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Thread: Stewart System Paint

  1. #1
    snowyriver
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    Stewart System Paint

    Does anyone have experience with the Stewart System paint? I used their glue and cleaner on my flaperons and liked it a lot. I'm considering using their paint on the plane. Thanks, Craig

  2. #2
    upda lk's Avatar
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    I had a very bad experience with their paint.

  3. #3
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upda lk
    I had a very bad experience with their paint.
    How about some details?
    Piper J-5A C-90 N40877
    J-5 Project Pictures

  4. #4
    d.grimm's Avatar
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    I covered and painted Vagabond wings, ailerons, and rudder in Cub yellow.
    This is what I learned.
    Make sure the white Eko-Fill is solid with no grey showing.
    I painted the rudder and aileron one side at a time and the wings in a rotater.
    Rudder and ailerons came out perfect. Wings were just to big to keep up with the drying and flow out. Everyone else says they came out great but I painted cars for a living for six years and wasn't completely satisfied.
    I would do the wings one side at a time for the perfect finish.
    It does require more than a little of this and a little of that on the mix.
    Everything considered, I'll use it again.
    Dave

  5. #5
    cgoldy's Avatar
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    I am using it at the moment with a few dramas but I am sticking with it. I think that the problem is that when a pro uses it they are loathed to change there old ways. If an amateur uses it they usually stick by the instructions to the letter. I have employed pros and am paying the price. Make them watch the DVD.

    1) Don't deviate from the instructions
    2) Don't deviate from the instructions
    3) Don't deviate from the instructions

    And after rubbing back a bad job on my wings, I think I will take Dave's advice. One side at a time and then it can be sprayed flat to reduce the chance of runs.

    The finished job feels very flexible/rubbery. I think that is a good thing.
    Back Country O-375 wide body extended wing cub

  6. #6
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoldy
    ...I think that the problem is that when a pro uses it they are loathed to change there old ways. If an amateur uses it they usually stick by the instructions to the letter. I have employed pros and am paying the price. Make them watch the DVD.

    1) Don't deviate from the instructions
    2) Don't deviate from the instructions
    3) Don't deviate from the instructions

    .....
    so very true, so many people i work around will not bother to read, understand & follow any instructions, but then complain that something don't work....

  7. #7
    upda lk's Avatar
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    We tried to paint the parts hanging. I think you can get a nice job painting a flat surface in laboratory perfect conditions. We had all the bad things: runs spidering, orange peel. I was had to buy additional paint and now have some cracks in the finished product.

  8. #8
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    I'm using Stewarts on my project, and there is definitely a learning curve to the process. My first surfaces didn't come out as well as later ones. For perspective, I'm not an experienced painter - have done a couple airplanes in PolyTone and a car or two, but that's about it.

    I think a good quality gun that atomizes very fine is important. jgerard (a Stewart's dealer who is on this site) sent me a sample of finished fabric that showed successive coats, and the atomization on the sample was definitely finer than I'm getting from my gun. I can see how that would help considerably. I THINK (not certain) my coarser atomization is requiring me to coat a little wetter to get good flow-out, especially on the final two coats (I'm having to use 5 coats rather than 4 as mentioned in the manual).

    Also, it seems to work better mixed at the thick end of the viscosity range. I tried one batch at about 17 or 18 seconds to try to make it flow more (to avoid the trouble I was having with orange peel), but it didn't cover well or gloss up well. 21 or 22 seconds seems to work best for me.

    I've completed the fuselage and all the control surfaces and the last parts came out looking pretty darn good - wings will be coming soon.

    I'm using Juneau White as my main color, and the grey tends to show through at the tape edges, especially if I put the white on too wet. I found that the first coats have to go on REALLY light or they will not only run off the tape edges but will spider-web.

    Also, taking a lot of care to iron down the tape edges, then sand them twice with 320 grit paper between grey coats as the instructions describe really helps a lot.

    Like others have said, following the instructions exactly and watching the DVD are very helpful. It doesn't go on like automotive paint.

    All and all I'm happy with the system and would use it again. But if I were to do another whole airplane I'd probably get a better quality gun first. Water clean-up is SO nice! Once I finally figured out how to use the glue (application thickness and dry time - can't get in a rush), it works VERY well - SO much easier than PolyTack.
    Gordon

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    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)

  9. #9
    crazyivan's Avatar
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    Recommend you get in touch with Steve Pierce. He has quite a bit of experience with Stewarts. Apparently the application technique is different from spraying poly or dope, but if done properly, is as good as other systems and without the chemicals.

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    Working with the Stewart Systems paint was differenct than dope or Aerothane. I think I made every mistake possible...but now am getting predictable good results.

    1. Follow the instructions.
    2. Use the recommended gun and nozzle.
    3. Have a large capacity air compressor with dedicated lines.
    4. Do not attempt to paint a fabric component that has been washed or cleaned with water for several hours to allow complete drying.
    5. Wings -- one side at a time.
    6. I weigh the paint, catalyst and distilled water rather than measuring viscosity. I am often painting over a patch or a small stripe and my batch size doesn't allow enough paint to fill an M50 viscosity cup.
    7. Have good in-line filters.
    8. I was holding the gun too far away from the work and causing misting, wasted paint and a dry look. Now I hold it closer -- 5-7" with better results.
    9. I had an orange-peel looking problem when I was using paint I originally opened three years ago. A fresh quart of paint solved that problem.
    10. Don't use the normal tac rag, it leaves contamination.
    11. Other sources of contamination include: wet-sanding residue, wax impregnated sandpaper (use the 3M open coat recommended by Stewarts), water droplets forming from a too-small air compressor heating up the air. I will think of more...
    12. Spray thin coats as per the directions.
    13. Spray the next coat only when the previous coat is "tacky dry" -- when the back of your finger touched to the painted surface will barely transfer a little paint. I have found that spraying too early or too thick will cause dullness.
    14. Be patient, this paint seems to flow out for three days.
    15. I know I have more mistakes but I would like to blank the rest out for a couple of days.
    16. The white EkoFill as a base coat reduces the paint amount and variations in color at the edges.

    Vickie

  11. #11
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Yep, been using that system for years....and when there's problems, it's 99.9% of the time a problem that the applicator is causing. Great stuff, just not the same as all the other stuff. Like was said, old habits are tough to break, and the ones that have painted for a long time have an even tougher time breaking them! As far as durability, I've never seen anything that comes close. The only times I've seen problems, they were the results of improper mixing or application.
    JH

  12. #12
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    A couple more gotchas.

    1. Make sure you take out the little plastic gun tip filter.
    2. Use high flow air fittings with max of one quick disconnect in line. You need 90psi arriving at the gun. 23psi coming out.

  13. #13
    jgerard's Avatar
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    Hi Craig,

    I was wondering if you had any specific questions or concerns you would like answered? What type of covering/painting systems have you used in the past?

    Jason

  14. #14
    snowyriver
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    Hello,

    Thanks for the interest. It'll all be new to me. I don't have much spraying experience. I have an HVLP set-up and I used it to paint the int of my plane. For that I used PPG Concept. I thought it went well. I'll be more picky on the exterior and will practice lots before starting. Beyond that, any tips/comments are appreciated and needed. Craig

  15. #15

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    This paint is water based is it not? As a result, although I have not used this product, these sorts of processes are humidity sensitive. Alot of kayak and boat builders use water based LPU's as a clear coat and to maintain high humidity spray their concrete floor with water before they start each coat. Your milage may vary.

  16. #16

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    I simply love the product! for many reasons...

    1)...It will not kill me...or my 10 and 12 year girls while they are working with me on my project!

    2)...IT WILL NOT KILL ME!

    3) It is finicky...yes...but most of the issues are human related...not product.

    4) Support is good!

    5) I have used, with good results a wagner control spray gun...no kidding!
    *** I am building a go plane...NOT a Show Plane!...***javascript:emoticon('')
    6) I have been using the measure procedure for mixing paint.

    The only drawback I see is it does not like auto gas...

    Ron
    Kids are worth WHATEVER it takes!---Spence Rogers

  17. #17
    Crash's Avatar
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    I've been using their (Stewart's) primers. FYI.....

    The Eco Prime (one part) is OK but parts would feel tacky after handling a little bit. This was after they had dried for weeks and or months. Seems like the Eco Prime picks up moisture from your hands and softens. It also has a very rough texture like there's grit in it. I filtered it and double filtered it. Tried a lot of different gun settings. It still came out rough. Chemical glues / paint will also make it lift.

    I then switched over to their Eco Poxy (two part epoxy) primer and couldn't be happier. It dries hard, sprays out smooth with no "grit" feeling and chemicals will not lift it.

    Take care,

    Crash
    "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom". Psalm 111:10

  18. #18
    Roger Peterson's Avatar
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    "The Eco Prime (one part) is OK but parts would feel tacky after handling a little bit. This was after they had dried for weeks and or months. Seems like the Eco Prime picks up moisture from your hands and softens. It also has a very rough texture like there's grit in it. I filtered it and double filtered it. Tried a lot of different gun settings. It still came out rough. Chemical glues / paint will also make it lift.

    I then switched over to their Eco Poxy (two part epoxy) primer and couldn't be happier. It dries hard, sprays out smooth with no "grit" feeling and chemicals will not lift it. "
    Do you still prime with Eco Prime before spraying the Eco Poxy.
    Roger
    Based at O8XS. Sweeny Texas (Winter)
    Finlayson Lake, Ontario (Summer)
    I plan on living forever.......so far, so good !!!

  19. #19
    AntiCub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamarack
    8. I was holding the gun too far away from the work and causing misting, wasted paint and a dry look. Now I hold it closer -- 5-7" with better results.
    Vickie
    I made the same mistake when I took the Stewarts class.

    I've got some fiberglass fairings, and trim striping I want to paint this winter, I'll be using Stewarts for it. If only because I don't want to ventilate the heck of the place in winter, and don't want to deal with toxic fumes in my attached living space.

    Phil

  20. #20
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Peterson
    "The Eco Prime (one part) is OK but parts would feel tacky after handling a little bit. This was after they had dried for weeks and or months. Seems like the Eco Prime picks up moisture from your hands and softens. It also has a very rough texture like there's grit in it. I filtered it and double filtered it. Tried a lot of different gun settings. It still came out rough. Chemical glues / paint will also make it lift.

    I then switched over to their Eco Poxy (two part epoxy) primer and couldn't be happier. It dries hard, sprays out smooth with no "grit" feeling and chemicals will not lift it. "
    Do you still prime with Eco Prime before spraying the Eco Poxy.
    No I just use Eco Poxy primer straight up. This is not Eco Poxy paint but it's most likely the same formula.

    Scroll to the bottom of the page. It's available in Zinc Chromate green color as well.

    http://www.stewartsystems.aero/catal...b05ed413e.aspx

    Crash
    "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom". Psalm 111:10

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    Paint Peeling

    Has anyone experienced the stewart systems paint peeling off or bubbling up? I have painted my plane now twice and overall the stewart systems paint has not laid down properly. There is another plane at the same airport as me with a similar problem of the paint bubbling. I am experienced in painting cars and other equipment. I don't think this paint has lived up to being user friendly.

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    I don't understand how anyone can have a problem with Stewart System. I had zero experience painting or covering for that matter and my Cub looks beautiful.
    Follow directions......follow directions and use 11CFM compressor minimum and the best gun you can buy.

  23. #23

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    The frustrating part is that I did read the instructions and purchased a high end gun and the paint laid down beautifully and looked great right up until it was put outside in the cold winter weather and then the paint began to bubble and lift.

  24. #24
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    How soon after painting was it put outside?

  25. #25
    jgerard's Avatar
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    There are 2 common types of blistering/bubbling finish failures that happen. These failures ARE NOT paint brand specific and happen to all catalyzed type paints both solvent and waterborne paint. Before anyone starts painting anything they really owe it to themselves to do a little research on paint finish failures. A few minutes searching the web can save hours of frustration. If you know what can cause problems then you can learn how to avoid them. The 2 most common types of blistering/peeling that I have seen are related to Solvent Entrapment, and Contamination.

    Solvent entrapment does not usually show up until certain environmental conditions exist. Contamination from oils or dirt/dust can also cause lifting that won't show up until later also. When there is a problem with the product 99% of the time you find out immediately. If the problem does not arise until after the paint has cured for a few weeks or months or when there is a large environmental change then you most likely have either a preparation or application related defect. Researching paint defects you will find the the majority of all the finish problems arise from preparation or applicaiton mistakes.




    Jason

  26. #26
    Steve's Aircraft (Brian)'s Avatar
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    I ran into solvent "popping" (as Dan Stewart called it) on the last job I did...It did not show up until the following day......figured it was because I did not give it enough time to tack up between coats and the lower coats hardening up before the upper coats caused it to "pop" (bubble)

    I sanded it down, bought a Divilbiss FL3 gun and shot it again making sure that I gave it enough tack time between coats (no transfer of paint on the back of your nail, but still tacky) and it came out smooth as glass and is still looking that way......I think I finally got the finish coats figured out...

    I also keep the fresh paint inside at 65 deg+ for at least 3 days before I put it out in the cold..

    Brian

  27. #27
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeronca65ca View Post
    .... I am experienced in painting cars and other equipment. ......
    there are times when its better to not have previous experience, we seem to bring our experience with us, which might be the absolutely wrong thing to do with a different flavor of product.... we can be our worst enemies.... (car painters are usually the worst (fabric) airplane painters, not because they are bad painters, its just different goals for each coat you are shooting for.... laps, thickness, gloss......)

  28. #28
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Exactly, Mike! When I was teaching painting the students that had the most trouble (usually) were the ones with previous painting experience. (Myself included!) It's not easy to break old habits, and slip back to the "usual" at some point during the job. Like I always said about that stuff...it's not difficult, just different!
    John

  29. #29
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeronca65ca View Post
    Has anyone experienced the stewart systems paint peeling off or bubbling up? I have painted my plane now twice and overall the stewart systems paint has not laid down properly. There is another plane at the same airport as me with a similar problem of the paint bubbling. I am experienced in painting cars and other equipment. I don't think this paint has lived up to being user friendly.
    Aeronca65ca, I see you just joined SuperCub.org. Since we don't know you and there is nothing in your profile maybe a little background is in order. Also, did you contact the Stewarts?

    I recently shot my first wing with the Stewart paint and ran into air delivery problems. Didn't understand why and the result was orange peel. Upon investigation I found out I was only operating on one bank of my air compressor. Got great air delivery now just working on finishing the second wing to shot the paint.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  30. #30
    MisterL19's Avatar
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    HI Guys,

    i too have had not so good results with stewart's top coat.. i have covered my TG-2 and after most of the parts sat inside for a year or more,(like aeronca 65's parts) they developed blisters in the paint once it was rained on. the blisters developed at random it seems, some where the gust locks trapped moisture, and other places like on the side of the rudder (verticle surface). All 4 of my ailerons developed severe blistering on the top surfaces,(every square inch). they seemed to dry out, but when it rains, they puff right back up again....???? was told to re-sand and re-paint, but would really like to know the cause prior to adding more material. and yes, i started fresh, went BY THE VIDEO and book, bought the same spray gun, and sand paper by the part number that they use, $1000.00 snap on air dryer, all new hoses, in line filters, etc etc..??? also noticed that this product was sucuptable to "blushing" which also required more sanding and re-painting..

  31. #31

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    The plane that was painted was my fathers Cherokee 140. We followed the instructions and painted in a ventilated protected environment. Unfortunately we have had two go arounds with this. I believe my father did contact stewarts but they said that it had to do with his prep. It is good to see that at least 3 people has experienced similar issues with this product.

  32. #32
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I guess the question now is are you looking for a place to vent or a solution? You two are 45 miles from each other, maybe you could compare notes.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  33. #33
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterL19 View Post
    ...... also noticed that this product was sucuptable to "blushing" which also required more sanding and re-painting..
    which should have been a HUGE warning flag that you are evaporating/drying/skinning over to fast and trapping solvents..... with ANY paints or dope....

  34. #34

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    We have compared notes as our planes are both based at the same airport. I am just trying to find other people with similar problems as when we have contacted Stewarts they said the problem is us. It was nice to see the plane on http://www.shortwingpipers.org/forum...-stomach/page5 with very similar peeling.

    Has anyone experienced issues with getting dings in the paint and then it bubbling and peeling where the paint was knicked?

  35. #35
    MisterL19's Avatar
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    Hi Steve

    you will note that my post says "would really like to know the cause prior to adding more material." Aeronca 65's bird was done at his place, but we both keep our planes at the same airport., not really venting, just want real answers, not run-around excuses. there is obviously something wrong that allows rain to seep thru the top coat and cause the blisters...??

    steve noyes
    Thanks J&SCUB thanked you for this post

  36. #36
    MisterL19's Avatar
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    HI Mike,

    Stewarts told me it was because the sun was setting, and that i shouldn't have wet the floor down.

  37. #37
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    OK, that is what I wanted to know. Have been around here a long time and seen a couple of instances where people log on with multiple user names to create problems. Checking to see if this was the case here since both of you just joined and your IP addresses show you live so close together. The blistering on the Short wing from what I saw was due to the solvent (water) being entrapped under the surface of the dried and cured top coat. The parts were painted in a very dry heated room and then moved into a cold hanger. The blisters came out when it was very humid. It is my understanding that the moisture did not go from the outside in but from the inside out. The catalyzed polyurethane cured on the outside. This paint is the same as any solvent based catalyzed paint it is just being carried by water instead of solvents. Can you post some pictures off what you paint did? I have made every mistake known to man painting myself and would like to see what you have. My motivation is to learn more and not have these problems myself. Thanks.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  38. #38
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterL19 View Post
    HI Mike,

    Stewarts told me it was because the sun was setting, and that i shouldn't have wet the floor down.
    Really? We wet my floor and it was shot in the evening.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  39. #39
    MisterL19's Avatar
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    HI Steve,

    yea really.. thats what i said too.. i just cant understand how things can be for instance in the attic of the hangar for a year or more paint bubbles.jpg(getting baked) and then develope these problems. im not very computer literate, but will try to insert a pic or 2.

  40. #40
    MisterL19's Avatar
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    another picblisters.jpg

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