Gold and Black Door Finish

Advise on achieving a tricky finish for raised panel doors: black background with gold on just the panel raises. July 29, 2007

Client shows us a picture of a home theater that has entrance doors done in black lacquer with the panel raise gold (only). In his home theater we have a kitchen/cabinetry/raised panel columns that need this same detail - about 60 pieces total.

We outsource the doors to Conestoga - maple stile and rails with MDF slant raise center panel (CRP10hybrid). We don't want a solid stock panel glue up to eventually show through.

We normally shoot Valspar CV but are going with a pre-cat because of possible buildup issues. Proposed finish schedule follows…

1- Brush black primer washcoat on panel raise push under panel joint, scuff 180.
2- Prime both sides black primer (Kremlin). Scuff 220QC defects and spot prime.
3- Air brush Gold Metallic pre-cat onto panel raise - neat as possible?
4- Panel raise now dry 2+ days - blue tape off - Xacto knife, etc. This is a pain. Scuff off gold overspray on panel and rail faces.
5- Clean shop totally - pray no dust.
6- Spray black topcoat 40% sheen.
7- Pull off blue tape ever so carefully!
8- Touch up gold w artist brush?
9- Topcoat all with clear 40% precat.

10- Deliver to site holding my breath.

Any better ideas?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
I have had good luck with Createx auto air colors used for airbrushing. Tape off the area for the gold, spray on gold, peel off tape and then topcoat. When doing air brush paintings, Createx is thin and you hardly get an edge at all. It also comes in many cool colors and can be topcoated with almost anything.

From contributor J:
I am not sure that I would use MDF panels. I think that you could have a problem with it absorbing too much finish.

I think Chemcraft has a gold they can make or at least my finish supplier does, because I have seen one where they did a black crackle with gold underneath it.

The way I think that I would accomplish this is:
1- washcoat and scuff
2- black vinyl toner
3- washcoat and scuff
4- tape off and spray gold
5- possibly washcoat gold to protect it
6- cut your final coat 25-50% depending on if you still want to use CV or just precat
7- kneel down and pray nothing happens to them.

By the way, the best way to avoid dust is to use a tack cloth just prior to spraying and if you are really worried about dust, wet down your booth floor to trap any overspray.

From contributor C:
You do not want to use cat finish over gold or bronze powder. The acid in the cat will react and turn the gold green in time (not very long). If you must use a cat finish, then I suggest using pearl powders for the gold affect - unless you are really talking real gold powder. The pearl powders will not react with the acid part of the cat.

As far as finish and finish schedule, I would use a two component urethane 8 to 1 meant to be used as high build finish that would not yellow, so I would not have to worry about mil issues. Schedule would be spray one coat u sealer, let dry one hour, sand, spray coat of black u, let dry one hour, sand, spray clear u, let dry one hour, sand, spray entire door gold pearl, let dry one hour, then apply clear gloss u, let dry overnight. (Day 2.) Sand panel, tape off desired gold area, spray rest black, remove tape, apply gloss u., let dry one hour or more, sand and topcoat final sheen 1 or 2 coats, sanding in between. You can also do your raised panel profile edge with the sealer. Its 90% solids shouldn't take more than 2 good coats to fill and you can use a gun instead of brush.