Ventus 2c: painting the canopy

Canopies are nicest with a white band around them. Painting this is always a bit tricky. Some of my mates paint it by hand. I like to spray paint it. This is a bit more work, but in my view gives a slightly better result. I first sand the edge of the canopy that I intend to paint. Then comes the most important part: covering the bits that should not get paint on them. I first apply good wax/painters masking tape around the edge. This must be good quality tape – cheaper tapes (including the commonly available TESA) often result in the paint getting under (or through) the tape and ruining the canopy. Make sure this is well pressed onto the canopy. Then comes the job of covering all the rest. One small hole anywhere in the covering and the canopy is ruined – spray painting will always find this hole. So don’t save on tape and make sure all is carefully covered. After that I first apply a few coats of primer to make sure that any remaining small gaps on the edge are filled. Allow this to harden out and, if necessary, slightly sand to remove any uneven parts. I then use a standard car paint to spray paint the edge. Important is not to wait too long with removing the tape – I usually wait until the paint is ok to touch but hasn’t fully hardened out. Waiting longer may result in chipped edges (one of the reasons I paint the canopy myself at home, and not with the rest of the plane in the paintshop).