How to Paint My RC Airplane

Updated November 21, 2016

Building a remote control, or RC, aeroplane can be a lot of fun, especially when building the plane from scratch. One aspect of building your own plane is being able to choose what colours to paint it. Most RC aeroplane kits will come with suggested colours from the manufacturer, but the final say is up to you. Painting your RC plane is not that difficult, so long as you remember to use the right paint and to give the parts enough time to dry.

Sand the edges of the plane. Use a 220-grit sandpaper to round off all the burrs and bumps from the plane parts. You must sand the parts before you paint or else you will sand the paint off.

Find the right kind of paint. Use a paint that is compatible with your type of model plane. Some types of paints that are fine for wooden models will eat through and melt foam models. Check the instructions that came with your model for suggestions. Make sure to check the label of any paint you buy in case you are not sure.

Decide if you will use store-bought spray paint or use an airbrush. It is not recommended to use a regular brush to apply paint to an RC plane, as it easy to use too much paint and cause the plane to become too heavy.

Place the aeroplane's parts on some newspaper on a flat space in a well-ventilated area. It is mush easier to paint the aeroplane before you assemble it. Painting outside is best, or inside a garage with the door open.

Hold the paint can or airbrush 12 inches away from the part you will paint. Begin moving the paint can back and forth across the part before you squeeze the trigger. This will ensure you do not apply too much paint to one area. Squeeze the trigger and wave the paint can over the part several times until it is completely covered.

Allow the paint to dry for several hours. Check the parts to see if they need another coat of paint. Apply more paint as needed and allow to dry overnight.

Flip the parts over and paint the other sides just as you did earlier. Allow to dry and apply more coats of paint as needed. Do not attempt to assemble the plane until the last coat has dried overnight. This will ensure the paint does not smear.


Some wooden aeroplane models may require you to apply a coat of sealant or primer before you paint the parts. Sealant and primer are both applied to plane in exactly the same manner as the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • RC aeroplane
  • Sandpaper, 220 grit
  • Newspapers
  • Paint
  • Sealant
  • Primer
  • Airbrush
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