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patco81 t1_j5w46md wrote

Typical paint job on a 747 weighs about 2,000 pounds, or so I have been told. So, if paints weighs 8 pounds to the gallon, that would work out to 250 gallons, which is not hard to believe.

Please feel free to correct me with facts.

But remember, Earl Scheib would have painted it for $99.00!


mlw72z t1_j5x59hi wrote

Fun fact: early 747s added over 3,000 pounds of depleted uranium as counterweight on the rear control surfaces.


SamGropler t1_j5xctlq wrote

Paint has a density of about 1.3g/cm³.


patco81 t1_j5xdh7n wrote

Hold on while I grab my slide rule and convert that.


SamGropler t1_j5xdoco wrote

Well, if you're working on a pint of water weighing a pound, a pint of paint weighs 1.3 pounds. This isn't exactly rocket surgery.


be4u4get t1_j5xlf65 wrote

How are we supposed to paint a plane with water. Your’e not pulling a fast one on me


TheUmgawa t1_j5xm90c wrote

Ain’t you ever heard of watercolors? I got my Prang set around here somewhere, I’ll show ya.


be4u4get t1_j5xmck2 wrote

Shoot, y’all convinced me. I’ll take 200 gallons of water to paint my plane


patco81 t1_j5xehon wrote

I'm not gonna let that seven years i spent in high school go to waste.


notquiteaffable t1_j5ze4tb wrote

Yes it’s not rocket surgery but I’m still curious. And curiosity killed the cat and ate it too.


patco81 t1_j60mqxk wrote

But if I work on a pint of beer BEFORE I paint the plane, how much will it weigh then?


Adam-West t1_j5y8gsh wrote

Would it have been lead paint in WW2? Im no paintologist but I’d assume that that’s even heavier?


Factotumm t1_j5xqxuz wrote

Legendary Alaskan bush pilot Don Sheldon ordered all his planes unpainted for the same reason. He needed every pound of lift capacity he could get for those high altitude glacier landings and the weight of the paint was substantial (forget the exact figure).


flaminate_strutching t1_j5yh6g4 wrote

I learned from QI that one of the reasons most planes are light in color is that the extra pigment in the paint to make them dark would be a significant amount of weight.


Blueshirt38 t1_j5zmy8c wrote

The Allowable Cabin Load on a 747-400F is 249,100 lb, and the max gross takeoff weight of 836,000 lb, whereas the plane weighs about 350,000 lb empty. 2,000lb is essentially a negligible load when it is spread almost completely evenly across the entire aircraft.

It would be like being worried about the weight of having leather seats as opposed to fabric seats in your car.


VeryJoyfulHeart59 t1_j6101r3 wrote

There's a whole bit in the article about how much the paint weighed.

P.S. I feel old... when I was growing up, Earl Scheib did it for $39.95.


patco81 t1_j610k7x wrote

Me too, but remember:

We is legends.


VeryJoyfulHeart59 t1_j6125s2 wrote

I wish I felt more that way.

Much of the time I feel like the world believes I'm irrelevant.


patco81 t1_j613ezh wrote

The world can believe what the world wants to believe.

WE know the truth.


Zerstoror t1_j5w9smn wrote

Dude....paint weights 8 lbs to the gallon wet. You do know that once it dries most of the carrying agent, water in the case of latex paint, is no longer part of the weight? Like yea on a full size plane it will add up. But 2000 lbs, please now.


PeachSnappleOhYeah t1_j5wk1bn wrote

wow. they... don't use latex wall paint on airplanes.

and... the paint they actually do use, is enamels and epoxies... which are heavier per gallon.

this says it can require up to 1100kg of paint (i'll let you convert it)


hansn t1_j5wuw5j wrote

> wow. they... don't use latex wall paint on airplanes.

Too good for Spirit Airlines are you?


TheUmgawa t1_j5xmcjk wrote

Pretty sure they’re huffing the paint on Spirit.


Eschotaeus t1_j5x51wq wrote

That’s 2,425 freedom units. No wonder the other guy disappeared lol.


Capepoints t1_j5wnjf8 wrote

Did a little searching, some conflicting answers but the standard appears to be 1200lbs/500ish Kilos once dry on a fully painted plane (747).

“Paint adds between 600-1,200 lbs (273-544 kg) of weight to an aircraft”



TheUmgawa t1_j5xmkap wrote

Painting technology has changed substantially in just the past forty years, let alone the past eighty. The thickness of your car’s entire paint job is thinner than a single coat of paint from the 1970s.