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Empennage

Painting practice … yeah … that’s what I’ll call it …

The wind was light, the sun was shining and the temperature was tolerable … time to try spray painting. I was a little nervous as I’ve never used a spray gun before. I’ve done a bit of research and talked with a few builders and was about as prepared as I was ever going to be. I mixed up a batch of 2-part epoxy primer using a disposable plastic drinking cup as a measure and poured it into my spray gun paint bucket. I mixed it with a metal spoon for a good minute, then let it stand for 30 minutes. While I was waiting for the 30 minutes to be up, I set up my painting tent and placed my parts to be primed.

Then I got geared up into my PPE (plastic suit, respirator, gloves and goggles)…

… then went to work.

With my compressor set to 35-40 psi, I started with a light mist coat over everything. Then I let stand for a couple of minutes, then went over it again. As soon as I saw wetness or a reflection on the surface I moved on. (all cred to Rob Montgomery for the painting instructions… thanks Rob!). This seemed to work a treat. I got a couple of paint runs but this was only because I didn’t follow instructions in those places. You see the paint wasn’t coming out green. It wasn’t really opaque. It was a milky, watery colour and I wasn’t too sure what was going on. I thought that perhaps a heavier coat was needed, which is when the runs occurred. I kept going and used the batch up, then stood back and inspected my handiwork.

Hmm… it didn’t look like every other builder’s blog photo I had researched. It was like a milky/clear lacquer rather then a nice green primer. So as I cleaned up my painting gear with thinners, I thought about why my primer wasn’t quite right. I’m not sure if it was the fumes or a moment of inspiration, but it suddenly hit me. Did I mix the paint?

Once I finished cleaning up and hanging all the parts inside my shed, I went back to the tin of primer. I cracked open the lid and confirmed it was a milky white colour with a tinge of green. I then put the lid back on and shook it for a good minute. I re-opened the lid and what did I see? Bright green primer. /face to palm

I rang my SAAA Technical Counsellor to find out if I had to sand my dodgy primer coat back or could I just paint another coat over the top. (Thanks for your patience Bo … and for not laughing too hard 🙂 ) The outcome of that conversation was that since my 1st coat was drying, it should be ok to paint over. So I’m going to rack this session up to experience. I’m a lot more familiar with how my paint gun works. For those who wonder if the PPE is required or not, the paint is carcinogenic and will generally ruin your day if you get it in your eye/skin/lungs. This is what the paint did to my disposable cup after an hour.

Fingers crossed for another nice painting day tomorrow. Hopefully things will look much more greener next post.

Build time 2 hrs.

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About gstrack

Husband and father of 2. Control & Instrumentation Engineer. Flying nut. Gadget geek.

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