Eldon and I worked (280 man-hours) 5 days a week, 7 hours/day, prepping the wings, canard, ailerons and elevators for painting. We learned that preparing the surface for paint takes 99% of the total painting time. Why? Any imperfections (waviness, divots, scratches, dust, unevenness, etc.) that are essentially invisible before painting, become very visible after painting. Time after time our painting mentors, Doug White and Brian Story, would stress the importance of "doing it right by working hard and going slowly" in preparing our surfaces for painting! "Why work SO long building the plane; and then short-cut the painting process? Sure it will fly, great. But you want it to look great too, right?"
Many times when I was satisfied, Doug would say, "Feel this depression?" or "You can't see this unevenness now. However, following the final paint coat, you will! If I were you, I would work a bit longer before painting." Time-after-time this happened. And then Brian entered the scene and verified everything that Doug had been saying!
All to say that both Doug and Brian were God-sent Sparkles of major importance! We can't thank them enough for their guidance, patience and interest!
Priming & Painting Process:
- 1) Spray 3 Coats Gray Primer letting each coat flash dry no longer than 10 minutes.
- 2) Spray 1 very light black guide coat.
- 3) Hard Block Sand (150 grit) to reveal black low spots.
- 4) Fill low spots with putty glaze filler
- 5) Spray 2 Coats Gray Primer.
- 6) Spray 1 very light black guide coat.
- 7) Soft Block Sand (320 grit) to reveal black low spots.
- 8) Fill Low spots with putty glaze filler
- 9) Spray 1 Heavy Coat Gray Primer
- 10) Soft Block Sand (400 grit) to glassy finish.
- 11) If any high spots (grey primer completely removed) appear, touch up with grey primer.
- 12) Paint color coat
Once all the wings and control surfaces are painted, they will be transported back to our garage. The fuselage will, then, replace the wings in the paint booth; and the whole paint preparation process will begin again - all in anticipation of the final product:
GM Olympic white, Burnt Sugar Brown, with Sparkle Gold Decal Starburst Overlay