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Author Topic: Painting A Cabinet  (Read 1581 times)

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thecountofzero

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Painting A Cabinet
« on: November 18, 2016, 08:04:34 am »
Hi all. Built a MAME machine about twenty years ago, but when I did, I really didn't care much about the appearance of the cabinet. I slapped a quick coat of paint over the exterior and called it a day. Functionally it's awesome, but aesthetically it's an eye sore.

Well I got my hands on an empty Dynamo HS-1 cabinet recently and have decided it's time for my next build. After all, it has been twenty years. That old machine is still running Windows 98!

Using a heat gun, scraper and my fingers I was able to remove the tattered vinyl from the sides of the cabinet. Now it is time to prepare it to be painted. I considered vinyl, but don't see that happening and have no desire to spend the money on formica laminate. Since I am not in a rush, and would rather spend money on parts, the whole sand, prime, paint, sand, paint, prime routine seems to be my best option.

There is a ton of information on the web about how this process should be tackled. There is almost too much information. I was hoping someone could point me at a definitive guide on the subject. I have seen some reference Ond's procedure for getting a very smooth finish by painting, but I cannot seem to locate said tutorial.

What is the best way to smooth out the particle board to prepare it for painting. As I said earlier, I am willing to do this in as many steps as necessary. I guess I also need advice on the best method for removing the glue residue from the vinyl off the cabinet. Some of the glue came off with the vinyl. Some did not.

Thanks in advance. And if any has any parts for an HS-1 I'd certainly be interested. I am currently looking for a clean cut corner control panel, the sheet of glass to cover the monitor and perhaps a bezel (although I recently spotted the $2 bezel thread).

Thanks!

lilshawn

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 01:18:33 pm »
how smooth is smooth for you?

I would recommend a sander for this and not just doing it by hand.

Do a rough sand with like 80 grit to even out the surface and remove the bulk of the glue... then as you near the end of the glue and beginnings of evening out the wood, switch to 120 grit.

if you think it's smooth, it's not. hit it with a grey primer and look at it after it dries. this will be a good indication of how much more work you need to do to it.

then sand it more.

then apply a layer of filler (wood filler or bondo) to any dings or blemishes or holes and sand that smooth and even (up to 200 or so)

this finish is probably good enough to just paint and be done. you aren't going to see marks or anything.

then if you want crazy smooth glass or high gloss finish or something as you mentioned, prime, sand, prime, paint etc. you want to sand in between the paint layers with something like 280 to 320 grit. just enough to roughen up the surface to let the next paint layer stick.

really it's up to you how far you want to take your finish.

in the commercial business, I peel off the art hit it with some 80 grit on the orbital to roughen up the surface and get rid of any glue then roll on some mica black paint and call it good.

thecountofzero

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 02:56:02 pm »
Thanks for the info.

I already picked up a sander. I have read that trying to sand off the glue might just gum up the sandpaper and spread the glue around. I've read that I might want to use TSP or mineral spirits. Any comments on that?

Any particular grey primer? Some people seem to suggest a high fill primer. Does that make sense? And does it make sense to do the bondo/filler before the first primer? That was the order I had in my head of doing things.

What is this "mica paint" you speak of?

Thanks again!

lilshawn

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 09:43:52 pm »
problem with liquids is it soaks into the wood and causes it to swell. then you wood will be all uneven and you'll have to sand the crap out of it.

If you want to get rid of it first, I would go with something like just plain old straight acetone.  it will eat the glue, but also evaporate before it has a chance to get into the wood. it will leave virtually nothing behind.

don't just dump it on and scrub it around, apply it to a rag. a big pool of acetone would still soak in.

thecountofzero

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 09:52:03 pm »
So are you recommending the acetone over sanding to remove the glue residue?

lilshawn

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 02:02:11 pm »
I recommend sanding, but like you mentioned it can clog  up the paper pretty quick. so if you want to save on save on sanding paper, remove the bulk of the glue with acetone.

so i guess....both?

thecountofzero

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2016, 09:20:41 pm »
Any primer recommendations? Is oil-based better for particle board?

lilshawn

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2016, 10:25:12 pm »
I'd stick with latex for ease of application and cleanup. you can get a "paint and primer in 1" paint and it performs pretty good.

partical board will take either latex or oil though. With oil, it takes FOREVER for it to dry, but when it does, it's hard as a coffin nail.

don't mix oil and latex though. oil paint and primer, or latex paint and primer.

thecountofzero

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2016, 10:57:00 am »
Since latex based is just another way of saying water based, won't the particle board soak it right up?

lilshawn

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2016, 11:42:34 am »
it does to a certain extent. but in the case of paint it kinda works to your advantage. the paint soaks in a bit but dries quickly... this forms a tight bond with the wood, but also keeps it from absorbing more because the pores of the wood that have absorbed the paint are now full and blocked.

this is also why we need to sand in between the "prime" layer that touches the wood directly... and the paint layer that will go on next. to eliminate any swelling the wood does. and also give the next layer something to bite into.

depending on your primer you may not even need to sand.

you have to sort of just do it and go with the flow. particle board is one of those things that is made from... well, whatever. each sheet is going to react a little different in terms of absorption. some dont at all. and thats fine, prime, paint a couple coats and be done. some are like a bloody sponge. prime, sand, prime, sand, prime, sand...  :banghead:

in a nutshell... if you prime it and it is smooth, paint. if not smooth... sand and prime again.

it also depends on what kind of finish you want as well. if you want an absolutely flat matte finish... it's going to take a pile of sanding and priming to get it perfectly flat and even.

if you are semiglossing it with a roller stipple finish it will hide a multitude of issues. no real work needs to go into prep.

9voltsaint

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Re: Painting A Cabinet
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 06:24:59 am »
To get rid of the glue try this in a small test area first.

Pick up some wax and grease remover. Put it into a pump up spray bottle and give it a few light sprays, don't soak it. Give it a minute or two to work its magic. You'll eventually see the glue start to look a bit like jelly. Use a paint scraper to get most of the glue off, be careful not to gouge the board, it shouldn't take much elbow grease to scrape the glue off. Repeat this until it looks like there is only a thin layer of glue left, you can try the same technique with the spray bottle but instead of the scraper use steel wool. Then fire up that sander and work your way from 80 to 320.

The wax and grease remover is solvent based and will eventually evaporate off. I've used this method to remove a vinyl coating from kitchen cupboard doors and it didn't have any detrimental affects on the boards or the final finish. No swelling or "furryness" like feel to the particle/MDF boards.

Speaking of finishes. For your project, have you considered using automotive paints? Acrylic high fill primers would be easier to sand than the acrylic house paint equivalent.
House paint primers tend to clog sand paper, badly! Even better is 2K(2pac) high fill primers. Problem is they are on the expensive side, not exactly good for your health if you are breathing in the fumes and they are best applied using a spray gun so there is a small learning curve.

Good luck!


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