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Author Topic: How to paint your cab the OND way.  (Read 1994 times)

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Ond

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How to paint your cab the OND way.
« on: September 02, 2018, 07:02:39 pm »
Painting cabs.   :timebomb:   :lol Nahh.  Actually painting your cab is a big part of the build and for us BYOACers the end of the Woodworking.  Other than the design and playability of your cab that's what people pay close attention to.  Well, that and the artwork….I'm going to cover my approach to painting various finishes right here.  Super High Gloss?  Smooth low sheen finish? Matt flat, wutcha like?
Is this you: “What primer do I use?  Brushes, rollers? Oil base, water base? Rattle cans, spray guns? sand paper, polishes? How many coats? How much should I spend? My brain hurts with all this!”

Well here’s where to get some info on all that. Apart from my personal choice of materials the basics of getting a good painting result are universal.  Even if you don’t go with my material recommendations, you can still take away the process.

“Why should I listen to you?”  :dunno

Good question! This is just my approach to it and what I've found works pretty well.  Over the years I’ve seen these questions (and answers) all the time, over and over.

There’s lots of ways to get a great finish, I’ve made MILES of mistakes to develop some kind of system. I’ve even tried French Polishing….which is insanely hard!  There are quite a few members here that really understand paint and painting, so guys, please bear with me.  Again, this is just what works for me.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 12:12:33 pm by Ond »
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2018, 07:46:40 pm »
Before we get in to the technical details of my approach to painting I want to cover some philosophy (I can’t think of a better word) on the finishing of woodworking projects.  One of the main ingredients is just plain old elbow grease, a willingness to put in some effort.  Applying paint, once you’ve got the basic technique down doesn’t take that long.  It’s what happens before and after application that makes a big difference.  Paint application always leaves behind some kind of texture.  If you’re striving for a very high gloss finish, then any texture needs to be removed. 

A high gloss finish relies on the following areas:

•   Patience
•   Effort
•   Knowledge (paint types, overall process)
•   Materials
•   Application (painting technique, number of coats, cutback, polishing)
•   Tools

I'd add that a dust free environment and suitable weather are important as well.  Is the effort and patience worth it? I think so. 

Materials & Tools

We use particle boards and plywoods in building and restoring arcade cabinets.  Occasionally real solid timber is used.  Most timbers are all really porous.  They present rough fibrous surfaces which absorb moisture and swell. We also use metals for control panels, coin doors etc. In particular, we use a lot of MDF. These build materials firstly need to be sealed and then smoothed.

I like to use a complimenting range of automotive products to finish my projects because they are non-water based, work well together, work well with the construction materials and (if chosen carefully) are of good quality.  The quality of paints and primers is really important.  For a long time, I preferred to use rattle cans.  Cheap rattle cans are horrible to use, they are inconsistent in their spray patterns, they sputter, leak, clog up etc.  Quality automotive touch up paints are much better.  I still have the occasional bad rattle can which blows its top seal and leaks everywhere, but mostly they are really good to use.  There is only one type of superior rattle can that I know of, model maker paints, the kind used on scale plastic models.  These are very good but also hideously expensive.

A fine even mist like spray from start of can to finish and you already have half the battle won. 

The other reason I use auto products is because they go well with Bondo.  Especially the high build primer or spray putty.  We use so much Bondo in this hobby!  To fix our stuff ups, to fill holes and cracks.  I even make stuff out of it.  Automotive High Build Primer goes really well with sanded and smoothed Bondo.  This makes sense as it’s essentially car bog as used by panel beaters.  My materials and tools list for finishing pretty much any surface is:

•   Bondo
•   Acetone (cleans up Bondo, resin, paint etc.)
•   High Build Primer
•   Automotive touch up rattle cans
•   Grades of wet and dry (the black stuff) sandpaper from 400 – 2000 grit
•   Cork sanding block
•   Mechanical orbital sander (Metabo)
•   Clean towel rags
•   Plastic take away food containers for holding water for wet sanding

« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 12:20:49 pm by Ond »
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 07:46:56 pm »
Application

My surface finishing and preparation for painting goes something like this:

1.   Fill holes, cracks etc. with Bondo
2.   Dry sand the surface with 180 and then 320 grit sandpaper. Until almost all surface trace of Bondo is gone and MDF is smooth.
3.   Spray 1st coat with High Build Primer/Spray Putty.
4.   Dry Sand with 320 grit for a uniform smooth surface. Wipe over with damp cloth.
5.   Spray 2nd coat with High Build Primer/Spray Putty.
6.   Dry Sand with 600 grit. Wipe over with damp cloth.
7.   Spray 3rd coat with High Build Primer/Spray Putty.
8.   Wet sand with 600 grit. Wipe over with dry cloth.
9.   Spray 1st (and usually only) coat of Primer – this is less viscous than high build primer for the fine details.
        a. Repeat above step 9. if required.
10.   Wet sand (lightly) with 600 grit. Wipe over with dry cloth.

Surface is now paint ready!

Below is an edited version of some video tutorials that I made.  This covers all the above steps in detail and more!.  It's quite long, 40 mins approx. just skip through it to the area that you want.  I haven't changed my approach to finishing and painting in this way since I made this video.  It's gotten me consistantly satisfying results over the years.

I hope this is useful anyway. Click HERE to watch.  If you have any questions just ask.

 :cheers:

Ond
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 12:25:56 pm by Ond »
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

HaRuMaN

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 08:22:34 pm »
---placeholder---

05SRT4

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 05:27:58 am »
Ond with the amount of street cred you have, if you told me to paint my cab with a bowl of milk I would probably try it.

jennifer

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 06:08:23 am »
Airbrush paint it usually said to be mixed to the consistency of skim milk, But Ond don't paint with milk....He walks on it. ::)

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 06:08:04 pm »
Heh, thanks  ;D Well, I want to make this thread as useful and accessible as possible.  The first posts may be a bit of a work in progress i.e. they may evolve a bit over time.  I have to go and have a look at my old paint tutorial videos and see if I'm still happy to use them.  If they are too embarrasing I may have to make some new ones.  We'll see.

jennifer knows way more about some of the tools in painting than I do especially things like air compressors, air guns, paint types additives etc and application.  There are also other members who know their stuff when it comes to paint, paint application and finishing.  Although this thread is about my system, contributions of paint wisdom are welcome!  I know painting and finishing discussions can get a bit heated - stay frosty and civil folks, it's just a darn hobby after all and we are ALL learning all the time.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 06:10:15 pm by Ond »
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

jennifer

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 07:32:57 pm »
   Don't worry about Jenn wrecking your thread it needs to be documented as definitive anyway, and your name on it just might sell it as golden, But thanks for the kind words.... Its a subject that is ALL yours if you want it.

PaladinZ

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 02:34:49 pm »
This thread is a great idea! I had some trouble with my paintjob. I used a Wagner paint gun and wood paint. Ended up switching to a brush and roller.
I did use a spray can for the marquee mounts and the screws and that was a lot easier to work with.
I’d love a good guide. Thanks!

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 01:03:50 am »
Wagner guns are cheap and easy to use but may be a little coarse for a nice finish compared to say good rattle cans or a quality spray gun.  My video on preparation and finishing is now posted.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

Arroyo

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2018, 08:15:17 am »
 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

Jimbo

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 01:54:03 pm »
That's brilliant that vid and very helpful.  I really did a crap paint job on my first cab as I didn't have a clue!  Definitely learned something here and the next cab will be better because of it.  Thanks!  :cheers:

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 12:20:56 am »
Thanks fellas, I'll continue to update and add to this thread with anything to do with cabinet painting that I think will be of use.   :cheers:
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

mariox2098

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 11:31:34 am »
Maybe a noob question but how do you know when you've sanded enough? Especially on the higher grits when (at least for me) its hard to tell a difference in how it feels.

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 09:22:01 pm »
Maybe a noob question but how do you know when you've sanded enough? Especially on the higher grits when (at least for me) its hard to tell a difference in how it feels.

It's a good question, I know exactly what you mean.  With 600 grit it's fairly straightforward.  Sand until all the orange peel type texture is gone.  The paint surface should look like dull smooth plastic.

With higher grits - I use 1500 and 2000 you are really polishing the paint work.  The paint removed is very minimal you need to keep wet sanding until the surface has a slightly dull shine to it.  Then (and only then) it's time to move to a liquid polish.   :cheers:
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2018, 03:41:15 am »
When you are going to do full art, to which grit would you sand? I really don't feel like doing the best paint job ever (for my skills) and cover it with art. But I don't want to see imperfections through the art either.

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2018, 05:33:06 am »
When you are going to do full art, to which grit would you sand? I really don't feel like doing the best paint job ever (for my skills) and cover it with art. But I don't want to see imperfections through the art either.

For full art I'd sand down the second last coat to 600 grit, eliminating or at least minimising any "orange peel" texture.  Then I'd spray the panel with its final coat and NOT sand it at all.  Let it dry and cure fully then apply artwork.  A mirror finish or ultra-gloss finish is a bit pointless if you’re going to cover it over with artwork.  An even spray job on a well prepared surface can look really nice anyway, your artwork will be nice and smooth.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2018, 05:51:22 am »
Thanks! I won't be spray painting though. Would this also work with a roller?

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2018, 06:08:33 am »
Thanks! I won't be spray painting though. Would this also work with a roller?

Yeah sure,  just use a roller which produces a nice fine finish with minimal texture.  Test the roller first on something you don't care about to check how much texture it leaves behind with the paint you are using.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2018, 06:36:52 pm »
My local home depot does not have the  Automotive High Build Primer but has, Rust-Oleum gray filler primer spray. Would this work just as well? I should I really stay with the high build primer?

Thanks!

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2018, 05:44:21 am »
OK - I've tried the Ond method for a mirror finish on the inside of my bartop project's side panels (the visible parts).  All in all it worked great and very happy with the results!  You can see the stages and some pics in my project thread.

Up until now I've never really thought about proper prep and quality of finish so this whole process was pretty much new to me (I'd only done a bit of filling/sanding/painting on my Jimbovision project but only on surfaces that were to be hidden by vinyl artwork).  I can honestly say I'm a complete novice at this.

Here are my findings: -

 - Don't underestimate the amount of patience and elbow grease you'll need.
 
 - With the auto primers/paint I was using it needed 24 hours at least for each coat to dry.  These 2 panels took me almost 2 weeks from start to finish.

 - Get a decent mask - the filler I used (Isopon P38 body filler) and the Auto Primers/Paint STINKS.

 - I was painting marine plywood.  I needed 5 coats of high build primer with lots of grain filling and sanding in between each coat to finally get rid of all the grain marks.  Where the plywood surfaces reached the edge of the panels (where the saw cut them) I needed lots more work filling chipped away bits from the messy cut.

 - I found that when I wet sanded with 600 grit (with a sanding block) on the HB primer, I had to go REALLY lightly.  Around the edges of the panels in particular it was very easy to completely remove the primer back to bare wood.

 - Definitely use daylight for sanding if you can, and as Ond says, check your work regularly.  It's easy to sand too much and then a torrent of bad language ensues.  It wasn't always easy for me to use natural light as I could mostly only work on this in the evenings, so I used a strong lamp shining on the surface, which I constantly had to move about along with the wood.  It did enable me to see the work clearly and see where needed more sanding, but it was a pain.  Natural light would have been much easier.

 - Get lots of rags... seriously Ond - do you have a lifetime supply or something? :)  I went through LOADS.. they get very dirty very quickly.

 - I made some mistakes when spraying that meant I needed extra coats of the HB primer.  I tried spraying vertically down with the work underneath the spray... bad idea... this caused drops of paint to fall on the work from the nozzle of the can.  Also, I found I needed wipe the nozzle regularly else these drops from around the nozzle would be pushed out onto the work by the spray.  I found I also needed to increase my spraying speed as if I went too slow too much paint was deposited and it began to run.  Lessons learned here.  Definitely advise practicing on an offcut first!  It took me until the actual topcoats of paint to figure all this out!

 - Wet sanding actually feels really nice... LOL... it has a nice kind of resistance to it that is very satisfying... I'd never done it before.

 - I used Maguire's Ultimate Compound instead of their Swirl X as Ond used in his video.  It seemed to do the same job and had great reviews... and when I used it the surface came up great :)

Thanks Ond - I feel much more confident for when I start the other panels in my project. Learned a lot doing this!  You are indeed the man.

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2018, 09:32:53 am »
Hi Ond

Maybe a stupid question, but how would your process above change if you wanted a quality matt finish?

Cheers

Ond

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Re: How to paint your cab the OND way.
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2018, 03:10:34 pm »
Hi Ond

Maybe a stupid question, but how would your process above change if you wanted a quality matt finish?

Cheers

It's not a stupid question at all Jimbo.  Regardless of the paint finish that goes on to the surface, the primer step should always be the same.  Wet sand to 600 Grit which produces the dull plastic like surface.  With matt paint, you'd just spray on a few even coats with no sanding at all.  That's it,  you should get a nice factory smooth finish.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 04:52:54 am by Ond »
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

  
 

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