Painting your own pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Noah, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Noah

    Noah Member

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    My wife is an awesome artist, and I thought it might be fun if she could paint my pedals that I plan on keeping. Is there a website that shows you how to do this, or what type of paints to use, how to bake them???
    I'm clueless about this subject, so forgive me if it's an easy answer.
    Thanks!
     
  2. K-man

    K-man Member

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    Here's some info that may help.

    From geofex:

    On the other hand, you can also make this into something unique and very attractive. For boxes I want
    to look good, I paint the box after I've drilled the control and jack mounting holes but before I assemble the parts
    all into the box. Cleat the box carefully with a solvent to remove all dirt, oil, grease, gook, etc. Spray paint it with
    automotive gray primer, which will air dry in fifteen minutes or so. Then give the thing a top coat of
    appearance paint. Automotive touch up spray paint is a good, durable, coating, and easy. I spray the box, then
    bake it in a toaster over (or my kitchen oven!) for about 30 minutes at 120F to 200F This results in a really
    durable surface.​

    There's also an article there on swirl painting:​



    From General Guitar Gadgets:​

    Here's the steps we use to paint the boxes:​
    • Sand down the surface very smooth. I get down to #300 sand paper, most of the smoothing is done with #220 paper
    • Wipe down the surfaces with Naphtha (Ronsonol Lighter Fuel).
    • Apply 1 coat of automotive gray primer.
    • Light sanding with #300 paper.
    • Wipe down with Naphtha.
    • Apply one coat of Gray Hammertone paint (plasti-kote Gray Hammer Finish)
    • Apply labels (see next section)
    • Apply one coat of spay-on clear satin polyurethane (to protect the labelling).
    Here's the steps we use to label the enclosures:
    • Design the labels on a computer word processor. I design an entire 8.5"x11" page at a time.
    • Print the labels.
    • Photocopy the label page to a decal page. I use decal paper available from Micro-Mark, Item #81485.
    • Follow the decal instructions to put the decals onto the enclosure.
    • We use the Micro-Mark Decal Softening Solution to "set" the decal. This stuff works GREAT, I highly recommend it (Item #81263). I bought the entire "Decal Finishing System" (Item #81261), but the only thing worth having is the softening solution, save some money and just buy the bottle of softening solution.
    • Apply one clear coat over the decals.
    Using the softening solution with the decals, you can barely tell they are decals after you apply a clear finish over them. It really does look fantastic! Applying decals is a delicate operation. You should use tweezers and good lighting. When you cut the decals out - cut round corners, I found that will help prevent the decal from folding under when you apply it. We've had trouble with labels with big fat letters (large areas of toner). The toner will sometimes chip off. we touched it up with a sharpie and it looks great. It looks like the "Laser Decal Fixative" (Item #60765) might prevent the chipping toner, but we haven't tried it yet.


    From Fuzzcentral:

    I've received a lot of emails asking how I apply the finish to me pedals, so here's a brief "lesson" of my painting technique. The way I finish the boxes is pretty simple. First I sand the entire box with an orbital sander with a piece of 220-grit sandpaper attached. I just sand the sides smooth, but I spend extra time on the top of the box and the rear cover to sand in neat looking swirls, which adds a lot of depth to the metal. To add the swirls, I tip the orbital sander over to 45 degrees or so, so that just the edge of the paper is contacting the aluminum, and I move the sander over the top of the pedal in different patterns to make the swirls random (and more interesting). Then I wash the pedal with water and Comet cleaner to remove the sanding dust and dry the pedal off with a paper towel and a few good blasts from compressed air. Once it's dry I drill the box using RG Keen's Hammond 1590BB paper template.

    Once the box is drilled I carefully mask off the top of the box with some masking tape, then start spraying the sides of the pedal with whatever colors I've decided to use and the pattern that I've chosen. All the paint that I use, including the clear paint, is lacquer--which dries faster and harder than enamel without having to be baked on. After the painting is done I use the laser printer decal sheets that I buy from Steve Daniels to apply the decals. Once they've dried I give the pedal 2 more coats of clear lacquer to finish it off and give it a nice shine.


    Hope that helps!
     
  3. Noah

    Noah Member

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    Wow! THANKS!!!!!!!
     
  4. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    About the baking though, don't use your kitchen oven. Apparently there are chemicals released with doing this, chemicals you don't want getting into your food. Buy a cheap toaster oven at a garage sale and use that in the garage.
     
  5. DocRock

    DocRock Supporting Member

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    Also, too...talk to Donner on TGP. He makes his own designs called "DonnerBox." They are the *coolest* looking pedal boxes I've ever seen. He had a whole bunch of them at Chicago ToneFest.

    Best,

    Doc :dude
     
  6. K-man

    K-man Member

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    Yeah, I second that. Don't bake them in your house.
     
  7. AL30

    AL30 Member

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    I've tried the baking technique on numerous occasions. And... it's OK but the paint still chips off. If you want it stay on take a load of unpainted boxes to a shop and have them powdercoated. Or, talk to an artist (hey how convenient your wife's an artist!!) regarding the best options for painting metal.

    I have had better luck using spray on truck bed liner. Not too expensive, can be found at your local hardware store, and unlike spray paint is made to take some abuse. The downside is it's tough to write on it so if you use it spray heavy where you'll be putting lettering as this will smooth out the surface.

    Some people over at Aron's Stompbox Forum have some GREAT looking pedals that were etched using Ferric Chloride. Yep, the same stuff you use to etch PCB's. It's a little more involved than paint.

    AL
     
  8. Marcus Dahl

    Marcus Dahl Member

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    Just what I'm getting ready to go do right know. All of the above stuff is true, but I'm going to put my 2 cents into the pot.

    1. Wet sand the box with 400-800 grit sand paper. When I wet sand I get a bowl of water and add ant-bacterial soap to it that is unsented. The soap helps with cleaning while you sand and helps with fricion and the paper lasting longer. Oh and no dust so you don't need a funny looking mask. you must clean it off from time to time to see what has been done. When you get the box how you like then wash it off. You can rinse iit if you like, but I use soap and water. After rinsing I like to dry them really good and keeping my fingers from touching the out side of the box. If I'm in a hurry that day, I will put them in my over for 10 in at 200 degrees to make sure all of the water is gone from the box.

    2. Primer or not. At this point you need to figure out if you are going to use a Hammered paint or primer your box. If you are new to doing this it's easier to hammer the box. Rustolium makes a number of colors in hammered and I like there products. So if you're going to hamer this is what you do.

    A. Shake really well. Make sure you are in a ventilated area. Hold can 4-6 inches away from surface to be painted and lay down a light wet coat. let dry for 5-10 min and repeat 2-3 more times making the coat thicker each time. You should let this room dry for an hour before going to the oven. I say indoor drying cause of humidity. put in oven at 90-100 degrees and over the course of an hour slow turn it up to 150. I like to let it setup over night.

    B. Primering. I've stopped using gray primer a while back and have sarted using primer etchant. It's easier to get the everything to bond to the enclosure. This stuff really needs a ventilated area and you should probably do this outside or the misses will throw a fit. It smells like bubble gum, but really strong. Start with a light wet coat. Let dry for 2-5 min and lay each coat thicker than the first about 4 coats should do. If you want a really nice paint job then you must continue with a 2000 grit sand paper and start sanding to get the bumps, dings, and scratches out of the primered surface. Make sure you dust off really good before you repeat the primer job again. Do this as many times as it takes to get a nice scratch and dent free surface. It says on the can that you can paint with in 30min, but I wait for an hour before I do so.

    3. Painting the surface. I really like the Duplicolor primers and paints and that's what I mainly use. It's also good to stick with the same brands of primer and paints and not mix and match. I know I've said it before, but please make sur you are in a well ventalated area. Myself, I'm about to buy a filterd painting mask. Anyhoo, start a light but wet coat let sit for 10-15 min and with each coat let it get a little thicker. depending on what you want you should only need 3 coats. I like to let that sit for at least an hour before the oven. Same process as before start at 90-100 degrees and slowly take it to 150 and bake over night.

    4. Label if you like. You can get your boxes silk screened/do it yourself silk screening, use your printer with Avery fullset label paper, or water slides like for airplane model kits an that. I print my own and use the last two mentioned. I wont get deep here , but let me know if you have questions on this step.

    5. you can skip step 4. and go right on to clear coating. I like Duplicolors truck/van clearcoat and I do use it on the hammered finishes when I label them, but I always use it on the other paint jobs to protect the paint. Do light coats at first and then make them thicker as you go with 15 min intervals between coats. The more cotas you lay down the more the box will shine. If you get into the really thick clear coat look, at some point you may need to let the box dry because of clearcoat bubbles and dips. If that occurs I like to hit those areas a little thicker than the rest of the bo. That is after I've popped the bubble. You may have to make a pass twice. Let it dry for 2 or 3 hours, and throw off in the oven at 100 degreees over night. Let cool the next day. and sand with a 2000 grit sand paper make even, dust off really good, and hit with 2 more thick coats let setup over night, then bake the next day in thoven at 150. Bake untill you do not smell the paint curing anymore (that's normally over night) and your done.
     
  9. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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  10. Marcus Dahl

    Marcus Dahl Member

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    I try to build them tough. Sometimes the scratches and dings just happen. I have one I painted 2 years ago that's stood up pretty well. It has 2 chips in it, but I normally just toss my stuff in a gig bag and go. My Cold Gin was an experiment with that Duplicolor muti color shift paint. I painted it almost a year ago. I use it all the time and it looks decent. I'm thinking of stripping it and trying another process with the same paint and see how that holds up. I've been using myself and some other guys, that are rough on their stuff, as proving grounds. Anyway..., No apologies necessary. :worried :)
     
  11. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    great thread . . thanks dudes !
     
  12. Dion

    Dion Supporting Member

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    Hey Y'all,

    If you don't have an oven you want to cause to stink or don't want to buy a yard sale toaster oven you can use your cars engine. I just placed my painted and dryed pedal in some aluminum foil or you could try wax paper and placed it in a "safe spot" near my V-8 and viola! So far it has seemed to work well.
     
  13. JES1680

    JES1680 Silver Supporting Member

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    Just a word of caution on the toaster ovens. Don't paint it on the tray that goes in the oven, or if you do allow to dry a bit first. This might seem like common sense, but tossing it in the oven right away (with small pools of paint on the tray) will cause a rather exciting show. Too much arisol(sp?) / paint fume build up. Ok, It was cold out and I wanted to get it in the oven right away. Blew the door open, a nice size fireball came out, and put a really interesting "baked on" finish on my pedal. I did this in my garage knowing that there was the possibility of ignition, so it was kindof fun to watch. If this had happened in my house I'd not be so amused.
     
  14. Dion

    Dion Supporting Member

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    Bro, that is hilarious in a scary kind of way! Wow!:crazy
     
  15. shooto

    shooto Supporting Member

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  16. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    Wanted to bring this topic back up to see if anyone else had tips or pointers for painting boxes.
     
  17. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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  18. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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  19. Fndrbndr

    Fndrbndr Member

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    Just looking at some different options for labeling my DIY stompboxes...how about screen printing?

    This looks like an easy and cheap way to do it:

    http://www.ezscreenprint.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=14

    Anyone have any experience with EZ Screen Print? Just wondering if it would work at all, and if so, what kind of paint to use with it.
     

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