long should I wait after spraying Poly-Spray before I start spraying
on color coats?
>A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 4 days
between the last coat of Poly-Spray and the first coat of color.
This allows all of the solvents to completely evaporate. This is
most important when using Aerothane.
are my choices for color coats?
>You have three choices. Poly-Tone, Aero-Thane, or Randolph Ranthane. Poly-Tone is the same basic chemical as Poly-Spray except it contains color pigment. It is easy to spray, easy to repair, and provides a long-lasting satin finish. Aero-Thane and Ranthane are polyurethane paints that provide a high luster and high durability. They are somewhat more difficult to spray. Aero-Thane and Ranthane may be applied to both fabric and metal making them good choices for matching paints on two different types of surfaces. One word of caution: If you are spraying Aero-Thane or Ranthane, you must use a fresh-air breathing source. Like all polyurethane paints, you must not breathe the fumes or mist.
I use Poly-Tone on metal parts?
>You can use Poly-Tone on metal parts if you apply
it according to the manual. Basically, that means prime the part
using EP-420 epoxy primer. While the primer is still drying spray
one coat of Poly-Tone directly onto the tacky primer. Let this dry
for 8 hours then spray another coat of Poly-Tone.
can I match Poly-Tone on fabric and Aerothane or Ranthane on metal?
>This is a good way to spray color on your
airplane. You have the best of both worlds. You can match the two by
adding a flattener to the Aerothane or Ranthane. Each can of flattener has
instructions on how many fluid ounces to add to Aerothane or
along with buffing the Poly-Tone on the fabric will match colors
kind of primer should I use on metal parts?
>Use only an epoxy primer. Two colors are
available. Green and white. If you are using a light color as the
final topcoat you should use white primer. Otherwise, the green
color may be difficult to hide.
friend used a high quality automotive polyurethane on his airplane.
It looks good. Why not use that?
>This is a common question. Automotive paints are
great for metal but not for fabric. They are not flexible thus
cracking will result in time if used on fabric. Remember that your
fabric will move and flex. The topcoat must be able to do the same.
DO NOT use an automotive enamel on fabric unless you want to deal
with cracking problems at a later date.
about using butyrate dope as a color coat?
>Absolutely not! Butyrate dope is not compatible
with Poly-Fiber products.
about lacquers or other enamels?
>No. You will have problems. Only use Poly-Tone, Aerothane
or Ranthane color coats.
you think I can spray the color coats myself or should I hire a
>Our recommendation is that you do it yourself.
After spraying the Poly-Spray you will have enough practice and
experience to do a good job with the color coats. Again, practice on
something other than your airplane when you first start spraying
color. You will also want to construct a small spray booth out of
clear plastic to keep dirt and bugs out of the final coats.
kind of spray equipment is best to use?
>You can use either a high pressure gun or a HVLP
system. Whatever you have been using for your Poly-Spray coats you
can use for color. If you are using Aerothane you will probably need
a different nozzle for the spray gun.
have heard people say you should spray a coat of white over the
silver before spraying on the final color. Why is that?
>Spraying a coat of white over the silver will
definitely provide better coverage if your final color will be red
or yellow. It will also cause the final color to be richer.
friend of mine said that he found the colors to be different when he
ordered additional gallons. Can that be a problem?
>It is a potential problem. Care is taken to
ensure proper color match between batches of colors. To be on the
safe side, we recommend that you purchase the total amount of color
needed then mix all of the gallons together in a 5-gallon pail. You
can then repour them back into the 1-gallon cans. That will ensure
that there are no minor differences in color. Not properly shaking
or mixing the paint can also present a matching problem.
I shake the paint prior to applying it?
>Absolutely. Take the topcoat paint to a local
store and have them shake each can for 5 minutes. This way you will
be sure the color pigment is mixed completely. Use the paint within
1 week after shaking.
about turning the cans upside down during storage?
>That is an excellent way to keep pigments in
suspension. Do this about every 30 days or so prior to use.
about using a clear coat over the final color?
>We do not recommend using clear coats. They work
fine on automobiles but they can promote the growth of fungus on
it important to clean the surface just prior to spraying on the
>Definitely. You will want to clean the surface
using C-2210 Paint Cleaning solvent with a clean rag. Then, just
prior to spraying, remove any dust using a tack rag.
do I thin Poly-Tone?
>Poly-Tone is thinned using our regular thinners,
R65-75 or R8500. It should be thinned at the ratio of 1 part thinner
to 4 parts Poly-Tone. Use R8500 when the temperature is above 85
about straining the paint through a paint strainer?
>Use a 60 x 48 mesh paint strainer to pour the
paint through into the spray cup.
many coats of Poly-Tone should I apply?
>Normally, three cross-coats of Poly-Tone are
sufficient. You should do no more than 2 cross-coats in a one-day
period. Spray one coat in the morning, let it dry until
mid-afternoon, and then spray another coat.
I have to sand between coats?
>You should only have to sand if you have a run, a
sag, or some other problem.
about Aerothane and Ranthane? How many coats are required?
>For Aero-Thane we recommend a light color coat, a medium coat, and a final wet coat. For Ranthane we recommend a tack coat, a moderate coat, and a third wet coat.
do I mix Aerothane and Ranthane? I notice it has two parts.
>You must catalyze both Aero-Thane and Ranthane, and they use different catalysts. Aero-Thane is mixed 3:1 with its catalyst U-865. Ranthane is mixed 2:1 with its catalyst AU-CAT-2X1. For both catalyzed paints, let sit for 20 minutes induction time before thinning with their respective thinners.
I have any time restrictions on using Aerothane and Ranthane paints after
they are catalyzed?
>Yes, you should use the catalyzed paint within 5-6 hours;
the sooner applied after the induction period, the
better the durability. Otherwise, it will begin to crosslink and thicken. Mix
only the amount of paint you will be using at one time. If you
happen to mix too much you can place the paint in a freezer (away
from any food) for a short period of time. This slows the chemical
reaction. You can then take it out, let it warm up and spray it.
This will work for a couple of days.
can of catalyst I received appears milky. Should I use it?
>No. Do not use any catalyst that appears milky or
stringy. Also, if the can is swollen do not use it. Order another
can. The catalyst should appear thin and clear. Be sure to place the
lid on the can tightly when you are finished. Humidity can cause
do I thin Aerothane and Ranthane?
>For standard suction guns (compressors), thin Aero-Thane 33% (3 parts catalyzed Aero-Thane to one part UE-820 Reducer). For turbine-powered HVLPs, you may need to thin more, up to 40%. For standard suction guns (compressors), thin Ranthane 33% (3 parts catalyzed Ranthane to one part G-4200 Thinner). This is a starting point; you may need more. For both paints, after reducing/thinning, filter through a 60x48-mesh or finer paint strainer cone.
Poly-Tone has been sitting for over 3 years. Is it still OK to use?
>Yes, the guaranteed shelf life is 4 years for
Poly-Tone. Just be sure to shake it real good prior to using it.
is the shelf life of Aerothane and Ranthane paints?
>It is also 4 years. Do not store paints in
temperatures above 100 degrees F if possible.
long should I allow the topcoat to dry before I mask off an area for
>You should allow at least 12 hours of drying time prior to taping;
more time is better.
This assumes an ambient temperature of 77 degrees
Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures require more drying time.
More drying time is always better.
kind of masking tape should I use to mask off trim colors?
>It is very important that you use only a high
quality masking tape such as 3M fine line tape. Use of a cheap
masking tape will cause bleed through.
kind of paper should be used to protect painted areas while I am
spraying trim colors?
>Use a butcher paper or a high quality paper from
your local paint store. Do not use newspaper as the print may bleed
through onto the surface.