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Thread: Spot repair for peeling/flaking paint?

  1. #1

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    Spot repair for peeling/flaking paint?

    I'm buying an airplane that needs a paint job, but is otherwise solid. It has the original paint from the 70s and its starting to peel/flake off, especially on the wings. My plan is to do a full strip and paint, but I cannot comfortably afford this immediately after purchasing the plane.

    Because available hangars don't exist in my location, I will be tying the plane outside. So I am looking for a "cheap fix" that will protect the plane from corrosion until I get it painted (probably in 12-24 months). I'm thinking just sanding it down and spraying it with rattle cans in the spots where it is peeling.

    What kind of paint and primer should I consider for this job? Are there any special concerns for painting the plane?
    It is a Grumman AA1C, and I will not be painting any control surfaces, so it qualifies a maintenance although it is certificated.
    1978 Grumman AA1C w/O-320

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Back when I was based at Potomac Airpark, you could often find the airport manager out there with a couple of rattle cans of green rustoleum touching up his airplane. I hear he finally had it professionally repainted.


    Yep, as long as it's not a control surface that needs rebalancing, it's allowable owner maintenance. You do need to log it properly however.

  3. #3

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    Alclad aluminum has good corrosion resistance without paint. If appearance is not offensive I'd just make sure there was no corrosion under the paint and leave it alone.

  4. #4

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    I wouldn't be so quick to "scratch it up."

    I would buy some self etching primer for aluminum.

    Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co, will have this stuff in aerosol cans.

    They will also make suggestions with your repaint project when the time comes.

    Jake Speed

  5. #5
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be so quick to "scratch it up."

    Specifically, you need to be careful with what abrasives you use on aluminum. You can actually CAUSE more corrosion than you are preventing.

  6. #6

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    If I don't have to worry about corrosion I am not too worried about it.

    As much as I would like to repaint the plane, I bought this plane to fly, so anything that reduces my flying time and does not risk long term damage will be put off until I can obtain my CSEL and CFI.
    1978 Grumman AA1C w/O-320

  7. #7

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    Whatever you opt to do, DO NOT SAND the aluminum surfaces. Too many bad things can happen including, but not necessarily limited to: thinning the skin to the point where it could lead to structural failure; removing the Alclad surface coating of corrosion resistant pure aluminum in patches exposing the not so resistant aluminum alloy that it covers promoting corrosion; accidentally thinning rivet heads weakening the structure.

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