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How to paint fiberglass?


patm1313's Avatar
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08-15-08, 09:12 AM   #1  
How to paint fiberglass?

I'm going to make a set of speaker boxes out of fiberglass. What would be the best process to paint them when they're dry? Do I have to use a primer? If so what should I use. What type of paint can I use that can go through an air powered spraygun? What varnish or lacquer or whatever should I use to make it shine?

 
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08-15-08, 03:28 PM   #2  
Welcome to the forums!

Using a conventioal cup gun, you are pretty much limitted to solvent based coatings. You will want to use a primer and sand it when dry. Using an oil base gloss enamel should give you a decent shine.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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08-15-08, 04:56 PM   #3  
Mark's advice is a good answer to your question but I might make a suggestion for something you didn't ask about.

I have built several sets of speakers and can say that speakers built out of fiberglass will sound terrible.
You need to have a fairly dense and solid enclosure to prevent the sound vibrations that occur inside the box from vibrating the box itself.
You would do well to construct the boxes out of a dense wood like mdf or particle board and cover them with fiberglass for a look you may want.

Speaker enclosures are an exact science.
The manufacturers of quality speaker components will normally offer box construction advice


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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08-15-08, 05:04 PM   #4  
Save yourself some cleanup--use auto primer followed by auto
acrylic enamel--both in spray cans from your local auto supply
store..........................

 
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08-16-08, 04:13 AM   #5  
You can avoid painting altogether by tinting the resin.

I agree with Greg, though: You need to design the speaker boxes specifically for the drivers you'll be using. The two main factors are resonant frequency of the driver and cubic volume of the cabinet. The cabinets should also be ported for better bass response. Port size and depth are critical. 13-ply birch is the material of choice for high-end pro systems.

After they're built you can apply tinted marine resin to waterproof and color them. Make sure to use water-resistant speakers, too, or you'll be replacing them often.

 
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08-16-08, 07:32 PM   #6  
Posted By: Rick Johnston You can avoid painting altogether by tinting the resin.

I agree with Greg, though: You need to design the speaker boxes specifically for the drivers you'll be using. The two main factors are resonant frequency of the driver and cubic volume of the cabinet. The cabinets should also be ported for better bass response. Port size and depth are critical. 13-ply birch is the material of choice for high-end pro systems.

After they're built you can apply tinted marine resin to waterproof and color them. Make sure to use water-resistant speakers, too, or you'll be replacing them often.
I was going to go with MDF. I don't need water resistant speakers. They are going to be in my bedroom in my house. The only reason I posted this in the boating forum is because I figured the people who frequent this forum should know soething about fiberglass.

I don't really want to tint the resin. It's just extra mixing and I would like to practice my spray gun skills some more.

But is there a link you can provide on an article on how to tint resin, or can you explain it? I have worked with fiberglass before, but I have never painted it. They have always been things that don't need to be aesthetically pleasing.

 
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08-17-08, 04:31 AM   #7  
Resin colorants or tints are widely available. It's a simple matter of adding the tint & stirring until it's incorporated. The instructions on the container of resin tell you the maximum amount of tint you can add before the product gets too thin.

Fiberglass can be painted just like any other material, but most boaters don't like the look. That's why I was trying to steer you away from it.

Prep involves roughing up the surface with 120 or 150 grit so it will hold a primer, then using progressively smaller grit on the finish coats, up to wet-sanding with 400. I would use lacquer rather than enamel.

Because your speaker cabinets don't have to endure a marine environment, you won't have to re-paint every couple of years.

 
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