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  • Advice for finishing a sub

    I built a nice sub, now almost 2 years ago. I have an Acoustic Elegance AV12X 12 inch driver with 2 15 inch adjacent PRs weighted at 1800 grams and a 500 W O Audio plate amp on the back. It is a 20 inch cube, double thickness 3/4 inch MDF. It is a really nice speaker, goes loud, deep and with no discernable strain.

    It pains me to lay good veneer over the 4 vertical walls of the sub as I'd have to cut most of the veneer off for the drivers and amp.

    I thought of copying the finish of the base of a night stand I have that is a matt finished black paint with some red coming through at the edges of the piece.

    I saw at a local store a display of milk paint with glaze that looked very similar. I think, I'd prime the MDF with primer paint or should I use something else? Then I'd paint with black milk paint. Then distress the edges with sand paper and the apply the red glaze. I even thought of distressing the walls a little and applying the glaze, since the MDF lacks any porous grain to provide pattern for the glaze?

    Any critique would be welcomed, as I've not worked much with paint. Do I even need milk paint? And after painting, do I need to put a finish coat over the project? If so, what?

    Thanks.

    Darren

  • #2
    Re: Advice for finishing a sub

    Paint the box with a deep blood red paint. Then take a block of paraffin wax and rub the edges where you want the red peaking through. Then paint the box black.

    When it's very dry, rub the box down lightly with a white (fine grade) 3m pad to remove the black paint still clinging to the wax. This method makes a very authentic looking distressed finish.
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    • #3
      Re: Advice for finishing a sub

      Originally posted by dian1511 View Post
      I built a nice sub, now almost 2 years ago. I have an Acoustic Elegance AV12X 12 inch driver with 2 15 inch adjacent PRs weighted at 1800 grams and a 500 W O Audio plate amp on the back. It is a 20 inch cube, double thickness 3/4 inch MDF. It is a really nice speaker, goes loud, deep and with no discernable strain.

      It pains me to lay good veneer over the 4 vertical walls of the sub as I'd have to cut most of the veneer off for the drivers and amp.

      I thought of copying the finish of the base of a night stand I have that is a matt finished black paint with some red coming through at the edges of the piece.

      I saw at a local store a display of milk paint with glaze that looked very similar. I think, I'd prime the MDF with primer paint or should I use something else? Then I'd paint with black milk paint. Then distress the edges with sand paper and the apply the red glaze. I even thought of distressing the walls a little and applying the glaze, since the MDF lacks any porous grain to provide pattern for the glaze?

      Any critique would be welcomed, as I've not worked much with paint. Do I even need milk paint? And after painting, do I need to put a finish coat over the project? If so, what?

      Thanks.

      Darren
      If you want any finish you put directly onto MDF to be predictable I have found that sealing it with Shellac is a must. I use 1 part denatured alcohol and 2 parts shellac and spray it on. Takes about 8 medium coats. I don't sand between coats unless I get an obvious run. I wait and sand at the end. If you don't seal the MDF any raw edges will run any kind of finish you put on it. If you are using a dark paint you probably won't need to prime. Also the shellac dries fast so you can recoat in about 10 minutes.
      Dave

      If you can read this, thank a teacher.
      If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran
      .

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      • #4
        Re: Advice for finishing a sub

        Originally posted by dwigle View Post
        Paint the box with a deep blood red paint. Then take a block of paraffin wax and rub the edges where you want the red peaking through. Then paint the box black.

        When it's very dry, rub the box down lightly with a white (fine grade) 3m pad to remove the black paint still clinging to the wax. This method makes a very authentic looking distressed finish.
        Thanks, The picture illustrates exactly the finish I'm looking for. So, I could use any kind of paint? Does it matter? I just have to go out and get some paraffin wax.

        Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advice for finishing a sub

          Originally posted by dthomas View Post
          If you want any finish you put directly onto MDF to be predictable I have found that sealing it with Shellac is a must. I use 1 part denatured alcohol and 2 parts shellac and spray it on. Takes about 8 medium coats. I don't sand between coats unless I get an obvious run. I wait and sand at the end. If you don't seal the MDF any raw edges will run any kind of finish you put on it. If you are using a dark paint you probably won't need to prime. Also the shellac dries fast so you can recoat in about 10 minutes.
          Yeah, the salesman at Woodcraft also told me that I need to shellac the MDF. I do have MDF, but do not have a sprayer. I guess, I'll just paint it on.

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