Ideas needed: Attaching painted panel to bare wood stand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas needed: Attaching painted panel to bare wood stand

I could use some help in finding a better alternative.

I have a tank stand that I made with 2x lumber, the tank is filled, everything is fine, and I am trying to "skin" it with panels.

After numerous trial and errors I have something my boss likes. It's a picture-frame like panel with cloth in the middle on plywood. The frames are 1x5's that are painted and painted and sanded and painted to be slick and glossy like plastic, so they do not have a "wood" look really.

For four of these panels I intend to fasten them with magnets, or velcro, or something so they are easily removable. I don't care right now, will figure that out.

But for 4 of the panels (one of which actually has a set of drawers in the middle), I am inclined to fasten it permanently, so it will be a tighter fit.

The options I can think of are:

1) Don't be different, stick it on with something removable, forget the question.

2) Nail them on, plug the nail holes, and paint after attached -- I'm using really thin oil paint and lots of coats and sanding and I really, really do not want to do this. Messy and hard to use very thin pain on a vertical surface.

3) Finish them, then nail them on, and patch the nail holes and try to hide them afterwards with putty or wax or something -- difficult on a high gloss surface.

4) Glue - I did paint the back of the panels (protection from water, so if someone looked in the gap it's just black), so it would be sticking high gloss oil paint to bare wood. I can scuff up the surface first of course. This is what I'm leaning toward doing, though I am unsure what to use. Maybe a two part slower set epoxy and some clamps?

4a) Glue with dowels - I can drill for some dowels, maybe 2 on each side, and use that to hold instead of depending on sticking to the paint.

5) Screw on from the back side. This is appealing but difficult, as it's a 3" or 3.5" piece of wood behind it. I'd need counter-sink a screw way down into the supporting member, and be very careful that it didn't extend more than 1/4 or so into the panel. The counter-sink hole is also going to weaken the tank support (probably OK, but worrisome). I'm more worried about accuracy, and coming through (or not getting enough bite to do any good).

6) Other... ?

Are there other options?

Are there some kind of counter-sunk clips or slide-on attachments one could use, that would still give a flush fit?

The stand is about 24.5" x 80" by the way, it holds a 220G tank.

Here is a photo-shopped image using one panel and cloning it, and piecing together the side cabinet. Not real, just photoshop, but it may give a feel for what the panels look like:


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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 11:52 PM
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Scuff the paint and use contact cement. If it is able to get some bite on the painted, It is quick and holds well. Just do the directions and make certain to align it well before letting them touch. One way to assure perfect alignment is to put something like thin dowels or wax paper between the parts and then when happy with the placement, pull the paper out. Clamping is good to really press it together but it does not need to setup after placing.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 11:56 PM
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You should be easily able to attach the "permanent" panel(s) to the 2X frame using small steel angles, screwed to the frame, then to the back of the panel(s). Accuracy can be obtained by carefully clamping the panel(s) to the frame, using pads to keep the clamps from marking the panel surfaces, then drilling for the angle holes. Use short enough screws to prevent penetrating the thickness of the panel frames. Once you get the permanent panel(s) installed you can install the others with magnets (or velcro).

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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PlantedRich: Thank you. Contact Cement as in something like this?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_105458-68-00...ductId=3006177

Hoppy - hmmm... I need to go look at the distances and order of attachment. I think I can do that easily on one end, where the sides are removable, but the other three were wrapping around a pre-made set of drawers, and I'm not sure I can actually reach to put the screws in, since they have to be from the inside, and the inside is a set of drawers.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 03:25 PM
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I was going to suggest the same thing as Hoppy.

However, I am in the same step as you and I am doing the "screw from behind" method.

Dirty minds...


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 03:37 PM
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nail, putty. Once it is dry you can just touch up with varnish or clear nail polish or something.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 04:38 PM
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PlantedRich: Thank you. Contact Cement as in something like this?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_105458-68-00...ductId=3006177

Hoppy - hmmm... I need to go look at the distances and order of attachment. I think I can do that easily on one end, where the sides are removable, but the other three were wrapping around a pre-made set of drawers, and I'm not sure I can actually reach to put the screws in, since they have to be from the inside, and the inside is a set of drawers.
That is the one I use. It also comes in much larger amounts as it is a common adhesive for adding Formica brand counter tops and they need it in gallon sizes. I like it for the speed of set when I'm rushing a project through and want to get on to the next step. It takes 15 minutes or so to get right for putting them together while you have about an hour of "open" time. Paint it, roll it or spread it with a scraper so that it is reasonably uniform. For vertical panels it is thick enough to cling while it gets to the right stage and you won't really need full coverage.

Side point/ I like the solution and design you settled on for the panels!!
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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BruceF: I almost bought a small nail gun today, been wanting one, as I am SURE if I put that many nails in a painted surface I will ding it with a hammer.

But I didn't, I bought some L brackets to see what I can work out, and also some contact cement (I actually got some Loctite as it indicated a longer reposition time; I'm happy with slow set, time to correct errors).

I'm really hoping I can find places to screw them in with L brackets, but I do not think I can, at least on 2 of them. But that is appealing mostly because I can always remove them to refurbish the panel, or repair something behind it. But I think my arms need to be much longer and skinnier and have very tiny right angle drills, none of which is happening.

So at this point I have nails, L brackets and glue. I'll see which inspires me the most as I actually go to attach.

I just got the lumber cut for the last of the first group of panels (I'm saving the last two for later so I can more precisely fit them). Now a few days of painting.... (well, a few minutes of painting each day and long, long dry times).

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 05:03 PM
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Since my G/F is a seamstress, I had her make I guess you can call them curtains for my 20 gal. iron stand. I attached them to the stand with Velcro. So I can still have access my ferts, spare bulbs and the power strip which I store underneath out of sight..

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Since my G/F is a seamstress, I had her make I guess you can call them curtains for my 20 gal. iron stand.
Wow, you got off easy. Too bad I picked my (picky) wife before I got the aquarium. If I had done it in the other order, it would be much easier!

Heck, maybe I could have found one who was a carpenter!

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Side point/ I like the solution and design you settled on for the panels!!
Thank you! My wife's taste, and two months of trial and error (lots of error).

Anyone need some one-of-a-kind panels.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 08:00 PM
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Everyone needs a pin nailer that is just a fact of life!
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Everyone needs a pin nailer that is just a fact of life!
There are so many such facts, and I have so little storage down here.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 02:28 AM
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probably more work then what it's worth, but you could put some t-nuts on the back of the panels, and then drill holes through the 2x4s, and use machine screws/bolts to hold them on. Easily removable, but should hold pretty well.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 02:48 AM
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If it were me I would probably nail from the front with glue on the back. Fill the holes with wood filler, and use the thin pant to touch up over it.

That way you don't need to goop the thin paint on there, and you get support for the glue, plus it's held tight to dry.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 07:27 PM
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If still thinking it over, another couple methods?
Drilled holes so that screws can be sunk below level and add wooden plugs to conceal the screws. Ready made plugs can be found in wood working supplies.
Or as a second, think of the way boats are fitted out. Plywood panels, covered with material and then screwed on with special screw type fasteners that have a head. Once attached there is a second part to the head which can be covered in your choice of material and then snapped on to cover the screw.
Both fasteners are removable if you need to later.

Or nail it and hide with these?
http://www.diyupholsterysupply.com/WCMCO.html

Last edited by PlantedRich; 10-21-2014 at 07:33 PM. Reason: add
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