moving air to keep the dust suspended and it ends up in your paint. If you look at a 75K professional paint booth they use an enormous amount of air volume that they move through the booth and thats what makes them so good. The dust and overspray is moved out before it has a chance to end up in the paint. I have come to the realization that to get to that level is too difficult and expensive for me and for what I am trying to accomplish. I do use Walmart style box fans. I know they are not an explosion proof fan and there is risk in using them. I accept the risks with the box fans and after aprox 300 hours of spraying in the booth I have not had any problems. This is something you will have to decide for yourself. If you have the ability to use or find a paint booth fan by all means go for it. I am always on the look out for one that I can afford!

    If you look at the pictures below you can see my setup. From my experience I have found that it is better to pull fresh air into the booth through the filters and exhaust the contaminated air out with a fan to get the best results. Over the years I have tried to force air into the booth and then use an exhaust fan to move more air but I had more dust contamination with that method.

    My goal with my setup is to use enough air to clear the paint booth of overspray and introduce as little dust as possible. I have found the best results by using two high flow furnace filters at about the five foot level which allow air into the booth. I have used more expensive paint booth filters and couldn't tell a difference. I then use a box fan at the other end of the booth and simple cardboard boxes to duct the contaminated air out of my adjacent garage door. Its not fancy but I think it provides the best bang for the buck. Another side note, do not just pop your garage door and slide a box fan under it. It will wreck the top of your garage door with overspray. Ask me how I know!!

    If you are going to use polyfiber polybrush/spray/tone or other fast drying paints you will have very few problems with this set up and dust contamination. If the paint dries quick it does not have time to pick up dust.

    Third is the lighting. This is an important one for good results. You have to have enough light to see what you are doing but you also need to have enough light to see where the paint is going onto the surface you are spraying. This is what they call looking at the glare from reflected light. This can be accomplished by using light angled at 45 degrees from the surface you are painting. The lights can be mounted on the wall or you can use portable lights to accomplish this. I do a little of both. This also takes a little experimenting but when try it you will pick it up quick and be able to position your lights to the optimum position. Another side note is try and use LED lights or lower draw lights. If you try to run five halogen lights plus an Axis paint sprayer on one circuit you won't be painting for long! I have switched over to almost all LED lights and I am very happy with them.

    Last but not least is temperature control. Even though my garage is heated I have found I can bump my temperature up in the booth 10 degrees with a small portable heater before I am ready to paint if I need to. I find that 70-80 degrees works best for me.

    Next installment will be on a few of the tricks and tools I have found helpful while painting.


    First picture is the outside of the booth, notice the small boxes at the bottom right of the picture to exhaust the fumes out the other garage door. Extend it out far enough so you don't get overspray on the house, you will be surprised at how much paint comes out. Also, move the cars out of the driveway!!

    Second picture is inside the booth and you can see the small exhaust fan.

    Third picture is inside the booth looking forward. You can see the two filters. The upper fan/filter is not used, just a failed experiment that has not been removed! I am also using two of the new BIG ASS LED lights on the ceiling and they are amazing.

    Third picture is of the boot cowl that I painted yesterday. I'm very happy with the results. Notice my Carbon Cub tee shirt in the reflection!!

    MR
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Broken Arrow, OK
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cubrath View Post
    Chuck,

    I see the pictures of that GT40! I'm sure you know more about painting than I do!!


    The one area that I have struggled with the most over the years is to dial in the paint booth. I wish I could justify a 75k downdraft paint booth but I just can't get the numbers to work. I also think that if I had 20" exhaust coming out of my garage roof my wife would divorce me and my neighborhood association would evict me! I will explain my poor mans paint booth and what I have found to get the best results.

    There are four parts to the paint boot:

    1) Clean work area

    2) Contain/exhaust overspray

    3) Lighting

    4) Temperature control

    The first one is obvious. You are not going to get good results painting outside in the wind. I took my third stall garage and framed it off with simple 2x4 construction. I then went to the local hardware store and bought 4 mil vapor barrier plastic sheeting. I comes in all sizes so get the right size so you can go from floor to ceiling all the way around the room without cutting the plastic. I just staple mine up and don't have any seams all the way around the room. I find this plastic last for about half the project so when it gets dirty I just staple up another new layer over the old. After three layers its time to tear it all down and start over. It is also easy to cut in filters and exhaust fans. I have moved the location of the filters and fans several times trying to get the best results.

    You will also have to clean the booth between each coat of paint. I started out covering the floor and it just became a hassle. I now just sweep out and wash the floor between coats. Polyfiber sprays very dry so you will have a lot of dust between coats. Some paints you can wet the floor to keep the dust down and others (like polyfiber) won't tolerate the humidity in the booth. I found it best to just keep the floor as clean as possible.

    The second one is the tough one. It is easy to contain the overspray and exhaust the overspray. However, I have found it is very difficult to do without introducing dust into the paint when using slower drying polyurethane paints. The problem is that when using poor man box fans (I know, more on that in a second) you can't move enough moving air to keep the dust suspended and it ends up in your paint. If you look at a 75K professional paint booth they use an enormous amount of air volume that they move through the booth and thats what makes them so good. The dust and overspray is moved out before it has a chance to end up in the paint. I have come to the realization that to get to that level is too difficult and expensive for me and for what I am trying to accomplish. I do use Walmart style box fans. I know they are not an explosion proof fan and there is risk in using them. I accept the risks with the box fans and after aprox 300 hours of spraying in the booth I have not had any problems. This is something you will have to decide for yourself. If you have the ability to use or find a paint booth fan by all means go for it. I am always on the look out for one that I can afford!

    If you look at the pictures below you can see my setup. From my experience I have found that it is better to pull fresh air into the booth through the filters and exhaust the contaminated air out with a fan to get the best results. Over the years I have tried to force air into the booth and then use an exhaust fan to move more air but I had more dust contamination with that method.

    My goal with my setup is to use enough air to clear the paint booth of overspray and introduce as little dust as possible. I have found the best results by using two high flow furnace filters at about the five foot level which allow air into the booth. I have used more expensive paint booth filters and couldn't tell a difference. I then use a box fan at the other end of the booth and simple cardboard boxes to duct the contaminated air out of my adjacent garage door. Its not fancy but I think it provides the best bang for the buck. Another side note, do not just pop your garage door and slide a box fan under it. It will wreck the top of your garage door with overspray. Ask me how I know!!

    If you are going to use polyfiber polybrush/spray/tone or other fast drying paints you will have very few problems with this set up and dust contamination. If the paint dries quick it does not have time to pick up dust.

    Third is the lighting. This is an important one for good results. You have to have enough light to see what you are doing but you also need to have enough light to see where the paint is going onto the surface you are spraying. This is what they call looking at the glare from reflected light. This can be accomplished by using light angled at 45 degrees from the surface you are painting. The lights can be mounted on the wall or you can use portable lights to accomplish this. I do a little of both. This also takes a little experimenting but when try it you will pick it up quick and be able to position your lights to the optimum position. Another side note is try and use LED lights or lower draw lights. If you try to run five halogen lights plus an Axis paint sprayer on one circuit you won't be painting for long! I have switched over to almost all LED lights and I am very happy with them.

    Last but not least is temperature control. Even though my garage is heated I have found I can bump my temperature up in the booth 10 degrees with a small portable heater before I am ready to paint if I need to. I find that 70-80 degrees works best for me.

    Next installment will be on a few of the tricks and tools I have found helpful while painting.


    First picture is the outside of the booth, notice the small boxes at the bottom right of the picture to exhaust the fumes out the other garage door. Extend it out far enough so you don't get overspray on the house, you will be surprised at how much paint comes out. Also, move the cars out of the driveway!!

    Second picture is inside the booth and you can see the small exhaust fan.

    Third picture is inside the booth looking forward. You can see the two filters. The upper fan/filter is not used, just a failed experiment that has not been removed! I am also using two of the new BIG ASS LED lights on the ceiling and they are amazing.

    Third picture is of the boot cowl that I painted yesterday. I'm very happy with the results. Notice my Carbon Cub tee shirt in the reflection!!

    MR
    Great info. Thanks so much for taking the time on all this. I have a couple questions as I get my booth ready.

    1. I'm looking for info on the compressor and the water separator/dryer/filters that should be used. Big difference in costs with some $500 for the separators/filters and some $10. Reviews seem to show that you can find them to work well in almost any price range. I'll only use it to paint this airplane and so don't want to spend more than required for 1 time use but don't want a screw up either. I read that you should run about 50' of air line and then put on the water filters as it takes that far to let the air cool down and make the water vapor larger to catch in the filters?
    2. How important is the CFM rating on the compressor. Looks like with the HVLP systems, you are only using 25-45 psi at the gun, and you are not painting large volumes so. Smaller tank and compressor would seem to work. Some systems say to use a compressor with high CFM but they are extremely expensive to get them that high. I have one that is just over 5 CFM and was thinking of trying to make it work.

    Mitch set me up with 2 spray guns. The factory will actually set them up to spray (1 for brush and spray and the other for final top coat) and ship them to you all ready to go! great support there.

    thanks for any comments.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TroyBranch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveembry View Post
    Great info. Thanks so much for taking the time on all this. I have a couple questions as I get my booth ready.

    1. I'm looking for info on the compressor and the water separator/dryer/filters that should be used. Big difference in costs with some $500 for the separators/filters and some $10. Reviews seem to show that you can find them to work well in almost any price range. I'll only use it to paint this airplane and so don't want to spend more than required for 1 time use but don't want a screw up either. I read that you should run about 50' of air line and then put on the water filters as it takes that far to let the air cool down and make the water vapor larger to catch in the filters?
    2. How important is the CFM rating on the compressor. Looks like with the HVLP systems, you are only using 25-45 psi at the gun, and you are not painting large volumes so. Smaller tank and compressor would seem to work. Some systems say to use a compressor with high CFM but they are extremely expensive to get them that high. I have one that is just over 5 CFM and was thinking of trying to make it work.

    Mitch set me up with 2 spray guns. The factory will actually set them up to spray (1 for brush and spray and the other for final top coat) and ship them to you all ready to go! great support there.

    thanks for any comments.
    Air quality is important. I have an 11 cfm 60 gal compressor and it is works pretty hard. Painted two planes with no issues but I would like the compressor to take more breaks. I would go higher than 11cfm. I ran a 50ft copper line right out of the pump into a water tank to cool the air then into the tank. Not required, just makes better air. Cold air filters better than warm air. I use a Sata 3000B gun.

    I also used the 3 stage Devilbiss filters. Finish quality will depend on the tools and set up. The more you spend will not always give you a better quality though as the user is a very big part in the end results.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyBranch View Post
    Air quality is important. I have an 11 cfm 60 gal compressor and it is works pretty hard. Painted two planes with no issues but I would like the compressor to take more breaks. I would go higher than 11cfm. I ran a 50ft copper line right out of the pump into a water tank to cool the air then into the tank. Not required, just makes better air. Cold air filters better than warm air. I use a Sata 3000B gun.

    I also used the 3 stage Devilbiss filters. Finish quality will depend on the tools and set up. The more you spend will not always give you a better quality though as the user is a very big part in the end results.
    I bought a garage canopy from Sams Club. cut out the windows & taped on filters put 2 fans in the back. works ok for poly spray & brush but I'm taking everything to a paint booth for top coat. Too much time & money invested to take a chance.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Broken Arrow, OK
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyBranch View Post
    Air quality is important. I have an 11 cfm 60 gal compressor and it is works pretty hard. Painted two planes with no issues but I would like the compressor to take more breaks. I would go higher than 11cfm. I ran a 50ft copper line right out of the pump into a water tank to cool the air then into the tank. Not required, just makes better air. Cold air filters better than warm air. I use a Sata 3000B gun.

    I also used the 3 stage Devilbiss filters. Finish quality will depend on the tools and set up. The more you spend will not always give you a better quality though as the user is a very big part in the end results.
    I am going nto use the HVLP system and Mitch has sent me 2 guns pre-set by the factory to the correct setting for this. I did a little test just now.

    I have a smaller, 22 gallon compressor that is rated at 6.5 SCFM at 40 psi. I understand that the pressure at the air gun should be around 30-50 PSI inlet pressure (at the gun). I set up my compressor and compressed air to about 120 psi in tank (it will go to 150) and set up the inlet pressure at the gun at 40 psi and pulled the trigger with the stop watch running. I NEVER let off the trigger so it was 1 continuous stream of air coming out as if I were painting and never stopped (which of course you do stop alot while painting).

    I watched the gauges at the tank and at the inlet and when the tank dropped to around 50 psi I stopped even though the inlet pressure was still steady at 40 psi. The stopwatch was just at 8 minutes.

    Not really having any painting experience and only going off my research, it seems that in this case, I could be spraying for 8 full minutes if I never lifted off the trigger and in reality....when painting......I imagine you could paint the entire fuselage or wing in less time than this....and when actually painting....you would be stopped occasionally and thus, the compressor would make a little headway as well.

    So, it SEEMS to me that this compressor should do just fine at the 6.5 SCFM rating. Am I missing something? The key I think is the HVLP system that just doesn't use that much air pressure. I don't see where, in the HVLP case......the higher CFM compressors would be necessary since it isn't going to output any more air if not needed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ceslaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Carterville, IL
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    That looks great.

    I am just getting ready to start paint, so your posts are very helpful.

    How much time did you allow between the first and second coats?

    Chuck

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cubrath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Spearfish, SD
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    I let the paint flash for about 20 min between coats.

    MR

  10. #10
    Senior Member ceslaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Carterville, IL
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: What do I need to paint my Carbon Cub?

    Excellent post!

    Do you also cover the garage ceiling with plastic or does the poly brush, poly tone, etc., dry fast enough that it is not an issue.

    Any reason not to use a cloth drop cloth on the floor? I don't want to change the color of the floor permanently

    Finally, is such an elaborate air tight arrangement so critical for fast frying Poly materials? I can see it for slow drying paints, but for poly brush, poly tone, etc. it would not seem that critical

    chuck

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •