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Old 29th March 2004, 08:03 AM   #1
nrgy is offline nrgy  United States
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Default Paint for MDF enclosures?

I'm thinking a bit forward, but If I were to paint some enclosures, and wanted to achieve either a flat black or semi-gloss black finish, what type of paint is recommended for spray on application? Something available at Home Depot or Sherwin Williams perhaps?

Also, regarding vinly laminate, is this stuff easy to apply to chamfered corners, or with any sort of beveling? Or is this stuff best left for square boxes?
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Old 29th March 2004, 09:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Paint for MDF enclosures?

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Originally posted by nrgy
I'm thinking a bit forward, but If I were to paint some enclosures, and wanted to achieve either a flat black or semi-gloss black finish, what type of paint is recommended for spray on application? Something available at Home Depot or Sherwin Williams perhaps?
Spray Paint (aka rattle can) would probably be most economic. A polyurethane spray afterwards can help protect.

Quote:
Also, regarding vinly laminate, is this stuff easy to apply to chamfered corners, or with any sort of beveling? Or is this stuff best left for square boxes?
I have some of this for my current speakers (the read maple from PartsExpress), but I'm still prepping the box.
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Old 29th March 2004, 12:14 PM   #3
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almost any kind of paint can be used on MDF as long as the surface is prepped right.

On my current enclosures, I was going for a piano type finish, only better. I'm using an automotive urethane basecoat/clearcoat gloss black finish on mine.

To use any sort of automotive or rattle-can based finish, you need to use a good primer, and if you used any bondo anywhere, I've also found that it's usually necessary to use a good sealer, otherwise the bondo work will show through the final paint.
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Old 29th March 2004, 06:32 PM   #4
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The trouble I have with standard "rattle-can" is the round spray pattern as opposed to fan patterns. I have a hard time getting an even pattern with the round nozzle.
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Old 29th March 2004, 06:41 PM   #5
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practice more.

If you extend beyond the surface you're painting, and you use a smooth motion, your coverage will be fine... especially when you're dealing with colors like satin or flat black. Just don't expect even coverage on the first coat. By the 2nd and 3rd coat it'll be fine.
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Old 30th March 2004, 08:01 AM   #6
nrgy is offline nrgy  United States
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I was thinking about using just a spray can, since I would most likely be spraying the baffle, and some other less visible areas, however I do have a spray gun avaiable and figured if there were any more "professional" alternatives, I might look into this.

However, regarding spray cans, what brands would you recommend? Would something from Rust-Oleum be sufficient, or is this more for metals. I see they have a line called painters touch, which appears to be all purpose.

If a professional appearance can be achieved with these rattle cans, I'll probably go this route.
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Old 30th March 2004, 12:17 PM   #7
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I've used Krylon, Rustoleum, and plenty of others. I don't really find one to be drastically better than the other, but lately I've been using whatever brand Advanced Auto carries with good luck.

The secret is what you do after you paint. You want to use 3 or 4 heavy coats. Put one very light coat on, then the next 2 or 3 should be as heavy as you can get them without getting runs. I typically wait around 40 minutes to an hour between coats. Let it dry overnight (or longer), and then wetsand it with 1000 or 1200 grit (also called 10 micron and 13 micron) sand paper. The paper should be on a flat block. You want to do this until the bumps are gone. Then buff it with fine-cut rubbing compount, or hand rub it with medium cut (followed by fine cut). After that you rub the hell out of it with hand glaze for a while, then apply a coat of wax. You'll be amazed that your resulting finish came out of a spray can.

Each step of this process takes skill and practice, so I'd plan on painting some scrap MDF until you are happy with your results, then move on to the speaker cabinet.
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Old 30th March 2004, 01:58 PM   #8
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If semi-gloss or satin black is what you're after, I have had excellent results with Plasticote Flexible Bumper and Trim paint. This stuff is a rattle-can product sold at most any automotive parts store. The stuff yields a very tough durable finish that is also consistent in uniformity of color, depth, etc. It is really good stuff for rattle-can paint. This stuff adheres to metal, plastic, wood, etc. Priming before using it even enhances it's capabilities even more.

Jim's advice should be followed though, he is spot-on the money as far as surface-prep, sealing, etc. goes. Paint can be applied to almost anything as long as the surface is primed and sealed. And, as I'm sure Jim will agree with, -if you use rattle-can primer, (solvent-based/non-catalyzed), make sure you allow plenty of drying time (to allow all of the solvents to flash-off) before beginnning to apply your top-coat, otherwise, lifting may occur (this can cause one to spew profanity at an amazing rate!).

I'm betting that the reason Jim's Camaro looks so nice is that he's a body/paint guy!

I sure do like that red!

Rich.
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Old 30th March 2004, 04:38 PM   #9
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Satin or flat...

If that's the case, stay away from the sanding, buffing and polishing. Generally as long as you use proper painting techniques, the satin and flat stuff will flow pretty smoothly out of the can. If you do get orange peel, sand it with a super fine paper until you get the smoothness you want, but don't polish it. Flat paints out of a spray can can be porous, and absorb the polish compound, leaving a nasty white mark just like wax on a rubber molding.

Rich, thanks for the compliment on the car. My father owns a body shop that I've spent a lot of time in. The color really pops out in person thanks to the orange mica that I put into the base coat.
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Old 31st March 2004, 01:37 PM   #10
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Default turned out better than I thought

I followed the advice here and, while it's not perfect (need more practice) it turned out quite good. Here's what I did and the products I used.

1. I used Bondo Dynatron Glazing and Spot Putty on all the seams and other imperfections I saw. Sanded with 120 on an orbital sander.

2. Used Benjamin Moore Fresh Start 100% Acrylic Primer. Hand sanded with 400.

3. Repeated 1 & 2 two more times.

4. Brushed on Rustoleum Painter's Touch Flat Black and sanded again.

5. Repeated step 4 two more times.

6. Spayed American Tradition (Lowe's) Gloss Black Ultra Enamel. The first coat light, then the next two coats heavy. The best thing about this paint is the fast drying time. I mean FAST. No runs!

Like I said, it's not perfect but I bet next time it'll be darn close to those $100-$200 pro jobs.
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