Author Topic: Preparing raw enclosure boxes for painting  (Read 2030 times)

Preparing raw enclosure boxes for painting
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:48:47 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I'm a newbie here and just got a Dr. Boogie Mesa Boogie and Marshall JCM800 emulator kit.  The enclosure box that came with the kit (1590BB) is plain aluminium.  I would like to paint this either metallic silver, black or red (not sure of my final color yet.)

How can I prepare these boxes for painting?  Someone told me that I cannot just paint over the boxes but have to "prime" coat them first.  Is it better to use spray paint, oil or enamel based paint?  How many coats should be applied??

One thing that I am concerned about is that the paint will wear off or chip off the box after being stepped on several times.  How do pedal manufactures paint their boxes and get them to remain intact by the consumer??


rutabaga bob

Re: Preparing raw enclosure boxes for painting
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 03:03:08 PM »
commercial enclosures are powder-coated. 
there's lots of info on the forum about finishing pedals...use the search function. 
i think most people recommend using one brand and type of paint.  some have had disasters mixing brands.
" sharp as a sackful of wet mice" - Foghorn Leghorn

Leston Braun

Re: Preparing raw enclosure boxes for painting
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 03:31:06 PM »
I've used this for my enclosures, I have it in a spray can. Very easy, just a thin layer, and the actual base coat sticks very good. I usually paint with car paints, and they won't attach to aluminium without this, they'll just peel off (think BJF)  :D (nothing against BJF, I love his work and finishes). Another thing I have tried, and works, is epoxy base coat.

You should google "etch primer".


Re: Preparing raw enclosure boxes for painting
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 07:22:01 PM »
Hi Crunchy hot dogs,

I have made a tutorial video with some basic information about finishing enclosure and some of the options you have.  Check it out, hope it helps!

Pedal Parts Shop                Youtube


Re: Preparing raw enclosure boxes for painting
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 02:24:04 AM »
1.  sand with 400 grit automotive sand paper under running water.  Can go smaller sequentially.  Smoother you want it, the sweat you need to put in!
2.  Clean with soap and water.  Dry thoroughly.
3.  coat with primer.  I use just generic all purpose primer.  Dont need may coats, just cover it.
4.  dry in toaster oven for 15---30 mins at 200-250 deg.  Let cool.
5.  spray with enamel of choice.  enamel is your basic off the shelf spray paint.  I use everything from $1/can black to hammered to metallic paints.  there is a learning curve to spray painting. 
6.  back in the toaster oven.  Key to dry it well with each coat.
7.  apply waterslide decal, labels, paint etc.  Back in the oven... remember, DRY EACH COAt!
8.  finish with clear or gloss, your choice, enamel, also in a spray.  I can get all my stuff at Home depot.

What ive learned - critical to dry it well after each coat in the toaster oven!

This can give you a nice looking pedal.  But it will chip.  Not nearly as durable as powder coating.