All aircraft rolling off the assembly lines are referred to as ‘‘green’’, due to the colour of the anti-corrosion paint on the fuselage. For an airline livery to be applied, the plane has to spend time in an aircraft paint hangar, which can take an average of six days for a short-haul aircraft, like an A320 or a Boeing 737, and thirteen days for a wide-body such as an A380 or a Boeing 747.
Even though the thickness of a coat of paint on the fuselage is extremely thin – between 0.006 and 0.014 of an inch (0.15 and 0.35 mm) thick - it still requires a lot of paint to cover an airliner: up to 35 US gallons (130 litres) to cover the 9,700 ft2 (900 m2) area of a short-haul aircraft, as against 64 US gallons (240 litres) for the 21,500 ft2 (2,000 m2) of a long-haul A330 or a B777, and up to 132 US gallons (500 litres) to cover the 43,000 ft2 (4,000 m2) of a very large aircraft such as the A380.
New planes are however, not the only ones painted. A short-haul aircraft should be repainted every five years, and a long-haul every seven years.