Paint, Stain, Enamel, Acrylic, Venner O my. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 05-22-2014, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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****Disclaimer.. Im certainly NO wood or paint expert.*****
What other materials have you used to complete your DIY works of art? Please post your pictures as well. I think we have all used wood stains and paint to finish our speakers and subs. I have seen different types of veneers used as well from stick on to glue on.
I recently painted my sub with Home Depots "Restore" deck paint. I was thinking of having an outdoor theater this summer so everyone could enjoy a movie outside. I figured it would protect my sub very well. I can tell you the paint is like cement going on and splatters everywhere. Better paint outside in crappy clothes. It leaves a nicer finish than I was expecting.

Has anyone used car paint or an enamel paint to finish your speakers? What are really good paint "type" choices. Do you have to completely bondo your speakers before paint? Do you apply several coats and wax your speakers for a nice shine, etc.
I have seen Wilson speakers (very nice finish) along with other brands that use other methods rather than veneer. I know most speakers and subs are black to disappear with their surroundings but im curious of those who decide to stand out like a piece of art.

Or is veneer the better choice when you don't want to stain or use black paint? Anyone.... Let's have some fun with this. smile.gif

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post #2 of 73 Old 05-22-2014, 07:32 PM
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I tend to shy away from stains. Most of the wood I use doesn't accept stain well. Particularly Maple. I recently used a toner in my finish. That went good and bad. It was a learning experience and next time I think it'll go much better.

My favorite finish right now is ML Campbell magna max lacquer. The results are incredibly deep, clear, durable, and slick. Clean up is a bit of work though. And the smell. Requires good ventilation and a good mask. Do NOT spray this indoors unless you're set up for it.

If wanting a water base I use minwax polyurethane. I used this after seeing passing interest use it a couple years ago, and I have used it on many projects. The results with that are quite good. But it raises grain.

The wipe on poly in a HVLP gun makes for a very easy finish that is fool proof. But leaves an obvious yellow tint. So I will only use it when I want an old look. Probably never on a speaker. But the ease makes it tempting. Dead simple.

Deft lacquer in a can makes for a simple grab off the shelf and apply a finish in 2 minutes. But its expensive and the results were mediocre. For me at least.

Tung and linseed oil are excellent fool proof finishes. They look very natural and real. They really bring out the look / figure. But offer no protection.

I don't have much paint experience. I've been working with latex on my current project. I've had some success after a lot of experimenting.
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post #3 of 73 Old 05-22-2014, 08:51 PM
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If you want the natural look or slight color change then watco oil mixed 50/50 with urethane is great. All the ease of oil with protection and a bit of gloss. If you don't have a spray gun its the way to go.
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post #4 of 73 Old 05-22-2014, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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If I were painting a subwoofer made out of MDF. Is it best to paint with a latex water based paint (just a standard home depot or lowes brand) Or Oil Based paint

Should I choose a Satin, Semi Gloss or Gloss

How many coats do I need to apply for the "paino finish" look? Not necessarily "Black" Let's assume I choose Green or Yellow, Or Red.

Do I top it off with Polyurethane or something else.

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post #5 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 08:06 AM
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Like I said before, I don't have much experience with paint. But probably would want to try enamel for what you're thinking. The gloss is your choice and what you're trying to achieve. Piano (mirror) finish is extremely difficult. I would avoid this if possible. I'd probably use piano black laminate veneer instead if going for that look. A true piano black mirror finish is costly, difficult, and risky.
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post #6 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 08:47 AM
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Ive used stain on lots of wood/veneer. normally I use the Oil based Minwax stains but have used their gel stains as well. never really had an issue with them besides the smell and they make a mess. especially gel stains.

I always apply with a brush as I don't own a sprayer but ive always gotten good results from speakers to furniture
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post #7 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 09:32 AM
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I'm trying something different with my current build as I usually struggle with getting a good finish with either paint or stain / varnish: vinyl film! I'm a car guy, so I've been aware of the 'car-wrapping' phenomena for a while and decided to look into those materials for this build. Turns out there is a HUGE variety of both colors in all sorts of grades (matte, metallic, high gloss, etc.), and also 'faux' finishes (carbon-fiber, wood, brushed metal, etc.). I ordered some samples to see what they looked like in-person ($0.99 ea. for 3"X5" pieces via Amazon, or direct from several suppliers) and was encouraged. It sells for ~$15-$19 linear foot for a 60" wide roll...

My main concern is how to handle the corners as I'm concerned about wrinkling. My cabinets are MDF with two coats of sanding sealer. Using the sample pieces to experiment they went on easily. I'll post a complete build thread when I'm done...

My design will have a top surface (Corian or granite) and is down-firing, so I can accommodate a seam in the back. I realize most speakers probably aren't a good fit for this material, but maybe your project will work?

You can find more info about the materials from these guys: http://www.vinylgiant.com/, or http://www.metrorestyling.com/ (I'm using these guys)

Worst-case scenario I can peel it off and paint things if I'm not happy!

Cheers,

Jon
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post #8 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlhaudio View Post

If I were painting a subwoofer made out of MDF. Is it best to paint with a latex water based paint (just a standard home depot or lowes brand) Or Oil Based paint

Should I choose a Satin, Semi Gloss or Gloss

How many coats do I need to apply for the "paino finish" look? Not necessarily "Black" Let's assume I choose Green or Yellow, Or Red.

Do I top it off with Polyurethane or something else.

For MDF I don't think you want a water based latex, even if you were to prime it first. The problem is it will always remain tacky. Meaning if you set something on the surface it will stick. I made that mistake recently. I went back over it with a water based acrylic enamel mix and it is better but still a bit sticky.

Miller has an Acrynamel and their goal with that product is to replicate an oil based product with water. It takes a very long time to fully cure and the more pigment a color has the long it's going to take. That can be the case with latex too.

I once had a buddy paint a mdf fireplace mantle we got at home depot. He is in the auto body business and used auto paint and clear coat. If you want a piano black finish maybe consider a thin layer of bondo or resin applied and sanded properly then coat it with a black base and top it with a clear. Car audio guys do this all the time in their cars with custom fiberglassed enclosures. That would be a great place to read up about the topic. As would the painters forum.

Painting really is an art that even if explained to you perfectly can still be hard to execute.

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post #9 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 09:47 AM
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I will be watching, please post up your results with the vinyl wrap. I have read that rounded corners like that may need some kind of adhesive primer and use of heat gun?

In your searches, have you found any sources for a decent Black wood grain wrap? That's what I am looking for finishing my upcoming project.
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post #10 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 10:09 AM
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I have used veneers that I have stained... I also tried lacquers and enamel...

With veneers, you must use wood conditioners before staining. Wood varies in density. Denser sections will not absorb stains to well. This ends up with blotchy finishes. preconditioning eliminates that.

lacquers have the highest gloss. It dries rather quickly but takes forever to cure. I painted a box with lacquer and let it dry for a week. It felt perfectly dry but when I sanded it, the paint was coming off in small chunks. The underlying lacquer did not cure enough. Apparently it can take a long time to cure.

I have the best results with enamel. It dries a little slower than lacquers but cures faster. I can sand it the next day with no issues.

If you are finishing MDF and what to paint it with lacquers or enamels, you have to seal it with Zinnser BIN Shellac based primer. You apply it with a roller and it sands down real smooth. In fact, if you like a white sub, you are done. It is that smooth. If you use other enamel primers the MDF absorbs it and leaves a fuzzy finish. Even after a few coats. The Zinnser is the best.

I don't like latex. It does not finish smoothly as compared to enamels and lacquers.

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post #11 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlhaudio View Post

If I were painting a subwoofer made out of MDF. Is it best to paint with a latex water based paint (just a standard home depot or lowes brand) Or Oil Based paint

Should I choose a Satin, Semi Gloss or Gloss

How many coats do I need to apply for the "paino finish" look? Not necessarily "Black" Let's assume I choose Green or Yellow, Or Red.

Do I top it off with Polyurethane or something else.

Oil based. You can use satin, semi gloss or gloss, you just have to put a high gloss clear coat over it and polish it after. If you use a high gloss paint sometimes you don't have to do a clear coat and you can just polish the paint. The results will vary greatly, a real piano finish is hard to get and you need to buy high quality paint. Depending on how picky you are, you could be very happy with just home depot paint with a gloss clearcoat. The key to it will be bondoing your seams and sanding it perfectly smooth. Paint won't hide any imperfections and when you gloss it up it just reveals anything that isn't perfect.

I have so far veneered a speaker, lacquered a speaker piano black and I am about to use automotive urethane to get a piano black subwoofer. The lacquer looked good at first but the seams showed through, i think it was because I used wood filler instead of bondo though. I did a stain on veneer and put satin clear coat on it, it looks great. I did not make the wood very smooth and the seams are bad on it, but you can't tell because it's veneered. The veneer can look amazing if you find the right stain. Anything you do, it will take a ton of time and the result will be based on your skill. Make sure the surface is perfect before anything.
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post #12 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone tried colors other than Black? Urethane sounds like a nice option but I have never used it before. Just like anything else I'm sure the surface has to be prepared properly.
pdxrealtor Now I have a good understanding why my surface was tacky.. UGH. Maybe I can sand and repaint the surface.

jlefors Do you think It would have helped or made a difference if you painted before you assembled your sub?

jon s I should paint my speaker or sub with Zinnser BIN Shellac primer, sand, and paint with enamel paint. Then seal it with standard polyurethane or some type of clear sealer?

Since all of my speakers are black I was thinking of using color on my SEOS tempest build.

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post #13 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlhaudio View Post

Has anyone tried colors other than Black? Urethane sounds like a nice option but I have never used it before. Just like anything else I'm sure the surface has to be prepared properly.
pdxrealtor Now I have a good understanding why my surface was tacky.. UGH. Maybe I can sand and repaint the surface.

jlefors Do you think It would have helped or made a difference if you painted before you assembled your sub?


From what I understand you can't sand the latex off the MDF- it's name implies the texture - latex. It will just bunch up on you. The only option I found reading around online was to go over it with an enamel.

I had the Miller paint rep over here last week because I had a hell of a time with their 'acrynamel'. I got some real good insight as to why I was having issues, and just how close to oil based this product really is. It needs air circulation and time to cure. Once it cures it's very hard and durable.

I just last night finished up redoing a couple spots that peeled on me. Because the room is sealed with no air my paint wasn't curing like it should, so it would lift for example if I set a damp piece of cardboard on it (12 pack of soda). It would also lift if a sharp object (finger nail, bins, etc) rubbed against it. Very frustrating since I also did my latest enclosures in the stuff.

I was assured that once I opened the one and only door to outside and put a fan in front of it off and on for a month the problem would be solved and I would have a durable oil based like surface. Go figure...... lack of air circulation. rolleyes.gif Actually it was also made worse because the colors are black and dark maroon - heavy pigments.

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post #14 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlhaudio View Post


jon s should I paint my speaker or sub with Zinnser BIN Shellac primer, sand, and paint with enamel paint. Then seal it with standard polyurethane or some type of clear sealer?

If you use enamel, there is no need to user any type of sealer or top coat. Just buff it and polish, seal with car wax.

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post #15 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 03:55 PM
 
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no you should still prime it with enamel primer in most cases. it depends on the paint you have. single stage is almost always worse than 2 or 3 stage paints. mdf soaks topcoat like crazy so it's almost always to good to primer to help fill / build it.
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post #16 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 03:56 PM
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jwagstaff, I just noticed you registered over on canadianwoodworker smile.gif
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post #17 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 04:01 PM
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Yo Dozerjeep

Here's a link to the 3M DiNoc catalog (PDF): http://solutions.3m.com/3MContentRetrievalAPI/BlobServlet?lmd=1311016338000&locale=en_WW&assetType=MMM_Image&assetId=1273690324583&blobAttribute=ImageFile

I went and checked at Metro Restyling and see that they don't have a black ash... I've definitely seen it around and will get back to you with a link if I can find it...

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post #18 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 04:05 PM
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Hey rlhaudio

I needed to assemble my MDF boxes 'raw' for the adhesive to work, plus I did additional routing after they were glued up (the 1" corner radii, plush flushing the top and ends with a flush-trim bit). Also, I can't imagine the headache of trying to handle a bunch of painted / finished panels without destroying them!

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post #19 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 04:38 PM
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I'm enjoying this thread smile.gif
Subbed

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #20 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagstaff View Post

no you should still prime it with enamel primer in most cases. it depends on the paint you have. single stage is almost always worse than 2 or 3 stage paints. mdf soaks topcoat like crazy so it's almost always to good to primer to help fill / build it.

I used this primer on my all my MDF builds ---http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21146876&KPID=15846415&pla=pla_15846415

It doesn't get soaked up like some others I tried. Another that seemed to work OK was a krylon grey primer.

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post #21 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

jwagstaff, I just noticed you registered over on canadianwoodworker smile.gif

Ah yes I forgot about that, wow there is a lot of posts on my thread lol. I just painted my subwoofer box with 3 coats of black urethane primer with an hvlp. Turned out quite well so far.
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I used this primer on my all my MDF builds ---http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21146876&KPID=15846415&pla=pla_15846415

It doesn't get soaked up like some others I tried. Another that seemed to work OK was a krylon grey primer.

There are many, many primers you can use on MDF, any of them really. Most important part is to use ones that go well with the topcoat of paint. Rustoleum makes some pretty decent products, is that primer really 6 cans for $15.00 ?! That is a really great price!
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post #23 of 73 Old 05-23-2014, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagstaff View Post

There are many, many primers you can use on MDF, any of them really. Most important part is to use ones that go well with the topcoat of paint. Rustoleum makes some pretty decent products, is that primer really 6 cans for $15.00 ?! That is a really great price!

I think I just paid 30.00 for eight cans on my last build. I had one primer, oddly enough the most expensive one, that the MDF soaked up like a sponge. It was from a paint specialty store (miller) and was 9.00 / can. Glad I only bought one.

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post #24 of 73 Old 05-25-2014, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you guys have pics you can post of your finished work? What it best/easiest to hide/seal the seams in wood. So that you cant see where you glued the wood together.
Is a wood bondo or car bondo good or wood filler? Both as a sealer, a filler and for painting or staining.
In the past when I used a wood sealer, then stained you could always see the seam because the stain dried a different color on that part than on others. Will paint do the same thing?

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post #25 of 73 Old 05-25-2014, 08:30 PM
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I just did a cabinet for my amps and with enough primer the seams go away.

Other guys in this thread sound much more experienced and can help better.

Paint- I hate it.


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post #26 of 73 Old 05-25-2014, 09:17 PM
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Seams are impossible!!!! I HATE MDF seams.
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post #27 of 73 Old 05-25-2014, 09:53 PM
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That's why I put veneer over top. I hate corners smile.gif
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post #28 of 73 Old 05-27-2014, 08:11 AM
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Rustoleum Hammered copper for my mid bass cabs and gold for the subs in progress.....this stuff looks way cool when it's dry for a little "bling"

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post #29 of 73 Old 05-27-2014, 03:56 PM
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Here is my veneered subwoofer...




Note how I matched the grain from the top to the side....
vivatech and LO4F like this.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #30 of 73 Old 05-27-2014, 04:14 PM
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Very nice
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