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  1. #1

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    Question Stripping finish from RTi series speakers?

    Is it possible to strip the finish on the these? Particularly the RT15i(small bookshelf). I need a light color and it seems to be a lot easier to find a black pair.

  2. #2

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    They are easy to strip. I stripped my SRT's by using a chisel but
    you have to be careful not to chip the MDF board. I did only a
    few minutes that quick. The SRT's skin looks like made mix
    plastic and part wood and very brittle to strip.


    Har

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    Har,
    How would you go about stripping the CS245i center? Not very fond of the vinyl mess Polk put on it. Fine job they did, but It dosnt match the rest of my rig in overall looks. Although I am replacing it hopefully very soon, it just dosnt look good. Is it hard to strip the vinyl off of it? Or is it a waste of time?
    If you did, how would you go about getting the look of Polk's wood finish/stain?
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  4. #4

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    Polk site says the RT15i has a real wood finish on the cabinet. If yours have that finish, they should be relatively easy to refinish.

    I don't think I'd use a chisel.

    And I doubt the real wood is very thick on the cabinet, so I wouldn't use a belt sander.

    I *would* remove the drivers before I started.

    I'd consider a liquid stripper. And even though the drivers were out, I'd probably tape plastic over the baffles and rears. Experiment on the bottom rear of one cabinet to see how it goes.

    You could try an orbital sander, but you'd have to be very careful about not rounding over the edges, which would also eat through the real wood and show the underlying MDF. The fix for that is to place another board alongside the edge of the cabinet you're sanding, which will keep the sander level and won't allow it to roll over the edge. You might also put both cabinets together, edge to edge, while sanding those particular edges. Finish that edge on each, then spin both to put two new, unsanded edges together, and keep doing that all the way around all 4 wood-covered sides.

    These don't have years of age nor coat after coat of finish on them, so it should be easy. Buy a quality liquid stripper, use as directed.. make sure you allow it to sit long enough to soften the finish.. the stripper should do the work, not you.

    Then.. refinish as you desire. I would suggest a spray polyurethane finish on such small areas with lots of edges. Use a couple of very light coats and you won't have problems with runs as you might applying with a brush or rag.
    HT: Denon 1910, LG blu-ray, Def Tech ProCinema 100s, Stryke 12" sonosub.
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    Originally posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3
    Har,
    How would you go about stripping the CS245i center? Not very fond of the vinyl mess Polk put on it. Fine job they did, but It dosnt match the rest of my rig in overall looks. Although I am replacing it hopefully very soon, it just dosnt look good. Is it hard to strip the vinyl off of it? Or is it a waste of time?
    If you did, how would you go about getting the look of Polk's wood finish/stain?
    Removing a vinyl covering has great potential for a ****ty looking result... and even if the vinyl comes off, the underlying material is MDF which isn't going to finish nice .. certainly not a wood-grain finish. I wouldn't bother.. live with it until you replace it.
    HT: Denon 1910, LG blu-ray, Def Tech ProCinema 100s, Stryke 12" sonosub.
    LR: Onkyo TX-84 (original owner), Aiwa AD-F850 (original owner), Philips TT (old school, 2nd owner), Philips CD (cheap-o), Monitor 5jr+ (original owner - actually, my wife is the original owner; she bought them new when we were dating - sealed the deal).
    Xbox 360/Wii/Kids: Old school huge Sony HD TV, Sherwood RD-6500, Philips DVD, pair Def Tech ProCinema 100.

  6. #6

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    Post Refinishing vinyl speakers

    Originally posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3
    Is it hard to strip the vinyl off of it? Or is it a waste of time?
    If you did, how would you go about getting the look of Polk's wood finish/stain?
    I have refinished two sets of Polk speakers that had vinyl finishes: a pair of SDA 1Bs and a pair of CRS+s. In both cases, I left the vinyl finsh on because it was a smooth surface that the new finish could easily adhere to.

    The 1Bs were refinished with gloss black vinyl panels on the sides and oak caps on the tops and bottoms. I did the refinishing work myself.

    I took the CRS+s to a local cabinet shop and they put wood veneer (teak) over the vinyl.

    The results in both cases were excellent.

    If you really want to remove the vinyl, you could use paint remover (not paint thinner). This will loosen the vinyl finish and make it bubble up. This would be a very messy and time consuming process. Some of the older vinly-clad Polk speakers actually had a double vinyl coating, so for those type speakers, you would have twice as much work.

    You could also chip and peel off the vinyl with a chisel, but you risk more damage to the MDF.

    Have fun.;)
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 07-09-2003 at 04:30 PM.

  7. #7

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    Mx,

    I examined my CS245i vinyl finish. Yes this is easy to strip. Use
    chisel and if you chip the MDF bodyfill it with the dust, accumulated from the sanded wood and mix it with carpenters glue.

    Whatever skin finish that glued to MDF for me they are very easy to strip.

    CS245i is a very small speaker enclosure cabinet when compared to the SRT's.

    Har

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    I realize that this is a very old thread but I have black RTi's (wood veneer) that I really wish were cherry. Did anyone ever actually do this with success? I guess I worry that the black paint will have stained the veneer to the extent that I could never get down to clean wood until I had sanded all the veneer off.
    I have the tools to spray a new finsh on so I am not worried about my final result, just getting all of the black paint off.
    Front: RTi70
    Center: CSi40
    Rear: RTi28
    Sub: PSW505
    AVR: Onkyo TX-SR600

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    I thinnk the "real wood" on the RTi70's is very thin, I wouldn't attempt it. Add a layer of cherry veneer on top.

  10. #10

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    Only wood ur gonna find under that is MDF...
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  11. #11

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    Default Good luck with 3M's "Safest Stripper"

    3M makes semi-liquid paste stripper called "Safest Stripper" which works very well. It is more expensive than some other liguid strippers and is sometimes hard to find. At times, I've seen it a Lowe's but then sometimes they won't have it at all. You can sometimes find it at an Ace Hardware, or True Value store.

    Anyway, It is the only stipper I've found that does not have all sorts of dire warnings about using with lots of venilation, must use gloves, etc.

    You usually only have to leave it one a max of about an hour. The directions say that is the finish is laquer, you should only wait about 30 minutes. I refinished a dining room table with it and actually stripped off the stain that I used several times until I got the color just right that I was looking for.

    I have a pair of RTi70's with the black finish. I don't think that it is paint, just a very very dark black stain. If you look close under bright light, you can see some of the wood grain. If it were truly paint, it would be opaque and you wouldn't see any grain at all.

    So, I'd go ahead and try to strip the black finish off using a chemical stripper. Then try restaining with a cherry stain. (Go buy a few small pieces of oak wood trim at Home Depot or Lowe's to experiment with stain colors to get the color you won't before you try it on the speakers. Also, go ahead on your test pieces and apply your desired finish coat, since some finish coats will darken and/or make the end results look more amber.

    If after the first step of stripping you can't get rid of all of the black color, then I'd order some pre-pasted self adhesive veener that you can put on yourself. (I think Lowe's has some in Oak and some in Birch). But there are online places that sell all kinds of wood. Just go to Google and search on the work "veneer" and you'll find them.

    I love working with real wood. It has a beauty that you just can't duplicate.

    Robert
    Robert
    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    You are officially in the high-end of the deep-end of the top-end.

    Bonus Room Over Garage:
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  12. #12

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    Default I must be tired . . .

    Sorry, I didn't proofread that previous post I just did. I re-read it and it has several mispelled words and grammatical errors. You may have read some of it twice until it makes sense to you.

    I also just updated my system information.
    Robert
    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    You are officially in the high-end of the deep-end of the top-end.

    Bonus Room Over Garage:
    Toshiba 27" CRT TV
    Digital Source: Sony DVP-NS3100ES
    DVR: Panasonic DMR-ES15
    Denon 3806 AV Receiver
    - L/R Preamp out to Parasound HCA-1200 Amp
    Polk RTi70's, CSi40 Center, RTi38 Side Surrounds, RTi38 Back Surrounds

    Living Room: (2ch only)
    TV: Sony KV20-FV12
    DVD Player: Sony DVP-NS715P
    Yamaha R9 Receiver Polk RTi38's

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Good luck with 3M's "Safest Stripper"

    Originally posted by TN_Polk_Lover
    I have a pair of RTi70's with the black finish. I don't think that it is paint, just a very very dark black stain.
    Some Polk speakers used a black stain or black dye cured with an ultraviolent light (UV) and others used a black lacquer.

    UV finishes have the general advantage of not allowing much to adhere to them, including whatever finish you apply over the stain as a touch up. This adhesion problem applies even though you will prepare the areas to be touched up by first very lightly sanding them. In order to obtain a good looking finish that matches the original one, it is necessary to blend the touch up finish into the original. This is generally where the problem lies as one does not adhere to the other. Your other option is to sand off the entire UV finish, apply stain where needed and then refinish the entire cabinet with a conventional clear coat system such as a lacquer with a satin gloss.

    You should contact Polk customer service to find out exactly what kind of stain/finish you have and the best method for refinishing them.

    The veneer thickness is only about .015" to .025". I agree with PolkThug's advice that it would be better to apply a veneer over the existing finish rather that try to remove the current finish. I had two pairs of SDA CRS+ speakers re-veneered and I was very pleased with the results.

  14. #14

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    I realize that this is a very old thread, but I have a question that fits with the general theme of this article. I have two cherry R50s, and I have had quite the time finding a cherry center and surrounds to match. From postings in this thread, the general consensus seems to be that the CS1 is the closest timbre match that I will find in cherry, but it's still not a perfect match. Outpost.com runs good deals on the CSi25 (which is a perfect match) and the R15s, which would make great (and inexpensive) surrounds. The problem is that they only have these in black. I have seen R15s in cherry go on eBay for almost twice the price of the black ones on outpost.com ($100 shipped compared to $57 shipped). I have never seen the CSi25 (or CSi20) on sale in cherry.

    Sorry for the long introduction. Now let's get to my actual question. How well would the CSi25 and R15s match my R50s if I put a cherry vinyl laminate like this on them? If Outpost runs sales like they have in the past and I buy 1 sheet of that laminate from Parts Express, then it will cost about the same price as a cherry CS1 ($160), and the CSi25 will match my R50s better. So, price is definitely an issue, and timbre-matching is an issue as well. If anyone has experience with how speakers look after installing your own laminate, please chime in. Also, if this is a viable option, then how do I go about installing the laminate. Do I have to sand, strip, or remove the current laminate; or can I just stick it on there with no preparations?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
    Last edited by kalrith; 09-28-2006 at 12:43 PM.

  15. #15

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    Anyone???

  16. #16

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    it looks pretty good but it's hard to tell from the pic. probally will work.

  17. #17

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    much easier to go to black from cherry then other way

  18. #18

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    also when you do it nice you still get nice wood grain when you paint cherry black

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