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The craziness continues!

My continuing flirtation with Aviation:
I've purchased a 90% complete Mitchell U-2 Flying Wing!
(Which in Aviation math usually means, 90% is left to be done.)

Painting with Water Based House Paint
Page 2 - Taping Tips


Let me say from the outset: The following is a discussion about my personal project and research.  It is NOT A RECOMMENDATION for anyone else to pursue any of these ideas or procedures.

April, 2017:  OK, I had started this discussion about painting by making a comment early on that if the Painting plan didn't work out I was prepared to pull the fabric and start again - and that is what has happened; sorta!  Much to Norman's chagrin, I didn't like something about the first outer section after we re-applied the fabric and primer.  So I pulled the fabric off and after some minor filling and sanding, started again with the fabric for the third and last time on one outer section.  The other two sections were also touched up before applying the fabric. 

Actually at this point I am rather proud of the surface preparation we did to my wing! (OK we took this picture before pulling the masking tapes - bummer)

This month's status:

1. We have finished applying all of the fabric and primer paint except to the rudders, each of which still needs a couple more cross-coats.
2. Soon we will simply sand the stabilators and apply the new trim color.  Someday in the future I will build new stabilators as the twist of these remains somewhat suspect.
3. The wing surface is nearly completely painted in the primary color - only one more chord-wise coat is needed for one side of each of the outer wing sections.
4. The trim color has been applied to most of the wing's underside (the Grasshopper side - who cares what they think!).  But we did have a steep learning curve for creating clean, flawless trim lines as my first attempt was a total disaster! My solution follows:

Taping Tip:

My apologies for the colors - frequently we are using our cell phones to take pictures and forget to turn on the high watt lights (they're hot!)  So the colors in this group of photos really suck - sorry.

Anyway that charcoal gray color really is a powder blue - hard to believe!  Also since this an enlargement we can really see how the "orange peel" is starting to build up.  Fortunately with the flat sheen it doesn't build up as bad as the shinier sheens and it is easy to wet-sand down to a smooth finish.

But the point of the picture is to show how bad the blue paint bleds under the tape Perhaps if we had wet-sanded the yellow field color first the bleed-under might not have been so bad???

   
So, after the disaster above, I started again by laying out a few tabs of tape against a straight-edge and then lining up the masking tape against the tabs.  In general I was very pleased with the straightness of my lines.
   
After the masking tape has been lined up we burnish the edge that we will paint the trim color against.  In this case we are using an old stirring stick that had a gob of polyester on the end.  We sanded the gob down to a smooth rounded edge  to use it as a burnishing tool.

Burnishing alone might have been well enough but I wasn't willing to take that chance so I decided to "seal" the edge of the tape that I was going to paint the trim color against.

   
And so after burnishing the edge we smeared the field color paint against the edge and immediately wiped it off - pushing the paint into the edge of the tape.  Any old brush will do.  The point is to fill any remaining porosity under the tape with the field color which then dries and seals out the trim color. 

After wiping it down, let it dry.

   
After the sealing paint has dried we are finally ready to paint the trim color.

 

   
After the second coat of the trim paint has been applied and while it is still tacky we pulled the tape.  The tape should be pulled back at an acute angle.
   
While maintaining the acute angle shown above, we also pull at a slight angle towards the freshly applied trim paint.

The finished line which we produced is pristine, worthy of the envy of any professional painter!!!