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Thread: Single Stage or Base Coat/Clear Coat??

  1. #1
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    Oct 2015
    Horizon Lakes Airpark (9G2)

    Single Stage or Base Coat/Clear Coat??

    Who here has experience painting? I'm having a difficult time deciding to use a single stage paint or using a two stage (base coat then clear coat) paint. I think each has advantages. The advantage of the two stage is that it is super shiny. Also, the color coats go on flat so they are very easy to spray and difficult mess up. But the disadvantage is spraying that clear coat and not getting orange peel.

    The single stage is just easy. It's shiny, but just doesn't have the same glossiness or depth that a clear coat offers. The advantage though is that the airplane can be painted in sections. For example, I will need to remove the main gear and paint the channel where the gear lives. I can paint that, put the gear back on, and then paint the rest of the plane. I don't think you can paint a clear coat in sections like that but I'm no expert-maybe it can be done?

    Any thoughts? I'm not ready for paint yet, but I'm getting close!
    Mark Pensenstadler
    Site Admin
    Price's Airpark, Linden, MI (9G2)
    S-10 | S-6S | RV-7 | Cherokee 160 | Zenith Cruzer

  2. #2
    We wondered the same but ultimately decided to go with Utech (an Akzo Nobel Brand) single stage truck paint, as it is shiny but also very durable. I was told that it is chemically very similar to the probably better known Imron.

    The main reason for our decision was that we wanted to have the thickest possible coat of paint to work with. 4 layers of single stage means 4 layers of paint to sand and polish if needed (OK, you don't want to sand through all of them).
    The same thickness with base coat / clear coat means 2 layers of base coat (what might actually not even be enough to reliably cover the primer) and a thin 2 layers of clear. This leaves you with only the two layers of clear to work with, if you want to remove imperfections in the paint or scratches after some use. On cars, people therefore typically seem to apply at least 3 layers of base and 3 layers of clear, what still leaves you with one layer of paint less to work with, compared to 4 layers of single stage.

    The other thing was, that I didn't want to go through all the trouble of mixing 2 different paints, every time I want to paint a few parts, as well as the wait time between base and clear and the cleaning of the spray gun associated with it.
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