Little Holey Vengeance Pedal Board – Build Phase 3B

Phase 3B Update

I’ve decided to break Phase 3 of the Little Holey Vengeance pedal board build into subsections. I’ll be posting mini-updates over the next couple of weeks since the finishing process can take so long.

This is Phase 3B.

Well, I finally decided on a finish to apply to the pedal board. I picked up a can of Duplicolor Blue Metalcast and the corresponding base coat. Then I completely changed my mind about what I was doing. I was struck with the sudden inspiration that I should paint the thing olive drab and stencil bullet holes around every hole in the board. This is going to take forever, of course, but my mind is made up and that’s the route I intend to go with this.

I considered going ahead with a spray paint finish, but finally decided against it. Spray enamels are a pain to work with because you have a very small window of time to work with them. You have to apply the primer and several coats of paint within one or two hours. If you aren’t finished in that time frame you have to wait about a week before you can spray additional coats. This is because the finish will have cured to the point that additional coats will start adhering to the surface instead of melting into the previous coats, but the solvent in the additional coats will degrade the bond strength of the original coats and cause them to start crackling and peeling. It’s not a fun situation to fix.

So instead I decided to roll the finish on with a fine paint roller and back brush it with a mostly dry brush to smooth it out. I had to decide between an oil or acrylic finish. Usually I would go with oil for durability, but I decided to try a product I’ve used quite a bit of in the past. We sell an acrylic DTM (direct to metal) paint designed originally to recoat old rail cars. It’s very aggressive and tough, but has great workability. The thing I was worried about was adhesion the the lacquer sanding sealer. I’ve used this primer and paint in the past over lacquer but not the Minwax sanding sealer I’m currently using. I’ve never used this Minwax product at all and I don’t think I’ll use it again.

I noticed earlier today that the sanding sealer had a very waxy feeling when I sanded it. That really had me worried. I know some shellac sealers are waxy and you have to be careful to get a de-waxed shellac, but I hadn’t heard of this with lacquer, though admittedly I don’t use much lacquer. I went ahead and applied an acrylic stain blocking primer tinted to a light gray color anyway.

This is the primer I used. Notice the lacquer thinner. I’ll be talking about that in a minute.

Primer

Primer

This is the paint I’ll use when the primer is ready for it.

Acrylic DTM

Acrylic DTM

Here is the primed pedal board. I’ll prime the other side when this one is dry.

Primed pedal board

Primed pedal board

Primed pedal board

Primed pedal board

I primed the large board first after a thorough sanding with 220 grit paper and washing it down with a water and mild cleaning solution using a microfiber cloth.

I notice pretty quickly that my fears were well placed. The large board seems to be okay overall but there are some areas where the primer separated like rain beading on a waxed car hood. Before painting the other pieces I wiped them down with lacquer thinner. They seem to be holding the primer better. I’ll have to give the primer some time to cure before testing the bond. It may be fine but I’m fearing it’ll peel right off. If it does I’ll have to strip the board and prime it with Zinsser B-I-N. This is a shellac based primer that will stick to just about anything. An oil based primer probably would have worked fine as well. The acrylic likewise should have worked fine, but this waxy sealer is really causing issues.

So at this point I’m at a stop until I see what the primer is going to do. I’ll stick to de-waxed shellac sealers in the future, and probably shellac primers for this sort of thing.

Stay tuned for the next update.

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