2004 Cessna T206
Paul sent us pictures of his plane and also uploaded them to our COO forum. His T206 was prepped and sealed with a ceramic coating. We asked him how he accomplished this and if he could give advice to people who might consider it. Quotes are from Paul.
“The plane was prepped using the following steps:
- Total detailed wash of the exterior, using several new microfiber towels for each section cleaned.
- Sprayed marine cleaner, full strength, and Simple Green all-purpose cleaner (full strength) as needed for tough spots, grease/oil stains on lower fuselage, etc.
- All stains or blemished areas were removed with 3M full-cut compound.
- Second total detailed wash of the exterior.
- Hand dry with soft new clean towels.
- Applied ceramic coating with new foam applicators for each area (oscillating 6-inch polisher), followed by several new microfiber polish covers to remove and polish each area.
- Repeated a total second ceramic coating, followed by always using new foam pads and polishing covers.
“The total prep time was five to six hours, however, I had previously detailed the entire aircraft, after purchasing.”
Howey said anyone considering this endeavor should use the following tips. “PREP… PREP… PREP.”
- “The current paint condition of the plane is critical to assess, to determine the best direction and proper steps to procure the best results. If the paint finish is not in good to great condition, extra prep time will be needed. You may want to hire that out. If you have good to great paint finish, definitely take this on yourself.
- How much time do you want to spend on this project? To get this kind of outcome will take time and patience to properly detail.
- The repeated wash-and-cleans after the details are absolutely critical. Do not scrimp … buy the largest package of new microfiber towels. I purchased them from Costco.
- Break up the different detail areas over time. Try to take your time unless you are in a hurry to beat the weather if you’re not in a heated hangar.
- Apply the ceramic coating yourself. This is the super-easy, gratifying step.
- Proper cleaning and detail prep is the only demanding work. If you hire out that work, I would be concerned about them maintaining a threshold of quality. The prep work is 90% of your results. Consider turning it into a fun, enjoyable project that might take a week.”
What does “detail” really mean, we asked him: “Cleaning the surfaces of the entire exterior of the plane with toothbrushes, new cleaning towels, microfiber towels, and constantly changing the towels so you do not contaminate and damage the new area being cleaned & detailed.”
Howey also suggested you get three quotes for the ceramic coating from reputable detail shops that maintain the same threshold quality in your written estimates.