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Title: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Chris Edwards on December 21, 2014, 10:26:33 pm
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.

Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Len Zenith Jr 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.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Chris Edwards 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.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Richard Turner 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.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Rich Grisier on December 23, 2014, 11:29:42 am
The Duratex instructions HERE (https://store.acrytech.com/files/Applying-DuraTex.pdf) 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?
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 23, 2014, 11:57:05 am
The Duratex instructions HERE (https://store.acrytech.com/files/Applying-DuraTex.pdf) 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).
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Scott Holtzman 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.

Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Frank Koenig 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
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: boburtz 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.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Scott Holtzman 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?

Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 23, 2014, 03:32:16 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?

Just east of me...  http://www.speakerhardware.com/categories.php?cat=10 
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Josh Millward on December 23, 2014, 06:22:09 pm
Also available from Parts Express.

Acry-Tech Coatings: DuraTex (http://www.parts-express.com/brand/acry-tech-coatings/608)
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Steve Garris on December 23, 2014, 06:51:03 pm
I always figured I would just take my stripped boxes to a spray-in bedliner place, and have them sprayed. Here in the Pacific NW it's too cold 10 months out of 12 to paint anything like that.

This is the bedliner stuff - scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see a speaker box.

http://www.linex.com/pages/2010/light_industrial/
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 23, 2014, 10:43:40 pm
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.

Naw, you can paint now.  Your torpedo heater may be sufficient (or this is an excuse to get something new & fancy).  The secret is to have the wood and coating up to temp.  If you can comfortably work in a t-shirt and jeans, the room is warm enough.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 24, 2014, 01:33:37 am
Naw, you can paint now.  Your torpedo heater may be sufficient (or this is an excuse to get something new & fancy).  The secret is to have the wood and coating up to temp.  If you can comfortably work in a t-shirt and jeans, the room is warm enough.

I wasn't going to buy anything, just use a bunch of those portable oil filled radiator heaters I have at home and the office.

Using a kerosene torpedo heater, in an enclosed space, unattended, even with the thermostat gives me the willy's.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: eric lenasbunt on December 24, 2014, 09:41:44 pm
You can use my warehouse, it still hasn't dropped below 70 degrees in there as of today! Humidity is so high it may not dry for a month though.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 25, 2014, 04:09:23 am
You can use my warehouse, it still hasn't dropped below 70 degrees in there as of today! Humidity is so high it may not dry for a month though.

Thanks, I am sure more pleasant weather in the gulf states.  Very odd here for December, was 60 at noon today, when in to Church service at 7:00 PM came out at 8:40 and it dropped 20 degrees and the winds picked up 20+ knots.

Tomorrow supposed to be ice and a dusting of snow.

Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Brian Bolly on December 25, 2014, 08:24:58 am
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?

My process was to hit the cabinet with a DA sander and low # grit (I think I used 40) sandpaper.  This roughs up the current paint, knocks down the edges of any dings/dents and removes any suspect existing paint.

Now you can prep the boxes. Fill in holes and re-sand.  After you've filled and re-sanded, something you may want to do is use a base coat of flat black latex.  It gives a good even base to start with and helps the Duratex adhere to your filler material.

Before you fill anything, and again before you put any paint or Duratex on, wipe down the entire cabinet with a slightly damp tack cloth.  Neither vacuum nor air compressor can remove all the dust that's sticking to the cabinet.  The tack cloth will pick up a surprising amount and make for a clean surface to apply any repair or coating.



Quote
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.

Yes, but as with all roller finishes, your technique will help determine how nice it is.  The type of roller cover does make a difference as well.  I can tell the difference between the first couple boxes I rolled and the last couple as I got comfortable with how it covered and rolled out.  It's like painting with slightly watery pudding, but you eventually get the hang of it.  The factory style roller covers from Acrytech work well.


Quote
3.  How reflective is the "Satin" finish?

As other folks have said, not very.  No more so than the factory finish of most other boxes, but it's definitely not dead flat either.


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

So far, so good.  The boxes I did this spring went out for 4 months on the road, and I only noticed a couple small dings in the wedges when they came back, which were to be expected.  Overall I am very impressed with the durability of the product.


As mentioned, a decent shop temperature helps dictate how well and how fast the stuff cures, but the real contributing factor is humidity.  I did 2 runs of boxes a couple weeks apart, and the humidity went from in the mid 40%/low 50% range to up around 70%.  That change in humidity increased the full cure time of the second set of boxes by over a week, up from a couple days.  If you're doing 2 coats (recommended for coverage and durability), this is a big deal.  You can get a nice digital thermohygrometer for around $25 to help monitor temperature and humidity in the area where you're painting.

After doing one set of boxes with a sprayer and another with a roller, I am firmly in the camp of using the roller.  Way less mess, less noise, and uses a lot less material.  Roller covers are the only thing I burned through, and those are cheap in comparison.  Unless you have a LOT of boxes to do the 1gal size will probably be sufficient for your needs. 
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: John Halliburton on December 25, 2014, 10:17:32 am
I would also suggest that sanding past 60 grit is probably not a good idea.  A lot of these products prefer a rougher surface for better adhesion.

Durham's Rock Hard Putty is the full name of the product Tim Mc. suggests, and it is as it says, rock hard.  Let it dry thoroughly-see below.

Also, make sure the cabinets are nice and dry-I'd consider leaving them in a well heated room for a few days prior to painting.

Finally, use compressed dry air to blow the cabinets off of dust before painting, vacuuming won't be enough.

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Rob Spence on December 25, 2014, 08:04:09 pm
I would also suggest that sanding past 60 grit is probably not a good idea.  A lot of these products prefer a rougher surface for better adhesion.

Durham's Rock Hard Putty is the full name of the product Tim Mc. suggests, and it is as it says, rock hard.  Let it dry thoroughly-see below.

Also, make sure the cabinets are nice and dry-I'd consider leaving them in a well heated room for a few days prior to painting.

Finally, use compressed dry air to blow the cabinets off of dust before painting, vacuuming won't be enough.

Best regards,

John

And be sure your air is oil free.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Robert Piascik on December 25, 2014, 09:18:01 pm
I have had some cabinets sprayed with Line-X and am very happy with the results. It's a lot less work than doing it yourself and cost was reasonable. I saw John Haliburton suggest it in a post awhile ago and am sold on the process.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Michael Thompson on December 26, 2014, 05:03:48 am
I have had some cabinets sprayed with Line-X and am very happy with the results. It's a lot less work than doing it yourself and cost was reasonable. I saw John Haliburton suggest it in a post awhile ago and am sold on the process.
I took the Line-X approach a few years ago after getting tired of sanding, filling and repainting.  The prep is greater but I haven't had a chip or a dent since.  IMHO it's worth the extra expense.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Edvardas.Key on September 06, 2018, 02:04:04 pm
hello, guys,

need advice for repaint speaker cabs. I have two speaker, which need to repaint. I found, that there are two main paints for speakers - warnex in europe, and duratex in usa. These are most used speaker cabs paint with matereal. Now, i found in this forum, that mostly everyone which is repainting speakers, chosing these paints. My question is - if speaker has allready some matterial, coating, from manufacture? Why do this one more time and take second layers for this same matterial? Isnt not enough to repaint with simple water resistan black paint for wood?
Matterial still will be the same?
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on September 06, 2018, 03:02:18 pm
hello, guys,

need advice for repaint speaker cabs. I have two speaker, which need to repaint. I found, that there are two main paints for speakers - warnex in europe, and duratex in usa. These are most used speaker cabs paint with matereal. Now, i found in this forum, that mostly everyone which is repainting speakers, chosing these paints. My question is - if speaker has allready some matterial, coating, from manufacture? Why do this one more time and take second layers for this same matterial? Isnt not enough to repaint with simple water resistan black paint for wood?
Matterial still will be the same?

Did you read this entire thread?  Every one of your questions is answered.
Title: Re: Time for a new paint job. Advice on prep and paint technique needed.
Post by: William Schnake on September 07, 2018, 09:55:05 am
Glad this got re-bumped.  We are getting ready to do 6 dual 12" x 2" horn EV cabs.  Great tips in this post.

Thanks guys.

Bill