Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Removable fabric finish?

  1. #1
    cluttonfred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    World traveler
    Posts
    453

    Question Removable fabric finish?

    Other than vinyl stickers, and even those can be tough to remove after a long time, does anyone know of a way to decorate fabric with a finish that can be easily removed and redone to change the look of a plane?

    I have been thinking of some sort of a warbird design for a Taylor Monoplane, but it would be fun to be able to play around with different designs without adding layer upon layer of paint (and weight) to the airframe. I considered trying out Plastidip as is sometimes used to customize cars and can be peeled off afterwards, but while that should work fine on cowlings, wheelpants, etc. it may still bond permanently to fabric.

    Any ideas?
    *******
    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED
    and other safe, simple, affordable homebuilt aircraft

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA area
    Posts
    9
    You might consider getting your base color on the plane with paint, and then using vinyl overlay -- the stuff they use to "wrap" cars, trucks and aircraft -- to make your design. You could have a sign shop do the layouts and provide ready-to-install vinyl; if you do much that way, it could get expensive. Or you could search for "sign supplies" to find vendors like www.signsupply.com; buy whatever vinyl and supplies you need, and cut your own manually.

    If you plan to do a lot of testing, you may want to invest in a simple vinyl cutter plotter, like the ones at http://www.uscutter.com/index/page/s.../buying_guides. You'll need a PC, software to run the cutter, and software for designing; I've used CorelDraw, and have heard that InkScape (open-source) works well, too.

    Application of the vinyl is pretty straightforward, and it's removable.

    Check YouTube for video introductions on vinyl designing, cutting and application.
    Last edited by SheepdogRD; 03-28-2013 at 08:57 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA area
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacW View Post
    @SheepdogRD what kind of vinyl cutter do you use? Would you recommend it?

    I'm looking for a machine which can help me start a side hustle. Sorry for off topic.
    I used a Roland CAMM-I PNC 1000 with 24" wide x no-limit length capacity. I bought it from a friend when he upgraded his commercial operation. I used CorelDRAW to produce all the large-format signage for our computer store's windows, some real estate signs, and other smaller projects. It worked great for about 2 years. I put it in storage and, when I retrieved it, it wouldn't work. I didn't replace it.

    We have two top-of-the-line CriCuts in the family now. My daughter-in-law seems very happy with hers, but she isn't using it for business. I haven't used either of them, and haven't done any vinyl work since 2014 when the Roland died.

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacW View Post
    If you were me which one would you pick from this best of vinyl cutter list? Or maybe you have different
    recommendation?

    I would rather hear someone's opinion who is using it not trying to sell it to me.

    Any hints and tips are welcome
    I don't know what your side hustle would be, but those machines would be too small for me. I'd recommend Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as good sources for a used large-format unit. Read reviews carefully beforehand, and know what units you prefer; I've seen some pretty awful comments about some of the machines. I'd stick with commercial equipment to get long, accurate, and flexible service.

  4. #4
    Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    833
    I've heard of watercolor paints being used for temporary paint on automobiles, just wash it off.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    21

    Plastic sheet use

    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    Other than vinyl stickers, and even those can be tough to remove after a long time, does anyone know of a way to decorate fabric with a finish that can be easily removed and redone to change the look of a plane?

    I have been thinking of some sort of a warbird design for a Taylor Monoplane, but it would be fun to be able to play around with different designs without adding layer upon layer of paint (and weight) to the airframe. I considered trying out Plastidip as is sometimes used to customize cars and can be peeled off afterwards, but while that should work fine on cowlings, wheelpants, etc. it may still bond permanently to fabric.

    Any ideas?
    The use of large plastic wrap has been tried before with unfavorable results. The issue is the wrap lifting up on upper wing surfaces effectively changing the airfoil. This can lead to loss of control or difficulty controlling the aircraft. This is similar to the issue of improperly applied fabric on a plywood skinned wing where a section comes loose and changes the airfoil. I would recommend staying with paint and sanding and refinishing to change the look. Recommend staying with the tried and true. Best of luck... Don

  6. #6
    rwanttaja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,580
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    I've heard of watercolor paints being used for temporary paint on automobiles, just wash it off.
    The US Army used watercolor paint on aircraft used for the 1941 war games in Louisiana. IIRC, they had trouble getting it off.

    Ron Wanttaja

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •