Painting old speakers.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Doug_H, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2000
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most of the folks here probably don't have this problem but I have a 25 year old set of ESS Model 4 speakers that I hope never leave me. For those who have never heard of these wonders http://www.essspeakers.com/ the site is poor but the speakers stand up to some of the best speakers I have ever heard. ANYWAY...

    I need to paint them black because the are looking pretty ragged and it would be nice if they matched the B&W's that make up the rest of the system.

    Is there any risk involved with doing this?

    Is there anything I should be aware of before I start?

    I am planning on using a flat black. Should I roll or spray?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    You shouldn't have too much trouble painting them. I assume you're talking about painting over the existing wood veneer? I would definitely spray unless you're looking for some type of textured finish that a roller would give. Do you have access to air-type spray equipment? This is the easiest. If not, an airless spray with a fine tip can work pretty well. You can even use spray cans, although it's sometimes difficult to get an even finish on a large surface because the stuff dries too fast.

    I wouldn't recommend flat black, unless your only goal is to make them invisible in a dark room. It looks like a barbeque and is very hard to keep clean. Any time you touch it, the grease on your fingers will leave a dark mark. An eggshell or semi-gloss will work much better.

    Finally, and most importantly, the surfaces must be completely clean before painting. If the speakers have ever been exposed to wax or furniture polish, and you don't clean properly, the paint will end up all dimpled and mottled (the pros call these "fish eyes"). You must first clean with a good wax and grease remover (available at automotive paint stores) or, in a pinch, scrub thoroughly with paint thinner (not lacquer thinner which will dissolve the veneer glue). Light sanding (say 320g) will also help the new paint adhere.

    Good luck and post some pictures [​IMG]
     
  3. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more thing...

    Of course, you will want to keep solvent, sanding dust, paint, etc away from the drivers, ports and terminal cups by taping plastic sheeting or some other protective covering over them.
     
  4. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2000
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Dave

    I will see what I can find other than a flat black. Unfortunately I don't have access to spray equipment so I will have to use canned spray paint. I will try and get pics up as soon as I finish and get the grills recovered.
     
  5. Brett Loomis

    Brett Loomis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    DougH- Dave Milne is right on.....

    I refinished my Klipsch Chorus II's from a light Oak circa 1983 to a Rust-Oleum Black Satin from a spray can. They turned out beautiful and look brand spanking new and actually match my other Klispch speakers perfect.

    As Dave said, clean surface thorughly with a paint thinner and then sand VERY LIGHTLY or you will leave grooves which will be magnified once painted. Purpose of sanding is A) Knock off any t*ts and B) promote good adhesion.

    Mask off all non-veneered surfaces with painters tape and news paper for a nice clean break line on the back and the face being sure to cover driver/mid/tweeter.

    Once sanded and masked use a tack cloth to remove all sanding dust, boogers, etc. Shake paint can throughly before and during painting process. long even strokes back and forth lightly covering all surfaces 1 time and then let dry. Repeat 2nd time for even nicer finish and 3rd if you really want it nice. Let completely dry between coats and lightly rub hand across top and sides to feel for any dust or airborne stragglers and hit very lightly with 400 grit sandpaper and tack cloth between coats if necessary. If anal like me you can put a clear coat of semi-gloss on to protect the paint itself if you and your friends like to rest cold beverages on your gems....Yikes!!

    Good luck, my Chorus II's used up 3 cans of Rust-Oleum but they are big speakers (39"tall by 19.5"wide and deep)

    See my link below for pics of the before and after shots
     
  6. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2000
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Another thought occured to me. Can you get decent results staining a laminate? I was thinking a black stain would be nice but I am unsure how it would look on this.
     
  7. BenSC

    BenSC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yet again I chime in with: "Parts express vinyl." They have a black ash version that looks just like the black stained veneer. When applied properly, this stuff looks darn good.
     

Share This Page