Getting that 'piano black' high gloss finish

Discussion in 'Painters' Talk' started by foxbat, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. foxbat

    foxbat New Member

    Inspired by tutorials and videos on the net I've decided to try to get a piano black, high gloss mirror finish on an MDF surface that I'm painting. I'm just a DIYer so if it takes weeks to get the finish then so be it. So far, I've done the following:

    Dry sanded the MDF with 120 grit.
    2 coats of Leyland Trade MDF primer. Wait until dry.
    Dry sand the primer with 400 grit until it felt smooth.
    2 coats of Crown non-drip jet black high gloss applied with harris gloss brushes (the tin says use a brush and I can't imagine how you'd use a roller because this stuff is like jelly)

    The surface looks great, until you look at it at an angle where it catches the light then you can see brush marks. So my plan is...

    Wait 7 days for the first 2 coats of gloss to cure.
    Wet-sand with 600 grit to remove the brush stroke marks (will that work??)
    2 more coats of the non-drip gloss 24 hours apart.
    Wait 7 more days.
    Move on to the final polishing steps by wet sanding with 600, 1000, 2000 then rubbing compound.

    Does that sound like it'll work? I know it's a lot of steps and takes time but I'm in no rush and would like to get that 'piano black' finish as best as an amateur hacker like me can do.
  2. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    Have it sprayed - sorry not being negative, really

    Take a look at local industrial estates, find a spray shop, may be mainly car spraying or may be general spraying, have a chat and get a quote

    A mate of mine runs a spray unit in Essex and I’ve seen refurbed kitchen unit doors that he’s sprayed high gloss - and they look like glass, and in any colour

    As for a pot of paint and a brush ........ Astra will tell you how :)
    foxbat and Astramax like this.
  3. RolandK

    RolandK Active Member

    Like Dave I'd say spraying is the best bet. Also not sure that the paint you are using will be hard enough to polish up to a mirror finish.
    If you want to carry on with what you are doing don't start with 600 grit to rub down before polishing. 1200 will take longer but will get a better finish.
    Mainly all based on my experience with painting cars.
    foxbat likes this.
  4. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    As DIYDave has already suggested and far quicker than the non drip gloss method, I have done almost exactly as you have/are doing by using 3 coats of waterbased black paint, fine wet & dry paper between coats and finished with several coats of clear gloss quick dry varnish to obtain that piano black shine. Also used a car body polish to polish for a top class shine. Waterbase paints dry off far quicker than the oil base products and probably giving a harder finish.
    foxbat likes this.
  5. foxbat

    foxbat New Member

    I think I'd like to carry on with the pot and brush though I do appreciate that if this was going to be in the house on display then spraying by a professional is unquestionably the best way. It's actually a strip to mount beer taps in that will live in my man-cave!
  6. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Ok, once you have a good depth of the non drip paint and after is has dried for a few days simply flatten off the shine and use a few coats of high gloss varnish over to give it an incredible shine.
    foxbat likes this.
  7. foxbat

    foxbat New Member

    Would you sand between coats while building up the layers of gloss or is that just a waste of time? Thanks for the advice (everyone) it's very much appreciated.
  8. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Yes sand with a fine wet & dry.

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