Help: Painting/Finishing one of Eric's Flatpacks - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-27-2013, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, I ordered one of the 4cu ft Flatpacks for the Dayton 18" sub from DIYsoundgroup, and Ill have to wait for the sub for a while as they are out of stock. In the meantime, can i get some advice on painting and finishing the enclosure? I have zero experience with this.. And i dont have any power sanders or anything like that. I guess Ill spout of a few questions, and if I miss anything, feel free to add your input. Might as well make a thread to help total newbs like me figure it all out..

I guess i will be going for a semi-gloss black smooth look.. There is alot of black in my place, so i figure i stay that route..

1. Oil or waterbased paint and primer? Im guessing oil from what i read.. Can you recommend some decent not too expensive ones?

2. what supplies do i need exactly to use what im guessing is going to be oil based stuff.. brushes, cleaners, how much paint to do one of these boxes, how much primer for one fo these boxes, etc.. the more specific, the better.

3. any tips or tricks for sanding by hand? What all sandpapers do i need, and whats the best method? When do you know you've sanded it to the right spot.

4. Can i get a painting step by step for dummies, kind of a very simple, yet detailed runthrough of it all?

5. If i put one of these flatpacks together, is there a good chance i wont need any PL premium or anything? Should i be okay with just locktite II woodglue?

6. Do i put any kind of sealant around where i will be putting in the binding posts? Im gonna get the simple little individual ones that you just pre-drill a 1/4" hole and put in with a nut on the other side.. i think they are like $6.00

7. Do i need speaker gasket tape or anytthing like that for the setup i am building here?

8. Where the hell do you find cool sub grills for 18" speakers!? I cant seem to find any but one simple kind for the 18" speakers..

9. Please remember, Ive never done any sort of painting or finishing, so if you see some more issues, questions that you assume i will run into, please offer up any advice for me.. I need all the info i can get, so as to do a good job the first time.

Thanks! biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-27-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickThatStands View Post

Alright, I ordered one of the 4cu ft Flatpacks for the Dayton 18" sub from DIYsoundgroup, and Ill have to wait for the sub for a while as they are out of stock. In the meantime, can i get some advice on painting and finishing the enclosure? I have zero experience with this.. And i dont have any power sanders or anything like that. I guess Ill spout of a few questions, and if I miss anything, feel free to add your input. Might as well make a thread to help total newbs like me figure it all out..

I guess i will be going for a semi-gloss black smooth look.. There is alot of black in my place, so i figure i stay that route..

1. Oil or waterbased paint and primer? Im guessing oil from what i read.. Can you recommend some decent not too expensive ones?

2. what supplies do i need exactly to use what im guessing is going to be oil based stuff.. brushes, cleaners, how much paint to do one of these boxes, how much primer for one fo these boxes, etc.. the more specific, the better.

3. any tips or tricks for sanding by hand? What all sandpapers do i need, and whats the best method? When do you know you've sanded it to the right spot.

4. Can i get a painting step by step for dummies, kind of a very simple, yet detailed runthrough of it all?

5. If i put one of these flatpacks together, is there a good chance i wont need any PL premium or anything? Should i be okay with just locktite II woodglue?

6. Do i put any kind of sealant around where i will be putting in the binding posts? Im gonna get the simple little individual ones that you just pre-drill a 1/4" hole and put in with a nut on the other side.. i think they are like $6.00

7. Do i need speaker gasket tape or anytthing like that for the setup i am building here?

8. Where the hell do you find cool sub grills for 18" speakers!? I cant seem to find any but one simple kind for the 18" speakers..

9. Please remember, Ive never done any sort of painting or finishing, so if you see some more issues, questions that you assume i will run into, please offer up any advice for me.. I need all the info i can get, so as to do a good job the first time.

Thanks! biggrin.gif

I am in the process of building my own DIY subwoofer using a Dayton Audio RSS315HF-4 12" subwoofer and a Dayton Audio HPSA-500 amplifier. I got the cabinet all assembled now and I can tell you, MDF is a pain to finish.

Assembling the cabinets is easy, all you need is TiteBond II glue and a lot of clamps. Screws and PL are not needed with CNC cut MDF as the boards should be exact fitting. Wood glue is super strong once dried, it is stronger than the MDF itself. The assembly order should be starting with one of the biggest pieces, then attach the two smallest pieces, the next smaller pieces and lastly the last big piece of wood.

I don't think it is recommended to use any water-base paint on MDF as it gets absorbed into the wood, causing it to swell. You are going to have to seal the MDF somehow. Some people use Bondo, others have tried a mixture (1:1) wood glue and water. I painted the bottom of my cabinet with multiple coats of black primer and the MDF sucks up the paint like a sponge. if you are painting the cabinet, aerosol paints should be all you need with a lot of sandpaper.

You are going to have to seal the wood and sand it smooth. Use a sanding block, do not sand by hand without a sanding block otherwise the surface will be uneven. Repeating the process until the MDF no longer shows through if possible. Apply the primer. Sand it down until smooth, repeat, until only the primer shows through. Then you apply the final finish. If you want a mirror finish, you will have to wet sand with finer sandpaper (600 and 800 grit) and repeat with a few thin coats of paint until the orange peel from the paint disappears. Remember, always apply thin coats otherwise you run into the danger of paint running down the sides. Spray a couple more coats and rub with 0000 steel wool. Then use auto polish and wax to buff it out.

Sealant is not necessary for the binding posts but it would not hurt, just use some silicon glue. Speaker gasket tape is not necessary as the driver should come with a gasket.

One suggestion that I have. I like to have the amplifier (if built-in) in a sealed sub-enclosure within the main enclosure. Amps are not usually airtight, the rear panel is usually made of plastic. Some people have issues with possible air leakage because of this. Also, sealed subs generatea lot of pressure internally. I am not sure if this would be good for electronics. I had a Carver Sunfire True Subwoofer Mk II and had to keep getting it repaired. The tech at Carver Audio said that all that pressure was an issue with the reliability of the amp. Good luck.

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post #3 of 27 Old 03-27-2013, 10:38 PM
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don't get water anything near mdf. it will swell up and most likely be ruined.

if you poke around a bit, there are some guides. here is one:

http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/showpost.php?p=74323&postcount=6

great intro for mdf first timers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJg1itVMnto

and someday, there won't be anything left for you to do:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Gottschild?v=DZWuFVvPVLc

:-)

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post #4 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 04:39 AM
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A glossy paint finish is a lot harder to get right than you might think. A textured Duratex finish will be much easier to get right the first time.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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i was looking at duratex and seen that it costs like $50 bucks.. kinda steep, but i guess i could splurge for it. Was hoping regular black paint could work.. To get the duratex textured, do you need a sprayer or something, because i dont have that..

LTD, i wish i had that machine from your link for sure! I appreciate all the advice, and im sure ill watch some more youtube videos to make sure i get it right. Sure hope i dont screw this up.. The goal is to save money by doing it myself.. Although it kind of adds up once you factor in everything. Its interesting how much there is to it all though, so Im glad im going this route. Im pretty sure i found my hobby outside of drinking and cooking/eating.. lol.

Thanks for the advice all of you. I watched those vids and will check out that first link as soon as i wrap up this deal at work (yeah, ive got to do something occasionally around the office. If i wrap up the deal im working on now, Im guessing Ill start planning on ordering the stuff for the matching sub biggrin.gif )

PS, i sure hope they restock the 18" daytons soon. saw it go from 4/13 to 4/18 due date.. right after i ordered the flat pack for that speaker. SMH mad.gif
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post #6 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:02 AM
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you dont need a sprayer for duratex, there is a roller version, its about the easiest "paint" ive ever used and near impossiable to mess up. 1 gallon goes a very long way as ive done 2 subs and 4 speakers with it and still have a bunch left
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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alright, ill go the duratex route.. will the leftover paint stay good for a month or more? So when i do the next sub? Exactly what is the easiest way to go through the whole process? Do you sand the MDF before you apply the first layer? How many layers did you apply? It appears you dont have to sand the duratex in between layers? How long does it take to dry each time? What is the best sandpaper to use for duratex? do i need to buy special solvents or cleaners to make the roller stay useable?

LoL, i really didnt think about the fact that i would have to be painting and stuff, when ive never really had to paint before.. I was just thinking "I need way more bass" and thats about it:cool:
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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im just now reading more on duratex. it is water based, so ill still need to get an oil based primer first? No water on MDF is the rule, right?
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:42 AM
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you dont really need to prep for duratex, you can put down a dark primer to lessen the amout you need to use to get good coverage but its not needed. I just rolled it directly on the MDF without issue. many do the same. You can sand between coats if you want to lessen the texture but its not needed. It drys pretty fast. in my basement it only took about 2 hours for it to dry between coats and 24 for full cure

I did 2-3 coats on mine - you can see pictures in my sig, no sanding between coats, i did quickly sand the entire box before i started

you dont need any solvents, you can clean the brush/roller with water. however you may want a smock as it will ruin clothing if you spill it on yourself

Acrytech has some youtube vids up about how to apply it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr7ZMGSspNs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuav56tGIE4
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:47 AM
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FYI Erich posted these graphic assy instructions for sub flat packs:
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/subwoofer-flatpacks-2/4-sub-flat-pack.html
.
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post #11 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah i saw those directions.. looks simple enough. Sibuna, nice setup man. Looks like you know what you are doing for sure. Was cool to see pics of exactly what im going to do. Did you not write anything to go with your build, or is it just a photo gallery? If you did, i would read it. Did you put any stuffing in this flatpack sub? Did you use the simple little seperate binding posts? ANything you noticed during your build that you would recommend i watch out for? Im going to go basically the exact same route as you.. Same box, same sub. Im gonna put feet on mine though. And hopefully shortly after the first, get a second, since i hear the ep4000 can handle two of these. How do you like them? Did you have to do any EQ'ing, or did they sound great without it?
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post #12 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 11:02 AM
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I'm going to be finishing one of the 4 cu ft flat packs today with some Duratex. After trying and failing miserably with spray paint several times I'm hoping that the Duratex will be easy to apply.
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post #13 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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good luck man. take pics. let us know how it goes.
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post #14 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 11:55 AM
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Here's from mtg90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtg90 View Post

I would use duratex only if I wanted the durability it offers or the texture/covering ability without needing primer.

My two 10cuft subs I just used some cheap black latex paint from Menards ($15 a gallon) and I think they turned out great. I put three coats on those two enclosures and used about 1/4 the gallon, though the finish is not nearly as durable as the duratex and I needed to use primer.

Primer: Zinsser FastPrime 2, Water Base Primer This stuff works great on MDF only needs one coat then sanding and its ready for paint.
Paint: Lucite Interior Acrylic Latex Satin Paint The guy in the paint department added three times the black pigment recommended as it is more of a dark gray normally.

I also like Rust-Oleum’s latex paint which seems more durable then the cheap latex but the largers size I have found it in is quarts. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Multi-Purpose Flat Black

Their oil based flat black is even better then the latex for durability but it is more of a mess to clean up. Rust-Oleum Professional High Performance-Flat Black Low VOC

One other I want to try is this stuff: Conco Interior Exterior Flat Acrylic Water Base Paint But my other black latex will last me a while.

I had $50 in Lowes gift cards, so went the quick/cheap route of Zinsser Bulls Eye Water Base Interior Primer had them tint it grey, then flat black Valspar Ultra , the Lowe's paint guy said its a very durable paint, from the spec sheet
Quote:
Thick, 1 coat coverage
Stain-resistant and scrubbable

I just got my 3 cu ft box primed 2 hours ago, good luck with your build & paint
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post #15 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by NickThatStands View Post

yeah i saw those directions.. looks simple enough. Sibuna, nice setup man. Looks like you know what you are doing for sure. Was cool to see pics of exactly what im going to do. Did you not write anything to go with your build, or is it just a photo gallery? If you did, i would read it. Did you put any stuffing in this flatpack sub? Did you use the simple little seperate binding posts? ANything you noticed during your build that you would recommend i watch out for? Im going to go basically the exact same route as you.. Same box, same sub. Im gonna put feet on mine though. And hopefully shortly after the first, get a second, since i hear the ep4000 can handle two of these. How do you like them? Did you have to do any EQ'ing, or did they sound great without it?

thread is here

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1452617/full-diy-ht-replacement-seos-tempests-seos-fusion-10s-dayton-18s/0_100
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post #16 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, Im panning through it now, should keep me busy the rest of the work day biggrin.gif

I just saw the pic of your computer area.. Ive got a dual monitor stand ive been trying to get rid of for a while that looks like it would work well for you. I bought one on amazon, and my heavier monitor was sagging down, so i bitched, they sent me a whole brand new one. then i realized, they can be tightened and adjusted, lol rolleyes.gif Either way, i now have two of them. hold two 24" monitors comfortably. would hold up to two 27" ones if you wanted them both aimed straight forward and not angled.

Well, let me get back to your thread.
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post #17 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 12:22 PM
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i used to have a dual stand and i hated it, its actually sitting on the floor in another room lol
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post #18 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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haha, i love mine, but to each his own. just got done with your thread. man, thats a sweet setup. again, did you put any batting or anything in the sub box? i was planning on it, becaue i gathered you are supposed to?

and how long did eric's flat pack tage to get to you?
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post #19 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 01:48 PM
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I'm using this primer

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100119614

 

and this paint on my SEOS cabinets which are MDF.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100172539

 

I used 1 can and 1/4 of primer, I put down 4 coats I think. I'm just starting to paint the cabinets black and will probably only use 1 can. This is for my 3 SEOS cabinets and two surrounds.

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post #20 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickThatStands View Post

haha, i love mine, but to each his own. just got done with your thread. man, thats a sweet setup. again, did you put any batting or anything in the sub box? i was planning on it, becaue i gathered you are supposed to?

and how long did eric's flat pack tage to get to you?

yea each one got like 3-4 lbs of polyfill
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 02:58 PM
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Since this is a thread about painting....do you guys who paint lots of subs let a coat dry at least 12 hours before flipping to paint the last side or what?
(I don't use a table leg thru the driver opening like I've seen some others do, so I can only paint 5 sides at a time)

Just curious as the 3 cu ft and 4 cu ft subs weight a lot, therefore I'm erring on cautious with them.
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 06:17 PM
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The GF wanted to help me paint the boxes. It helps with the GAF if she is involved in the painting process anyway. smile.gif

We painted a 2.25 cu ft flat pack for a TC Sounds Epic 12" subwoofer, a 4 cu ft flat pack for a UXL-18 (I don't have this sub yet), and a couple cabs for an Eton S7 kit.

We painted the bottoms first, and let them dry for ~2 hours before flipping the boxes over doing the rest. However, my subwoofer cabinets already had their feet attached, so their bottoms weren't on the ground when they were flipped over. Only the S7 cabs bottoms were on the ground, and they don't weigh nearly as much.

We've only put on one coat so far. Should we do a second coat? This Duratex stuff is super easy to apply, btw.





The picture shows some raw wood around the feet, but I ended up using a foam brush to paint around them.





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post #23 of 27 Old 03-29-2013, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice. I would go a second coat.. Cant hurt it. Yeah man, Im getting antsy. Wish this stuff would start showing up, so i can get started.
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post #24 of 27 Old 03-29-2013, 07:02 AM
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I used black 'Textured' Rustoleum spray over 4 coats of primer, which turned out nice but is a little uneven. I may at some point repaint with Duratex. For those of you with experience with Duratex, would the small pint size sample cover a 3cuft box.

These are posted elsewhere, but are more appropriate to this thread.



.
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-29-2013, 07:50 AM
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Rebel975 thx for posting your painting, based on what you did I felt ok with quick 2nd coat to keep progress moving.
Did the Duratex do a good job "hiding" any not perfect seams, or did you need to finish those up with bondo/wood filler?

Painted the 2nd coat after 2-ish hours, then flipped that recently dried painted surface onto these 2 x 4's covered with old rag to make sure new paint not stick to the raw wood, worked fine:
Plus I could hit the underside slightly on all 4 sides so no drip on the edges.


Keeping paint fresh for 12-18 hrs via food wrap, leave little air as possible


Agree whitey019, this is a good thread to catch all the little FAQ's specifically on painting, then shoe-horn it into the overall DIY FAQ sticky here.

IMO - Some of the other non-paint Q's should be made into a separate thread as appropriate - and then captured in the DIY FAQ.
I've captured what has helped me in page 3 of the DIY sticky, New to DIY? FAQ's in here, and keep adding to that post as I come across good "stuff" and info.

(TMI if too many speaker subject's covered in 1 thread in detail, since there can be so many details/different methods for each step in speaker building)
In the spirit of that I've edited my earlier post showing the assy graphics to show them small, click-able they are big to view.
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post #26 of 27 Old 03-29-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah i try to get as much knowledge about each step as i can, so i like threads where everyone asks questions about a topic, like painting/finishing. its very helpful IMO. It helped me decide to roll with duratex, and im confident it will go well, thanks to other folks on here.
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post #27 of 27 Old 03-29-2013, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Rebel975 thx for posting your painting, based on what you did I felt ok with quick 2nd coat to keep progress moving.
Did the Duratex do a good job "hiding" any not perfect seams, or did you need to finish those up with bondo/wood filler?.



I did a pretty good job making sure my seams were filled in with wood glue/wood filler before starting. That said, 2 coats seems to be the magic number. After one coat you could still see the edges a bit- after 2 coats it's pretty darn smooth. smile.gif
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