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Author Topic: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.  (Read 7661 times)

Chris Edwards

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I am getting ready to repaint a few of my speaker cabinets.  Overall they are still in very good condition but there are a few nocks and scratches I would like to cover and bring the cabinets close to their original factory condition.  The cabinets are of Baltic birch construction with wear resistant polymer coating.  The color is a "Orange peeled" matte black.  I am going to be using Duratex as it looks to be one of the better products. 

My questions are...

1.  Duratex recommends cleaning the cabinets.  Would a simple wipe down with a damp rag suffice or is a cleaning product needed.  Would I also do a light sanding on the current paint job?

2.  Does painting by roller give a nice finish?  I am assuming a sprayer would be best but I don't have access to one. 

3.  How reflective is the "Satin" finish?

4.  How durable is Duratex?  How does it compare to other professionial speaker cabinet finishes?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 04:57:09 am »

I am getting ready to repaint a few of my speaker cabinets.  Overall they are still in very good condition but there are a few nocks and scratches I would like to cover and bring the cabinets close to their original factory condition.  The cabinets are of Baltic birch construction with wear resistant polymer coating.  The color is a "Orange peeled" matte black.  I am going to be using Duratex as it looks to be one of the better products. 

My questions are...

1.  Duratex recommends cleaning the cabinets.  Would a simple wipe down with a damp rag suffice or is a cleaning product needed.  Would I also do a light sanding on the current paint job?

2.  Does painting by roller give a nice finish?  I am assuming a sprayer would be best but I don't have access to one. 

3.  How reflective is the "Satin" finish?

4.  How durable is Duratex?  How does it compare to other professionial speaker cabinet finishes?

Thanks in advance for the help.

1. I'd wash it with TSP or another good cleaner to get rid of any oily residues. Fill any nicks/dings with autobody filler. Duratex recommends drywall spackle but I've had duratex flake off of the spackle, plus spackle is soft. Autobody filler dries rock hard in minutes and a random orbital sander quickly smooths out the filler. Wouldn't hurt to do a quick once over the cabinet with a random orbital sander, only takes a couple minutes, although probably not necessary.

2. Painting gives a very nice finish as long as you use their textured roller or equivalent. I usually roll it on (cover one surface), wait a minute for it to set up, then roll it out smooth in one nice pass. That (letting it set up) seems to get the air bubbles out. I'm sure the technique you end up using would depend on conditions (temp/humidity/air flow). Practice on a small piece of cardboard for your first go to get the technique down. You'll pick up on it right away but it helps the nerves before going ahead on the cabinet. If you screw up, no worries, another coat will refresh the surface. I'd say the only advantage spraying would have over rolling would be inside corners as you can't reach them with a roller. Dabbing with a brush is close, but not quite the same texture. I guess with the hopper gun (sprayer) you could also adjust the amount of texture from fine to coarse if that matters.

3. It is satin, definitely not flat. Little bit more shiny than eggshell, little less shiny than semi-gloss. It looks good and professional.

4. I've done a 12' x 20' stage, holding up just fine so far. Where you had dings before, you'll get them again. It's tough, but no miracle. Probably not quite as tough as the factory polyurea coating, but you can touch it up! It dries fast (within an hour), but really takes a week to pass the fingernail test. The tops of the texture take all the beating like a serrated knife so the majority of the coating never comes in contact with anything, keeps it looking new.
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Chris Edwards

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 06:35:37 pm »

1. I'd wash it with TSP or another good cleaner to get rid of any oily residues. Fill any nicks/dings with autobody filler. Duratex recommends drywall spackle but I've had duratex flake off of the spackle, plus spackle is soft. Autobody filler dries rock hard in minutes and a random orbital sander quickly smooths out the filler. Wouldn't hurt to do a quick once over the cabinet with a random orbital sander, only takes a couple minutes, although probably not necessary.

2. Painting gives a very nice finish as long as you use their textured roller or equivalent. I usually roll it on (cover one surface), wait a minute for it to set up, then roll it out smooth in one nice pass. That (letting it set up) seems to get the air bubbles out. I'm sure the technique you end up using would depend on conditions (temp/humidity/air flow). Practice on a small piece of cardboard for your first go to get the technique down. You'll pick up on it right away but it helps the nerves before going ahead on the cabinet. If you screw up, no worries, another coat will refresh the surface. I'd say the only advantage spraying would have over rolling would be inside corners as you can't reach them with a roller. Dabbing with a brush is close, but not quite the same texture. I guess with the hopper gun (sprayer) you could also adjust the amount of texture from fine to coarse if that matters.

3. It is satin, definitely not flat. Little bit more shiny than eggshell, little less shiny than semi-gloss. It looks good and professional.

4. I've done a 12' x 20' stage, holding up just fine so far. Where you had dings before, you'll get them again. It's tough, but no miracle. Probably not quite as tough as the factory polyurea coating, but you can touch it up! It dries fast (within an hour), but really takes a week to pass the fingernail test. The tops of the texture take all the beating like a serrated knife so the majority of the coating never comes in contact with anything, keeps it looking new.

Thank you for the very detailed and informative response. I really appreciate it.
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Richard Turner

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 12:05:32 am »

I've always found TSP to be more of a bother than help, just remember a little goes a looooooooong way and you have to rinse all of the residue off. Then again I'm more used to having access to industrial grade products.

+1 on the polyester autobody filler, theses a bit of a trick to flush sanding it though, if you time it just right its hardened enough to work without gumming up your paper but not so hard you end up with a feather edge at the transition from wood to filler

The duratex works as advertised, follow the instructions and stir the product as recommended during application, the texture roller works well for small projects. If you only doing a couple 2x18 boxes a spray gun and applying by air will be borderline cost effective. If this is something you are going to be doing a few times a year invest in the spray gear. the low VOC product is much slower to cure than the old lacquer and solvent based systems were.
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Rich Grisier

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 11:29:42 am »

The Duratex instructions HERE specifically state to NOT use a plastic wood filler because it may not stick to it.  I have a cabinet that has a few rough edges that I'd like to fill in... But I can't imagine filling them with spackle!  Minwax Wood Filler is spackle-like, but appears to dry to a more hardened wood-like finish.  Has anyone had problems with using this type of filler under Duratex?

Also, what's the minimum temperature for application of Duratex?  Is it ok to apply in the mid-50's?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 11:57:05 am »

The Duratex instructions HERE specifically state to NOT use a plastic wood filler because it may not stick to it.  I have a cabinet that has a few rough edges that I'd like to fill in... But I can't imagine filling them with spackle!  Minwax Wood Filler is spackle-like, but appears to dry to a more hardened wood-like finish.  Has anyone had problems with using this type of filler under Duratex?

Also, what's the minimum temperature for application of Duratex?  Is it ok to apply in the mid-50's?

Durham's "Water Putty."

I'd not apply Duratex below 65 unless you have 6 months for it to cure.  Seriously.  At 75F it takes 5 days to fully set up.

It's water-based so you can use it indoors (although your spouse may not take kindly to that).
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 01:02:12 pm »

Durham's "Water Putty."

I'd not apply Duratex below 65 unless you have 6 months for it to cure.  Seriously.  At 75F it takes 5 days to fully set up.

It's water-based so you can use it indoors (although your spouse may not take kindly to that).

Wow can't paint my cabinets until June!

Guess I have to rig up something safer than the torpedo heater for the shop.

Was planning on doing some wedges I just finished upgrading and de-rat furalizing.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Frank Koenig

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 01:32:19 pm »

I've used Duratex on a number of cabinets and am pleased with the result. I apply it with a fairly fine foam roller, not the really coarse one that Duratex sells. I agree that the technique is to spread evenly and then re-roll with a deft hand (all strokes in the same direction) just as the coating starts to set. By timing the re-rolling you can get a variety of textures.

But here's the trick. After it sets tack-free, say 1 hour depending on temperature, I lightly scrape the flat surfaces with a cabinet scraper. This knocks off the sharp peaks leaving what I think is a gorgeous leather-like texture. I very lightly thumb-sand the curved parts to match. Try it. Have fun.

--Frank
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boburtz

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 02:45:32 pm »

1. I'd wash it with TSP or another good cleaner to get rid of any oily residues. Fill any nicks/dings with autobody filler. Duratex recommends drywall spackle but I've had duratex flake off of the spackle, plus spackle is soft. Autobody filler dries rock hard in minutes and a random orbital sander quickly smooths out the filler.
DO NOT USE BONDO. Duratex does not stick well to bondo. We have been using duratex on our custom cases as well as refinishing our factory boxes for years. It's a great product, easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to touch up. We just did a round on our JBL SRX712 boxes and our EV qrx218s. Just painted them with duratex using a low pile roller. The texture is already there from the factory, we just wanted them to look new again, which they now do. The duratex sticks well to the factory finish, and we just wiped them down with a damp cloth. It's almost impossible to tell the difference from the factory finish. They are the same sheen, they call it satin. It looks exactly the same to me. The duratex finish is a little more "sandpapery". It doesn't always come out like that, though, and I haven't yet determined what causes it. It's a non-issue, just something I've observed.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 03:13:44 pm »

While we are on the subject, does anyone want to share their best US source for Duratex?  Both in the 1gal and 5gal size?

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 03:13:44 pm »


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