To raise your standing around the airport, theres nothing quite like a shiny gray hangar floor, just like where the jets live. A year ago, we set out to have one of those for our own hangar, so we tested three types of epoxy floor paint. To reprise, we painted our not-so-pristine floor with three types of paints; two were standard two-part epoxies and one was a single-part product billed as a concrete sealer and dye.
A year later, the runaway best performer was the two-part epoxy from Griots Garage. Although miserable to apply due to its thick, honey-like consistency, this paint looks as shiny and perfect as the day it was applied, with no signs of scuffing or chipping. The single-part sealer from Scott Paint did almost as well, but it doesnt resist dirt and oil staining as well as the Griots product did.
The disappointing paint came from Rust-Oleum. Its a two-part epoxy sold by Home Depot outlets for garage floor use. Six months into the test period, the Rust-Oleum epoxy was already lifting and chipping in spots. The material doesnt seem to adhere as well as did the Griots product and didnt cover as well during application.
Considering how much work is involved, we cant recommend buying a cheap paint. At $56.95 a gallon, the Griots product is the most expensive of the three, when total coverage is considered. Still, it should last a lifetime so its worth the cost, in our view. (www.griotsgarage.com.) Local paint outlets also sell competitive products specifically designed for hangar and industrial floors.
Wing Wax: A Year Later
In the September 2003 issue, we reported on our polish and wax shootout using the wing of a well-kept 1960 Bonanza as a test surface. Thirteen products were applied in one-foot intervals along the right wing. The challenge was to find a product that was not only easy to apply, but behaved as a polish-removed dead paint-and protected the surface. Shine was a bonus and we got it all with a product called Super Gloss Ultimate.
The surface was exposed to late summer heat and sun, snow, frost, dust, dirt and bug-blots. A year after we applied the polishes and waxes, the test wing definitely looked better than the untreated wing. Wash water beaded on the test surface and a towel skidded across it. Dust, dirt and dried bugs were much easier to remove from the polished and waxed wing than they were from the untreated wing.
Did one wax perform better than another over time? Not that we could tell.Generally. the wing was uniformly brilliant, smooth and easy to clean.Conclusion: just waxing the airplane once a year offers clear benefits. The brand of wax used appears more critical in application ease than in long-term durability of the sheen. Were sticking with Super Gloss Ultimate as our top choice, for application ease and initial shine. Aircraft Spruce (www.aircraftspruce.com) sells it for $14.85.