Pin stripes and clear coat?

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rtfm

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Hi,
I have painted my fuselage, but want to delineate the block of yellow color with red pin stripes (maybe 25mm wide - depending on what I can get locally). So my question is: do I apply the pin stripe before or after the final clear coat?

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Thatone

If you do use pin stripe it can be done either way - provided the paint system you use doesn't dissolve the pinstripe. I've always put the strip on top. Just seems more 'natural'.

If you paint on the stripe before the clear you can get a no-edge finish..........Keep that airflow laminar as long as you can. 😇
 

Jay Kempf

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Vinyl wrap comes in large, wide sheets. You could cut your graphics out of that stuff and apply. It will be lighter than paint and have a thinner edge. There are large printers that can print on top of this Vinyl wrap stuff as well so you could get yellow, print on the red and then just stick it on. Youtube is full of this stuff if you need to see how it is done. People that do marketing graphics on trucks and cars have all you need.
 

wsimpso1

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Some painters will mask the stripe off when they paint the main color, then mask in the strip, so the paints abut each other - there is no step.
 

Tiger Tim

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I’d probably do it after clear. Also, when it delineates the border between colors it’s often called a ‘cheat line,’ I assume because the stripe covers any imperfections in masking a perfect line.
 

Topaz

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Yup, but I thought that you were suggesting no paint, just wrap.


BJC
The vinyl sheets in question really like a smooth surface for good adhesion. The shop I worked at two jobs back did tons of this stuff, especially the kind you print on and then adhere. We had inkjet printers the size of a small bus for that - up to 15' wide.

If you're going to use vinyl (printed or not), have it applied by a professional and for heaven's sake, make sure they know to seal the edges. That's often done on high-quality automotive applications and should ALWAYS be done on aviation applications. The last thing you want is the edge to come up over time from exposure to air, water, heat, and smog, and then for air to get under the edge in-flight. That could get really ugly, really fast.
 

BJC

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If you're going to use vinyl (printed or not), have it applied by a professional and for heaven's sake, make sure they know to seal the edges.
A friend is gradually wrapping his RV-7 himself, and flying as he goes at it. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Well done wraps look good. Saw a fully wrapped Glasair III at Oshkosh some years ago. It was a flying advertisement for a wrapping service, and it looked terrible. It had an overlapping seam down the top of the fuselage, and the patterns didn’t match up.


BJC
 

agpilot24

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Disclaimer: I am not considered a paint professional. I have restored a number of aircraft from the ground up.
I have seen it done both ways, vinyl pinstripe under clear coat, and above. Under clear coat looks best until the vinyl decides to curl. Then it looks horrible with the edges curling, and breaking the clear coat.
The paint scheme proposed shows a rather wide pinstripe (I like it) between the yellow and white. I would paint a red “border” and then tape off the yellow color. Half the taping, full life of the scheme.
vinyl is great when applies by professionals, but for the job proposed, I would paint the red, then tape over the red ‘pinstripe’, shoot yellow….then clear it…
 

Jay Kempf

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We had a large format vinyl printer for a while did several composite aircraft with lots of company logos pasted all over. Worked great. I didn't think it was that big a deal to apply but I had a long career with Monokote (and equivs.), Irons, steamers, stretching and sticking all kinds of crazy curvy surfaces. Mid graphic bubbles and sealing edges is where all the magic happens. I have painted some high end stuff (not on the clock). Painting takes some experience and skill.

Matching a printed graphic at seams when applying to really curvy stuff must be tough.
 

Topaz

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A friend is gradually wrapping his RV-7 himself, and flying as he goes at it. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. ...
Hopefully he has contact with someone who does it for a living. There are definitely tricks and tips that can make it go more-smoothly and faster. I've never done it, myself. I was on the graphics and printing end of the business.
 

rsrguy3

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If it's a wide stripe then use fineline tape and air brush it... narrow I like burying them in the clear...if you're shooting clear. Much more durable that way.
 
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