Interior Paint

Total: 1486.4 hours
Interior Paint: 47.3 hours

I used Stewart Systems paint. Not cheap, but definitely good stuff. At one point I decided to remove the primer from a small panel. After only 30 minutes of dry time, it took me over an hour to get the primer off using both mineral spirits and MEK. This stuff is definitely not Rustoleum.

One great benefit is that it’s a water reducible or water transfer paint system. You don’t need a re-breather or any fancy safety equipment. I just used a good quality face mask type filter while spraying. Almost no smell to it at all. You use distilled water to thin it. I don;t enjoy painting but when I have to do it again, I’ll use this same system.

As for colors, I used EkoPrime White for the primer and followed by EkoCrylic Dawn Patrol Gray and Smoke Gray for the top coat. The bulk of the interior was painted Dawn Patrol Gray which is a little bit darker than Smoke Gray. The Tunnel and almost all the panels were painted Smoke Gray.

The paint booth was constructed from PVC pipe and plastic drop cloths. I threw down some blankets on the floor. In the future I will pay more attention to the floor. The blankets seemed to attract dust and dirt from walking in and out of the booth. Then I would take my shoes off, climb in the airplane, and bring a ton of dust and dirt with me. After realizing this, I had to adjust the procedure.

Lighting is important. I started out with some nice bright spot lights but one of them shattered for some reason. I carefully removed and cleaned out the glass from the booth (none got on anything important) and painted on without adequate lighting because the paint was already mixed (EkoCrylic is a 2 part system with the color and a catalyzer. Once it’s mixed you have a limited amount of time to use it). Maybe some parts would have turned out a little better if I had better lighting.

The Panels came out looking great aside from a few minor defects. The interior looks pretty good, though there are more spots with more significant defects (sags, runs, and foreign matter). I would say the interior is adequate. A few spots I would consider sanding and coating again but they’ll be mostly hidden anyway so I opted to let it go and move on. As stated, though, I’m very happy with how the panels turned out, and they’ll be the most visible in the end.