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  1. #1
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    how do i paint a speaker?

    just ran across a wonderful deal on a center channel. Problem is, it doesn't match anything in my HT/living room. Please help.

    Speaker is real wood veneer in Sycamore color w/grey color surrounding tweeter and woofer.

    I want to paint it black. I'm guessing semi-gloss black.

    how do i prep it for painting?
    do i use a brush or rolloer?
    how do i mask the drivers?
    will i still see the wood grain through the black?

    am i crazy for painting this beautiful speaker? Wife hates the color and i find it distracting.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Swerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    Speaker is real wood veneer in Sycamore color w/grey color surrounding tweeter and woofer.

    I want to paint it black. I'm guessing semi-gloss black.

    how do i prep it for painting?
    do i use a brush or rolloer?
    how do i mask the drivers?
    will i still see the wood grain through the black?
    Hey Tarheel
    Getting a good finish on a speaker cabinet takes a lot of time and some effort. From my one try at doing a gloss black finish, I'd say don't go there (short answer).

    It requires an absolutely smooth surface and a good spray paint set up. If you want the long answer on how some pros do gloss black paint finishes read this http://www.lungster.com/l/speakers/pianofinish.html

    Just because I'm spray painting impaired, doesn't mean you are. Couple of questions. Does the grain of the wood veneer show now, or is the surface smooth to the touch? Is the veneer on all surfaces including the front where the speakers are mounted? An easier fix than painting them black is to restain the speakers in black, followed by several coats of varnish. If there is grain, it will still show. I'm not sure what look you want.

    In any case, instead of masking the drivers for refinishing the cabinets, you should remove them. They are probably mounted with screws to the front baffle. Remove the screws and carefully lift out the drivers. The wires are most likely attached to the speakers with quick disconnects that look like this . Gently pull them off the terminals on the back of each driver. You may need needle nose pliers for that. Be sure to mark the wires and terminals on the back of each driver so you can reattach each wire correctly at a later time. I use red nail polish to mark the plus terminal which often (but not always) has a red wire attached to it. Be careful when using tools near speakers - one slip can tear a cone or dome. Stuff some newspaper in the cutout holes during refinishing.

    Depending on how much you want to spend on this, you might look for local furniture or cabinet refinishing shops. If you are anywhere near the Hickory or High Point area there should be lots.

    I used to be a tarheel too. UNC class of 1970.

  3. #3
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Always nice to meet a follow Tarheel...I'm about 45 miles North of Durham/Burlington near the VA border. Not far from the mothership.

    I will follow your suggestions on removing the drivers and newspaper.

    I was thinking about using a quality brush and interior paint instead of spray cans.

    The speaker is very smooth to the touch. The actual speaker and color are below. I also want to go semi-gloss -vs- gloss. Revel made this speaker in black and that's the look i'm aiming for. A furniture shop is a great idea, but i'm a total DIY'er, even though results vary.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Swerd's Avatar
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    If the existing finish is smooth, you may have an easier job of painting it black. It looks like the front is already painted instead of veneered. What ever you plan to do on the speakers, try first on a piece of scrap wood.

    Just a thought, there is a custom speaker maker not too far from you in Garner, called Selah Audio http://www.selahaudio.com/. Maybe the owner, Rick Craig, knows a better way to do this job, or maybe he can give you a name of a refinisher who would give you some free advice. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Flag down Paul O'Neal (ar.com user name poneal)...he's got more than a little experience with black paint.

    Surface prep is extremely important, you're gonna want primer and sand paper.

    Tarheel, what about applying a vinyl finish? Strip the cabinet? Parts Express sells some nice, inexpensive black ash vinyl and textured (pebbly) black vinyl. Peel n' stick, could be way cheaper and easier. If it's a center channel, the grill will hide most of it anyway, won't it?

  6. #6
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Flag down Paul O'Neal (ar.com user name poneal)...he's got more than a little experience with black paint.

    Surface prep is extremely important, you're gonna want primer and sand paper.

    Tarheel, what about applying a vinyl finish? Strip the cabinet? Parts Express sells some nice, inexpensive black ash vinyl and textured (pebbly) black vinyl. Peel n' stick, could be way cheaper and easier. If it's a center channel, the grill will hide most of it anyway, won't it?
    Kex, i'll try to flag down poneal. I thought about the vinyl from partsexpress and very may well go that route. I guess if the paint doesn't work, i can always go vinyl. Center's do come with grill covers, but this speaker is not a true 'center' speaker and grill covers were optional. This speaker does not have one ($135 for new one).

    I think i'll try the paint on the bottom, just a small area and go from there. Thanks for the ideas and i'll let you guys know how she turns out.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Paint a speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    just ran across a wonderful deal on a center channel. Problem is, it doesn't match anything in my HT/living room. Please help.

    Speaker is real wood veneer in Sycamore color w/grey color surrounding tweeter and woofer.

    I want to paint it black. I'm guessing semi-gloss black.

    how do i prep it for painting?
    do i use a brush or rolloer?
    how do i mask the drivers?
    will i still see the wood grain through the black?

    am i crazy for painting this beautiful speaker? Wife hates the color and i find it distracting.

    Thanks...
    Why would you paint a wood veneer speaker?I would ligthly sand it and use a matching gel stain and apply a few coats of antique oil for the top coating and bring grain out .Im going to finish a pair like this to match my entertainment unit I finish myself.Pat.P

  8. #8
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    Why would you paint a wood veneer speaker?I would ligthly sand it and use a matching gel stain and apply a few coats of antique oil for the top coating and bring grain out .Im going to finish a pair like this to match my entertainment unit I finish myself.Pat.P
    Pat, my new center is Scyamore and is grey on the front (see pic). My fronts are towers and are Rosewood. The Rosewood matches my entertainment center and the center stands out like a neon sign. It sits on my black 50" RPTV.

    Bascially, i want it to disappear as much as possible so black is doable, Rosewood would be too difficult.

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