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Thread: Repainting Piano Black.

  1. #1
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    Repainting Piano Black.

    Hello,

    I am planning to repaint my 250Ti Limited Edition speakers as there are some deep gouges around the grill pegs areas. I think it will be easier just shoot the whole speaker vs spot touch ups.

    Does anyone know what type of paint was used on these speakers from the factory? Lacquer?

    I like to use auto paint with base coat and clear coat. Will this work?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestion / recommendation.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect clear coat to mimic the original finish, and will be harder to maintain. A high-gloss finish will show every slight imperfection. Regardless of what you use, prepping the old finish is the key. Filling in the blemishes and sanding, multiple coats, etc. I'd consider doing the prep work myself and taking them to a pro for the finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
    I wouldn't expect clear coat to mimic the original finish, and will be harder to maintain. A high-gloss finish will show every slight imperfection. Regardless of what you use, prepping the old finish is the key. Filling in the blemishes and sanding, multiple coats, etc. I'd consider doing the prep work myself and taking them to a pro for the finish.
    Thanks but I like to do everything myself so I can learn - not to save $$ (it usually costs me more doing things myself but I learn something from it. That's the main key for me really).

    I've spray painted my hood and bumpers on my car a few times in the past and they turned out fine so I see no reason why I cannot do this myself.

    What kind of paint is used on piano's? Do you know?

    Thanks.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBL_620 View Post
    What kind of paint is used on piano's? Do you know?
    Depends on brand and vintage. Simply type "Piano Finish" in a Google search and you will have enough reading to do and follow up work to keep your desire to learn satisfied for months to come.

    I would choose a finishing material and technique based on the spray equipment I have, my spraying conditions (type of booth), my personal protection (respirator and/or positive pressure suit), and the types of material I have worked with successfully in the past.


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    Senior Member Cooljjay's Avatar
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    Don't do it, you'll regret it.

    Ebony/black lacquer finish are some of the hardest finishes to reproduce. Unless your a professional, don't attempt it. You can look around for a professional, but I wouldn't dare do it. Its not like repainting a car hood, and the cabinets I am sure are particle board. As was said you would have to thoroughly clean the surface, fill all imperfections, sand with multiple grades of paper...then lacquer...sand...lacquer sand...repeat and repeat...if you get a run or fish eye...you'll be hitting your head.

    Just don't do it...if the finish bothers you to much....just sell them.

    Their are things you can do to improve the finish. Clean all the gunk/pledge off the cabinets and buff with turtle wax or high quality wood wax. You can go to home depot and get ebony finish touch up pins and filler..or you can mix black spray paint with bondo...tape around the area to be filled first...

    Again I would highly recommend not doing it yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooljjay View Post
    Don't do it, you'll regret it.

    Ebony/black lacquer finish are some of the hardest finishes to reproduce. Unless your a professional, don't attempt it. You can look around for a professional, but I wouldn't dare do it. Its not like repainting a car hood, and the cabinets I am sure are particle board. As was said you would have to thoroughly clean the surface, fill all imperfections, sand with multiple grades of paper...then lacquer...sand...lacquer sand...repeat and repeat...if you get a run or fish eye...you'll be hitting your head.

    Just don't do it...if the finish bothers you to much....just sell them.

    Their are things you can do to improve the finish. Clean all the gunk/pledge off the cabinets and buff with turtle wax or high quality wood wax. You can go to home depot and get ebony finish touch up pins and filler..or you can mix black spray paint with bondo...tape around the area to be filled first...

    Again I would highly recommend not doing it yourself.
    Thanks cooljay.

    To be honest with you I have high confident I can get the job done with high satisfaction doing it myself; if I don't then I won't proceed.
    There are tons of readily available info and tips for DIY'ers online (thanks Mr. Widget). I will be doing a lot of readings on this until I am confortable.

    I just need to be sure the type of paint used on these speakers. I already sent an email to JBL factory for the info since I am concerned about incompatability of new paint over the existing one. I don't think JBL used lacquer paint on these speakers though. I have decided to go with 2 thin clear coats for the top.

    Anyway, selling these is out of the question as I already have projects for them. The worst case is that I can always take it to the pro (if I messed it up which I doubt).

    I really appreciated your concerns and recommendation.

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    Hey JBL 620, I like your attitude and from one DIY'er to another, we just love it when someone tells us, "Don't do it/can't be done". Fuel to the fire.

    The following link is to the JBL marketing brochure covering the L series that were done in Piano Black.

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...eries/tbq2.jpg

    It says the finish is polyurethane acrylic enamel. Maybe a gross assumption on my part but I would guess that JBL used the same finish on your LI 250ti's. I have been thinking about refinishing my L80TBQ's also as they have a few dings and scratches. If and when, I will most likely go with a fresh coat of polyurethane and polish out. The factory finish is "off-the-gun" and has quite a bit of "orange peel".

    Most hi-polish black pianos have a polyester finish although the American made Steinway is typically a nitrocellulose lacquer with brushed satin rub-out (not hi-polish).

    Hope this helps and "Go for it"
    Control 25AV on the deck - L1 - L20t & L80t in piano black - 4312A - 4430

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    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    When you do it, we'd love pictures and narrative. I'm sure a bunch of us could learn a lot from this even if we never do a black lacquer finish. Good luck with the project!

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBL_620 View Post
    Thanks cooljay.

    To be honest with you I have high confident I can get the job done with high satisfaction doing it myself; if I don't then I won't proceed.
    Keep in mind that most of the regulars around here have seen MANY great speakers ruined by well intended DIY-ers with paint. That's the source of many opinions you'll get here.

    I'll state again that I think that clear coat is a bad idea. The original finish is ebony lacquer in multiple hand-rubbed coats. Clear coat will give it a very different finish.

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    Clearcoat does not necessarily mean "gloss clear". A matte finish automotive clear will give a durable, cleanable, less easily damaged finish.

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    Senior Member Cooljjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Rinkerman View Post
    Clearcoat does not necessarily mean "gloss clear". A matte finish automotive clear will give a durable, cleanable, less easily damaged finish.
    Yep and we all know what happens to car clear coat after say 3? years.



    I will stop there, because at the end the owners can do what they want....But I just like to try and give a word of advice...from someone who's been there done it....I did a small radio cabinet once took me days to get it just right...then I grabbed a can of white spray paint instead of the clear lacquer..

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Rinkerman View Post
    Clearcoat does not necessarily mean "gloss clear". A matte finish automotive clear will give a durable, cleanable, less easily damaged finish.
    Also makes it impossible to do simple repairs and rub them out.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooljjay View Post
    Yep and we all know what happens to car clear coat after say 3? years.
    Not true... virtually every 5 year old car on the road has a clear coat... most look fine. If there is a problem it is improper application. Now, a number of years back... more than 10, there was a near industry wide problem as paint chemistry was reformulated and many cars had these issues, but there is nothing inherently wrong with applying a clear coat... as long as you know what you are doing.


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    Thanks Jonis for the encouragement and the marketing brochure.

    JBL factory responded to my email regarding the paint type used and here's what they said (which aligned with the brochure you provided):

    Greg says the paint in not Lacquer –

    It is either polyester-based or polyurethane. The exact formulation is no longer known..

    Greg says a good match might be an automotive gloss black touch-up paint.
    So I'll do some readings and learn more about this pacticular paint then will stop by the auto paint pro shop for further tips / advices for best results. If clear coat is not required, then no clear coat will be used.


    Tim, I fully agree with you on the first part but not the latter. I think with clear coats they're more forgiving since they're separate layers and can be repaired and buffed out and polished easily, or even shoot new cc.
    Anyway, don't forget that we are talking about home speakers here which will never see such severe outside whether conditions as cars do so I have no doubt high quality clear coats will last as long as the speakers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Rinkerman[/B
    ] Clearcoat does not necessarily mean "gloss clear". A matte finish automotive clear will give a durable, cleanable, less easily damaged finish. Also makes it impossible to do simple repairs and rub them out.
    I am currently contacting JBL factory for availabillity on grill retainers and speaker gaskets as some may need replacements after removal. Hopefully they still have these items in stock.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JuniorJBL's Avatar
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    Go for it!!

    Get a gun (I use a SATAJet NR95 HVLP for most of my projects) and lots practice.

    Learn to watch your finish as you lay it down. This is how you get the best finish.
    Auto type finishes normaly get atomized very fine and then when spraying make sure the little dots of paint are "blending" kind of like water drops connecting themselves. It will be just shy of "running" and then don't touch!! Just wait the aloted amount of time before the next step!!

    As Widget said above read as there is lots of info out there!
    Have fun!
    Always fun learning more.......

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