View Full Version : Stewart Systems

09-20-2011, 09:35 PM
Well I'm stitching up my wing and hopefully will be ready to paint it in the next week or two. I'm using the Stewarts system and have been reading the comments on the supercub.org site and there is a lot of unfavorable comments about the top-coat. I have one wing primed with the eco-fill and it has been sitting since last summer. I'm just wondering if anyone has tried rolling the top-coat? Is spraying it as finicky as some people have claimed? I want the finish to look nice, but more important to me is durability. Not looking for a show finish, but don't want the paint peeling off down the road either.


09-20-2011, 10:10 PM
I covered my Tri-pacer and used the Stewart System . Yes, when spraying the top coat I found it challenging. I Did my aircraft about 5 years ago. It was at that time Aircraft Refinishing System. I believe that the Stewarts have improved it alot even since taking on the product. I will be spraying my brothers piper cub this coming spring. I know he will be hoping for the very best as well. The finish has lasted very well on my Tri Pacer. Still has a nice gloss . One thing I have issues with is Sanding and or buffing the finish . It just does not do well if you would like to do that.
As far as rolling the finish I would not recommend that . I just do no think it would not look good. The finish top coat is not cheap and you want it to turn out as good as it can. In my estimation you have one chance at it when putting the paint on.

09-20-2011, 11:35 PM
I have also found the Top Coat challenging. But, it does look very good when done correctly. There are other options if you like other faint finishes. You can spray the Stewart's white primer finish and then spray a variety of different paint finishes over it. I have used Poly-Tone as well as other finishes over the Stewart primer and it also came out well.

09-20-2011, 11:37 PM

Just completed the Clipper wings using the Stewart System. It was a first time project for me and I do not have any previous experience with spraying etc.. I did not have any problems using the system and am happy with the final product. It is worth going to Stewarts Hangar to get some hands on experience before starting if it's possible. If not, I can't say enough how important it is to follow Stewarts instructions (and recommendations) closely in order to obtain the proper results.

For example, if they recommend a Devillebiss Finishline 3 sprayer, then use a Devillbiss Finishline 3 sprayer at the recommended settings. You won't regret it. Also make sure that you have a compressor that can deliver the CFM required. And spend the money to buy the recommended 5/16's inner diameter air chuck fittings ($53 for me). I sprayed my first coat of primer with regular 1/4" fittings and struggled with it. Then invested in the 5/16" and it made all the difference in the world. My guess is that some of the people that have had problems with the product may not be following all of the Stewarts recommendations. It doesn't cost anymore to do it right. And if you follow the directions closely while applying tapes then any major sanding is not necessary, only the expected finish sanding to make everything smooth.

As far as the topcoat goes, it was probably the easiest part of the process for me. Maybe because I was getting the hang of running the sprayer? Can't stress enough, follow the directions.

Also, the Stewarts (Doug and Dan) as well as Jason Gerard were available anytime to answer questions and make sure I was doing it right (they're pretty knowledgable shortwingers too!). Dan even returned a call from New York while on vacation!! Can't beat service like that!

Obviously I'm a fan (and no I'm not getting paid, although maybe I should look into that :). Super easy system to use and a nice finish product.

Good luck!


09-20-2011, 11:53 PM
I 2nd 108pc's recommendation of using the equipment and line fittings that the Stewart's recommend to use.... It has made all the difference for me when it comes to the top coat.....

But, as far as rolling it goes, we have done that with good success also. IMO it is best rolled when doing a small amount, a stripe line for instance, rather than a large area....


09-21-2011, 06:36 AM
Thanks guys. When I sprayed the eco-fill on the one wing last year I used a hvlp detail gun and it came out pretty good, but I did have some issues with the spray gun. I will try to find the devillbliss gun and the 5/16 air fittings. I want the paint job to look good, but more importantly to me is that it stays on and no bubbling of the paint down the road. Thanks for all the help! I'll post some pic's of the wings after I finish them.


Jason Gerard
09-22-2011, 02:35 PM
A few quick notes about Stewart Systems updates.

If you don't already know about the tack rags designed for waterborne paints you should find them and use them. Also I like to wipe the surface down with Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any surface film or residue prior to painting. Isopropyl Alcohol also helps to reduce the static electricity on the part which helps you get a cleaner paint job.

Also I recently learned that the industry standard type of paint filter for waterborne paints is the Extra fine 125 micron type filters. We have them is stock along with the tack rags for waterborne paints if you can not find them at the local auto body paint supply store.

We have updated our website and now have a forum section that is slowly getting populated with new topics. You can subscribe to an electronic news letter so you can get automatic email alerts to updated information. Also there is more tech information in the support section. I shot some new videos to put on youtube but didn't like how they turned out (used and iphone and held it the wrong way) I'll be making new video clips with information on surface prep, mixing paint, and spraying paint.


09-22-2011, 09:50 PM
Sounds like some good stuff happening up there Jason! Can't wait to see the new videos! Hope to get up your way one of these days with the Clipper, or feel free to stop in if your down this way!


Frank Green
09-23-2011, 09:06 AM
A friend of mine just covered a Rans S7 (Cub clone) using Stewarts. He did every thing wrong. He did it in a small damp dark basement with plastic curtains hanging all over, bad lighting, you name it it was bad. The biggest problem I saw was that he shot the wings verticle. The only way he kept it from running was to shoot it so dry it looks like sandpaper. When painting make gravity your friend, not your enemy. Paint wet enough for it to flow out to make it smooth, but level enough so it won't run. Paint in a proper place with the right equipment and any system can come out well. Or you can make any system can come out lousy also. I used Polyfiber on my Tri and quickly found out I needed to build a proper booth with lighting, ventilation and a winch hooked to the celling to rotate the fuselage on a roticery while painting. Like I said gravity can be your friend or your enemy, it's up to you. But don't judge a system by some one else's mistakes.

09-23-2011, 05:35 PM
I'm going to follow the manual to the letter and also use Jason's technique of wiping the wing with alcohol before I shoot it with top-coat. I'm committed now because I already purchased the paint and can't afford to buy more paint so this has to come out good. Going to shoot the wings horizontal on a table. My primer job came out great on the one wing, so I hope the finish coats fare as well.


09-23-2011, 08:10 PM
"Going to shoot the wings horizontal on a table. My primer job came out great on the one wing, so I hope the finish coats fare as well."

I made a set of rotating wing stands out of 2X4's that made the job super easy from beginning to end (glue to paint). It allowed me to flip (rotate) the wing to any angle. Super easy and cheap. It made the painting process pretty seamless too because you can lay the wing horizontal to get the edges and then quickly turn it on edge to spray the body of the wing. It's nice to do cross coats that way without having to lean over the wing. I think I have some pictures somewhere to post if you're interested. Stewards uses a set of metal ones and I've seen some pics of other nice ones posted on the forum here!


09-25-2011, 07:27 AM
I used the Stewart system on my Pacer about 2 years ago. I have painted many aircraft over the years with Dupont and Ranthane mostly. The first thing you need to do using Stewarts System is forget anything you know about painting with conventional paint. I really liked the procees from start to finish. The glue is a dream to work with as well as the primer filler. The topcoat can be challenging. However, if you do it exactly like they tell you, it will go fine. You have to be patient while painting (especially if you are used to other products). The biggest problem is getting too much paint on during the 4 coats. If this happens the paint will dull after a few hours. I found painting the metal parts to be difficult. I used Insignia White and it acted like it didn't have enough pigment in it. I wound up painting the metal with just 3 coats twice and it turned out fine. (as per stewarts suggestion. The red and gray were easy to use. I painted the entire plane and didn't get one run. If you do it as instucted, it will be a beautiful finish. The stewarts are fine people to work with and will give you all the support you need!!! When I did my wings, They had changed the formula and accidently gave me incorrect instructions. (too long of a story to tell here). I wound up painting both wings again. They supported me 100% All in all, it is a good process, just different.


Mainland Cub
09-28-2011, 04:30 AM
I 2nd 108pc's recommendation of using the equipment and line fittings that the Stewart's recommend to use.... It has made all the difference for me when it comes to the top coat.....

But, as far as rolling it goes, we have done that with good success also. IMO it is best rolled when doing a small amount, a stripe line for instance, rather than a large area....


Hi Brian,

I've heard about rolling on the ekopoly. Stewarts have a sheet about it, but have never done it themselves, so I'm skeptical. Can you tell us more about how to do it and how good it comes out?

I rolled on some of the metal primer this afternoon and it pretty much looks like what you'd do on the inside walls of your house. It doesn't matter too much as fabric will be going over it, but I faired better with brush.

I have a Pitts in filler coat and have thought about rolling it...... designing a scheme with lots of small areas on it so I'm not trying to roll large areas. Do ya think that is feasible?