Painting Myself?

Hi, I have a Cessna skylark 175 that is going for a rebuild. Meanwhile, it’s in my garage. Paint is original since 1958. Thinking of painting it, but I want to do it by myself (I have painted some cars).

Although, I have two questions after seeing some vids. Why do people strip the old paint? Is it not enough to just sand it down ?

Is it ok with 2k epoxie paint?

Comments

  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    no no no. This is nothing like a car! It has to be stripped because it's aluminum, not steel. And don't sand it, you'll total the airplane. Let a pro do it.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thank you for your reply. Altough, I don’t understand why you need to strip the coulor due to the surface being aluminum and how sanding would affect the structure or cladding ?
  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    You will sand the rivets right off, totalling the airplane. Don't do that, lol.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Why would sand the rivets of? Certainly not.
  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator

    Here's a real story: About 20 years ago near my home airport in Wisconsin, a fellow bought an Aerostar in need of paint. He had a friend that ran an automobile dealership and paintshop. His friend offered to paint his plane. The fellow with the Aerostar accepted his friends offer and his friend sent a couple of his automobile painter employees down to his hangar. They sanded the airplane removing all of the rivet heads from the Aerostar rendering the airplane totalled. True story...

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • This is true nonsens. Your answers is due to people doing wrong? You are also assuming that every guy will sand the rivets down when the purpose is to scuff the old paint? Have you tried to sand a rivet of a Cessna? Won’t happen in a heartbeat.
  • I might add that there is certainly more things you shouldn’t do by by yourself on an airplane.
  • My experience.
    My 182A is being restored. Paint had to be removed to reveal any skin corrosion. Sat outside for 11 years. :o
    Being ignorant, I was sanding the paint off of the Horizontal Stabilizer when my friend, an IA, said "You ain't sanding the rivets now, are ya?" I looked and said I was. "You gotta replace those now!" His rule of thumb on this: If you can't see the head's drill-out dimple, you can't tell how much of the head is destroyed. Requires replacement. PERIOD!
    Good thing I did. Became a big fan of paint stripper after that. Corrosion so severe, some rivet heads came off with the scraped-off stripper! Ended up having to remove all skin/components as well as replacing a few nose ribs too. Very fortunate a local shop had a Horizontal Stab jig for the early 180/182s. My story.

    Steve

  • edited August 8
    Painting is NOT a black-art. With lots of reading, careful prep, practice, correct tools and patience, it can be done. But the comments above are true…strip ALL paint and leave not even a pin-prick behind. No sanding, no sand-blasting. Stewart Systems have fab materials and videos. It is a heck of a task… and I’d think twice before embarking again. But the old bird looks nice…
  • Scott ShererScott Sherer COO Forum Moderator
    edited August 8

    Thanks for your comments, fellows! :)

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Cessna Owners Organization Forum Moderator and Cessna Owners Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • This is an interesting thread. Hard to provide advice to stupidity.... I have a '75 Skylane and 41 years ago we sanded our wing's leading edges to get rid of the crappy Cessna Enflex paint that would flake off. (Seam to Seam). Alodined it and primed and coated with IMRON. Worked great for 14 years when we had the whole plane stripped and painted professionally with IMRON when the Enflex was failing in several places. Still good as new today.

  • I stripped my plane a few years ago and found that it had three previous pain schemes under it! It flew faster and was lighter than ever!

    I have always been told never to sand the head of a rivet because you need to be able to see the dimple made by the die that squeezed it.

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