# Latex paint on fabric covering

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by Othman, Apr 12, 2006.

### Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

1. Mar 15, 2011

### wally

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Apr 1, 2004
Messages:
926
14
Location:
southwest TN.
2. Mar 31, 2011

### NorthwestJack

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Feb 9, 2008
Messages:
73
4
Location:
Monroe ,Wa ( close to Seattle)
I have used latex on two airplanes. the first coat was rolled on. the next two coats were sprayed on. I thinned the paint 20 % water so it would smooth out. have to be careful with runs though. No primer needed!!!!
the first airplane was painted 5 years ago. The latex still looks like new and remains very flexible. Cost 40 dollars a gallon instead of 200-300.
I use high gloss latex and it comes out fairly shiny but still dull compared to urethanes or laquers.
When you use latex it requires some experimentation. try painting on some scraps of polyfiber that have been mounted and stretched until you get the desired results.
Jacq

#### Attached Files:

File size:
77.9 KB
Views:
1,804
• ###### IMGP0258xx.jpg
File size:
54.8 KB
Views:
2,096
3. Mar 31, 2011

### parkert51

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Mar 24, 2011
Messages:
303
3
Location:
Golconda, Il, usa
I have used latex paint on a couple of projects over the years and it does work with some success. But my personal favorite is urethane auto paint. I have heard all the arguments against it guys. But a fellow showed me how to use it several years ago.

I use this product, and it works really well.

Bulldog®

4. Dec 8, 2011

### buzzypeterson

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 23, 2010
Messages:
160
23
Location:
Wausau, WI USA
You mind me asking, Did you seal the fabric with anything? when I try to paint bare polyester with latex it leaves all kinds of pin holes and the surface is very uneven. How did you deal with that?

5. Dec 8, 2011

### buzzypeterson

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 23, 2010
Messages:
160
23
Location:
Wausau, WI USA
I have a question. My previous airplane I sealed the fabric with 3m nsf diluted with water and it covered great. Is there any way to paint bare polyester with letex without getting all of the pinholes and uneven surface that I am getting right now? Am I maybe using the wrong latex or something? I'm using a foam roller for the first coat. We also can't get it to spray very well at all.. we have tried a latex hvlp wagner gun.. and a regular pot system. The regular pot system worked out better when it was thinned with windshield washer fluid and water but it didn't want to flow out anywhere near what we would have liked and didn't leave a very smooth finish. What are your secrets guys?

Also, We have used polyfiber system and yes we would rather be using that again but the cost of it on the airplane we are doing is just to much for what we doing so no anti latex arguements are needed.

6. Mar 16, 2013

### little_cub

#### New Member

Joined:
Nov 23, 2012
Messages:
2
1
Location:
Palmer, Ak
This stuff can be painted as well.
We covered an experimental Cub 250 hours ago.. it started in Alaska but in Arizona currently. We used Oratex fabric and found it to be great! No stink with the water transported product.. my wife actually did the fabric work and had never done one before. She always stayed away and complained of the smell.

The entire aircraft color and all was covered with the 'mono-coat' for about 20#.
We are planning another and will be using Oratex 6000! It's certified overseas for 12,000# aircraft.

frank

7. Oct 14, 2013

### lake_harley

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 5, 2007
Messages:
938
295
Post #34 (I think) above talked about using 3M Fastbond 30NF contact cement to attach fabric to a wooden structure. I'm building a MiniMAX and am planning to use latex when the time comes and had heard about the 3M contact cement being used before. It sounds like it would be applied to the perimeter and "glue areas" of a structure, the fabric positioned and pressed into place, additional cememt applied to wet-out the fabric/structure glue area and then a iron used to smooth out the glued area. Following cure time for the cement the fabric would be shrunk and coated like any other process. That sound like a summarized "proper" procedure? Anyone used the 3M Fastbond 30NF on their small plane or ultralight?

Lynn

Jon Ferguson likes this.
8. Oct 14, 2013

### PTAirco

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 21, 2003
Messages:
3,418
954
Location:
Corona CA
20 lbs? Wait - you cheated and left out some parts!

9. Oct 14, 2013

### Joe Fisher

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Feb 11, 2007
Messages:
1,384
374
Location:
Galesburg, KS South east Kansas
I have in my hot little hands the Belanca Citabra Service Manual. They call for using 3M847 adhesive or equivalent to attach the fabric to the frame. Use Swifts adhesive #7315 or Super Seam Cement for fabric laps.

10. Oct 15, 2013

### Pops

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 1, 2013
Messages:
6,678
5,554
Location:
USA.
My little single seat Super Cub is painted with Sherman Williams Kryron, and put on with a roller. Looks great and cost $200. for the complete covering materials. Now 7 years old and still looks new. I could have done it different, I have a paint booth and have restored and built several airplanes and have good equipment. I tried to build this aircraft at the lowest cost possible. I spent between$3800-\$3900 at the time of the test flight, would have to check my records to the exact amount. Dan

FritzW and bmcj like this.
11. Oct 15, 2013

### JesusReynolds

#### Guest

For how many hours you have to keep the paint to get dry..?

12. Oct 30, 2014

### lake_harley

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 5, 2007
Messages:
938
295
My oh my, how time gets away. Just over one year after the quoted post, I'm finally in the covering phase of my MiniMAX construction. I ended up buying the Stewart Systems EcoBond adhesive, even though I think it's re-packaged 3M Fastbond 30NF. I currently have everything covered and the fabric has been shrunk with an iron. I'm happy with the fabric tautness and don't plan to go above 250 degrees....where I am now.

If I recall correctly, on a Stewart Systems video they cleaned the fabric before painting/coating with some kind of cleaner applied with a pump-spray bottle and then followed with a damp rag/water rinse. Well, I forgot to order the "special" cleaner so was wondering what would be appropriate. The fabric is Superflight 1.7 or 1.8 Oz. ultralight fabric. Will something like 409 household cleaner do the trick, or do I need something more agressive like laquer thinner, acetone, or ???

Lynn

13. Oct 30, 2014

### BBerson

#### Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter

Joined:
Dec 16, 2007
Messages:
11,419
2,094
Location:
Port Townsend WA
I never heard of cleaning it. But probably alcohol solution would be best.
Some builders use windshield washer fluid (alcohol solution) to thin the paint. Should work to clean.

14. Oct 30, 2014

### lake_harley

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 5, 2007
Messages:
938
295
Thanks for the quick reply. I just got off the phone with my local paint store guy (not a big box store). He about had a FIT when I asked him about thinning the latex primer (Holzout II) that an aquintenance of his used along with latex paint when recovering a Cub or Champ tail. Most things I've read talk about thinning at least the first and maybe second coat up to 40% with water, windshield washer fluid and possibly some Flotrol to get it to brush through and totally encapsulate the fabric on the initial coats. After talking with the paint store owner, I really am confused once again. Unfortunately, with this being my first airplane build, I've been spending way too much time confused with new-to-me decisions and conflicting advice. Argh!

15. Oct 30, 2014

### bmcj

#### Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter

Joined:
Apr 10, 2007
Messages:
12,562
4,584
Location:
Fresno, California
I wouldn't get too hung up on the paint store advice. They only deal with putting paint on non-porous surfaces, and not on a fabric surface where the intent (need) is to have the paint pass through the weave to get complete adhesion. But wait... are you using the latax paint for the base coat, or will you have an aircraft base (clear, then silver) before adding the latex?

16. Oct 30, 2014

### Matt G.

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Nov 16, 2011
Messages:
1,242
466
Location:
Kansas, USA
All of those things you mention are probably WAY too aggressive. A 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and distilled water would probably be a safer choice. I'm not sure what exactly is in their cleaner, but if it were me, I would get that and use it. Their products work when you follow the directions to a T. Use something else and all bets are off.

17. Oct 30, 2014

### lake_harley

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 5, 2007
Messages:
938
295
Right now I'm getting ready to do the initial coat, filling the weave and hopefully encapsulating the fabric with the primer. I agree with the opinion that they're basing their comments on painting wood, etc. (non-porus). I tried to impress that difference (coating fabric) on them, but they weren't listening or having anything to do with that concept as being different.

MattG....50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water seems a decent cleaner. I have a feeling it would be fine just wiped with a clean damp cloth, but if there are oils and/or waxes used in the thread production or weaving process, I guess it would be good to use something besides just water. I would plan on a damp cloth rinse and time to thoroughly dry.

I also came across this tutorial http://www.wienerdogaero.com/Latex.php and used his homemade viscosity cup idea to fashion one to use. I believe he said he uses the same viscosity whether spraying or brushing. I'll end this dilema by just getting started and seeing how a first coat goes on a smaller part like the rudder.

Thanks gentlemen!

Lynn

**UPDATE** I used the homemade viscosity cup and thinned the latex primer with windshield washer fluid as "wienerdog" suggested in the site above. The latex primer ended up being thinned about 25% to get the viscosity suggested. I cleaned and primed one side of the rudder and it's drying now, then I'll do the other side. Obviously I can't see the inside of the fabric to see how well it worked through the weave, but using a nice bristle brush and with small amounts of paint at a time, I brushed back and forth a lot to work the primer into the fabric. I'm pleased with how it looks and am pretty confident that the fabric has a good "filler" base now.

Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
18. Dec 15, 2014

### lake_harley

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jan 5, 2007
Messages:
938
295
I've had all of the parts of my MiniMAX painted now for quite a while, about a month, and thought I should post an update. All of the coats were latex products and were thinned with about 25% windshield washer fluid (4 parts primer/paint - 1 part washer fluid).

1st coat: Latex primer applied with a 2" bristle brush. Put on very sparingly and brushed in really well.

2nd coat: Latex primer applied with a 4" foam roller and "tipped off" with a 2" bristle brush.

3rd coat: Latex paint - very light grey color - applied with a 4" foam roller, rolled out very thoroughly. I thought that would do it since it looked really good when still wet, but it dried so thin (almost trasparent) I decided it had to have a 4th coat

4th coat: Latex paint applied with a 4" roller and, like the 2nd coat of primer, "tipped off" with a 2" bristle brush.

In the light of day it's certainly no award winning job, but what the heck, the fabric is sealed and it's all the same color. I did do a bit of very light sanding between coats, especially over the pinked fabric overlap areas, just to knock off some of the bumps. I did the painting in my basement with not-so-good lighting and it's not as smooth as many would feel is necessary, but it suits me OK and at least it's done. The 3rd coat (paint, not tipped off with a brush) left a bit of texture. If I were doing it again, I would follow the roller application with a brush on every coat.

I used a total of about 75% of a gallon of primer and about 60% of a gallon of paint. That's on a MiniMAX that has about 112 Sq. Ft. of wing including the ailerons, the fuselage which is about 14' long, all tail surfaces and the wood landing gear legs. By my best guesstimate, I spent about 40 hours to get the 4 coats on all of the surfaces. Spraying would have saved time I do believe, but I got impatient and didn't want to spend prep time to move everything to my shop and devise ways to hold everything in positions to be painted all at once. Another factor that convinced me not to spray was that I didn't want to end up having to clean out the spray gun about 8 or 12 times.....I'm just kinda lazy. By using the roller and brush, I was able to do it a piece or two at a time spread over a couple weeks.

There's my latex painting story. If anyone has questions I'll be glad to try to answer based on my experience.

Lynn

Joe Fisher, dcstrng and BoKu like this.
19. Dec 15, 2014

### TFF

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Apr 28, 2010
Messages:
11,131
3,016
Location:
Memphis, TN
Do you have a weight, before and after? Pictures!

20. Dec 15, 2014

Joined:
Jan 5, 2007
Messages:
938