Canopy tinting

Canopy dying: There are several different methods in dying canopies. The first is using RIT dye to tint your canopy to the shade and tone that you want. First, there are two types of material which model airplane canopies of; 1) butyrate and 2) PEG. The PEG will not dye and will need to use one of the other methods listed below to tint.

1. Get a package of RIT liquid dye the color you want to your canopy to be. You can use powder dye but must be careful that it gets dissolved and mixed completely or you may get spots on the canopy. If you are wanting a black tint, use smoke or dark gray, the pure black actually has a little red tint to it.

2. Get a bucket or container big enough to fit the entire canopy in. Some people use their kitchen sink as long as it is stainless steel. You still need to be cautious of any spills, they donít come out.

3. Fill your container with hot water, as hot as your tap will produce. Using stove heated water may distort the canopy.

4. Pour in the dye solution and stir till complete mixed.

5. Put the canopy in making sure it is completely submerged.

6. Using a wooden or plastic spoon, lift the canopy out after about 5 minutes to check the shade. If you want it darker, put it back in and check on it every few minutes till it is just a little darker than you want. (remember, once the water is cool, the dye will no longer work)

7. Once it is just a little darker than you want, pull it out and rinse it off with cool water.

8. Let it dry and you are ready to install.

If the RIT dye does not work to your satisfaction or you have a PEG canopy, you can get some spray tint or paint. Testers and Pactra both make several different colors of spray tint in the small hobby sized cans. They are available at hobby shops and places like Meijers or Walmart. Three items are a must when spraying this tinting or transparent paint (howís that for an oxy moron?)

1. Inside surface must be clean and streak free;

2. You should mask around the edge of canopy and spray paint to the inside;

3. You must spray this stuff on in several very light coats! (itíll run like a waterfall if you spray too heavy)

If you are not real interested in a tinted canopy but just want it painted, you can paint the inside of the canopy with most any enamel. Krylon works well.