Aircraft painting

Aircraft painting

Hello, I'm considering having my Skyhawk painted. Any words of advice/recommendations/horror stories would be greatly appreciated.
I'm in NW Ohio.
Thanks,
Mike Sprow

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Re: Aircraft painting

I am also looking to have a 172 painted.   The prices seem to vary greatly based upon shop location.  Here in the Northeast the prices are very very high.... Can anyone e-mail me the names or URL's or phone numbers of some shops that I can call for some comparison pricing??  I would really appreciate that!!

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Re: Aircraft painting

Just got mine scheduled for painting on 1 Mar 08 with Ada Aircraft Painting in Ada, OK.  The quote is less than $7k.

Don

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Re: Aircraft painting

Thanks, Don- Ive gotten quotes everywhere from as little as $3500 to $12000. The average seems to be in the 6K-8K range. Is this what you found?
Thanks.

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Re: Aircraft painting

I cant recomend a paint shop but here is a bit of advice.
starting with the strippers, see if they have a plane that was just painted. make sure their strippers are cleaned off. a lot of time the stripper residue can be seen between the elevator and horizontal along the spar. same at the rudder point. a lot of paint jobs look really nice then a couple years down the road the stripper starts causing corossion. some places are using SODA BLASTING now.
Primers! stay away from the so called wash priming. its a fast sloppy way of priming. your paint will start falling off long before its life. make sure they take the control surfaces off and balance them per the FAR's and aircraft weighed.
thats all from me.

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Re: Aircraft painting

Seems incredibly cheap considering the current cost of aerospace paints, catalysts, stripper, etc. these days.  Is that for a full strip and paint including body-work, and anything other than a "white and two straight stripe" design?

Please post again after the paint job is complete and let us know what the true "final price" was.

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Re: Aircraft painting

Dominic -

The final cost to strip and paint an aircraft depends on several factors including the amount of body-work needed to repair or fill any hail damage or other dents and nicks, and your selection of paints and paint-scheme.   For example, red and yellow solid paint colors, and metallic colors are very expensive and can cost 3 to 4 times more than the same type and brand of white aircraft paint.  When the paint scheme calls for detailed layout work for stripes and patterns additional labor and masking materials will be needed, which will increase the price.  Additionally, if the paint scheme calls for stripes and colors to run through the control surfaces these surfaces must be installed and removed several times for layout and painting, which adds labor and cost (we have found that just "hanging" the control surfaces for layout is not adequate and results in stripes that don't line up precisely, so we have an A&P mechanic fully reinstall the surfaces with all associated washers and shims when we do the layout, then remove them for painting).

We pride ourselves on our integrity and honesty at Royal, and do not publish "low-ball" pricing to bring business in knowing that we are going to bump the price up when the aircraft is here and stripped  - beware of advertisements quoting extremely low prices for painting.   We've seen some ads in Trade-A-Plane and on the internet quoting prices that we know are barely high enough to cover the cost of the masking materials, stripper, consumables and aircraft-quality paints, catalysts, accelerators, primers and thinners from Sherwin Williams, Dupont, Akzo Nobel or PPG that will be needed for that make and model aircraft. 

Our recommendation is that you thoroughly investigate any aircraft paint facility that is quoting prices too good to be true.  We also recommend that you visit and inspect a paint facility before committing to the job, look at the quality of the work-in-progress, and talk to the staff that will actually be doing the work before you entrust your aircraft to them.  Look at the cleanliness of the facility; do they strip and paint your airplane in the same room? (You cannot produce a good-quality, long-lasting paint-job under these conditions - it may look OK when it rolls out, but eventually the paint will start flaking off or bubbling up due to contaminants from the stripping process that remain in the air and settle on top the aluminum skins or between the primer and base coat).  Ask the facility to show you or explain what they do to prepare the aircraft for painting after stripping, acid-etching and alodining to ensure there are no contaminants left that will cause you to have to do unsightly touch-up work in a year or two. 

After investigating their stripping facility, inspect their painting facility. (Again, if these two are in the same room, then walk away!).  Is the paint-booth free of dust and debris?  Does it have a high-volume HEATED cross-flow or down-draft ventilation system with adequate incoming air filtration?  Is there sufficient heating in the booth to cure the paint?  If the "paint-booth" is really just an old converted hanger with vent-fans then you will not get a quality paint job.  If you're willing to live with some dust and a few fish-eyes initially that's OK, but you'll also be facing paint adhesion problems in a few years because the painting climate was not adequately maintained and contaminants were not controlled during the process.  We handle a GREAT deal of touch-up, paint-blending and corrosion damage-control work for customers who mistakenly tried to get a good deal a few years earlier at a "two-guys and an hanger" paint shop, so we know what we're talking about.

You should also select a facility that can deal effectively with any eventualities that may come up during the painting process.  Quite often on older aircraft the stripping process will uncover corrosion damage that has gone undetected for years, or previous damage that was known about but covered up with fillers and paint prior to a sale by a previous owner.  Recent examples we have seen include an aileron on a Piper that had been sanded so severely during a previous paint job (then camouflaged with filler, which is removed by the stripper) you could actually push your finger through the aluminum and crack it.  A Bonanza's elevators were so badly burned by a prior attempt to alodine them (magnesium surfaces require a different chemical) that they were black and brittle.  A Cessna that had undergone a great deal of "touch-up" painting prior to being purchased by the current owner actually began shedding rivets when it was stripped due to corrosion that had been covered up year-after-year rather than repaired.  And another East-Coast paint facility stripped a Piper only to find such severe damage to skins and rivets on the wings that the owner had to get a ferry permit to bring the aircraft to us for sheet-metal repairs after it was stripped.

If you get a chance to fly over to Maryland we'd be more than happy to give you a tour of our facility, show you our work-in-progress and final products, and let you talk one-on-one with our strip-shop personnel and painters.  You can also take a look at our painting process on-line at:
http://www.royalaircraft.com/paintbasics.html

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Re: Aircraft painting

I have had several aircraft painted over the years and decided on the 172 that I have now to do most of the work myself. I removed the flight controls, stripped the paint which took more than 80 hours over almost a month period. I hired a painter to do some bondo work then prep and spray. I have purchased the paint, used my hanger, my labor and still will have more than $4,000 invested. To have an airplane painted for 6-7,000 seems cheap.

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Re: Aircraft painting

Don- I'm interested in how satisfied you are with your paint job- please advise when you get her back. Thanks.

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Re: Aircraft painting

Hi there

Just came across this site while looking for work as an Aircraft Painter, after leaving the Royal Air Force working on fast jets I a contractor working on aircraft large and small. I've left jobs because of the work practise some places use.
Once you leave your pride and joy it's really down to trust unless you can go back and do a visual check on there work. Not all places are bad but the one I left here in the UK was so bad I left.
Paint stripper it's self can cause damage if left on to long or applied to areas like arials and plastics. Sounds like they should know better but corners are cut some times.
Any items taken off your airframe should be tagged and put on it's own away from another aircrafts parts. I've seen parts mixed and matched before. If anything go and see them prime and seal your airframe, I never had a problem with this just as long as the customer was out side the bay looking in. Trust me the paints and thinners may smell kind of good but having your inside's a nice shade of poly gloss white isn't this years new black lol.
As long as the bare metal is degreased, tacked off and cleaned before either alochrome or acid etch is applied thats a good start. Then after every stage the finish is checked / tacked off before the finish coat's applied. In an ideal world you should have a folder given to you with a stage by stage photo set.
Along with a print off of all materials used, part numbers etc and as far as painting goes the temperature / humidity of the bay. This should cover some kind of garenty. Within reason your paintwork should not fall off as soon as you take off
Sorry if this is all a bit of a rant but I actually like my job and hate to see people get robbed.
Cheers Mike UK

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Re: Aircraft painting

Class Assignment 2

1.    Design an aircraft paint shop facility and provide a rough floor plan.

2.    Include in the design a list of following the following operational, environmental, and occupational safety and health considerations/specifications:
a.    Paint preparations, including abrasive blasting and metal surface (anti-corrosion) dip tank and chemical application.
b.    Paint booth of sufficient size to accommodate components removed from the aircraft, with specifications for safety and environmental features.
c.    Painting tasks will include chromium-bearing primer coats and polyurethane finish coats.
d.    Paint application equipment.
e.    Fire protection equipment/system.
f.    Storage of chemicals and materials required for painting operation.
g.    Electrical services.
h.    Emergency procedures, including first aid equipment & supplies, spill containment and control equipment & supplies, and emergency egress.
i.    Personal protective equipment.
j.    Accumulation and disposal of hazardous and solid waste.

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Re: Aircraft painting

Sorry that I haven't replied about my paint job.

Short answer - I love it.

Pictures at www.nl7co.com/Aviation/N12614/Post%20Paint/

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Re: Aircraft painting

Don -
Before you started the project you said they had quoted you less than $7000 for the paint job.  Most people writing in to our website have consistently reported that their $7000 quote for a 172 turns into $13,500 - $14,000 for a 172 due to additional body work and other hidden damage that was discovered after stripping.  Did the shop you used bump the final price over your initial $7000 quote?

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Re: Aircraft painting

DOES ANYONE KNOW THE PAINT CODE FOR A 2004 CESSNA SKYHAWK 172SP? THE COLOR IS MATAHORN WHITE.ALSO WHERE CAN IT BE PURCHASED.

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Re: Aircraft painting

if it was painted with Alumi grip Matterhorn White G8003 can be purchased at Akzo noble aerospace coatings you will also need catalyst and thinner mix is one paint:one catalyst and 20-25% thinner
or you can use Sherwin williams Jet Glo Matterhorn white CM0570535 and the mixture is the same.Unless you use high solids which is a total different mixture and both mix two paint one hardener and one thinner

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Re: Aircraft painting

Watch out for paint shops that are using auto and truck paints.  Automotive primers are not designed to inhibit corrosion on aluminum.  Alodine alone is not good enough... the surface needs to be acid etched after stripping, then alodined, then coated with an aerospace corrosion-inhibiting primer before the top coat is applied.  Primers and top coats are chemically formulated to bind with each other so you don't want to prime with an aerospace primer then put on an automotive top coat.  It may not chip off for a few years but will flake over time.  Unless your airplane is all composite, if the paint shop tells you they're using something other than an aerospace primer and paint combination (Dupont Imron, Alumigrip, Jet Glo, etc.) then the cheap price they're quoting isn't worth it.

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Re: Aircraft painting

I just got my plane back from the paint shop and it looks great and an extremely professional job.  I would be happy to refer you to the shop that painted my plane, it was in the 8K range. Located in the Midwest.  Send me an e-mail and I will hook you up with the shop manager.  I will be happy to e-mail pictures as well.

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Re: Aircraft painting

for the best custom design and paint job on any size plan, call howard in Independence, Ore. He does some of the new stuff and has turned out some great work on new RV's , or refinishing old planes. call 503-838-2100 or 503-838-2467 good deal and no sales tax.

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Re: Aircraft painting

Gentlemen,

Could you please assist me in locating a source or database to decipher the cessna 182-Q trim code.  This code is on a placard located on the door jam of the pilots side of the fuselage and is as follows: 8MFL  W-HN

Thank you, Paul Carlin

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Re: Aircraft painting

8- Indicated Year
MFL- Interior Color and Paint
     Green Fabric and Leather/Vinyl
     Lacquer OrO Green, CES1054-B-77 (Interior Paint)
     Oro Green CES1054-B78 Leather/Vinyl (Fabric Color)
W- Overall External Color- Vestal White, CES1054-C53
H- Major Stripe Color- Springbock, CES1054-C49
N- Accent Color- Velvet Black, CES1054-52

Hope this helps you out, The part numbers are straight from the book and not sure if they can still be cross referenced...
-Tom

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