I have some 18 year old audio speakers, they still sound great but want to
apply black lacquer over the current walnut veneer. Here is what I am thinking
of doing but still am unsure of how to proceed:
1) prepare surface by cleaning and light sanding
2) use a bonding primer (any recommendations?)
3) apply 5-8 coats of spray black lacquer (recommendations?)
My concerns are how to ensure each coat is perfect. For instance if there are
light air bubbles or imperfections between coats how should I rub those out?
What needs to be done (if anything) between spraying each coat?
How does one rub in a gloss finish on the final coat?
With careful preparation and application, you won't have air bubbles or dust
to worry about - at least not that you have to worry about at the early
stages. As with any finish, use a tack rag before you begin spraying.
Start with a light coat (called a tack coat) and when it's tacky, apply
medium to heavy (wet) coats making sure to overlap your spray and not have
dry spots between strokes. Let each coat tack up before applying the next
coat. A good thing to keep in mind is to pretend you are stretching a piece
of plastic wrap over the surface as you paint. You should be able to watch
your paint flowing on without puddling or sagging. It takes some practice
but you can master it. If you get dust nibs in the paint - leave them...
As I said - allow each coat to tack up before applying the next coat.
Otherwise, you don't need to do any other surface work.
Once you've developed the buildup and the depth of color you want, wet sand
the surface with 1200 or 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Be carefule around
edges as the paint is thinnest on the edge and you don't want to sand
through. This is the point that you flatten out all of the dust nibs that
you may have in the finish. Use a soft foam sanding block - available at
any hardware store and wrap your sandpaper around that for even pressure.
Your fingers will create uneven pressure and you'll see it in the finish if
you try to sand by hand with no block. Sand just enough to get the surface
perfectly... perfectly flat. Use your hand to feel for minor imperfections
in the finish. Feel for swells and valleys as well as for the more obvious
things like dust nibs still sticking up. You can sand all of the nibs
completely flat with patience and care. After you've flattened out the
paint, use automotive rubbing compound to buff it up. Start with a coarse
abrasive and progress to fine and finally to swirl mark remover. Use a
decent amount of hand pressure while you're rubbing it out - you're really
doing fine sanding with this stuff. You will see that the coarse abrasive
will actually bring the shine up to near factory automotive levels of shine.
Progress through the other two steps I mentioned and you'll see a mirror in
front of you when you're done.
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