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Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Peter_W, Feb 8, 2005.
I need tips on: what paint to use steps and equipment needed.
This isn't really an area that I'm an expert on. But as I understand it, a true piano black finish is more a matter of the process than the materials. I believe you start by painting black, sanding/buffing the finish with the finest grit possible, then applying layers of laquer (I assume that polyurethane would also work, but don't quote me on that). You sand/buff between each layer of laquer and apply at least three (preferably seven) coats of laquer. I'd suggest doing a search on the process for complete instructions.
Painted piano black is quite difficult to get right. I went with a black laminate on the sub pictured below...not as nice as a well-done piano finish, but easier.
It can be done. but it is really hard and a process that is very unforgiving of mishaps like a sputter from a spray can or a sag/run if you lose focus for an instant. It starts with surface prep, then 3-5 coats of high solid primer, sanding with higher grit after each, then 6-10 thin coats of black laquer (or alternating black and clear) working up to about 8000 grit paper wet sanding. Takes weeks and is expensive after all the sand paper and paint cans. If you really want that look, much easier alternatives are gloss black laminate from wilson or formica, or the parts express pre done boxes which are outstanding in black- very deep mirror like finish that is near impossible to match DIY.
Questions about the laminate: 1) Does it peel off over time because of the vibrations? 2) How do the seams look? 3) Any tools needed to make it look right?
Laminate roller and cutter, adhesive, laminate trimmer (I used a flush trim bit on my router, but that's how I f*cked up, too unwieldy...I'll use a real laminate trimmer next time).
it just takes LOTS of time, and LOTS of paint and sandpaper. like said above you are basicly sanding down the imperfections and eventually polishing the paint to a mirror like finish. Good luck, and post photos if u end up doing it!
It's not hard to do, but it's VERY labor intensive. I did it on 2 sides of a speaker (top and front of kit 281 towers) and I figure I had around 80-100 hours into the process and it was still far from perfect. But that does include one serious screw up on my part that set me back a few hours. All in all I got impatient and rushed the prep work, I figure if I did it again I'd probably run the hours up to 150-200 or so and get everything PERFECT from the start (these time estimates are all based on using "normal" home based tools, power sanders, no big paint guns, etc). Basically you'll take your speaker and big tub of bondo, and fix every single imperfection you can find. Then you are going to spray on some primer and sand, then you are going to bondo the low spots and sand the high spots, spray primer - add bondo - sand, spray primer/bondo/sand you'll keep doing that until you have an absolutely perfect surface to work from, then do it one more time to be safe (ultra-glossy black surfaces show EVERY imperfection). Now you are going to spray on the black lacquer, sand up from 200-400-800 grit, rinse and repeat around 8 times or so then give it a full polish and see how it looks, add more lacquer as you see fit (I did about 12 coats). Then I also sprayed another 4 coats of clear on top of it.
I am convinced not to bother.
Brian, where do you buy those high gloss laminates?
Okay usually I just "lurk" around here, take what info I need and keep quiet..but Piano black can be done quite simply by 1.)follow AjayM's prep IE bondo Prime sand Repeat except: After the first bondo and sanding pick up polyester glazing putty from any auto paint supply ( you will need more stuff from there as well) and use it instead of bondo after teh first coat. it dries very fast and fills minor imperfections up to 1/16. 2.) Use a 2K urethane primer. these are the primers used in body shops. sand with medium grit automotive grade wet or dry paper 220 wet. another coat of primer sand with 360 w/d paper wet. another coat primer, sand with 400 w/d wet. 3.) over reduce primer and use it as a sealer sand with 600 w/d wet. 4.) Automotive basecoat urethane black. reduce as required 3-4 coats wetsanding all but last coat with 1000 grit wet. 5.)automotive urethane clearcoat specified for panel repair (it dries faster).3-4 wet coats waiting specified time between. 6.) let sit for 12-24 hours wet sand with 1200-2000 grit paper. Buff with automotive buffing compound then polish with final polishing automotive polish. I have used this process on several pieces of black furniture with stunning results. some notes however. this is a professional process. plan on investing in a small detail gun. automotive grade urethanes or not cheap. no they cant be had in a spraycan. this finish will be extremely durable. you can use other colors to spice up a room...cruise new car dealers and look at the variety of colors. currently painting my speaker/sub cabinets w/ GM blue to match the draperies in my theater! Eric