Any websites that explain how to do a black laquer finish?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ches Campbell, May 5, 2002.

  1. Ches Campbell

    Ches Campbell Stunt Coordinator

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    I have found a little info on this, but I would like to find some more so I have a little more confidence when going in to this. Any explanations are appreciated. I plan to laquer my speakers and eventually my subwoofer. Here is the best descripton I have found so far: http://home.tampabay.rr.com/bpsdesig...rorfinish.html
    Thanks
     
  2. ArmenK

    ArmenK Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    This is from http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...daytonmtm.html
    It may help.
    About Piano Finish
    You can put a really nice finish on MDF. Here is a description of the proceedure I used for obtaining a high gloss black piano finish.
    I must warn you that in order to obtain a really nice, gloss black, painted finish, you will have to spent quite a bit of time and effort. The actual time in applying the spray paint is nothing compared to the time it takes to prep the surface for the paint. A satin black finish is more forgiving because it doesn't show all the mistakes. I used a professional spray gun and compressor to paint my speakers but I have heard that a few cans of Krylon brand spray paint does a pretty good job. I use Sherman Williams gloss black "All Surface" Oil based enamel (NOT latex enamel) and their quick drying oil based sanding sealer.
    To finish MDF, you will have to sand the entire surface with 220 grit paper then fill all holes and joinery lines with wood filler. The trick is not to over do it with the wood filler. All you need to do is press the wood filler into the cracks and holes to fill them. You do not need to apply a big clump of filler over the things you are trying to cover, Then you will need to sand those holes and joint lines starting with 150 grit and working you way down to 400 grit paper with an orbital sander starting from the center of the panel working your way out past the edge of the panel. If you do it correctly, you will not feel a bump when running your finger over the surface. Sanding is the most critical step. Everything has to be perfectly smooth! Remember this: If you can feel it- you will see it.
    The next step, you will need to apply at least 4-6 coats of sanding sealer to the entire surface. The idea is to build up many coats of sealer so you can sand the surface down to very smooth. If you can spray it on then apply those 4-5 coats right on top of each other without sanding in between. If you are applying the sanding sealer by brush you have to make sure you do not get any lumps or brush hairs stuck to the surface and you may have to lightly sand in between coats. If you are routing the edges of the boxes make sure you put several extra coats on the routed edges to seal the edges.
    After you have applied your 4-6 coats of sanding sealer you will need to sand the entire surface BY HAND using a hand sanding block starting with 300 grit and working your way down to 400 and up to 600 grit if you really want a good finish. When you have the entire surface perfectly smooth, then you will need to clean the sanded surface with a damp cloth if you used oil based sealer. (Mineral spirits may goober up the surface on oil based sealers). After you clean the surface you will then have to use tack cloth to remove any dust.
    Now you are ready to paint the boxes!! You will need to apply 3-4 coats of paint. The first one should be so light that you should be able to see the unpainted MDF under it. Wait 30 minutes and apply 2-3 more light coats while waiting 30 minutes in between each coat. The trick is to apply several thin coats to keep the paint from running. The best thing is to practice on some prepared MDF surfaces BEFORE you paint the real speakers. You will get a few dust bumps from dust settling on the surface while your painting. I constructed a small paint booth out of plastic sheeting, fans and furnace filters. It worked fine and I did not have any dust bumps.
    I hope I haven't scared you off with the complexity of applying a piano finish to MDF. It was a lot of work but it was very much worth it.
     
  4. Ches Campbell

    Ches Campbell Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks alot. That is exactly what I needed to read. Can't wait to get started now.

    Later
     
  5. Justin Bowser

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    I have never painted any furniture pieces but I have shot clear lacquer on gunstucks with good results and painted several cars. Let me share some observations about lacquer finishes:

    1. After you seal the wood lay on a couple of coats of primer-surfacer (sometimes called high-build primer) This will give a thick coat which can be block sanded. Start with 400 grit paper in a rubber sanding block. If you sand with just the paper you will see impressions in the final finish where your fingers pressed on the sand paper.

    2. Repeat step one until the surface is glass smooth. Lacquer is a rather thin pain that will flow into every nook, cranny, scratch, etc. The trick here is if you can see or feel it, even just a little, it will jump out at you and and smack you up side the head once buffed! Sand the final primer buildup with 600 grit. NOTE: Do not wet sand as most lacquer primer is porous.

    3. Lay on your finish coat. Lay on the first coat at about a medium density then follow up with a couple of wet coats. Allow proper tack time between coats per manufacturers instructions. After this third coat has dried thoroughly lightly sand with 600 grit then lay on a couple of more coats.

    If you are shooting true lacquer you probably don't need to worry about dust, etc, as lacquer is a very quick drying paint and anything that might land on it will be sanded/buffed out anyway. I have painted cars in my driveway that looked like they had been done in a booth, lacquer is that forgiving.

    4. Repeat step three untill surface is glass smooth with no imperfections.

    5. At this stage you could start working up in grit to 800, then 1000 or higher if desired. The finer the grit you finish with the less buffing you will need to do.

    6. Using very fine polishing compound (not the rubbing compound crap they got at Wally World), I personally use 3M, start polishing. When satisfied put on a good coat of automotive carnuba wax and get ready for the compliments.

    This is how it is done on cars so I would imagine the same techniques would work on wood and MDF also.

    If you don't have access to a spray gun and compressor I believe NAPA stores might still carry automotive quality lacquer in spray cans, at least they used to. It was the same quality paint as that purchased for professional use.

    Good luck,

    Justin
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I envision sore hands and elbows and shoulders in your future...
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Pat,
    You forgot to mention that you can tell him how NOT to do a piano black finish! [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  8. eric nyhof

    eric nyhof Stunt Coordinator

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    Ches, check out this thread, its using black laquer laminate, looks really shard and probably a heck of a lot easier
    here
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Wax on, wax off.
     
  10. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    After working all day long from dawn til dusk Daniel say's

    " Ok Mr Miyagi I am finished painting the fence"

    Mr Miyagi says,

    "Both side?"
     
  11. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Prepare to get a taste of hell if you have never done this before.

    I recommend looking into an easier finish, perhaps a high gloss laminate.
     
  12. Justin Bowser

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    On a laminate, though, won't you see the "edges" where it's trimmed with the router?

    I don't think just lacquering a pair of speakers and a sub should cause somebody much muscular discomfort, a 9 foot Steinway on the other hand...
     
  13. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    Invest $40 in an electric hand sander (Home Depot) and

    you won't end up with sore arms at all. When you use it,

    let it's weight do the work and don't apply undue pressure

    to it. Keep it moving, do not stop on spot.
     
  14. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    It took me 3 days to paint my computer case with a piano black mirror finish.
    I used a hand sander and hose for the wet sand. 4 coats of black and 2 coats of gloss and Meguiars Car Finish wax.
    One word of advice, if a fly lands on it don't try and pick it out because 99% of the time you will only make it worse. [​IMG]
    What I plan to do for my speaker is coat/paint it with a black speckled mineral asphalt for the added vibration/sound dampening and light absorption. [​IMG]
     

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