The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Gary Weller

Sophomore
Mar 11, 2011
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Il.
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Warnex. I get it applied for me. Environmentally friendly, creates many different textures depending on application, available in a wide variety of colors, and easy to patch up down the road. Also, unlike some of the other "durable" coatings, it doesn't tear up my knuckles when I'm moving boxes around.

Where can you get Warnex at?
 
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Great info and thread for the new cabinet builder!
But does anyone know what JBL is putting on the current SRX series and how would you go about spot repairs? Same with EV -such as on my Sx250's and Qrx stuff? It looks very fine and consistent in grain and I've never been able to get that good with anything I've tried.
I was thinking of just spraying a thin coat of paint over it as there really isn't any punctures or digs through it, just surface scrapes that don't seem to clean off.
-Trying to find something with the right sheen when dried to match other cabinets is tough as it isn't undo-able if it's wrong!
 

Tim McCulloch

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,983
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48
Wichita KS USA
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Hi Craig-

I can't say for sure "these days" but JBL used to use Sherwin-Williams Polane (the nasty toxic kind). When I was at VerTec school in 2008 I saw several buckets of S-W product but can't say for certain that it was Polane. Most of JBL's cabinet work is done in Mexico now, so it could be almost anything.

Did you contact JBL?
 

BJ James

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
260
0
0
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

I finally got around to redoing a couple 2x18 subs with Dura Tec. Like any other project, most of the time was spent in preparation. I removed all the hardware, masked off the drivers and cavities, and sanded the existing finish for a scuffed up surface. I used a palm sander to start with and found that it heated up the surface too much and gummed up my paper too quickly. I switched to a Porter Cable random orbital sander/polisher on a slow speed and a light touch. That worked much better.
Then I mixed up some bondo to patch up a couple dings. Be prepared for a bit of frustration if you've never used bondo before. My first batch I used too much hardener and it hardened before I had a chance to do much. Next batch I didn't use enough hardener, and it never did cure properly and I had to scrape, sand, and acetone it off. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy. Use LIGHT COATS of bondo.
After curing and sanding smooth, I spot primed the bondo'd areas and let dry overnight.
Then on to the Dura Tec. This stuff is awesome. It's like a gel. I just used a brush to pick up a glump, spread it out on the surface a bit, and rolled it out with the Dura Tec roller. It dries quickly to the touch. Instructions say you can apply 2nd coat once it's dry, but I waited over night.
It seriously looks like a factory applied coating. Very nice texture. I hope it holds up well because it will be a bitch to sand in the future.
Tonight I will be able to unmask and reinstall the hardware. Then start on the next pair.

edited to add: I keep spelling it wrong. It's Duratex. And also wanted to mention how easy clean up is too. Rinse brush and roller under a tap. Done.
And thanks for the great tips here from you guys, particularly Leland.
 
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Tim Duffin

Armchair Instigator
Mar 3, 2011
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CA
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

I don't know about using all this bondo to fill in holes/cracks/voids...

Seems kind of janky to me. If I was going to repair anything and wanted it to last, I would do some sort of fiberglass with cat hair or some type of high quality filler that is designed to last. Bondo is just about the cheapest and red-neckiest way to fill in dents and holes in cars, not to mention it sort of just falls off and cracks after a few years.

Also, "herculiner" is terrible.. it pretty much just flakes off if exposed to sunlight. Sort of makes sense that JBL uses an epoxy type covering instead of a rubberized urethane.
 
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

I don't know about using all this bondo to fill in holes/cracks/voids...

Seems kind of janky to me. If I was going to repair anything and wanted it to last, I would do some sort of fiberglass with cat hair or some type of high quality filler that is designed to last. Bondo is just about the cheapest and red-neckiest way to fill in dents and holes in cars, not to mention it sort of just falls off and cracks after a few years.

Also, "herculiner" is terrible.. it pretty much just flakes off if exposed to sunlight. Sort of makes sense that JBL uses an epoxy type covering instead of a rubberized urethane.

Bondo is fine for filling in screw holes, dings, etc. In fact it is what many manufacturers use standard bondo to fill screw and staple holes before paint is applied. It's not for filling in giant holes, just as you wouldn't use it to fill in a big hole in a car. You use the bondo to fill in small holes and cracks and to smooth out the surface.
 

BJ James

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
260
0
0
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Just to clarify...as Tom mentions, the bondo was used only to fill in little scrapes and scratches. The boxes weren't in that bad a shape. Just the paint looked like hell.
On the next pair I may not even use any filler as the Duratex fills in a lot of the small voids.
 

Leland Crooks

Freshman
Mar 1, 2011
58
0
0
Kansas
www.speakerhardware.com
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

It will fill very small voids, but it's still best to fill them all. Seems like every time I think "Duratex will fill that" it doesn't. Not much fun to fix it after you've applied the top coat. It does not sand nor scrape well. Easy to touch up though.
 

BJ James

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
260
0
0
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

It will fill very small voids, but it's still best to fill them all. Seems like every time I think "Duratex will fill that" it doesn't. Not much fun to fix it after you've applied the top coat. It does not sand nor scrape well. Easy to touch up though.

10/4 to that. I sanded a little extra on the next pair of subs. Decided not to bother filling in a few small cracks. Now that the Duratex is dry, I can still see the cracks. Oh, well ...I'll catch them next time around. I still have 12 versarray boxes to do so I'll be plenty practised by the time I'm done.
 

BJ James

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
260
0
0
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

What about grills? All the boxes I'm redoing (Versarray) have a shiney black and silver speckled finish on the grills. It seems pretty durable, except for the fact that I don't really care for the silver, plus a few have gotton scuffed up and look weird from a distance. I've held not doing them because I'm not sure I can get as tough a finish from a spray can of Tremclad.
 
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

What about grills? All the boxes I'm redoing (Versarray) have a shiney black and silver speckled finish on the grills. It seems pretty durable, except for the fact that I don't really care for the silver, plus a few have gotton scuffed up and look weird from a distance. I've held not doing them because I'm not sure I can get as tough a finish from a spray can of Tremclad.

When I had peavey qw218's (same grill as versarray) I repainted them with standard black rustoleum spray paint. It was plenty durable and easy to get touch up paint if it got scratched. Sand them lightly and paint them lightly with a couple of light coats. The black grills really go a long way in making the boxes look pro.
 

Tim McCulloch

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,983
39
48
Wichita KS USA
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

The Warnex product seems hard to locate in the USA, but DuraTex is easy to find (even in Kansas, thanks to Leland C). It rolls on easily and with a little practice you can apply a consistent coating. A clean but rough wood surface (we use 80 grit sandpaper) and 2 coats (thin first coat, second for desired texture) seems to work well.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
 

drew gandy

Junior
Jul 17, 2011
414
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16
Chicago
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Duratex does NOT work over standard wood putty either. It will crack and shrink back over areas of wood putty. The guys in FL actually recommended drywall mud as a filler.
 

Tim McCulloch

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,983
39
48
Wichita KS USA
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Duratex does NOT work over standard wood putty either. It will crack and shrink back over areas of wood putty. The guys in FL actually recommended drywall mud as a filler.

Drywall mud works as long as it maintains it's integrity; a smash that makes it crumble beneath the finish will lead to premature coating bond failure at that spot and this is true pretty much regardless of the coating material (catalyzed urethane, even!). We've also found that the mud adheres to countersink holes better if the wood is moistened with a couple drops of water a few minutes before applying the mud. You don't want the wood to swell and then contract, but you don't want it wicking all the moisture out of the mud, either. I treat it like cement patching.

Leland warned us about using regular wood putties when we ordered DuraTex. We'll know how the combo of mud/DT works out in a year or so...

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
 
Re: The "official" cabinet finishing thread

Just FWIW, I used some of the cheap pep-boys Duplicolor car underbody spray for another project (not related to cabinet finishing). It is sort of a messy tar like substance. If you were considering it as a poor man's cabinet covering, I would not recommend it. I used it on the back side of a thin aluminum horn to reduce ringing and it worked pretty well for that, but I would not use it on any exterior surfaces. It dries dark dark brown and has a bumpy porous texture. If you use it for anything, be sure to put down plenty of newspaper to catch overspray, and do a test spray on some cardboard to get a feel for the spray action.