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Finishing Advice Please. (1 Viewer)

Jeffrey_S

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Jan 17, 2002
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Hi all,
As some of you know from my other thread (I finally started my Twin Tempest Project!), I'm now applying a finish to my first of two conventional subs. The sub will be black with wood trim:
http://www.extremepages.com/Sub Finish.jpg
I'm having a problem getting a nice uniform finish using black finely textured spray paint. Some of the wood grain of the Baltic Birch ply is still showing through and I've applied about 6 coats. Lately I've been considering the following alternative finishes:
1. Using a roller to roll on a couple of coats of acrylic based black paint. I think that with its thicker consistency it will hide the wood grain. Also, using a roller would prevent brush marks.
2. I've given some thought to using a fabric over the areas I've painted black. I'm not sure, however, how to fasten the fabric in place. Spray adhesive maybe? If I were to wrap the whole sub in the fabric, it would compromise the adhesion of the wood trim in the corners when I glue it in place.
What do you guys think? Any advice would be appreciated.
Jeff
 

Brian Bunge

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Sep 11, 2000
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Rust Oleum makes a textured black paint in a spray can that I used on my DIY version of the ACI Emerald LE's. It works pretty well but is about $4.50-$5 per can at Wal-Mart. Also, in the automotive section there is a textured truck bed liner spray from Dupli-Coat I believe. I saw it today but didn't notice the price. A friend of mine used something similar on a sub enclosure for his truck a few years ago. It's quite a bit heavier texture wise than the stuff from Rust Oleum.

Brian
 

Robert_Gaither

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Mar 12, 2002
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Unless you paint a lot with a roller (runs are common with most inexperienced users) I would recommend instead to use a paint pad (very easy to use, spreads evenly, and most of all very low skill level even lower than brushing). It's also very fast as well and easier cleanup (assuming you want to reuse the pad otherwise just buy a replacement pad for the holder at a latter date and time). You can always trim away the excess cloth before putting on the trim with a razor blade knife.
 

Chris Tsutsui

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Feb 1, 2002
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If you go the cloth method, go to a fabric store and purchase the texture/color fabric of your choice.

Then use a stapler and staple the cloth so it's stretched/firmly in place and put the trim over the stapled cloth area. For furniture, the staples I see are pretty close together (1-2 inches).

For a smooth paint finish on wood grain, you will need to apply a sealer/primer on the wood and sand it smooth. Otherwise the wood might keep absorbing the paint layer after layer.

When I painted MDF for a nice smooth finish, I first sealed it with a shellac, then put primer and sanded it with 320 grit. After that I put on a few coats of paint. (I sand between coats to make sure my finish is smooth)

I did raise the grit of the sand paper to 400-800-2000 as each coat went on for a premier finish. I use 3M wet/dry imperial sandpaper.
 

Jeffrey_S

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Jan 17, 2002
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206
Brian,

The Rustoleum Textured spray paint is the one I've been using and I can't seem to fill in the wood grain to my satisfaction, and get what I consider to be a uniform finish. I have used it before on MDF with excellent results. As you know, MDF has a smoother surface to begin with. (Except on the cut edges, of course.) I think what I might do is go with a thicker paint for a coat or two, just to fill in the grain, and then I might go back to the Textured spray paint for a final few coats if I don't like the look of the liquid paint.

Robert,

I'm going to go to Home Depot today to check out some of those pads.

Chris,

I think I'm going to try the paint route before I give-up and go with the fabric. The wood did soak up the first few coats of spray paint I gave it and the grain did get raised. I have sanded the painted surface after it dried with some 100 grit sand paper and I think that the paint I've already applied will serve as a primer.

Brian, Robert and Chris, thanks for all the help.

Jeff
 

Brian Bunge

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Sep 11, 2000
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Jeffrey,

Did you happen to use a primer first? That would probably help if you have not. Something like the Kilz primers would be my first choice. Aside from that a heavier texture would probably work better.

Keep us informed!

Brian
 

jeff lam

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Jeff Lam
I useed the truck bed coating on my sub and it's very thick. I really only needed one coat to completely cover the surface of MDF (no primer). If you want a textured finish and a thick coating I would suggest this method. You will have to use different spray techniques depending on how you want the texture to be.
 

Ron D Core

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Mar 31, 2002
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158
I would just go out and get some black laminate or satin Formica. It would save you alot of trouble assuming you trim it right and it would look a hell fo alot better than spray paint.
 

Hank Frankenberg

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Oct 13, 1998
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I agree with Ron. Painting is a pain and very difficult to get right without a good spray rig and experience. A 4' x 8' sheet of WilsonArt basic black laminate is about $40 and a quart of contact cement about $8.00.
 

Brian Bunge

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I agree with Ron. Painting is a pain and very difficult to get right without a good spray rig and experience. A 4' x 8' sheet of WilsonArt basic black laminate is about $40 and a quart of contact cement about $8.00.
Hank,
There's no challenge in that though! :)
 

Jeffrey_S

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Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
206
My trip to Home Depot yesterday turned up a foam roller that I hadn't seen before. It has rounded edges which are designed to minimize lap marks. I test painted a large scrap of Baltic Birch ply using Painter's Touch flat black and it seemed to go well. It produced a nice smooth finish. I'm going to try a couple of coats on the sub tomorrow. I had to wait 72 hours since I am switching to an acrylic paint from the oil based spray.

I'll let you know how it goes. I can always, at a later time, get some laminate and go that route if I don't like the look of the paint.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Jeff
 

Jeffrey_S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
206
Well the foam roller and the Rustoleum black paint seems to have given me a somewhat uniform finish. I took 4 coats and it's a little glossier than would be ideal for my taste, but overall I'm satisfied. Tomorrow, I'll be installing the driver, the ports and the amp and will let you all know when I have this beast up and running.

Jeff
 

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