Maintenance Matters

May 2015 Issue

Vinyl Graphics Projects: Better For Composites

Do-it-yourself vinyl graphics are an alternative to custom paint work, but only if the base paint is in top condition. Metal airframes pose a challenge.

When proposals for a custom paint job on my second-generation Cirrus came in as high as $25,000—with up to 10 weeks of down time—I considered stepping up to a newer model. But my investment in numerous upgrades and my comfort with the aircraft in a variety of missions and weather convinced me to keep my ham and stop looking for rye bread.

Still, logic dictated that it was time to personalize and customize the paint work. Why? Because it didn’t need it. N233WZ has always been pampered inside and out and is stored in a heated hangar. However, it was born in a time where Cirrus’ ho-hum graphics make it look like every other G2 on the ramp.

I looked at aftermarket graphics, and while I wanted an aggressive design with custom colors, I never found what I was conceptualizing. That is until I saw some cutting-edge graphics and paint work on the Generation 5 Cirrus models. This clearly seemed like a radical change in appearances from the earlier models. Once I got pointed in the right direction, I decided to pull the trigger on an owner-assisted vinyl graphics project. Here is a firsthand account.

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