Painting Monitor Audio in wall speaker grilles

mjbarnard

Active Member
I have a thread in the home cinema showcase forum.

Living room refurb - in wall tv and speakers, WAF

But I thought it would be useful to post my experiences here to avoid others reinventing the wheel. Most of the installation was done by professionals, but they do not paint the speaker grilles. These are "designed" to be painted according to MA.

So I had lots of advice. It took 6 goes to get it done...

1)The guys doing the installation said take it to a car workshop who will spray them professionally. Well I tried two very reputable local car repairers and they basically wouldnt do it. They wanted me to take it to a professional paint matching service, and also said the plastic edges couldnt be painted (in the end they painted fine).

2) I found the code for the paint (denim drift - very popular but only one site had the actual code) and asked several suppliers who sell Dulux paint in spray cans to supply. Interestingly this was one colour none of them did.

3) I found this site and it matches to other colours:
Alternative colours for 90BG 30/073 - Steel symphony 2 from the Dulux Trade colour range. Convert from and to RAL, BS, British Standard, Pantone, Federal Standard 595C, Australian Standard, AS 2700, Farrow and Ball, Little Greene, Dulux Trade, DIN and NCS colour systems
So I ordered a can of RAL 7001 spray paint which was pretty easy to source. But my tests on paper showed that it was not near enough the same colour.

4) So I bought some airbrush paint spray guns
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LZI6UG7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016PXGZ68/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G2XRRYF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Despite buying three different ones and thinning the paint very carefully they just didnt work.
I then tried this which could have worked well:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0000AY19M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
But it was inconsistent, and sprayed extremely well sometimes, but then stopped altogether, so very uneven coverage. Had to dilute the paint so much it was dripping off the test paper.

5) So finally the installers recommended using a gloss roller and thinning the paint a lot and rolling on very thinly and doing multiple coats. This worked except that I bought a tin of the consumer paint and no matter how much I thinned it, it still clogged up the holes. I even bought some expensive paint thinner. I had to re-order two of the grilles, but they arrived within a week.

6) So I bought a tin of Dulux trade, which is much thinner, and then diluted it approximately 1:3 with water. This time with a light touch and a high quality gloss mini paint roller it worked. I eventually found that the best way to be certain that no paint clogged the holes was to paint lightly with one hand using the gloss roller and in the other hand use a powerful hair dryer (wife not too happy at this point..) on cool setting to follow each paint roll. It worked a treat and holding the grill up to the light I can see that all the holes are patent, whereas with previous techniques many were blocked and the front was blotchy.
I painted very thinly and did each grille around 6-10 times, although they did dry very quickly.

I will post before and after pictures in the next post along with a picture of the technique.
 
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mjbarnard

Active Member
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1crb1

Active Member
Well done for the dedication! Glad you got there in the end.
I’ve actually bought a mini HLVP gun as I have a proper compressor in the garage for when I spray my grills. Will see how that goes but this is getting me a little nervous!
 

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