Paint, or more specifically its overall color and application, is usually the first impression that is transmitted to someone when they look at an aircraft for the first time. Paint makes a statement about the aircraft and the person who owns or operates it. The paint scheme may reflect the owner’s ideas and color preferences for an amateur-built aircraft project, or it may be colors and identification for the recognition of a corporate or air carrier aircraft.
- Finishing Materials
- Identification of Paints
- Methods of Applying Finish
- Finishing Equipment (Part One)
- Finishing Equipment (Part Two)
- Preparation for Painting
- Spray Gun Operation
- Common Paint Troubles
- Painting Trim and Identification Marks
- Aircraft Decals
- Paint System Compatibility
- Safety in the Paint Shop
Paint is more than aesthetics; it affects the weight of the aircraft and protects the integrity of the airframe. The topcoat finish is applied to protect the exposed surfaces from corrosion and deterioration. Also, a properly painted aircraft is easier to clean and maintain because the exposed surfaces are more resistant to corrosion and dirt, and oil does not adhere as readily to the surface.
A wide variety of materials and finishes are used to protect and provide the desired appearance of the aircraft. The term “paint” is used in a general sense and includes primers, enamels, lacquers, and the various multipart finishing formulas. Paint has three components: resin as coating material, pigment for color, and solvents to reduce the mix to a workable viscosity.
Internal structure and unexposed components are finished to protect them from corrosion and deterioration. All exposed surfaces and components are finished to provide protection and to present a pleasing appearance. Decorative finishing includes trim striping, the addition of company logos and emblems, and the application of decals, identification numbers, and letters.