The purpose of the surface treatment is to protect the wood surface and bring it durability. Surface treatment methods can be roughly divided into three categories: waxes/oils, varnishes and paints. Here are some instructions for each method. NOTE: the instructions are intended for home conditions, in industry the practices are often very different.
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OILS, WAXES AND THEIR MIXTURES
Oils and waxes are certainly the most popular surface treatments for self-made speakers and furniture. The materials are easy to handle, tools are hardly needed and the end result is almost always desired. Waxes and oils are absorbed into the wood and deepen the wood's character and grain pattern. The carefully treated wooden surface repels water and dirt well.
When using waxes and oils, the wood surface is sanded with a grit of 180-240. All glue stains must be removed because the substances do not absorb into them and the stains appear as pale spots. Oils and waxes are applied to the surface according to the manufacturer's instructions. In practice, we have noticed that a lint-free rag (e.g. a piece of an old shirt) is usually better than foam wax brushes or the like. Fine steel wool is also an excellent application method, the steel wool simultaneously sands the surface and the fine sanding dust fills the pores of the wood. In most cases, a good surface is obtained with two treatments. The first surface raises hair from the wood, which is removed after the surface dries by sanding the entire surface with 320 or finer paper. After this, the surface treatment is renewed.
Waxes and oils are also available tinted. Another option is to stain the wood surface before wax or oil treatment. Water-based stains are also available in handy small sachets from hardware stores.
Rags treated with substances containing natural oil have a risk of spontaneous combustion! It is necessary to take care of their appropriate further processing. So never throw rags in the trash. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Varnishing produces different degrees of shiny and hard surfaces. At home, varnishing can be done either with a brush or a roller. Varnishes are available in both water-based and water-based solutions. The substances are available in different degrees of gloss, as a basic principle: the shinier the varnish, the more difficult it is to create a good surface. However, a decent glossy varnish brings the dignity of the roima portion and completes the product!
The wood surface is sanded with 180-240 grit and intermediate sanding (grit 320 or more) is performed between each layer. The thickness and number of layers depend on the substance used, usually there are 2-3 treatment times.
Some varnishes require a separate primer with a substance intended for that purpose.
Take care of adequate ventilation in your working space!
Traditional painting can already be done on the bare mdf surface, so veneering is not necessary. Perhaps the most important work phase of painting is doing the groundwork. The surface to be painted must be sanded and, if necessary, plastered as smooth as possible. The glossier the paint, the more delicately the irregularities are visible on the surface. There are hundreds of shades of paint, so you will surely find the shade you like and with the desired gloss level.
Paints can be applied with both brushes and rollers. With different types of rollers, you can influence the surface and, if necessary, also pattern the paint surface. There are also different effect paints on the market that give the surface different reflections or even a plastered surface. Spray paints can also be used. Spray paints are very thin, so a good primer and primer are important.