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  • How to get a piano black finish?

    Fellas I need help. I want to get a black piano finish on my unfinished 3/4" mdf enclosures. Info. on materials and neccessary steps to get a great finish will be sweet. Attached is a pic of the spkrs. as they set now. You can view more about the speakers on http://pwkdesigns.com/blog/index.php...y081215-100000 2-Way 5.1 Surround Upgrade "Sculpture 102.1"
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: How to get a piano black finish?

    Originally posted by dgibb79 View Post
    Fellas I need help. I want to get a black piano finish on my unfinished 3/4" mdf enclosures. Info. on materials and neccessary steps to get a great finish will be sweet. Attached is a pic of the spkrs. as they set now. You can view more about the speakers on http://pwkdesigns.com/blog/index.php...y081215-100000 2-Way 5.1 Surround Upgrade "Sculpture 102.1"
    Sanding, sanding, and more sanding.

    Seal the MDF with Elmers "painted" all over the surface. Once dry, sand, sand, sand, with ever finer grit. Once you've reached 400 or so, you're ready to try some paint.

    Love "The Boondocks."
    R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

    Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


    95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

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    • #3
      Re: How to get a piano black finish?

      Would stain be fine? I was thinking about using some ebony black oil-based stain by mini-wax and mini-wax polyurethane for finishing. So if the elmer's seal keep the mdf from soaking up the stain how many coats?

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      • #4
        Re: How to get a piano black finish?

        Originally posted by dgibb79 View Post
        Would stain be fine? I was thinking about using some ebony black oil-based stain by mini-wax and mini-wax polyurethane for finishing. So if the elmer's seal keep the mdf from soaking up the stain how many coats?
        One coat of Elmers should do it. The main thing is prepping the surface to get it smooth as glass and without undue undulations so you get that piano finish.

        And I'd use just your standard black spray paint, with a sanding session between coats. After a few coats of paint when you're happy with the look, then the urethane, sanding between coats, until you have the liquid look you are looking for.
        R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

        Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


        95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

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        • #5
          Re: How to get a piano black finish?

          Sounds simple enough. Is it possible to get a smooth look using a good natural bristle brush? I'm thinking about purchasing a 5hp compressor and a good hvlp gun. When applying the poly finish, do I suppose use a rubbing compound to bring out the desired shine between coats?

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          • #6
            Re: How to get a piano black finish?

            I've used several coats of diluted Titebond II as a base coat, let dry for a day or two, lightly sanded smooth then finished up with a coat of clear poly! I ususally let set for another day or two then proceed from there!

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            • #7
              Re: How to get a piano black finish?

              I would read over the this thread over at diyaudio towards the end take note of MJL21193's posts.

              If i were you i would stay away from anything water based as a primer/sealer(elmers). Im going to follow MJ's technique of using polyurethane as a primer/sealer, sand, "rustoleum stops rust" black-gloss enamel (MJ uses tremclad) then clear with more poly. Cut the rustoleum by about 30-40% with mineral spirits (it will dry very fast this way. Im still not sure on which clear top im going to use.

              Wait a few days between steps. IMPORTANT!

              I would also recommend a flush trim bit instead of sanding with a heavy grit sand paper on panel end grain. Im starting to think that joint lines are more the result of the grain being disturbed and unfurling other than moisture being the sole reason for expansion lines.

              take your time and do some tests on scrap mdf.
              My Gigers.. Tritrix/DVC10 http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222891

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              • #8
                Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                Originally posted by tech9_79 View Post
                I would read over the this thread over at diyaudio towards the end take note of MJL21193's posts.

                If i were you i would stay away from anything water based as a primer/sealer(elmers). Im going to follow MJ's technique of using polyurethane as a primer/sealer, sand, "rustoleum stops rust" black-gloss enamel (MJ uses tremclad) then clear with more poly. Cut the rustoleum by about 30-40% with mineral spirits (it will dry very fast this way. Im still not sure on which clear top im going to use.

                Wait a few days between steps. IMPORTANT!

                I would also recommend a flush trim bit instead of sanding with a heavy grit sand paper on panel end grain. Im starting to think that joint lines are more the result of the grain being disturbed and unfurling other than moisture being the sole reason for expansion lines.

                take your time and do some tests on scrap mdf.
                Why stay away from Elmers or Titebond? The enclosure is likely bonded together with those adhesives already. Not only that, but the subsequent coats of paint and laquer/urethane will remove any possibility of exposure of the underlying Elmer's. Not only that, MDF is already quite susceptible to moisture. Keep in mind, that these are indoor speakers and not likely to see huge swings in humidity. And if they do see high humidity, a coat of urethane where the Elmer's was, followed by coats of paint and clear, won't do any more to seal the MDF than the Elmer's did, unless you coat both inside and outside the enclosure, even the driver cutouts.
                R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

                Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


                95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

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                • #9
                  Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                  I found the piano gloss to be relatively easy! Yes , much sanding for a smooth start. Then black spray paint , several coats , then many coats of clear coat , followed by allot of sanding! The last step involves rubbing compound and a soft cloth to bring the surface to a glassy , reflective finnish!
                  It is allot of work but it is so worth it!
                  Ryan.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                    Any of the hard enamel metal paints are the way to go (HVLP)! Do all the finishing tips mentioned above. Then to top it all off buff by hand with Mothers or other high quality auto wax! Seriously do the wax thats what makes them pop!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                      Hogwash.


                      Originally posted by tech9_79 View Post

                      I would also recommend a flush trim bit instead of sanding with a heavy grit sand paper on panel end grain. Im starting to think that joint lines are more the result of the grain being disturbed and unfurling other than moisture being the sole reason for expansion lines.
                      ~99%
                      Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
                      Make me a poster of an old rodeo
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                      To believe in this livin' is just a hard way to go

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                      • #12
                        Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                        Originally posted by Ryan View Post
                        I found the piano gloss to be relatively easy! Yes , much sanding for a smooth start. Then black spray paint , several coats , then many coats of clear coat , followed by allot of sanding! The last step involves rubbing compound and a soft cloth to bring the surface to a glassy , reflective finnish!
                        It is allot of work but it is so worth it!
                        Ryan.
                        Ryan, What paint ant clear coat did you use? Also how durable is the finish?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                          Originally posted by bobbarkto View Post
                          Hogwash.
                          Think about it, mdf is wood fiber compressed and bound by resin. The weakest points are at the panel ends, If something like your saw blade ect is not entirely sharp the resin in the end grains is broken apart. Feel the ends of your panel after cutting with a sharp blade, hard & rigid. with a dull blade or lots course sanding the ends are kind of spongy. I think the ends then kind of mushroom out, showing lines. A sanding sealer or hard primer helps stop this, holds things in place and can be finished sanded.

                          Expansion lines have been talked alot about in other forums and it seems that moisture was not the only problem. Even the pro's were scratching their heads.

                          Its just my theory. But if my hog is washed, it shows no lines..;)
                          Last edited by tech9_79; 07-30-2009, 12:48 PM.
                          My Gigers.. Tritrix/DVC10 http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=222891

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                          • #14
                            Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                            I added some relevant points in this thread:

                            http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=69840.0

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                            • #15
                              Re: How to get a piano black finish?

                              This may be of help - from the PE showcase. Read towards the bottom.

                              http://www.parts-express.com/project...fm?project=SO1
                              If dynamite was dangerous, do you think they'd sell it to an idiot like me?

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