Suggestions for quick, good looking finishes

I do alot of custom subwoofers for my clients, most often to get the most use out of an odd-shaped space. Usually black is the color of choice, although I do have more requests for unusual colors lately (just did one in yellow a week ago). My problem is, I am usually a major perfectionist when it comes to the exterior finish, much more than the client usually is, and sometimes time constraints make it really tough to get a good looking finish using my usually technique, which is just a paint/sand/paint/sand type of deal. I am trying to figure a technique that will still give me a cool looking finish (not necessarily smooth) that doesn't take days and days. I thought about giving the enclosure a heavy texture, maybe just some random looking strokes of dry-wall mud, like I have seen in houses, and then giving it just enough paint to cover. I know certain laminates and vinyl can be pretty quick and easy, but that could limit my color shoices and really only seems to be able to be done on the more simple design enclosures. I have heard that cans of truck bed liner make a good strong texture that can be coated. Any thoughts?

x. onasis

2003-01-03 2:48 am
I've used the textured spray paint available at the box stores. Fun colors there, but if you don't like the selection, I'm sure you could over-paint them with another color and get a slightly textured finish.

If you're thinking of playing with a stipple finish, or "dash" or traditional skip-trowel plaster over plywood or mdf, prepare the wood with a water reactive bonding agent like weldcrete

This bonds a veneer plaster to raw wood and even painted surfaces. And yes, use veneer plaster (base coat and/or finish coat) NOT drywall compound, even the setting type like Durabond.

Veneer plaster is much harder. For added strength a fiber-mesh can be imbedded in the base (scratch) coat, or stapled to the substrate.

It's a fun, but messy process. In the Southwest US, bullnose corner bead is available off-the-shelf in many places.

Dash finish is probably easiest. Scratch coat first, when that's set, mix a slurry of thin finish about the consistency of sour cream and splatter it on with a brush. As it takes up, (sets a bit) gently trowel the surface slightly (knock it down).