Introduction: Car Spray Paint for Refinishing Vintage Wood Speakers

About: developer/designer/tinkerer

So, these are some hand-me-down Yamaha’s I was given by a good friend. Vintage is a joke, they are in no way vintage. They sound good but look a little rough. Let’s fix that!

My inspiration is the AudioEngine A5 bookshelf speaker… except cheaper, amp-less, and red!

This is also a good way to get some practice painting before you paint your motorcycle :)

Step 1: Research - It's What Plants Crave

To figure out how to make the speakers shiny I read this forum over at Special thanks to user nissanrider06. This is his image.

Check out the next steps for specifics and tips I learned along the way.

Here's the process suggested on the caraudio forums with a few modifications (This part may take a while ;) ):

  1. bondo
  2. 80 grit sandpaper
  3. bondo
  4. 80 grit sandpaper
  5. bondo
  6. 120 grit sandpaper
  7. 200 grit sandpaper
  8. 300 grit sandpaper
  9. primer
  10. 200 grit sandpaper
  11. 300 grit sandpaper
  12. primer
  13. 300 grit sandpaper
  14. glazing putty
  15. 300 grit sandpaper
  16. 600 grit sandpaper
  17. metallic coat ( I didn't do this)
  18. 600 grit sandpaper
  19. 800 grit sandpaper
  20. 1000 grit sandpaper
  21. paint
  22. 1000 grit sandpaper
  23. paint
  24. 1000 grit sandpaper
  25. paint
  26. clear
  27. 1000 grit sandpaper
  28. clear
  29. 1000 grit sandpaper
  30. clear
  31. 1400 grit sandpaper (I added this step)
  32. 2000 grit sandpaper (I added this step)

Step 2: Filling in the Rough Spots

Here are the speakers masked out, and bondo-ed. I found out I didn’t need to bondo them. Because it wasn’t rough wood or fiberglass, it just wasn’t necessary. So if you have scratches I suggest just using glazing putty.

For masking I just used frog tape and paper found on the painting isle at Lowes.

Step 3: Two Coats of Primer

Here's what they looked like after two coats primer. If you have an indoor workshop your better off doing finishing work inside. I know that's obvious, but I guess I just really like sanding off bugs and grass clippings.

Step 4: Paint!

So here they are after a coat of red. I used Rust-oleum Gloss Protective Enamel paint. Also used Rust-oleum primer and clear coat on this project.

I did way too much research on what kind of paint to use. Unfortunately I don't remember where I got the information from. If I had to guess it was probably at If I didn't get the info from there, they deserve a shout out. It's an awesome forum especially if your rebuilding a 1970s Honda Motorcycle, but they also have good general information on finishing metal parts.

Step 5: Clear Coat

And here the speakers are after a couple coats of Rust-oleum Clear coat.

Step 6: Finally

And finally… Here are the speakers completed. After the clear I polished with rubbing compound. It really helped shine them up. They are not perfect. From certain angles you can see discrepancies in the clear coat. But they look pretty good.


  • Don’t use Bondo unless it is a really rough surface. Honestly I think it did more harm that good.
  • Use glazing putty! It's your friend.
  • After you sand the clear, the shine will go away. But the rubbing compound will bring back the shine.
  • I didn’t keep track of time, but I would say it was may be 10hrs of work(I’m slow).
  • The biggest issue was letting everything dry between coats. So I would work on it a little and then I wouldn’t have a chance to work on it again for a week or two. But now they look and sound good!
  • Also friendly piece of advice don't use Goo-Gone on your actual speakers. It will dissolve the glue that holds them together in addition to taking off any goo.

Step 7: Amplitude

I wrote in the introduction, the speakers I would really like to have are AudioEngine amplified bookshelf speakers.

Finding internal amplifiers that would fit into the Yamahas has proved to be a real challenge. There are a lot of subwoofer amplifiers out there, but not many powerful ones for full range speakers.

The closest thing I have come across is a forum post about modding a sub amp into a full range amp on*PIC*). I haven't had the bandwidth to accomplish this yet though. So if anyone has any tips or suggestions please let me know.



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