A big day today as paint is finally being applied to the velomobile project after many months of construction. The paint that I decided to use is a polyurethane paint for boats called Brightside paint. I used this paint on my three section kayak and had great success with it. It is brushed on and when it is dry it looks like it has been sprayed on. It's that good. Also it has a nice durable glossy finish that should hold up to years of use.
This is a computer image that I put together of a first draft of what the paint scheme I thought should look like. You'll see that some of this design is good and not so good in the real world. Follow along to see how the project is progressing.
The first step that I took yesterday was to layout the painters tape on to the body for the paint scheme that would be to my liking. One concern was the front signal light housings. The white paint that I had planned for the body needed to be completely in line around these housing to make painting easier. So I was happy that things worked out with what you see here. As you can see the stripe on the side of the body has gotten a bit narrower at this point compared to my computer image.
Next came the layout for a circular decal that will be placed on both sides of the body which reads "Radius T-T Human Powered Vehicle". The original decals that I had made ended up being way to large to look right on the velomobile. So luckily smaller once were also made up that should fit the bill. On the side of the body you can see two black curved lines in the middle of what will be the white stripe on the body that goes from front to rear and over top of the rear cowl. This is where the decal will be placed and at this time will be covered up with paper. This section of the body will be painted later when the rest of the body is painted a bright red. This is also a change from the original idea as getting the decal positioned on to the white stripe looked to be to much in the middle of the cockpit so I moved to farther to the rear of the body. Also the curved stripe was replaced with an angled strip at the rear simply because it was easier to get it to lay out correctly. The curve was pain to get smooth and uniform so the idea was scrapped.
In these two photos the body has now been completely covered with painters tape and paper where I do do not want paint to be applied at this time. Kind of looks like a badly wrapped Christmas present at this point.
I applied the first coat of white paint this morning. This paint is rolled on first and then a brush is swiped across the paint to remove bubbles. This is very quick and easy to do and gives the surface a very nice smooth glossy finish.
Once the first coat of paint has dried for at least 12 hours it will be sanded using 320 grit sandpaper to prep it for the second coat. This will help clean up of any imperfections with the first coat of paint and smooth it out for the second coat.
Already after the first coat of paint you can see how smooth and shiny the surface looks. All of my sanding on the body pays off in a big way when I can get a look this good already at this point.
Once I get the second coat applied and cured I will decide at that point if a possible third coat needs to also be applied. Just something that I will have to look at when I get that far along. When I am happy with the white paint stripe I will strip off all of the tape and paper and then cover up the stripe and begin painting the rest of the body. So far I am happy with what I see so it is a good sign that the painting process will turn out well. Hopefully in another few days I'll have more to show you. Enjoy the photos.