Enamel finish

Enamal finish

Well, big mistake, I left my unfinished towers at home (they are done, except the finish), and I called my parents today, and they told me as a suprise they took them to be professionally painted by a friend of our family that owns an autobody shop.

Sounds good, but I was wondering what, if any, experiance any of you had with enamel with a hardener on it? Apparently it can/should be waxed and polished when finished as you would a car, (obviously am not going to take it through the car wash :)). Any reactions I should have to this news? Should I be happy or furious?
 
Greets!

If the painter is 'worth his salt', no finish work will be required due to proper mix, application, and flow out during curing under the heat lamps.

Assuming these aren't going to be spending much/any time in a harsh environment, then the finish should be hard/glossy enough not to require any more maintenance than the usual periodic dusting/cleaning with a damp cloth, or with one of the automotive 'wipe n' shine' sprays if you feel the need to 'wax' them. The main thing is don't use anything with an abrasive cleaner in it. I repainted my daily driver black RX7 back in '93 with a catalyzed enamel and have never buffed or waxed it, only wiping it down with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar/water after an Ivory dishwashing soap bath to maintain the shine and prevent hard water spots.

Anyway, assuming it's a color you like, then be happy. :)

GM
 
As long as the surface is prepped properly, an automotive grade finish can provide stunning results.

Here's my Tangband computer speakers covered with a 2-stage Urethane basecoat/clearcoat automotive finish. After painting, I wetsanded and buffed, followed by a couple coats of automotive polish:

[IMGDEAD]http://www.sover.net/~iroc85/Jim-Tangband1.JPG[/IMGDEAD]

My only complaint, which isn't really related to the finish, is that the expansion/contraction of the MDF has caused visible lines to show at the wood joints. I need to investigate with various wood sealers to prevent my MDF from becoming effected by environmental conditions.
 
MDF EDGES

The only answer to the movement problem is to mitre all the joints. The edges and the surface absorb moisture differently because of being a differents density. So there will always be a difference in the expansion and the contraction. Mitreing hides most of this problem. I've done quite a few gloss black cabinets that still look good with technique.

MArk
 
Jim85IROC said:
My only complaint, which isn't really related to the finish, is that the expansion/contraction of the MDF has caused visible lines to show at the wood joints. I need to investigate with various wood sealers to prevent my MDF from becoming effected by environmental conditions.

I have the same problem, although I wonder if it is caused by expansion/contraction of the MDF. The visible lines are actually depressions along the seams/joints. The joints were filled using glue (polyurethane, which expands) and Bondo.

I'm wondering if with time, the glue and/or bondo have ever so slightly shrunk & the paint of course got pulled in. This can be seen to occur when finishing a porous wood such as red oak if no filler is used. After about 6-8 weeks what was a smooth and even finish is pock-marked where the polyurethane continued to dry/cure/shrink and sunk into the tiny crevices.

Also, it should be noted that some paints need up to 30 days of cure time before final sanding/polishing/buffing. Dry time and cure time are completely different animals.

I have just finished another project using MDF and am waiting before I apply the final finishes - about another 4 weeks or so. I'll keep you posted. We shall see what we shall see.

fred p
 
Fred,
I would have agreed with you about the bondo except that I have experienced the same problem on a pair of cabinets that have absolutely no filler material of any kind. Those cabinets were covered with the PE vinyl laminate, so I just used a router to make sure all butt ends were flush, threw a couple coats of black spray paint on, then wrapped in the laminate. Now I can see the same depressions through the laminate.

For my "good" speakers that I plan to build soon, I'm starting to think that perhaps I should cough up the extra dough for baltic birch plywood.:xeye:

But... I still want to find a cheap alternative so that I can continue to use MDF on my low-budget projects.
 
How about using just a 1/4" layer of ply on top of MDF? It is thick enough that you won't get any telegraphing. I did this to get an oak finish on cabinets that were too rough to be prepped for veneer.

I used a watered down wallboard joint compound to seal my painted cabinets 6 months ago and have had no problems with seams telegraphing through. They are in the same room as a hot tub so it can get pretty humid, but they are not ported, which may be the difference. The wallboard compound is easy to apply and easier to sand than bondo, but very dusty.

It may help to put a couple layers of primer on the inside of the cabinet as well to minimize the moisture migration.